Emmitt Smith withdraws federal financing request for Harlem hotel project

December 21, 2010 09:37AM

Former Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith’s proposed $81 million Harlem hotel and retail project will miss a Dec. 31 cutoff for nearly $20 million in federal financing, but the aspiring developer is still forging ahead with his plans, according to the Wall Street Journal. The football legend, who is leading a group that wants to build on a vacant lot on the southwest corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, has withdrawn his request for the funding package and informed the city that he has “secured some other sources” of financing, said a spokesperson for the city’s Economic Development Corp. Smith’s group was awarded the financing by the city earlier this year under the condition that they closed the deal by the year’s end. Brian Morris, the co-founder and president of Smith’s, ESmith Legacy, said the firm decided to return the federal bonds “in consideration of other New York projects” and that “we fully expect to close on our financing and begin construction in the first quarter of 2011.” [WSJ]