Pedro Espada, John Catsimatidis trade barbs

Pedro Espada, John Catsimatidis trade barbs
Friday, February 20th 2009, 2:09 AM
state senator and a billionaire mayoral candidate traded charges Thursday that one’s a miser and the other is stiffing him on the rent.
And no, the billionaire is not
.
State Sen.
, who runs the
Healthcare Network, said he’s being forced to close one of his longtime facilities today because it can no longer meet “the astronomical rent demands” of its landlord, billionaire businessman and mayoral wannabe
.
But Catsimatidis promptly fired back through a spokesman that Espada has long been a problem tenant, and is skipping out while still owing him rent.
The two have been locked in a landlord-tenant dispute over the Jessica Guzman Medical Center at 616 Castle Hill Ave.
After a lengthy dispute over what the rent should be, the two signed a new five-year lease in January 2008.
Espada called it “way above market value” at the time, but decided, as he put it, “to give in to the Grinch and give him his money.”
Espada contended that an independent appraisal put the market rate of the property at $25 per square foot. Catsimatidis called for – and later got – $37.50 a square foot – or $11,375 a month.
But Espada sent Catsimatidis a letter of termination Sept. 30, and hasn’t paid rent since.
“John Catsimatidis believes all New Yorkers deserve good health care,” said his spokesman,
. “We have worked diligently with Soundview to achieve that goal. Frankly, we’re surprised they terminated the lease.”
The not-for-profit community health facility was named in memory of the murdered youngster whose disappearance in 1990 mobilized one of the largest law enforcement searches in city history. Her killer is now serving a life term.
“It’s a sad day because the Jessica Guzman Medical Center, in addition to providing high-quality health care, became a beacon of hope and healing amidst the tragic death of a neighborhood child,” said
, who serves as medical director of the Soundview Healthcare Network.
, the main facility in the Soundview Healthcare Network, at 731 White Plains Road, just three blocks from the Jessica Guzman Medical Center.
Collymore said that seniors can make special arrangements by calling Soundview Health Center at (718) 589-2232.
“The most important thing for our patients to know is, there will be no interruption in service. The continuity of their care will be seamless.”
‘Frankly,
we’re surprised they terminated the lease.’

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