Monday, July 23, 2012

game on to pay membership for seniors...answers to questions

A draft revised lease for Game On 365 should be posted on the town website ( on Tuesday afternoon, after the Town Board work session.

The property covers approximately 6.9 acres and is currently developed with one building (the former Franks Nursery grounds) and two paved parking lots. The property was undeveloped until 1967, when a portion of the property was filled in and a store and barn were built. The property was further developed in the 1970s to accommodate an approximately 50,000 square foot commercial building and parking lot. Game On 365 plans to transform the property by building and operating a bubble facility to be known as The Westchester Field House. This facility will be designed to be a premier indoor sports facility, serve a diverse user group and include sports fields. The proposed facility would provide local residents with four season access to world class training and instruction in multiple sport activities, while generating over a quarter of a million dollars on an annual basis for 15 years. Senior Citizens above the age of 60 will receive membership discounts. Greenburgh seniors will receive free membership. Currently the property generates zero revenue and requires taxpayers to absorb significant school taxes and special district (sewer/refuse) assessments but not County and Town taxes. The Town obtained the property through foreclosure in 2011 and, pursuant to state law, has until 2014 to either use the property for a public purpose or sell it or the Town will be required to pay County and Town taxes in addition to school taxes and special district. The Town advertised the property for lease nationally in 2011 and received three responses in response to advertisements and Requests for Proposals (RFPs), two responses were to buy the property outright and the third response was from Game On 365, LLC to lease the property for a Recreation/Sports Bubble. The Town does not want to sell the property in the current depressed economic climate and not receive the property’s real value.

Here are some of the highlights:

1. The term of the Lease is for fifteen (15) years.

2. The annual rent for Year 1 is $260,000 per year (or $21,667.67 paid monthly), $280,000 per year for Year 2 (or $23,333.33 paid monthly), $300,000 per year for Year 3 (or $25,000.00 paid monthly) and $325,000 per year for Year 4.

3. Game On will be paying the full amount of taxes assessed on the property which will be included in the rent payment.

4. In Year 5 the rent after taxes will increase by 1% over the prior years’ rent after taxes every year for the remainder of the15 year lease. In Year 5 property taxes paid by Game On will also increase by the percentage that all Town property taxes increase for the remainder of the15 year lease.

5. Game On will only pay rent if it receives a building permit from the Building Inspector after completion of the SEQR environmental review process

6. Game On will pay all electric, water, gas, telephone and other public utility charges in connection with its occupancy of the property.

7. Game On will pay the Town $125,000 for an environmental study and remediation of the property upon execution of the Lease. Remediation of Old Frank’s Nursery is expected to cost approximately $100,000. Game On will pay an additional $125,000 if further remediation of the property is necessary but would receive rent credits in exchange for this payment.

8. If remediation of the property exceeds $250,000 Game On can terminate the Agreement. If remediation of the property exceeds $400,000 the Town can terminate the Agreement.

9. Game On agrees that it shall, at its own expense, maintain in force policies of insurance of $1,000,000.00 for bodily injury or death to any one person, $3,000,000.00 for any one accident and $1,000,000.00 for property damage. Game On will also provide a $5 million umbrella insurance policy.

10. Senior citizens over the age of 60 will receive a membership discount and Greenburgh seniors will be admitted free.

11. No tennis will be permitted at the Game On facility.

12. The Town has conducted an environmental review of the proposed Lease Agreement and determined that there are no adverse environmental impacts. A more thorough environmental review of the bubble itself will be conducted and studied when a plan for the site is submitted.

13. Game On will continue to pay rent during the Lease term even if the property is destroyed by fire or other casualty.

I received the following information from Game On---answering some specific questions you may have about the proposal....They invite residents who have concerns to visit their existing sports bubble which is located in NJ. Let me know if you're interested in attending.
Here is the info you requested:
Traffic - The majority of the traffic to the bubble will be after school and evenings as well as weekends. Based on the staggered start and stop times of the programs, we don't anticipate more than 40 cars to be in the parking lot on average at any one time. Most of the programs offered are training classes and clinics. Children are either dropped off or their parents stay and watch, depending on their age. We will not have stadium seating in the bubble, so there are no large areas for crowds to sit.
Our busiest hours of operation will be between 4pm and 8pm on weekdays. We anticipate being open as late as 10pm on some days depending on any adult activities going on. These are indoor activities and no noise comes from the dome. The clubhouse will be open in the morning for a few sports related retail businesses. We anticipate a minimal amount of traffic at that time. The dome is not designed to be open 24 hours a day.
The bubble is designed around programs and clinics, primarily for children. This is not a hang out destination. If you are not involved in a program, you will not come here. There will not be an arcade available to the general public at the bubble. At the sister facility in NJ, there have been (Tom - fill in -) few if any security issues that have resulted in requiring police attention.
Our sister facility in New Jersey shared the following:
SECURITY: Teaneck is an active Military facility with unlocked doors leading to the offices. The unlocked basement also houses Military vehicles and sensitive equipment and supplies that include ammunition. We have had not issues with our guests because they are connected to teams and parents. We do not offer programs to someone walking in off the street. There is nothing for them. Waldwick programs mirror Teaneck and also have zero security issues. Over the years, there have not been any security issues at these locations. All players are accountable to a team coach, trainer or parent.
HOURS: Programs are either :60 minutes or :90 minutes long beginning around 4:00 p.m. with after school sessions that usually end around 8:30-9:00 p.m. with the oldest children entering last on a “school night”. Adults play in leagues from 9:00-11:00 p.m. Pre-school children have classes in the morning and early afternoon. We place zero complications for morning rush hour traffic and very little in the evening given our staggering of programs in the afternoon and evening. Remember, that even seasonally our busiest winter season is the off-season for our neighbors. Rumbrook Park, Elmwood Country Club, the Westchster Golf Range and Elmwood Day Camp are all busiest in the summer months. Hours of operation are expected to be 10 AM to 11 PM.
NUMBERS: We have between 30-80 players at any one time depending on the class or league. Daytime Pre-school classes are small with about 8-15 children to a class. After school classes rotate every 60-90 minutes as per the above with one group leaving and one group arriving throughout the afternoon and evening in a sequential manner. We won’t have stadium seating and, in fact, have only a few benches in our Waldwick facility because the field is for instruction and games and not lounging. Teams usually have parents car-pooling and this makes the volume of spectators relatively small given the numbers above. There is an industry statistic of one car per 2 people (probably includes some spectators, although we have few). But using Ken’s number below (80+ players) it comes to about 50 cars per hour max during busy times.
FIELDS: We will have four fields where players will play 7 V 7/ Field for a total of 56 (14x4) players on the field and a few reserves on the sidelines waiting to get into games if and when filled to capacity. These four fields can be further divided into eight smaller fields for practices with but a few additional players added from the numbers above leading to a maximum number around 80 (8x10) at any given time. The smaller fields are used for 5 V 5, so only 10 kids per field.
CLUB HOUSE: We do not cater to outside customers. Our cafe and services are meant to enhance the experience of our customer base and not to attract outside visitors. The Club house is not a destination for outsiders. Additionally, most of the rented spaces are small studios, roughly 1000 sf and perhaps 3500 sf for a physical therapy office, too small to attract large crowds. There will not be a video arcade for outsiders. There will be a birthday party room with games, and only party guests have access to this room. No children will come into the facility without a purpose for being there.
Hope this helps. I’d invite anybody from the board to Waldwick if need be and we’ll give them a tour.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

meeting tomorrow re: Game On/Frank's Nursery


You are invited to a community meeting tomorrow evening Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at Frank’s nursery on Dobbs Ferry Road. The meeting will be outside –at the site of the proposed sports bubble. The meeting starts at 7 PM. In the event of rain the meeting will be held on Thursday evening same time – same place. At the meeting you will have the opportunity to learn more about the proposed lease with Game On, to ask questions. Town officials will also answer questions about the financial arrangements regarding the lease. Alot of misleading and wrong information has been sent to residents from a company that is planning to build another sports facility in the area--they object to competition. The Board will not vote on the 25th --a vote is expected a short time after the meeting takes place.
The proposed lease with Game On is for 15 years. The town will receive a minimum of $260,000 a year in revenue. After three years the revenues increase to $300,000 a year. And—the revenues escalate to $330,000 by the end of the 15 years. In addition, Game On will help the town cleanup a contaminated site ---they have agreed to pay $100,000 for the cleanup. The town factored the taxes into the rent. If the costs of the cleanup are excessive both the town and Game On have the right to back off from the lease. We have compared the revenues we are receiving to rent other localities that have sports bubbles in their communities receive. The town is generating much more revenue from our proposed agreement with Game On that neighboring localities. Even with the taxes deducted from the rent, the rent payments we receive will be above market value.
Some people have asked: how did Game On become the preferred tenant for this property. Last year, after the town took ownership of the property due to a foreclosure, we had a community meeting at Frank’s. A number of proposals for the property were discussed. Neighbors objected to many of them. We put up a big sign outside of Frank’s inviting people/businesses to submit proposals. I located letters that I sent to the Westchester County Board of Realtors and the Construction Industry Council of Westchester (letters were dated August 10) requesting that they circulate the RFP to their members. I also sent out notices about the RFP to newspapers, blogs, social media contacts, etc… We received three bids. Two bids were to purchase the property- the Sports Bubble was the third bid. Property values are not at the high point right now. We decided that leasing the land was best for the town. In 15 years we probably will get a few million dollars more for the property. And we’re getting almost $5 million during the life of the contract. In addition, at the end of the lease we will own a clean site—something we don’t own. We currently are paying over $50,000 a year in taxes to the school district, county and fire districts—and getting nothing in return.
Will there be traffic? A traffic study will be conducted as part of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The Westchester Field House is an ideal project for the area since the majority of its business will occur during off-peak traffic hours; after school, during the evening, and on weekends. Also, as an indoor sports facility, the busiest season will be winter. During the winter, all neighboring properties (Westchester Golf Range, Elmwood Country Club, Rumbrook Park, Carlson’s Nursery) have very little traffic, if any.
\ The Westchester Field House will have more parking than is required by code.
The process for the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) has started for the site and meets New York State requirements. The Town of Greenburgh has declared itself the lead agency as the owner of the property.
In comparison to similar commercial land leases, the lease payments are above market value.
Instead of selling the property in a depressed market, the Town board opted for a 15 year land lease which will generate close to $5,000,000 for the Town. The financial benefits to the Town include retaining ownership of a valuable property while receiving annual income that far exceeds any potential tax it would receive from selling the property.
As is standard with a land lease, Game On 365 will begin paying full rent upon the issuance of building approvals. Full approvals are anticipated within one year.
Game On 365 has agreed to pay for the Phase II environmental study. If any remediation is required, Game On 365 will spend up to $250,000 to clean up the site without the Town incurring any out of pocket expense.
The Westchester Field House is a multi-sport training facility with turf fields for activities and clinics where kids will be supervised by trainers, coaches and parents at all times.
Game On partners have more than 15 years of experience operating similar successful recreational facilities in Bergen County, New Jersey. Both the Soccer Coliseum in Teaneck and Superdome Sports in Waldwick are operated by Game On partners.
An attractive amenities building will replace the current dilapidated Franks Nursery. This building will sit in front of the dome substantially improving the overall visual impact from Dobbs Ferry Road.
PS: If you have any questions please feel free to call me directly at my cell: 438 1343.

Monday, July 09, 2012


I am very impressed with the work the Lois Bronz Children’s Center is doing. The center, located next to the Theodore Young Community Center, provides services to children – many who have parents with limited resources. A campaign is being waged to help the children obtain 50 backpacks and other supplies.

Your help would be enormously appreciated. Let me know if you are willing to help an organization that provides the community with exceptional services. The Board at the center turned the center around in recent months. Over a year ago the center was in danger of closing. Now—thanks to the efforts of the Board – the center is not in a deficit situation!


We are calling on your generosity for our Third Road to Success backpack campaign at the Lois Bronz Children’s Center.

Starting a new school year is always a scary, yet exhilarating experience. Imagine doing it without the proper tools, unprepared and unable to participate in that first day excitement. We are trying to eliminate this situation and help our students on their Road to Success.

Our reason for writing is we are attempting to send the children to school with new backpacks and school supplies. We have a large population of students that receive assistance and in this economic climate they have limited resources. New school supplies would help them ride the road to educational success by providing them with the necessary tools, build their self esteem and teach them to have respect for school property.

Would you help us reach our goal of filling at least 50 backpacks, by August 3, for our outgoing Kindergarteners? We would use any excess supplies to assist some other students in need that attend summer programs at the adjacent local Community Center. Donations would be greatly appreciated and put to good use by our amazingly talented students.

We want to thank everyone who supported our campaign last year. We were able to provide 65 students with new backpacks filled with school supplies. The children and parents were extremely grateful and appreciative of the campaign sponsors.

We started this campaign as a resource for our parents and children. We are Special Education Preschool Teachers at the Lois Bronz Children’s Center. Our center provides services for infants to sixth graders. Several programs reside in our building; Special Needs classes, Head Start preschool, Universal Pre-Kindergarten and a School Age After School program. We strive to serve the diverse needs of the various populations found in our community.

Please feel free to contact us at or the phone number below, if you have any questions. We thank you in advance for your consideration and/or assistance with our campaign. We truly appreciate it. Please find a list of needed items on the attached page.


Jillian Street & Julie Kolawole

30 Manhattan Avenue, White Plains, NY 10607 ● 914.761.6134 ●


We are requesting, but not limited to:





Composition Books





Glue Sticks


Pencil cases

Thank you again for any assistance you can provide in helping us reach our target. Items can be dropped off at the Center between 8am and 5:30pm daily. There will be a box in the front office at 30 Manhattan Ave, White Plains, New York 10607. We are also available to pick up, if necessary. We will provide a tax-exempt form upon request. Thank you again for your support and generosity.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

waterwheel affordable housing back on track

Good news! The affordable housing project that Greenburgh and Ardsley have been working on for a number of years is back on track and doesn't seem to be in jeopardy. I had two discussions with the Chairman of the Board of Legislators, Ken Jenkins. on Wednesday and today.

The Board of Legislators, according to Mr. Jenkins, will likely vote to exercise their right of first refusal on the property in late July. They will purchase the property from the town for $1.2 million dollars. 22 units of housing will be built (across from Macy Park). 17 units will be affordable and 5 of the homes will be workforce housing. The workforce housing will house volunteer firefighters, ambulance corp members. The county plans to keep the housing affordable in perpetuity. The Ardsley village government, fire department and ambulance corp have been supportive of the sale and the village government has approved all of the applications. We've been waiting for the county to sign off. Seems as if this will happen. The town owns the land (due to a foreclosure) - but the property is located within the borders of the village of Ardsley.

It's possible that construction could start in late August or in the fall. I am very pleased that this goal will soon become a reality. The town authorized the sale of the propert in July, 2010.


Solomon Hicks is a 17 year old guitarist/singer/prodigy/musician. He is called King Solomon. He's been profiled on the Wall Street Journal, NY Daily News, Washington Post and has performed for US Congressmembers, former Governor David Patterson. He has won many awards. He will be performing at a free concert this Thursday night at Yosemite Park (in back of the Theodore Young Community Center, Manhattan Ave) at 7:30 PM. If you love jazz this concert is a must attend event! For more information about Solomon visit his


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

new restaurant opens in elmsford--azteca paradise

A new Mexican restaurant opened on July 4th on Saw Mill River Road. Azteca Paradise is located at 201 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford (seconds from the ice skating academy, Sam's Club, movie theater--off of Payne).

I participated in their ribbon cutting ceremony and enjoyed sampling their delicious food. I will definitely be back with my family--lots of times. This restaurant, in my opinion, will be a great asset to the community and a big success. Jesus Aguilar, one of the owners of the restaurant, has lots of experience in the restaurant business in Yonkers. Among the officials who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony--wishing Greenburgh's newest restaurant lots of success: Greenburgh Councilmembers Kevin Morgan, Ken Jones, Francis Sheehan. The new Yonkers City Clerk,Jose Alvarado and Wilson Terrero, Majority Leader of Yonkers and Ken Jenkins, the chair of the Board of Legislators.

I encourage those who enjoy delicious mexican food to stop by at Azteca Paradise and to wish Greenburgh's newest addition great success. It's good for our town to help local businesses. The new restaurant replaces a restaurant that closed down years ago.