Monday, February 22, 2010

Site in Limbo as Bidder Loses Out by Howard Koplowitz -

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The former home of the Ozone Park Animal Clinic at 107-30 Rockaway Blvd was purchased by SL Green and is steps away from the entrance to Aqueduct Race Track. Photo by Christina Santucci

When Aqueduct video lottery terminal contract bidder SL Green made a presentation to the Queens Chamber of Commerce in September, it pointed to the purchase of property near the Ozone Park track as evidence of its commitment to the community.

Even with the selection of Aqueduct Entertainment Group as the winner of the VLT contract, SL Green said it has no plans to sell off the property, which is a stone’s throw away from Aqueduct.

Rick Matthews, an SL Green spokesman, said SL Green purchased a site at 107-30 Rockaway Blvd., but the company has not decided what it plans to develop at the location, which was formerly the Ozone Park Animal Clinic.

“There are several possible uses for it,” Matthews said.

With a multibillion-dollar redevelopment project planned for Aqueduct, Matthews said SL Green believes the property should increase in value.

SL Green partnered with Hard Rock Entertainment to submit a bid for the VLT contract, but lost out on the contract last month to AEG.

AEG has come under scrutiny for its ties to the Rev. Floyd Flake, the influential southeast Queens minister and an AEG investor.

SL Green’s partnership with Hard Rock would have included a rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia bar and the possibility of live musical acts, which would perform at Aqueduct’s grandstand.

— Howard Koplowitz