Yankee Stadium parking garages near default

March 14, 2011 09:37AM

The owner of the parking garages for the new Yankee Stadium is expected to default on a $6.8 million interest payment come April 1, which could result in a seizure by bondholders, Crain’s reported. The city’s Industrial Development Agency issued $237 million in tax-exempt construction bonds to the owner, Bronx Parking Development, in 2007, but revenues have been far lower than expected since the stadium opened as fans have sought cheaper parking elsewhere or opted to take the train to games. Last year, the company said the 9,000-space facilities have been, at most, 60 percent occupied on game days, leaving it without enough cash to service the bonds. Bronx Parking used reserve funds to make an interest payment this past October, but unless a last-minute deal emerges, it may not hold onto the 21-acre property this time around. What the future holds for the underused garages is unclear. In his State of the Borough Address last month, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said it’s possible that one could be used as part of a new hotel that he’s working to bring to the neighborhood. Other local leaders are pushing for the borough to cut its losses and consider other uses, like housing or commercial development, for the properties. “At this point, I don’t think anything should be off the table,” said Lourdes Zapata, senior vice president of SoBro, the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. [Crain’s]