Tax Watch today obtained the May 2 letter from the Richman Group Development Corporation to developer Richard Harris, disavowing any connection to Harris’ Group MRH LLC, and the WestHELP Greenburgh proposal.
The letter, which was obtained under the Freedom of Information Law from the town of Greenburgh, states that Richman had a preliminary discussion with MRH on the syndication of tax credits, but ended those discussions.
Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has trumpeted Richman’s involvement in the project in communications with town residents.
“We have received several press releases concerning the project identifying our clients as your partner,” the letter stated. “This is totally false and we demand that you correct this erroneous information.”
Feiner was not available for comment.
County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky,D-Greenburgh, said she was shocked by the letter, which raises serious questions about whether Group MRH should win the award.
“I”ve never seen anything like this,” she said. “Whatever the lack of bona fides remains to be seen, but the big picture for me is that we need to get these buildings remediated and put back in good use, providing revenue for taxpayers.”
She said Greenburgh needs to get a responsible lessee under contract soon. If it doesn’t, the county may hold the town responsible for repairs to the apartments, which have deteriorated over the past 20 months, when the town have left them vacant.
“They need to get a developer in their lickety-split or else the county will look to its options in terms of getting the town to stabilize the buildings,” she said. “And that would mean the town is on the hook for the repairs.”
Group MRH, in documents submitted to the Town Board, said that it would invest $2 million in renovating the complex. Richman, meanwhile, would manage the project’s paperwork. Group MRH also stated that Richman, one of the nation’s leading housing organizations, was its partner in the project. The letter states that Richman was never involved in the project.
Photo: Richman Group headquarters at The Mill, in the Glenville section of Greenwich, Ct. /David McKay Wilson