Saturday, March 30, 2013

Satmar Factions Inching Towards Historic Property Deal

Two weeks ago I broke the story ( about negotiations going on between the two Satmar factions, in working out some deal to ease the tension, internally and politically, and move towards an end to the almost decade and a half rift.

It seems there was more to it, especially after the amount of pressure that was mounted on the blog to remove a post that was, in their words, harmful to the peace talks between the Zalmenites as the Ahronim.

Rumors have been swirling within the community that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, represented informally by Orthodox businessman Abraham Eisner, is on the verge of concluding a deal between the two Satmar factions over disputed property.

The two factions, the New York Observer has learned, would jointly purchase the 165,166-square foot, 3.2-acre Marcy Armory in Williamsburg from the State. The armory would be physically divided between the two camps, though the Zalmanites would pay more than the Aaronites, reports Colin Campbell. In exchange, the Aaronites would renounce their claims on summer camps in Ulster County and the matzah bakery on Broadway.

“These rumors are simply untrue,” said Matthew Wing, a spokesman for Governor Cuomo, when reached by the Observer. “No one in the governor’s office is involved in any ‘deal,’ and in reality the armory is going to be subject to a competitive RFP process.”

Mr. Eisner hung up on The Observer when reached Friday afternoon on his cell phone.

It remains seen whether this deal, if true, would break the ice and become the first practical move towards restoring peace in one of the largest-most-growing Orthodox Jewish communities. This and more, if the two factions decide to act as a united force, this could become paradise for local and Statewide politicians, who would be able to rely on a bloc vote of almost 100,000 votes.

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