CENTRAL VALLEY – State Senator James Skoufis (D, Woodbury), Thursday, said the owner of Woodbury Common outlet mall has turned its back on $5 million he secured from Albany to build a new Metro-North train station at the shopping venue.
He said Simon Properties “has refused so much as a meeting to discuss the construction” of a station and “walked away from both $5 million and, more importantly, an opportunity to further alleviate traffic in the local community.”
The senator said Simon Properties “has ignored repeated requests” dating back to May 13 to meet with MTA Chairman Patrick Foye, Skoufis and local officials.
“In my seven years in the state legislature, I’ve never seen such unreasonable disregard by a corporation towards its host community,” Skoufis said. “We are coming to the table with $5 million to make a train station work and Simon Properties doesn’t even have the decency to take a meeting.”
Orange County Legislator Laurie Tautel was also critical of the situation. “Who in their right mind walks away from $5 million without event so much as a meeting?” she asked. “Simon Properties needs to grow up, recognize the rare opportunity that is before them, and work to advance a new train station.”
Woodbury Town Supervisor Frank Palermo said he was “beyond sorely disappointed in Simon Properties for turning its back on our community.” He said the planning board “should draw a line in the sand and demand that a train station be part of any new expansion at Woodbury Common.”
Harriman Village Mayor Steve Welle said the company is “out of control and it’s long past time we declared enough is enough.”
He said a new train station in Woodbury Common “would be a game changer for our local community and Simon Properties’ refusal to move forward – despite $5 million in state funding secured by Senator Skoufis – is incomprehensible.”
Welle said any application by the shopping center to expand even further “should be rejected by local elected officials, rejected by the community, and rejected by the planning board.”