Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki and New York Yankees Announce Plans for Area Revitalization and New Stadium in the South Bronx
Project Will Create More than 3,600 Construction and 500 to 1,000 New Permanent Jobs
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today announced an agreement with the New York Yankees for an area revitalization plan that will include a new Yankee Stadium to be built just north of the existing facility in Macombs Dam and Mullaly Parks in time for the opening of the 2009 baseball season. The plan calls for a new waterfront park and esplanade along the Harlem River, significant streetscape, traffic and infrastructure improvements, and the construction of more than 5,000 new structured parking spaces. The Yankees agreed to privately finance the new $800 million facility with the City contributing $135 million to replace parkland and make necessary infrastructure improvements, and the State is seeking support for up to $70 million for the construction of new parking facilities. The Yankee Stadium area revitalization project coincides with the rehabilitation of the Bronx Terminal Market next door, which will bring a one-million-square-foot retail center and thousands of jobs to the South Bronx.
“Today I am happy to announce that we have reached an agreement to build a stunning new stadium for the New York Yankees, as well as new public parks and recreational facilities that will continue to drive the incredible renaissance taking place in the South Bronx,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Instead of spending hundreds of millions to maintain the old stadium, this agreement relieves us from that burden and allows us instead to spend that money on parks and infrastructure that the public will use for decades to come. Between this project and the adjacent redevelopment of the Bronx Terminal Market, we estimate that over a billion dollars is being invested in the area by the private sector over the next five years. A project of this scope and prominence clearly has the potential to become the spectacular centerpiece of our Administration’s effort to revitalize the South Bronx, produce more jobs and create a safer and stronger quality of life for the families who live here. I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for its tremendous vote of confidence in the future of the South Bronx.”
“This is an exciting public-private plan for Yankee Stadium that will truly transform the South Bronx,” said Governor Pataki. “Not only will New York get a new Yankee Stadium but our City will get over 3,600 construction jobs, a new waterfront park, as well as many other traffic, streetscape and infrastructure improvements. This is a smart investment in the future of the Bronx that will yield hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue in the coming years. I want to thank the New York Yankees for stepping up to the plate with their support of this revitalization plan.”
“The Yankees are very pleased with this agreement and look forward to playing in the Bronx in this great new facility for decades to come,” said George Steinbrenner, principal owner of the New York Yankees. “We are very grateful to the City and State and elected officials in the Bronx for their cooperation, interest and enthusiasm over this project.”
“The new Yankee Stadium will serve as a catalyst in the revitalization of the South Bronx,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff. “Coupled with our Administration’s other economic development projects in the area, like the imminent move of the Fulton Fish Market to Hunts Point, the Bronx is becoming one of the City’s fastest growing centers for job creation.”
“I am delighted that the Yankees and the Mayor share my vision for the future of this community and that we all agree that it is time to make some long overdue investment in the area,” said Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion. “This plan is not simply about a stadium; it is about bringing jobs to our residents, restoring our neighborhoods and creating opportunities in our community. This is a great day for the Bronx, for the Yankees and for baseball.”
The existing Yankee stadium lease calls for the City, as owner of the facility, to pay for virtually all capital repairs and upgrades. Even though the Yankees oversee the day-to-day maintenance of the stadium, the team is able to deduct these costs from its rental payments to the City. The City spent $30 million in capital funds over the last 5 years on the stadium’s upkeep, and was expecting to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more over the next 30 years.
Under this new agreement, the Yankees will lease the site for the new stadium for an initial term of 40 years and will be responsible for paying the entire cost of construction including any cost overruns. The Yankees will also be solely responsible for the cost of ongoing maintenance at the new stadium. In addition to contributing $135 million and $70 million, respectively, the City and State will each contribute upfront about $5 million to a capital reserve fund for the new stadium. These appropriations will have to go through the normal budget processes of the City and State, and the Yankees will be responsible for any capital replacement costs in excess of this amount over the next 30 years.
The City will use its funds to create parks and walkways that will be open to the public 365 days a year. The City’s contribution represents a critical investment in New York City’s future, as it is expected that the $135 million invested today will produce approximately $350 million in benefits in new revenue and capital cost savings for the City over the next 30 years. In addition, the City will save $25 million that it would have spent to rehab the existing Macombs Dam Park. As part of the agreement, the City will extend the Yankees’ current leases at the old stadium through December 31, 2008, and allow the Yankees to continue to apply a $5 million credit against its annual rent for 2006, 2007 and 2008.
The new stadium will play a pivotal role in the revitalization of the South Bronx as the project will create an estimated 3,600 construction jobs and, once the ballpark is complete, 500-1,000 permanent jobs over the 700-800 existing jobs. The new stadium and its associated facilities will be developed on the present site of Macombs Dam Park, a portion of John Mullaly Park, and East 162nd Street, in an area bounded by 161st Street to the south, River Avenue to the east, Jerome Avenue to the west and 164th Street to the north. The new stadium will have a seating capacity of about 50,800 and will include suites, food and beverage service facilities, retail space, corporate business space, function space, facilities for the media and amenities appropriate to a state-of-the-art, first-class professional sports complex. It will also include Monument Park, which would be recreated in the new stadium. The original Yankee Stadium was built in 1923 and was last renovated more than 30 years ago.
The proposed project would result in the development of about 28 acres of new parks including 6 acres along the waterfront. This is an increase of close to 6 acres over the approximately 22 acres being displaced. The proposed new recreational facilities would be an enormous improvement over existing conditions and include a proposed running track with soccer fields and spectator stands, a little league baseball field, a softball field, tennis courts, handball courts and a basketball court with stands. As part of this plan, the City reached an agreement with the Related Cos. to take back a portion of the site – west of Exterior Street that is included in the Bronx Terminal Market lease – in order to create the 6-acre waterfront park along the Harlem River. The project would also create four new parking garages containing about 5,000 spaces, bringing the total spaces at Yankee Stadium to more than 11,000. Several of the garages would have new rooftop recreation facilities and one garage could accommodate street-level retail. Finally, the plan includes creating a 20,000-square-foot parcel at the corner of 157th Street and River Avenue that could serve as the site for a hotel.
The City, the State and the Yankees will continue refining the Master Plan through the summer and anticipate submitting the plan into the City’s public approval process, the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, this fall. The project will require New York State legislation authorizing the replacement of parkland needed for the new stadium, as well as the de-mapping of East 162nd Street and Ruppert Place. The legislation will also allow for the use of space above East 151st Street for a parking garage. The Yankees, which anticipate breaking ground by summer of 2006, hired HOK Sport as the architect for the project.
“The plan for the new Yankee Stadium will be a boon to Parks,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “We will develop over 28 acres of premier park facilities including over 15 acres of beautiful new Bronx parkland on the Harlem River waterfront and at the current stadium site.”
“The State and City are making an economic development investment that not only will include a new stadium for the Yankees, but also will result in additional development and revitalization of the area while creating thousands of temporary and permanent jobs,” said Empire State Development Chairman Charles A. Gargano. “Our support will leverage an $800 million investment that will bring new tax revenue to both the City and State while attracting new visitors to the South Bronx.”
The Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market is a new $394 million, one million-square-foot project on a 16.8-acre site east of the Major Deegan Expressway, just south of Yankee Stadium. It will include a retail center, a waterfront park and esplanade, and possibly a hotel and banquet facility. The retail project, which is replacing a site that has been deteriorating for more than 30 years, is expected to create more than 5,000 construction and permanent jobs. The Economic Development Corporation is also working to develop several other parcels of land in the Hub, located at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and 149th Street, one of the most visible and vibrant retail locations in the Bronx. These sites include Bronxchester Site 12, where a 150,000-square-foot retail and commercial center is planned that will create 150 new jobs.