DMI Blog

Allison Lack

Your Gift to the Yankees Keeps Going, Going, Going…

Despite delusional claims by city and Yankee officials that the new Yankee Stadium project is privately financed, estimated public subsidies now stand at over $700 million. Since the city can’t stop the spigot, it’s now expecting taxpayers to cough up millions more for stadium parking spaces.

The new project is one of the dirtiest economic development deals in recent memory. Because the Yankees hired masterminds of land use policy, public subsidies and IRS regulations, along with a few former elected officials including one Presidential candidate from New York, the project steamrolled through the public review process leaving community members with little time to organize against it. In the blink of an eye (well it took nine days, but by Albany standards, that’s pretty quick), 22 acres of heavily used park land across the street from the current stadium were covertly seized and handed to the Yankees. No public notice. No public hearing. No Nothing.

But there is one chance to salvage some public space and money in this project. That’s for the city to pull the plug on the construction of three new parking garages and return that to open space for the community. This part of the deal isn’t done and the city’s Industrial Development Agency still must get public comments on its proposal to allocate $219 million in tax-free bonds to a non-profit for the construction and renovation of over 9,000 parking spaces. This includes 2,500 new spaces even though the new stadium will have about 5,000 fewer seats than the current one.

There will be a public hearing on the proposal on September 6th at 10:00 am at 110 William St.

If you’ve been to a Yankees game this season or in the neighborhood around the stadium, you know there’s a big hole in the ground. Some part of the parks that were destroyed will return on top of the proposed parking garages. Since asthma rates in that part of the city are some of the highest, building recreation space on top of parking garages isn’t such a healthy option.

The healthy option is the new Metro North station planned for the area. So, why the need for more parking spaces?

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Posted at 7:00 AM, Aug 20, 2007 in Community Development | Environmental Justice | Fiscal Responsibility | Government Accountability | New York | Tax Policy
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