Letter From Fred Camillo on Greenwich Plaza
The proposal by the Ashforth Co. to revitalize the train station and retail space on Railroad Avenue is an attractive and creative example of Public/Private Partnerships that I plan to promote as First Selectman. This proposal links two issues, the air rights over One and Two Greenwich Plaza, and a refurbished train station along Railroad Avenue and between Arch St and Steamboat Rd. I believe we need to decouple these as the air rights are too valuable to give up in exchange for a public benefit that does not approach the value of the air rights.
Having discussed with Ashforth their proposal, which seeks to transfer the Town’s air rights in the two Greenwich Plaza office buildings to Ashforth in exchange for public space on Railroad Avenue, I have come to appreciate the importance and economic value of the Town’s ownership of the land under which the two office buildings are built.
My policy and principle for Public/Private Partnerships where the Town is the owner of a property is that the citizens of the Town deserve an economic, market return on their property. I will utilize industry experts to fully vet the Greenwich Plaza redevelopment plan and will perform rigorous due diligence on this and every public/private project going forward.
As First Selectman, I very much want to see the Town fully utilize its assets for the benefit of the taxpayers as well as for the enhancement of the beauty of our Town. The proposal to redevelop the train station and adjacent retail space is very attractive and speaks to the beauty and energy a new space would create in downtown Greenwich. However, protecting and maximizing the economic benefits to the taxpayers is equally important and must be pursued on an equal footing in any Public/Private Partnership going forward. As First Selectman, I will engage the best minds and most experienced professionals to represent the Town’s interests in any proposed partnership so that going forward the citizens of the town receive the full economic benefit from properties owned by the Town.
Candidate for First Selectman