Bronx leaders want a lavish hotel, a conference center, and a Latino Hall of Fame to be built on the site of the near-bankrupt parking garage next door to Yankee Stadium, insisting that such a development move would be a home run for the community.
The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) was granted approval by the Bronx Parking Development Company (BPDC), which manages several garages surrounding the Stadium, to garner interest in the site.
The BOEDC has been inviting developers to submit their ideas for the property, which is located at River Avenue and East 153rd Street and is the current home of a municipal parking garage.
"A major hotel and conference center has been a priority for the people of the Bronx for decades, and we are getting closer and closer to seeing that dream become a reality," said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in a statement.
The proposed hotel will create over 125 jobs, increase revenue for Bronx Parking, and offer tourists and traveling baseball teams a high-end place to stay, said the borough president.
Diaz noted that the Bronx needed a "first-class hotel" and he wanted the accommodations to include a conference center, at least one classy penthouse restaurant, and a "Latino Baseball Hall of Fame," the New York Daily News reported.
According to the newspaper, Bronx Parking, which received state funding to build additional garages for the new Yankee Stadium, now owes the city $17 million in rent and real estate taxes.
In an effort to avoid defaulting, the company raised its parking rates and has dipped into its reserve fund.
"It is the hope of Bronx Parking Development Company LLC that this proposal may help to stabilize the financial situation we face so that we can ultimately meet our obligations to the bondholders and lower parking fees for those who park in the garages," said BPDC Vice President Chuck Lesnick in a press release.
Assembly Members Marcos Crespo and Jeffrey Dinowitz both agreed that a new hotel would be a welcomed improvement to the Bronx - benefiting not just the community surrounding the stadium, but the entire borough.
"This would benefit our major Bronx institutions, attract new tourists to our borough, create new jobs and help our economy, and I am proud to support it," said Crespo.
Dinowitz added, "This is exciting news for the Bronx. I applaud the Borough President for having the vision necessary to continue the revitalization of the Bronx."
The BOEDC has given real estate investors until November 15 to voice interest in the deal, USA Today reported.