The viability of a senior citizens’ facility in Port Washington questioned by the Nassau agency
The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency questioned the long-term viability of Amsterdam at Harborside on Thursday, asking for assurances that the high-end retiree community will not file for bankruptcy for the third time.
Amsterdam, in Port Washington, is asking IDA for help to raise $ 41 million by issuing taxable bonds. The nonprofit also wants to restructure $ 140 million of existing debt with new tax-exempt bonds and receive a mortgage registration tax exemption, according to IDA files.
The claim comes after Amsterdam filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection against its creditors last week – and seven years after its first bankruptcy.
In 2014, IDA helped restructure Amsterdam’s debt and provided additional tax breaks in addition to those granted in 2007 before the facility opened. The tax assistance lasted 25 years.
“My concern is sustainability, especially since this is your second time to file for bankruptcy,” IDA Treasurer Amy Flores told representatives of the retiree community at the board meeting. IDA Board of Directors Thursday.
In last week’s bankruptcy filing, Amsterdam executives said most bondholders supported the debt restructuring plan.
CEO James Davis blamed the financial crisis on the pandemic and the “historic financial challenges” of not being able to attract enough new residents to pay the daily bills and entrance fee reimbursements owed to relatives of residents deceased.
He said the bankruptcy filing will not affect the services provided to 375 residents or result in a reduction in the workforce, which consists of 107 employees and about 100 others who are either independent contractors. , or provided by recruiting agencies to work in the dining room and to park cars.
Davis did not attend the IDA meeting, which angered the agency’s president, Richard Kessel. An Amsterdam lawyer said Friday that “personal reasons” were preventing Davis from attending the meeting.
Kessel told representatives of the retirement community on Thursday: “I have some unease about your ability to be successful in the future. It is therefore important that you show us the analysis that this [bankruptcy filing] will not happen again. … Without these assurances, I cannot support this “debt restructuring,” he said.
Responding to a question from Kessel, Richard Dennett, the Amsterdam lawyer, said he never considered that IDA would refuse to issue the necessary bonds.
Any resolution of the bankruptcy case must include full payment of the $ 20 million reimbursement of entrance fees owed to the families of 33 deceased Amsterdam residents, said IDA Vice President Lewis Warren Jr. The entry fee is between $ 527,250 and $ 2.2 million, depending on the size of the living unit.
Amsterdam Executive Director Brooke Navarre responded: “All entrance fee reimbursement holders must be paid 100%. There is no negotiation on this matter. ”
She said the retiree community has developed “a long term plan” which will be shared with the IDA.
“We don’t want to be back here either” because of a future bankruptcy, Navarre said. “It has an impact on the community and on our reputation.”
IDA’s board of directors voted unanimously to continue discussions. But Kessel said, “We’re not going to rush into something.”
The Amsterdam parent company is also a non-profit organization, affiliated with the Amsterdam Nursing Home in Manhattan.