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Bernie eyeing F1 races in Warsaw and Staten Island?UPDATE Back in 2004, you may recall, there was much fanfare when it emerged that NASCAR’s sister company, the International Speedway Corporation (ISC), had bought a 676-acre parcel of land in a disused industrial sector of Staten Island, not far from Goethal’s Bridge, which links The island to New Jersey. The intention was to build a speedway to serve the New York metropolitan area. Part of the project was to include the development of a high-end shopping complex in the area, working with real estate company called The Related Companies, owned by Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, best known for its $1.7 billion redevelopment of the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. The project went wrong when ISC ran into opposition from the local population which did not want to see any more traffic on the island and in 2006 it was announced that ISC was giving up and selling the land to KB Marine for $88 million, nearly $20 million less than it paid. That never actually happened because the company never came up with the money and in December the land was put up for sale again.
Things have not changed much in Staten Island in recent years but there has been a lot of talk about redeveloping the North Shore waterfront, all the way from the celebrated Staten Island Ferry to Mariners Harbor, not far from where the planned speedway was to have been built. The plan calls for several new or refurbished parks along the way, with space for farmers’ markets, performance spaces, yacht harbors, cafes and restaurants. At the same time there has been continued discussions about reviving the old rail links from the ferry along the same route, using light rail or trams. This all makes sense as Staten Island could benefit enormously from better transportation and from a little beautification. Tourists often catch the ferry across the harbor in order to get a cheap view of the Statue of Liberty, but they rarely leave the Staten Island terminal and look around. Joe Saward
01/28/11 (GMM) Melbourne grand prix boss Ron Walker has named some unusual rivals who could take the country's formula one race from Australia.
As a spat between Melbourne's Lord Mayor and Bernie Ecclestone develops, Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief Walker warned that there are plenty of alternative hosts bidding to slot onto the sport's crammed annual calendar.
"The race will not leave here until 2015, that is for sure -- unless the government decides to talk to Mr. Ecclestone about termination," he told the local Herald Sun newspaper.
Insiders likened Ecclestone's angry response to Lord Mayor Robert Doyle's recent comments as the calling of a bluff, and Walker warned that Australia should risk its place in F1 at its peril.
"There are a number of people who the race could go to, such as Russia, India and Warsaw in Poland," he said.
Poland has rarely been seriously linked with an F1 foray, but Walker also had some more potential rival hosts in mind.
"Qatar, Dubai and Kuwait want one (a grand prix), and they are negotiating in New York for a race on Staten Island," he said.
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