point of view

An open letter to the developers


An open Letter to Joseph Simone, CEO of Simone Development Companies, and Dr. Steven Safyer, CEO of Montefiore:

If you are interested in the “well being” of our community, you should come to Riverdale and walk on Oxford and Riverdale Avenues, see what we see, hear our voices, and explain to our children and our families how the project you intend to build will benefit them.

Our community will no longer tolerate being ignored, nor will we continue to chase your representatives around, like desperate suitors, to ask them to appear at community board meetings, wishing for a chance to see your plans — plans that have the potential to change our lives for the worse, plans that will destroy a man’s dreams, change our community’s character, our families’ futures.

Instead of issuing press releases in the form of proclamations, come to our community and talk to the families who will be affected by this misguided project and listen to our concerns.

If Montefiore and the developers decide that their plans are not worth sharing and discussing with the very people whose lives will be affected, we will have no choice but to continue our efforts to stop this project.

According to the New York City Department of Building’s web site Montefiore’s plans were “disapproved” by the Department of Buildings, on Jan. 10, 2014, but not yet withdrawn. That is, the Buildings Department objected to several portions of the plans.

This raises the following concern: Will Montefiore and the Developers simply re-submit the revised plans in which they address the objections of the Department of Buildings, but fail to address the concerns of the community? We will have to wait and see.

If in fact Montefiore and the Developer are truly interested in working with the community as a partner, they should convene a meeting in the future where all interested parties will attend and have their voices heard, prior to submitting any revised plans to the Department of Buildings.

For the above reasons I encourage every resident of Riverdale to join the fight and write letters to the CEO of Montefiore and Simone Development requesting that they meet with our local community leaders, residents and our children to discuss the impact of their project on our community and to reveal their plans.

Together we can preserve the quality of life in Riverdale, as we know it. Otherwise we will live the life Montefiore and the developers have “planned” for us.

Constantine Pantazis, Esq. is a trial attorney in New York and the son of Tom Pantazis, owner of one of the properties abutting Montefiore’s proposed building project in Riverdale.