Take Me Out to the Yankees Parking Subsidy Hearing

488523829_3631a049ba.jpg

As Streetsblog reported back in April, the city is set to subsidize thousands of parking spaces for the new Yankee Stadium by issuing hundreds of millions in tax-exempt bonds for parking deck construction.

The Post reported this week that one of the four planned parking structures has been scuttled, but the rest remain on the table, in spite of a new Metro-North station that should mitigate stadium parking demand. Tomorrow the NYC Industrial Development Agency (IDA) will hold a hearing on the bond issue, which by some calculations would cost city and state taxpayers over $8,000 per parking space.

Here’s a summary from Good Jobs New York, which has been keeping a watchful eye on the deal:

The New York Yankees are currently building a new stadium one block north of its existing location at East 161 Street and River Avenue in the Bronx. The project would also include the construction of three nearby parking garages containing almost 4,000 spaces. The proposed stadium and parking facilities are being developed on over 20 acres of frequently used public parkland, and city, state, and federal subsidies for the project exceed $700 million in direct spending and tax breaks.

 

The New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is proposing to offer additional subsidies for the construction of the three new garages and the renovation of existing garages and surface lots in the area. The IDA is proposing to offer the garage developers $219 million in triple tax-exempt bonds (up from an earlier amount of $190 million) to finance the development of the parking facilities. The city estimates this will mean over $2 million in forgone city income taxes (not to mention millions more on the state and federal level). In addition, the city will no longer collect a percentage of the revenues earned at the garages.

Perhaps, instead of a parking subsidy, the city sees the tax break as an investment in what some hope will be a Bronx development boom. Centering on the stadium, some $500 million in retail development is planned for the area. Retailers have also pledged to reserve 1,200 game day parking spots for Yankee fans.

 
Meanwhile, the ball club has stalled on a promise to repay nearby residents for seizing public park land for its new field and parking complex, in the form of an $800,000 annual endowment to area non-profits. Metro reports that the organization that is supposed to distribute the funds has not yet registered with the state, and its first annual report, due in April, never materialized.

"The parks were taken in eight days without one public hearing," complained [Geoffrey] Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates. "The Yankees wasted no time in seizing the public’s land, but they’re in no hurry when it’s time to pay up."

Croft charged the promised payoff was actually a "pittance," considering the neighborhood, which is plagued by asthma, lost "70 percent of their trees."

More coverage of the parking deal can be found here.

Tomorrow’s IDA hearing, which is open to the public, will be at 10:00 a.m. at 110 William Street, 4th Floor.

 
Photo: hotdogger13/Flickr

  • Alex Marshall

    Why should the public subsidize the construction of parking space? It shouldn’t. This is a great example of counter-productive public policy and spending. We’re spending millions of on good mass transit, and then spending additional millions to encourage people not to take it. Folks should attend this meeting and encourage with withdrawal of all public subsidies for parking.

  • $8,000 a spot? If only they could make subsidied housing in such a transit oriented location that cheaply…

  • momos

    This is really shocking. Thanks for keeping up with these disastrous developments. This deal is a nasty three-fer: corporate baseball’s abuse of a working class neighborhood, an environmentally disastrous automobile parking lovefest, and an enormous corporate welfare package while city parks and libraries starve for funds.

    PlaNYC? What?

  • nobody

    It comes as no surprise that for all the good things coming out of the Mayor’s office (PlaNYC, congestion pricing, more bike infrastructure), both Bloomberg and Doctoroff are hypocrites, and are especially willing to please the interest of developers over that of the citizens, imprison and harass bicyclists, and subsidize motorists.

  • gecko

    As we move into the age of survival PlaNYC was a great first response but much more immediate and radical actions are needed to mitigate the climate change crisis.

    The $72 million for parking described in the article would go a long way towards initiating well-designed long-term urban hybrid human-electric transport and transit to provide serious transportation solutions well into the next century.

    It’s hard to imagine cars being tolerated even twenty years from now, especially when considering the current and ever worsening disaster in China.

  • Eric

    Parks won’t be starved for funding if we keep paving over the parks to build parking lots. The American lovefest with pro sports, and our willingness to shortchange just about everything else to subsidize billionnaire teamowners, is perhaps the surest sign of the decline of Western civilization.

    Or maybe it’s second to our lovefest with the automobile, and our continued willingness to throw money at oil companies and highways.

    Either way, we’re screwed.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Will the parking spaces be available for park and ride? Or will the Yankees have the right to keep them vacant at all times other than ball games, to ensure no one overstays and disrupts those driving to the game?

    If we are going to pay, these ought to at least be park and ride lots for the subway.

  • Cap’n Transit

    Larry, I know your goal is to get people onto the train, but I think park-and-rides in the Bronx will do more harm than good. Remember all the FUD from congestion pricing opponents who say that people will drive in from Westchester and park near transit stations in the Bronx?

    Park-and-rides are not the answer:
    http://capntransit.blogspot.com/2007/08/park-and-rides-are-not-answer.html

  • Chris H

    Here’s an idea. How about the ESDC take part of the $75 million that they are going to use for the parking deck and refund the MTA for spending $45 million on a train station because the Yankees could not spare a dime. They could use the rest to upgrade the current subway station to add entrances towards the New Stadium.

  • Ian D

    C’mon you guys, be nice. The Yankees are a multi-billion dollar entertainment corporation – how can they be expected to build their own parking lot?

    I mean, when a grocery store opens in the ‘burbs, it’s gotta be taxpayer money paying to pave, right? Or the pharmaceutical companies with their HQ’s in Jersey – they don’t actually use land they bought but land that was formally used for Little League games, right?

    Why should the Yankees cough up the change to rake in the billions?

  • Brooklyn

    The Yankees are historic assholes. I’m not even sure the source of these giveaways by the city and state — the team’s threat to move to New Jersey was exposed as a laughable sham years ago.

    Is there similar grabhanding going on in Queens? Don’t think so — that’s why I’m a Mets fan.

  • One way of thinking about the parking: instead of taking the Yankees to New Jersey, the Yankees (aided and abetted by the State and City of New York) are making it easier for New Jersey to get to the Yankees.

    Keep in mind that the parking increase coincides with a nearly 7,000-seat reduction in seating capacity (new stadium compared to old). And, that there will be a new Metro-North station, which will make the new stadium even more transit-accessible than the old.

    The Yankees would probably have little problem selling the new place out with transit-riders only.

    A commenter on the earlier post, got to the heart of it: it’s not easy to get from New Jersey to the stadium by transit. The Yankees need to cultivate New Jersey fans to maintain the enormous television revenues they get out of New Jersey. (It’s my own theory that fans consider a team a home team only to the extent that they can consider attending a game, even if they never do.)

    The way to cultivate New Jersey fans is to provide ample parking.

  • bill

    Didn’t the Mets get $200+ million in public subsidies as well? Perhaps not as much as the Yankees, but significant. However they are not taking any parkland that I’m aware of.

  • Brooklyn

    The Mets are building Citi Field directly on their own parking lot. When Shea is demolished, that land will become parking. No net loss of public land.

    The team also had a very well-publicized campaign — featuring everyone’s favorite Mr. Met! — to encourage fans onto mass transit, as well as lobbied the MTA to add more LIRR service. They didn’t cry a Hackensack river about losing 2,500 spots during the construction.

  • Citi Field is no urbanist’s dream.

    Check out the parking.

    Compare to the similarly sized Fenway Park.

  • For fun, I superimposed the Citi Field parking over a satellite view of Fenway Park.

    Aligning home plate to home plate, the gray areas in the picture represent the dedicated parking for Citi Field. Fenway has virtually no dedicated parking.

    The green arrow in the picture shows the location of the Kenmore Square T station.

  • Brooklyn

    Comparing anything to the Red Sox gets you nowhere in this town.

    Fenway may have no _dedicated_ parking, but I see cars filling every inch of open space for quite a ways around the ballpark.

    As for the vaunted T: God help you if you rely on that and your game goes into extra innings.

  • Brooklyn,

    The cars are filling every inch of (paved) open space, but there’s a lot less (paved) open space. Instead, you’ve got commerce, residence, what you might call a city surrounding Fenway.

    The parking lots you do see are shared lots, meaning they don’t lie completely empty the rest of the year.

    And, the T is, as they say suboptimal. But, it’s still more than adequate to handle the thundering herds on the way to the game.

    The point isn’t that Fenway is optimized on all fronts. Even though it isn’t optimized, it doesn’t need dedicated parking to bang the place out night-in and night-out.

    You could build a pretty nice mixed-use development in the shadow of Citi Field and attract just as many fans.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The Bronx Is Burning Over Subsidized Stadium Parking

|
The people of the South Bronx will organize against the subsidized construction of parking garages for the new Yankee Stadium, one resident said yesterday. At a sparsely attended public hearing in Lower Manhattan, Margaret Collins of Save Our Parks told the New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) that a "barely contained rage" is simmering over the traffic the new […]

Vote Postponed on Yankees Parking Subsidy

|
In an unusual move, the board of the New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) this morning postponed a vote on whether to issue tax-free bonds for parking facilities at the new Yankee Stadium. At a hearing last week, residents of the South Bronx, along with public advocates, protested the $225 million triple tax exempt […]

Weisbrod and Kimball Tie Their Own Hands on Parking Reform

|
Reducing the amount of parking in new development promises to make housing more affordable and curb traffic congestion, but it hasn’t gained much traction in Bill de Blasio’s first months at City Hall, despite the mayor’s ambitious promises to ease the housing crunch. Today, two top city officials explained why, unlike their counterparts in more […]

City Approves Subsidized Yankee Stadium Parking

|
Yes, the Yankees’ season is over. But on the bright side, this morning the city handed the team a nice consolation prize: $225 million in tax exempt bonds for parking deck construction at the new Yankee Stadium. Under the agreement, the city will give up some $2.5 million in taxes, with an estimated $5 million […]