[NYtenants-online] The Stadium that Would Not Die! 6/26/02

Tenant tenant@tenant.net
Wed, 26 Jun 2002 11:33:58 -0400


NYtenants Online/TenantNet                                6/26/02
-----------------------------------------------------------------

IN THIS ISSUE ...

1. NYC COALITION CALLS FOR A NEW PLAN FOR NYC2012 - Move the Stadium off of 
Manhattan
    Invitation to Press Conference Sat. 6/29 at Noon

2. Stadium Backgrounder

-----------------------------------------------------------------
COALITION CALLING FOR A NEW PLAN IF NEW YORK IS TO HOLD THE 2012 OLYMPICS
NYC neighborhoods say: "Wait just one darn minute  You must fix this flawed 
plan!"

Please join NYC elected officials and
Manhattan residents at a news conference
in opposition to the 80-100,000-person
stadium being proposed for Manhattan's
West Side.

Like his predecessor, Mayor Bloomberg is supporting the construction of a 
stadium over the West Side Rail Yards to be used for the 2012 Olympics and 
by the New York Jets. [Bloomberg's January announcement referred to no new 
"baseball" stadiums and only not "this year"].

The plan is also tied to a massive development scheme that could allow up 
to 20 million square feet of unneeded office space  potentially 30 
skyscrapers west of Ninth Avenue. The plan could bring an additional 
200-250,000 people into Manhattan every day, resulting in more traffic 
jams, a larger strain on city services, and devastate the residential 
neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton.

The cost to the public for a subway, the stadium and other infrastructure 
would be in the billions of dollars, and could easily defer other capital 
project priorities such as the Second Avenue Subway. At a time when the 
city coffers are almost empty and the city/state debt burden is rising to 
twenty cents on the dollar, the last thing the city needs is a stadium in 
Manhattan.

Neighborhoods throughout Manhattan are in firm opposition to the stadium.

The United States Olympic Committee will be in New York City the weekend of 
June 29-July 1 -- its last visit prior to selecting a U.S. city to advance 
to the international level of competition for the 2012 Olympic Games. The 
local organizing committee, NYC2012 has refused to consider any sites other 
than the rail yards on Manhattan's west side. Participants and sponsors are 
stressing their opposition is to the Stadium development plan in Manhattan 
and should not be construed as anti-Olympics.


NEWS CONFERENCE
Saturday, June 29th at Noon
On the sidewalk in front of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square
45th and Broadway on the sidewalk
(alternative: across the street on the traffic island)


ELECTED OFFICIALS CONFIRMED (as of Tuesday, June 25):
Assemblymenber Richard N. Gottfried
Senator Tom Duane
Senator Liz Kreuger
Councilmember Christine Quinn
Councilmember Gale Brewer


SPONSORS (as of Tuesday, June 25 -- list in formation):
Clinton Special District Coalition, Metropolitan Council on Housing, 
Chelsea Coalition on Housing, 45th Street Block Association, Coalition for 
a Livable West Side, East Side Tenants Coalition, Ludlow St. Block 
Association, Chelsea Owners and Tenants for Neighborhood Preservation, 51st 
Street Block Association, Committee for Environmentally Sound Development

-----------------------------------------------------------------
BACKGROUNDER

COALITION CALLING FOR A NEW PLAN IF NEW YORK IS TO HOLD THE 2012 OLYMPICS
NYC Neighborhood and Civic Coalition stress Manhattan Stadium is a Non-Starter

Much has been written about the NYC2012 Bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, 
but the media has not aggressively looked at the impact on neighborhoods 
and the overall long-term cost to the city. NYC2012 is wrapping its 
proposal up in Olympic Glory, U.S. patriotism and other 
warm-puppy-apple-pie-motherhood smoke and mirrors.

While no one is objecting to the value of sports, communities are fully 
aware that the underlying well-planned development schemes which, when 
fully analyzed, will adversely impact large areas in Manhattan and Queens 
and potentially divert needed investment in communities throughout the five 
boroughs.

In reality, wherever the Olympics goes, it's as much about development as 
it's about sports. And sometime that development can be harmful. In 
Atlanta, 15,000 tenants were evicted. Sydney had it's share of 
displacement, much of it secondary displacement in neighboring areas. Even 
this year in Salt Lake City, reports surfaced of building owners jacking up 
rents in anticipation of the games.

IF NEW YORK CITY IS TO HAVE THE OLYMPICS, IT MUST FIRST FIX ITS PLAN TO 
SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS.

NYC2012's plan calls for a stadium over the West Side rail yards (30th-34th 
Streets, 10th-12th Avenues) to be used as a football stadium for the NY 
Jets and for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Recently NYC2012's Founder, 
Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff has disingenuously portrayed the proposed 
stadium as merely "an expansion" of the Javits Convention Center.

This plan also includes is the largest land-grab since the days of Robert 
Moses -- involving Eminent Domain, Air Rights, Zoning for Sale, 
Tax-Increment Financing, an extended #7 subway line and other changes in 
the infrastructure.

A major problem is that the vibrant Clinton and Chelsea neighborhoods stand 
in the way. While they are mixed-use in character, they hardly resemble the 
"derelict" and "blighted" areas as described by NYC2012 officials. Indeed, 
many small businesses in the area provide critical support services for 
larger Manhattan corporations. Over 6,000 residents face potential 
displacement pressures.

But the plan is so much more. The "Far West Midtown Plan" calls for taking 
the entire area between 28th and 42nd Streets, from 9th Avenue to the 
Hudson River, and radically transforming it into a new "Central Business 
District" with over 20 million square feet of office space. That means 
anywhere from 20-30 new skyscrapers in the neighborhood.

Under the plan, traffic would be more of a nightmare than it currently is. 
An additional 200,000 people would be brought into the already over-crowded 
West Side. Residential and commercial displacement would be on a scale not 
seen in decades.

Much of the infrastructure proposed by NYC2012 (and echoed by plans from 
the New York Jets and the Department of City Planning) on the west side 
anticipates the use of governmental tax-free bonds -- up to $5 billion 
worth -- secured by future tax revenues (Tax-Increment Financing/TIF). But 
such tax revenue, speculative at best, would be decades in the future and 
most likely undercut by tax abatements that accompany many new developments.

While stadium proponents are quick to cite TIF as non-public financing, 
their assertions are false and the beast underneath TIF -- the smokescreen 
of last resort -- needs to be exposed.

TIF hides the expansion of debt service when bonding capability is at 
capacity, when debt service is approaching 20 cents on the dollar and when 
interest payments would take away from revenue throughout the city. TIF 
taxes would not come online for about 20 years at best and there are even 
questions whether the generated taxes would be sufficient to pay for the 
infrastructure they are planning.

To generate sufficient taxes to pay for the city's portion of the stadium, 
the subway extension, the covering of the massive railyards, etc., taxes 
would need to be at a level where it would be uneconomical to build on the 
West Side, especially when competing with other areas that have (or can 
quickly develop) alternative office space: Downtown, New Jersey, Brooklyn, 
Long Island City and other developing areas in the region.

In salivating for their acquisition of the entire west side, City Planners 
are ignoring the realities of the real estate market. But then again, City 
Planning in New York City is often seen as an oxymoron.

The plan could divert revenue from the city's core needs, including basic 
services or building much-needed new schools. Moreover, interest costs from 
increased bonding would come from the City's tax revenue. Switching 
priorities to build a #7 subway extension to the west side would impact 
projects with much more political and community consensus: the Second 
Avenue Subway, the East Side Connector and various proposed projects 
relating to the rebuilding of lower Manhattan.

Underneath the hype of Olympic glory, the cost to the City would be staggering.

The USOC visits NYC on June 30th-July 1st. Manhattan neighborhoods will 
hold a press conference on Saturday, June 29th at Noon in front of the 
Marriott Marquis Hotel (45th/Broadway on the sidewalk) in anticipation of 
the USOC's arrival - to send the message that if NYC wants the Olympics, it 
needs to rethink the plan.

ABOUT THAT DAMN STADIUM

1. First proposed in 1993 by Gov. Cuomo
2. Revived as RudyDome in 1998 (for the Yankees)
3. Became an Olympic Stadium in 1999
4. The NY Jets made a pass in 2000
5. Doctoroff now claims it's merely a "Javits Expansion"
6. Bloomberg says "No money for stadiums" (this year)
7. NYC2012 & the Jets have it back on the table...
8. Bloomberg wants the subway to the stadium -- could stop the 2nd Ave. Subway
9. They're all pushing a new "Central Business District" despite no demand 
for office space, no demand for larger convention centers, other needed 
transportation projects, a massive budgetary crisis and a wounded Downtown NYC.
10. And ... taxpayers will pay for it all.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
   TenantNet(tm):          http://tenant.net
   email:                  tenant@tenant.net
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.