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 forfeited by the state. And the asthma-plagued South Bronx will get almost 4,000 new parking spaces, in garages the city aims to draw traffic to year-round.

Today’s approval of the Yanks’ parking subsidy by the board of the NYC Industrial Development Agency can only be described as a fait accompli. Despite last month’s surprising postponement, caused in part by the IDA’s failure to provide requested information to Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion (himself a parking subsidy supporter) — not to mention the revelation of one sad, shocking detail after another in the local media — the unanimous vote came with relatively little discussion, one item on an agenda of about a dozen. The entire meeting took less than an hour.

Still, there were a few noteworthy aspects surrounding the decision:

  • it was announced that an economic feasibility study is now underway (as opposed to, well, conducting same before the package was approved);
  • the IDA signed off on the project though a finalized ground lease apparently does not yet exist;
  • the deal includes possibly as many as 600 free parking spaces for the Yankees (Streetsblog has a call in to the IDA to confirm the number);
  • Carrion’s representative on the IDA board, Rafael Salaberrios, was not present for the vote, but walked in shortly after it occurred.

Bettina Damiani, Project Director of Good Jobs New York, an NGO that has tracked the stadium project closely, says the IDA’s promise of 12 full-time and 70 part-time parking garage jobs, with an average wage of $11 an hour, hardly justifies the impact on surrounding South Bronx neighborhoods.

"There would be a stronger economic benefit if they threw cash off the elevated subway," Damiani says.

Fittingly, Damiani is headed to Washington, DC, tomorrow to testify at a Congressional hearing on how professional sports stadiums shift funds away from public infrastructure.

  • momos

    This sham violates every precept of PlaNYC. So much for the Bloomberg administration applying principles of sustainability in all functions of city government.

  • momos

    PS. Not to mention common sense and economic viability.

  • Eric

    All else takes a back seat to Bloomberg’s showering of his fellow billionaires (and near-billionaires) with our hard-earned tax dollars.

    Unfortunately, my comment three weeks ago in reply to the post about the IDA was sadly prescient.

  • gecko

    there’d be stronger economic impact if they turned them into urban farms

  • Dave H.

    This is it: I’m almost a Mets fan now.

  • I’ve been making calls and sending emails. It’s so insulting to have my neighborhood treated in this way.

  • flp

    ya know, there once was a time when i sort of felt that the yankees to some minimum extent represented the bronx and the rest of the city…. yeah, just sort of. well, that definitely is over now!!!! that over-privileged fool steinbrenner and his legion of hack, overpaid minions have repeatedly shown how little they care about anything related to new york city at all!

    why didn’t we just let them go to jersey like the rest of the teams. none of the previous, er, “losses” had any impact on city finances, did they? oh, right, it was all rudy. argh! just another reason to that man!

  • disgruntled

    To “flp”:
    The reason the Yankees did not leave town is bcause no one else would have them.Here you have these guys (lowest of the low) sending receipts to the city to pay for things like a farewell lunch for an intern and a tow for their community vp when he had a traffic accident in New Rochelle! Who doesn’t have AAA or some other auto svc to handle these things? These guys suck…

  • Yes, Bloomie has changed the direction of many city agencies (perhaps none so much as DOT) in the name of sustainability, and for this he deserves credit.

    But when it comes to billionaires and billion-dollar corporations, there are no brakes on this go-kart. Trump in SoHo, Ratner in Brooklyn, Steinbrenner in the Bronx — common sense and even city laws go out the window.

  • o

    This is right out of the “Power Broker”.

    PlaNYC, while it has its good points (congestion pricing, trees, etc), seems to be mainly a vehicle for lining the pockets of developers friendly to Bloomberg and Doctoroff.

    For some reason these guys have a reputation of being immune to cronyism, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

  • mf

    Another risk is that they add all kinds of parking to the Atlantic Yards project. As it is now, the developer is mandated to add a certain number of spots.

  • Dare I Say It

    I agree with you, “O.” The mayor’s sterling reputation is baffling (I’m a sucker as well, I admit it). But sometimes I scratch my head and wonder, did he actually go and LOOK at the places he’s allowed to be destroyed? The parks, the neighborhoods?? I sense he’s an abstract guy, responsive to numbers and presentations, but misses the story because he didn’t see it with his own eyes. He has been generous with the arts, but that doesn’t mean he has contributed to the aesthetics of the built environment. His focus has been on the institutions, the performances, events. In this regard, I think Rockefeller and even (here come the bullets!) Moses contributed more.

  • It kills me

    I’d add Pataki to the above list.

  • Eric

    Good, too, that the city’s taxpayers are helping to subsidize new stadiums for the Yankees and Mets, since having to play in their old, outmoded ballparks meant they only could draw in excess of 8,000,000 fans between them this season while each setting individual single-season attendance records. I mean, they have to have new stadiums to be competitive, right?

  • Hilary

    The Mayor would be wise to pay more attention to aesthetics. The West Side Stadium would have stood a much better chance if it hadn’t looked like a giant air conditioner on the Hudson, waiting to be plastered with advertising. If we calculated the additional advertising that’s been added to our streetscapes on his watch – billboards, wrapped buses and ferries, subways entrances, bus stops, newspaper kiosks, telephone booths, parks, and much much more – we’d see that this has been the reign of commercialism.

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