New York real estate dynasty the LeFrak family is making a $10 million donation to the new Lakeside Center in Prospect Park. The center's ice rink, which will now be named after Samuel and Ethel LeFrak, the benefactors' parents, is set to open this December after years of delays and rising costs. The final cost of the project totals $74 million and comes from a mix of public and private funds.
The public part of the equation, however, has some people unhappy, especially since the Lakeside Center will not give any money back to the city in its first year and will then pay only $100,000 yearly for the next 16 years. (By comparison, the Wollman Rink in Central Park paid the city $2.2 million in rent in 2011.) Geoffrey Croft of the NYC Park Advocates called the deal "an extremely extravagant parting gift from the mayor." The city, for its part, claims that the public benefit of the facility and the accompanying 26 acres of restored parkland is worth the price. And, as the LeFraks are probably hoping, the new attraction could stimulate even more growth in the area (developers did just "discover" Prospect Lefferts-Gardens, after all).
· LeFraks Smooth Way for Brooklyn Skaters [WSJ]
· Prospect Park ice rink deal not so slick for city: advocate [NYDN]
· Lakeside Center coverage [Curbed]