One of the loose threads in the construction of the new Yankee Stadium was who was going to build new parking garages that the team wanted built. The Yankees said at first that the private sector would step up to the, um, plate, but skeptics didn’t see many companies out there clamoring for the privilege. This month, to build the garages, the city is calling upon a nonprofit organization with ties to Michael Bailkin, a lawyer who pioneered the city’s earliest economic development incentives during the Koch era.
The Industrial Development Agency, an arm of city government, is getting ready to award $186 million in tax-free bonds to Community Initiatives Development Corporation, a Hudson, N.Y., organization that is headed by William S. Loewenstein, Mr. Bailkin’s former partner at Stadtmauer Bailkin Biggins LLP (which has since turned into Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co.).
As a nonprofit, CIDC qualifies for tax-exempt loans that it has used to develop senior centers, affordable housing complexes, senior centers and municipal garages in upstate New York and Pennsylvania, according to its tax filings. It is unclear whether the firm plans to keep the Yankee garages’ revenues or turn part of them over to the city. (Mr. Loewenstein has not returned a telephone message.)
Originally, when the Yankees announced the stadium deal in June 2005, the team said that garage revenues would go to the state in return for contributing $70 million to the $281 million project. In addition, the city will pitch in $21 million–although that is supposed to be used to build a park on top of the garages, according to documents released by the I.D.A.
The tax-exempt bonds will cost the city $2 million in lost taxes, on top of another $400 million-plus in other sorts of subsidies for the project, according to watchdog group Good Jobs New York. The I.D.A., which will hold a public hearing on the garages Thursday, asserts the benefits in terms of added sales and other taxes will more than make up for that.
Meanwhile, the proposed Metro-North station at the new Yankee Stadium is still looking for a sponsor.
– Matthew Schuerman
UPDATE: This post was updated with additional information about the nonprofit developer of the garages.