NYC sailing school could lose lease

Mr. Fortenbaugh has drummed up support among his sailing school and yachting club members, who rallied at Battery Park City on his behalf on Monday.

It is not clear whether anyone besides Brookfield and Mr. Fortenbaugh’s group has submitted an offer, since the bids have not been made public.

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The authority’s request for proposals recognizes the appeal of Mr. Fortenbaugh’s sailing school by requiring the winning bidder to provide a “reasonably” priced sailing school of comparable size, though it does not define reasonable. A promise of community-based programming, including opportunities for children and teenagers “at every income level,” is worth 15 percent of the score to win the contract.

The authority also suggested some improvements that an operator more deep-pocketed than Mr. Fortenbaugh might have an easier time carrying out, like a wave-attenuation system that would protect boats from rocking.

“The North Cove Marina is a public asset and the Battery Park City Authority operates it for the benefit of the community and all New Yorkers,” the authority said in a statement. “A competitive bid process was required to select the marina’s licensee through 2025, and included commitments to ensure enhanced public access to the waterfront and the continuation and improvement of existing marina programs, including a sailing school.”

Mr. Fortenbaugh says he believes that Brookfield and its partner, Island Global, are better positioned to win the contract because of their financial and political clout. Both Brookfield and Island Global’s chairman, Andrew Farkas, have been generous donors to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who appointed four of the five Battery Park City Authority members, and Mr. Cuomo once worked for Island Capital Group, also run by Mr. Farkas.

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The governor’s office said on Monday that it had been told that the authority was going to seek new bids for the marina, as is standard when a license expires. The office said it was not aware of any details of the bidding until The New York Times asked about it.

“The authority ran a comprehensive procurement process based solely on the merit of the applications and with zero input from the governor’s office,” it said in a statement.

A spokesman for Island Global declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Brookfield, Melissa Coley, confirmed that the real estate company was bidding for the marina, but would not provide further details about the bid.

The authority’s request notes that Lower Manhattan is a fairly affluent area, serving 310,000 office workers with an average annual salary of $117,000 and 61,000 residents with average household income of $204,000. But Mr. Fortenbaugh said that in the end, the marina had its limitations. “We know that it’s a parking lot for boats,” Mr. Fortenbaugh said. “It’s a seasonal business. Somebody could come in and offer these pie-in-the-sky things that don’t reflect reality.”


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