After reading The Post, a secret billionaire offers $6 million to save the Central Park Boathouse.
A mystery A $6 million offer from a New York billionaire has come in at the last minute to save the beloved Central Park Boathouse.
Sources say that the white knight power broker stepped in after reading Steve Cuozzo's August 12 column in The Post about how we must save the Big Apple landmark.
Due to rising costs, the restaurant's owner Dean Poll said he has no choice but to close the business on October 17.
The billionaire then went to Poll and offered to pay for the renovation of the famous building and keep it open as long as Poll kept his current contract with the city.
Cuozzo had written that New York would be hurt by the closing. "This is bad news for the city no matter how you look at it." A darkened Boathouse would leave a heartbreaking hole in the park at a time when New York's green lung needs as many good, law-abiding people as it can handle."
The Boathouse, which was rebuilt in the 1950s, is magically located on the east side of the lake in Central Park.
Poll, a restaurateur from Long Island who saved Gallagher's Steakhouse from closing in 2013, took over the Boathouse in 2000. He recently said he had no choice but to close, blaming rising food prices caused by inflation and high labor costs.
He had said that the Boathouse would close on October 17, which would cost 163 union jobs. He had tried to get Local 6 to accept job cuts and other concessions, among other things.
But sources say that the billionaire's promise to invest gives Poll a stronger bargaining position with the city and Parks Commission because it includes plans to fix up the property.
One insider said, "The billionaire would spend a lot of his money to fix up the Boathouse, which would include putting on a new roof. This means that the current owner of the property would stay in charge, and none of the current employees would lose their jobs. Also, there wouldn't be a need to ask other restaurant owners to make offers, which could have kept the property closed for years."
The insider also said that Poll's lawyers told the city about the new plan at a meeting on Monday, and Poll is now waiting to hear if it might be approved.
Poll and the New York Parks Commission didn't have anyone to talk to when they were called.