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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Wilpon's Sterling Equities and Related Co. are in exclusive negotiations to rebuild Willets Point near Citi Field

According to Bloomberg News, Related Cos. and Fred Wilpon’s Sterling Equities Inc. are in exclusive negotiations for the rights to develop Willets Point, a neighborhood of automotive shops and junkyards near the New York Mets’ ballpark, said a person with knowledge of the talks.

The city of New York is close to reaching a deal with Related and Sterling Equities to build a mall on the site, the New York Observer reported earlier today on its website.

Wilpon and his Sterling partners became sole owners of the Mets baseball team in 2002. In March, Wilpon and Mets President Saul B. Katz, who had invested with convicted Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff, reached a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the liquidator of Madoff’s firm. Related is run by Stephen M. Ross, owner of the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins and developer of Time Warner Center in midtown Manhattan.

“We’re very close to having a deal in place that will transform Willets Point into New York City’s next great neighborhood and continue the historic progress we’ve already made there,” said Julie Wood, deputy press secretary to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

New York City last year issued a request for proposals from builders interested in constructing retail, entertainment, housing and other types of development on the 61-acre (25- hectare) site, which is in Queens across 126th Street from Citi Field, where the Mets have played since it opened in 2009.

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