BATTERY PARK CITY — Gayle Horwitz, president of the Battery Park City Authority, will leave her post Oct. 1 amid an ongoing controversy over the long-delayed opening of the $55 million community center, Asphalt Green.
Horwitz, who has been with the authority for two years, will take up a position as chief operating officer at the international private investigating firm Nardello & Co, according to the Tribeca Trib, which first reported the news.
Horwitz's resignation comes as the BPCA revealed for the first time that the reason for the longstanding delays in opening the $55 million Asphalt Green center is a contract dispute.
BPCA Chairman Dennis Mehiel released a statement confirming that the authority has hired attorney Randy Mastro to arbitrate the dispute.
“We can confirm BPCA has consulted with Randy Mastro over the past few months, as we have evaluated the specific components of the contract as written, and how we might amend it to meet our concerns," Mehiel said in the statement.
At a recent Community Board 1 meeting, Anne Fenton, an assistant to Horwitz, had blamed the delayed opening on incomplete permits and mounds of paperwork.
"We're going through the paper part of the permit process, and there have been a few changes to the paperwork," she said, noting that some applications written up by contractors working with the authority need tweaking before resubmission to the Department of Buildings and the New York City Fire Department.
"We're in the home stretch," Fenton said last week. "We understand that everyone in the community is very anxious to get in use of the facility — we are just as anxious to open the door and let everyone in to use it."
Horwitz, who was named president and CEO of the authority in October 2010, has led the organization on several projects, including repairing a sodden sports field in West Thames Park and attempts to save the Grand Staircase in the World Financial Center.
In her letter of resignation written Sept. 12, Horwitz said, "It has been my honor and privilege to serve the Battery Park City community and to further the mission of the Authority."