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WPCNR PLAYLAND-GO-ROUND. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. October 19, 2015:

Westchester County and Standard Amusements have agreed to a five-month extension of the option agreement for Standard Amusements to invest $25 million in Playland and start taking over management of the iconic park in Rye next year.

The extension, which has the support of County Executive Robert P. Astorino, Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, and Nicholas Singer, a partner in Standard Amusements, extends the option period from Oct. 16, 2015 to March 31, 2016. Standard Amusements will pay the county $25,000 for the extension.

“If Standard Amusements wasn’t interested in investing in Playland, we wouldn’t have asked for the extension,” said Singer. “To date we have committed $1.4 million to the revitalization effort and based on our review, which began in July, it’s likely that our investment would exceed $25 million. We simply need more time to conduct the due diligence necessary to ensure that our development and completion of the project will be successful.”

Astorino said the extension was reasonable and understandable. Part of the need for the extension was to give Standard Amusements more time to understand the integration of its investment with the ongoing capital projects that the county will continue to undertake to fulfill its responsibilities as the owner of the park.

“One of the strengths of this deal is that it is a public-private partnership, but that also adds a layer of complexity that requires adequate time to be managed successfully,” Astorino said. “The goal is to save Playland for future generations and the extension means everyone remains focused on the goal.”

Kaplowitz added: “The Board of Legislators’ approval of the Playland management agreement required some very detailed explanations of how capital improvements would be made at the park and who would be responsible for them.  I consider this request for an extension of the co-management period to be an indication that those complex issues are being addressed. After years of working on a plan that will literally save Playland, I think the addition of a few months to the transition process is reasonable and in fact prudent.”

Playland will be open on schedule in the spring for the 2016 season.

The extension now gives Standard Amusements until the end of March to decide whether to go forward with the management agreement negotiated with the county earlier this year.

Under the terms of the agreement, approved 17-0 by the Board of Legislators in June, New York-based Standard Amusements will pay the county $2,250,000 up front, $500,000 of which the county has already received in a non-refundable payment; invest $22,750,000 million of its money within five years into refurbishing the park; and make annual payments to the county starting at $300,000 and escalating 2% a year. The county will also receive 7.5% of profits once Standard Amusements has recouped its initial investment.

Under the agreement, Standard Amusements will manage the amusement park, parking lot, beach, pool area and boardwalk. Outside the agreement are the Children’s Museum, Pier Restaurant & Tiki Bar, Edith Read Sanctuary and the Ice Casino, which is run by American Skating Centers Entertainment through a separate asset management agreement with the county.

Access to the boardwalk and property that surround the amusement park will continue to be free of charge and open to the public.


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