Future of Proposed K-8 School Next to Superfund Site in Question

Map of proposed school next to the NuHart Superfund site (via North Brooklyn Neighbors)

The future of the proposed k-8 school across from a toxic site is in question. The current plan is to build the school on a vacant lot across the street from the NuHart Plastics Superfund site, one of the most contaminated sites in New York state.

NuHart Plastics Superfund site

NYC Councilmember Stephen Levin is holding a public meeting on  Feb. 7, at the Dupont Senior Housing Center (80 Dupont St.) at 7 p.m. regarding the school and has for the past three years cited efforts to seek an alternative site for a new k-8 school in the North Greenpoint area.

A petition from North Brooklyn Neighbors in opposition to the location of the future school at the corner of Franklin and Dupont streets has received over 6,600 signatures so far.

The NuHart Plastics building spewed toxic fumes into the neighborhood while producing vinyl sheeting from 1950 – 2004, during which time underground storage tanks of toxic chemicals leaked into the groundwater and soil. Today as much as 60,000 gallons of phthalates are underground at the site and the toxic plume has migrated west toward the Greenpoint Playground across the street.

The underground plume at the corner of Franklin and Dupont streets (via North Brooklyn Neighbors)

While local residents are not currently a risk for exposure at the moment while the toxins remain more than 10 feet underground, the cleanup process is supposed to start following the demolition of the building which could start later this year following approval of the proposal of the cleanup plan by the state.

The North Greenpoint region is expected to see a population boom with the Greenpoint Landing development bringing 5,500 new residential units to market in the coming years on top of the neighboring construction on West and Franklin streets.

Rendering of 22 Clay Street in Greenpoint (via ODA./The Real Deal)

The planned development by All Year Management at the NuHart site (known as 22-26 Clay St.) following the cleanup consists of a 244,000 square-foot mixed use building with 325 residential units, The Real Deal reports. Yoel Goldman who heads the development group has come under scrutiny following the downgrading of the company’s bonds on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, leaving further questions over the future of the site.

Over the last two months, the largely veiled Brooklyn-based developer has seen the bonds that he issued in Israel downgraded; investors have begun shorting All Year; and the company has come under the spotlight from Israeli regulators.

It all started after the company revealed a $3.7 million error in November 2018, triggering a weeks-long decline in their bonds on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), and heightened scrutiny from investors and regulators. As of last Friday, All Year’s four bond series had fallen between 6 and 23 percent since the beginning of 2019……

There’s a reason why All Year is under pressure to report income. As a public company, All Year is required to meet certain leverage ratios under the terms of its bonds, including a debt to income ratio known as EBITDA (Earnings Before Interests, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization). If the company breaches those covenants, there are penalties, such as increases in interest rates, or an opportunity for bondholders to demand immediate payback.

With so many large projects under development, All Year has been wavering above a ratio of 18 times debt to EBITDA, just below the allowed threshold of 19 to one. In the third quarter of 2018, All Year reported total debt of $1.5 billion and EBITDA of $83.5 million for a ratio of 18.4, meaning a difference of $3 million would have put him over the threshold.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *