Sunday, August 29, 2010

REAL ESTATE POLITICS IN THE BRONX: IS DANIEL PADERNACHT A POTTED PLANT FOR PEDRO ESPADA AND THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY?

By Rafael Martínez Alequín

“I’m an attorney in New York. I have represented Dr. Singh in various real estate transactions. I have read his new book A to Z of Foreclosures and I believe it is in an excellent resource not only for foreclosure investors but for all real estate professionals and even students who are looking for an informational overview on various methods on completing real estate transactions. I highly recommend this book.”

-Daniel Padernacht, Attorney at Law

http://www.richimmigrants.com

By Rafael Martínez Alequín

Daniel Padernacht is running against the only candidate in a three way senatorial race who is not tied to real estate interests. Padernacht and his brother Steven manage 236 apartments in Van Cortlandt Village. He is also tied to Dr. Harsiman Singh of Sabharwal investors. A sizable conglomerate that owns shopping malls and other commercial ventures. A seemingly self styled guru of "get rich on foreclosures", Singh has made a name for himself.

This brings us to Senator Pedro Espada whose largest support basis are real estate developers. Espada's misdeeds have been well documented in the press recently. But what has not been discussed is the reluctance of some Bronx pols to rescind support of him.

As the eleventh hour for hand raising approached, Assembly Jeffrey Dinowitz made his gesture of support to newly minted candidate, Gustavo Rivera. Rivera is the fresh face in an important political race. Unblemished with corruption and jaded political experience, Rivera enters with a background of intellectual approach and an idealism that has been lacking in the district for many years. Rivera is probably the only candidate who would not "sell out" the district to developers.

There is rampant speculation that Padernacht is the offspring of Espada and Dinowitz. That he was created as a means of siphoning votes away from Rivera. Keep in mind that Dinowitz has higher political aspirations. He would need the support of Espada to climb that slippery ladder of political knighthood. It was also Dinowitz who was given the task of helping to boot Espada from office recently. He declined to act upon the request.

But now, as the evidence piles higher regarding the misdeeds of Espada, Dinowitz has been forced to make a declaration of allegiance. And although he kisses Rivera's cheek one has to wonder if it is just another version of the "Godfather's."
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With all of the controversy surrounding the Ground Zero Mosque, YFP presents a different approach to holy house building. Dr. Harsiman Singh, according to his website has not only reduced unemployment in Long Island to 7% but has also built his temple through positive thinking. Perhaps some of that will influence the candidacy of his lawyer, Daniel Padernacht. Dr. Singh writes the following:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Power of Prayer & Positive Thinking


The following true events are captured in more detail in my inspirational booklet, 26 Steps to Spiritual and Financial Riches: How Spirituality Led to a $7 Million Gain. Enjoy!

It was on a Sunday, our holy day of festivity, that I attended the Gurdwara in Plainview, New York. As the congregation shuffled into the temple, I began to notice that we had grown in number over the years. On this particular summer day, it was quite humid which made the overcrowding more of an issue than something to celebrate. Certainly, I was delighted in our increasing congregation but I noticed that in a very short period of time, we had begun to run out of room in the temple. Space became an issue, as many people where not able to sit down with the others. Having felt that I have received so much in keeping my faith strong, this situation created a sense of desire inside me to build up a bigger temple or find a more appropriate space for the congregation, especially because I am a real estate investor


This scenario served as a backdrop in my mind and I felt as though I needed to turn to prayer. I pictured in my head taking a walk around my home and property. It did not take me long to realize that it is not right that my house is so big but God’s house, where our Sikh community goes to worship, celebrate, and socialize, is so small. There with the congregation of the temple, I made a commitment to myself that I would remain determined to find a suitable property for establishing a bigger temple. At this point, I promised that I would not work on my real estate ventures until I succeeded in finding an appropriate place for us to congregate and worship.


The very next day, fairly early in the morning, a real estate broker knocked on the front door of my home. He told me that he knew of a property that I might be interested in purchasing for investment purposes. We agree to view the property at 100 Lattingtown Road in Glen Cove, New York. This is a sprawling property, consisting of a 32, 000 square foot palatial mansion on 15.43 acres of land. The building itself was gorgeous, as most of the paint, fixtures, and furnishings were brand new. It was one of the most pristine properties I’ve ever come across in all of my real estate endeavors. The property is located in picturesque environs and is surrounded by areas of naturally occurring water. Even though this beautiful mansion sits on a large amount of acreage, it is also within walking distance to a bordering beach front and golf course.


Taking the wonderful property and scenery into my mind, I was immediately reminded of my prayer and goal from the previous evening. I thought to myself ‘This cannot be for my business ventures; it must be for the community.’ After all, it is a property fit for the king of all kings. This thought simultaneously ignited in me a feeling of submission to God. I begged Him to give me the strength and positive attitude necessary to overcome any obstacle that may come my way in acquiring and claiming this great property as a location for our new temple.


As the broker could clearly see my excitement about the property, he told me that Uni Bank had lien of $8.2 million on the property which the bank intended to foreclose. I told him that I would take some time, think about the situation, and get back to him. When I went home, I rustled up statements from various banks to see what type of cash I had available to present an offer. These totals amounted to $1.2 million so that became the offer I extended to the bank. At first, I was laughed at, but I insisted that the bank official think about the offer; after all, the money I was offering was $1.2 million in money, but the prayers that came along with it carried much more weight.


In a few days, prayer, the most important and powerful ingredient in this transaction, proved to be beneficial to my cause. When the bank officials called to tell me that they would sign the contract for my special offer, I felt that my prayers had been answered and that I was blessed with the responsibility of serving God and the community. I thought to myself that this was not only a demonstration of God’s work but also of my belief, good intentions, and power of prayer. Since the appraisal of the property was over $8.2 million, with the value of the land alone over $3 million, I was very happy to know that I would be able to provide a new, large temple in a building that would cost no less than $5 million to build.


This story is of tremendous importance because obstacles were continuously presenting themselves. But I would not allow them to obstruct my path and goal of establishing the new temple. Soon after the conversation with the bank officials, I went to meet with officials of the City of Glen Cove to tell them of my intentions and inquire for their permission to establish the property as a temple. Not unlike those at the bank, the city officials poked fun at me and presented me with an obstacle to overcome. Due to the size of Glen Cove, having only a small radius of five miles, the city officials were concerned with the possibility of them losing $200,000 in annual property taxes because of my commitment to establish our would-be temple. Since the temple would be considered a non-profit organization, the city would indeed lose that large amount of property taxes if the temple was established.

The staff of officials repeatedly told me to just “forget the project.’ Rather than letting this negativity deter me from pursuit of my goal, I relied on my positivity and faith in self to go forward, purchase the property, and face the challenges as they arise.


Inspired by the obstacles already described, I made an effort to contact the officials of the temple in Plainview to tell them that I would appreciate their presence at the meeting I had set up with the bank officials in Manhattan to sign the contract. The four officials of the temple agreed to accompany me to the meeting. We arrived and were asked to be seated, while waiting for the bank officials to arrive in the boardroom. Before the point in the meeting where the bank officials were to have us sign the contract, the four officials of the temple walked out, leaving me alone. The temple officials saw the possibility of having to explain to the congregation, in case the permissions to operate the premises as a temple were not granted.


The bank officials were disillusioned by their decision to walk out and decided to sign the contract under my own name. Due to my familiarity with such business proceedings and the potential risk involved with having my name on the contract, I bore sole financial responsibility and signed the contract. Assuming the responsibility moved me to write them a check of $120,000. At this point, I knew there would be bigger challenges to overcome, so this particular obstruction further encouraged me to be more positive. The news and possibility of having a new, larger temple quickly spread to the congregation and community. As a result, the officials later began to cooperate with me and compensated me for my faithful monetary advance.


As originally anticipated after my initial discussion with them, the City of Glen Cove refused to give us permission to establish and operate the property as a temple. Instead, the congregation and I were forced to endure a two year struggle. As if to test our will, the city insisted on surveying the area and completing environmental and traffic studies, in addition to seeking permissions from 50 other agencies during this period of time. I remained steadfast and continued to pray that our goal would be reached.


Over the course of this process, I received offers from several prospective buyers who were willing to buy the premises from me for $4 million, thereby enabling me to make an easy profit of over $2 million. Meanwhile, the officials of the temple became so impatient with this process that they held an emergency meeting to discuss the selling of the property for only $1.6 million. It was at this time that I felt compelled to show the officials the letters I had received. I am truly thankful to God that He did not let me yield in my stride and succumb to the temptation of easy money over my selfless pursuit. I am confident that it was God who stood with me so I could maintain my integrity and the commitment I had made two years earlier.


After seeing the various letters from prospective buyers, my will to not give in gave the officials of the temple no choice but to leave me to continue my struggle with the City of Glen Cove. And with the cooperation of the congregation, the permissions to continue were finally granted.


During this long, drawn-out process of getting the proper permissions for establishing the temple, the City of Glen Cove persuaded me to purchase a shopping mall located at 24 School Street. In an effort to revitalize the downtown area of Glen Cove, the city officials wanted me to purchase this property which had been mostly unoccupied for several years. I initially had no desire to go through with purchasing this property. . Furthermore, I felt that it went against my traditional business sense. Nevertheless, I felt that it would help put me and the temple in the good graces of the city officials. Moreover, I saw acquiring this property as beneficial because it would help maintain good relations with the city.


Soon after I purchased the property, however, Staples Department Stores decided to build their new store very close to the 24 School Street property. Amazingly, I started receiving lucrative offers that would enable me to make over $2 million above my original purchase price. Interestingly enough, just as the city officials had coaxed me into purchasing the property, they now pressured me to sell this property. Again, to appease the city of Glen Cove by helping revitalize the downtown area, I had to consider my options and keep the temple in mind. The very council that had me purchase this shopping plaza now wanted me to sell to a chain department store called Swezey’s.


I thought about this situation a great deal. Since I could easily gain a profit of $2 million from someone other than Swezey’s, the obvious decision to make would be to sell for more money. Keeping my promise and sense of commitment in mind, I yielded to the desires of the City of Glen Cove and sold the property to Swezey’s Department Stores. Clearly, making money was not my priority in this situation, as I didn’t stand to make a large profit in this transaction.


Ironically, this chain of department stores, which had been in business for over 100 years, went out of business a couple years following the establishment of their Glen Cove location. I, in turn, following through with my motivation and goals, had made up that $2 million profit on my investments elsewhere and remained in the good graces of the City of Glen Cove.


In fact, the City of Glen Cove was very pleased with me, thereafter. The same city officials who initially laughed at me and were ready to chase me off their premises now were willing to grant us the permissions for operation of the temple. Throughout the strains and my persistent efforts, I am now happy to tell you that the City of Glen Cove was given the title of being ‘Sister City of Amritsar,’ home of the holiest Sikh-Shrine. The mayor of the city himself proclaimed that “the fragrance emanating from the GoldenTemple shall abound here in the United States of America.


At this point in time, the triumph of the temple was not yet complete. As I mentioned earlier, the property taxes were supposed to total around $200,000 a year. The reduction of these taxes to zero required the hiring of lawyers and many hours to achieve. As a result, the attorneys working on the tax situation demanded a fee of $57,000. Seeing that I had overcome so much in establishing the temple already, I turned to this situation with the same positive attitude and prayers. I called the attorneys and offered them a meager sum of $3,000 as compensation for their initial fee demands. Although not likely, I somehow felt it was possible because I was true in my intentions and remained strong in my commitment to my faith and the temple congregation. In response to my small offer, all I heard was the encouraging words, “Okay. Accepted.” This, of course, was very similar to the bank who sold us the property for peanuts.


In addition to these great feats, various real estate brokers and architects also waived major portions of their fees totaling roughly $50,000. Along with the Sikh temple there was to be a school set up on the premises. Remarkably, the school taxes of $115,000 were also waived.


Times in my life, such as the events of this story, have given me reassurance about the power of prayer and positive thinking. God’s plans and designs are above human comprehension. The above story may have amazed you. Perhaps, you may still be thinking about how the temple congregation became the proud owners of the sprawling 15.43 acre property, including a 32,000 square feet building, along with a five bedroom house used as a residence for the priests. Even more so, I was also able to gain, individually, the money that I initially thought I had lost. With monetary gain put aside, I also gained strength in the power of prayer and an ardent belief in the power of positive thinking.”



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