Taxpayers to pay Yanks’ garage costs – no, really

New York City officials have confirmed what I reported here last November: The $70 million in state money going to build parking garages for the new Yankees stadium is a straight subsidy that taxpayers won’t get back. This contradicts team president Randy Levine’s claims earlier this week that ‚Äúall of the parking proceeds will go directly back to the state” (and economist Andrew Zimbalist’s similar assertion in a recent New York Times op-ed).

Instead, all parking revenues would go to private garage developers. And they’d apparently need it: According to calculations by reporter Patrick Arden of the New York Metro, ” the garage’s operator will have to pay a lease of $3.2 million to the city and should not charge more than $25 per car. With 4,700 parking spaces and 81 games a season, a full garage will generate only $9.5 million from the games. That’s $6.3 million a year after paying off the lease” – to earn back a private investment of $165 million.

This raises the question of whether the delay in signing up a garage developer – the initial Request For Qualifications was issued in November, and there’s been no word since – could be a sign that private developers could be getting cold feet about contributing so much to a project with little payoff. “It doesn’t seem feasible for a private developer,” our old pal Dan Steinberg of Good Jobs New York told the Metro. “If there’s not enough interest from a private developer, we’re concerned that the city might get stuck with the tab.”

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