Yankee Stadium garage nears $237M default, owes city $25M

February 03, 2012 09:30AM

The Yankee Stadium parking garage that has flirted with default for the last 18 months now owes the city $25 million in back rent and taxes, according to a New York Daily News columnist who calls the garage “one of the biggest failures in decades of bonds issued by a New York City Agency.”

In 2005, the Bloomberg administration acquiesced to the Yankees’ demand for a 9,000-space garage and arranged $237 million in tax-exempt bonds for the 21-acre facility. But the $35 charge per space ($48 for valet service) has scared away Yankee fans, who find cheaper spots in lots nearby, and the Bronx Parking Development Company LLC that operates the garage expects an average of just 3,500 spaces to be occupied for each of the 81 home games in the upcoming season. Just 70 spaces are filled on the average day when there’s no game.

Now, the company is cutting salaries and jobs in hopes of saving cash, but revenues are unlikely to cover debt service payments, meaning the garage will almost certainly default.

Though Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has pushed the city to tear down some of the spaces and replace them with housing or a hotel, the only developers who responded to a request for proposals all sought major city subsidies. Because of the garages, 21 acres of city land are going to waste, the columnist concluded. [NYDN]