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OKoranjes
February 10th, 2003, 03:30 AM
I just read the NY Times article on the proposed redevelopment of the Javits Center and creating a new Park Avenue-type boulevard. *Does anyone have any pictures of what they want this to look like or a link to the official website? *If so, thanks a lot!

dbhstockton
February 10th, 2003, 12:37 PM
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/hyards/hymain.html

Eugenius
February 10th, 2003, 03:51 PM
This could be the next exciting thing that propels New York forward. *I can't wait to see how the new developments will enhance the skyline as viewed from NJ.

JerzDevl2000
February 10th, 2003, 03:57 PM
Hell's Kitchen Online * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 2/10/03
http://hellskitchen.net "All the News the Times Won't Print"
================================================== ==========
IN THIS ISSUE ...

1. Show up at the CP Hearing Tonight at 6 PM at the Javits
2. Grand Vision for Remaking the West Side Javits Center (Times)

================================================== ==========
CITY PLANNING WEST SIDE "HEARING" on Feb. 10th MONDAY

It's an opportunity for all 150 West Siders (according to Bloomberg) to
show up and give the Bloomberg - Doctoroff - City Planning vision of
the
West Side a thoroughly loud Bronx Cheer. There may be some snow, but
that's
never stopped Hell's Kitchen before. We'll try to have some signs for
people to hold up (or make your own). From what we've heard, there will
be
a presentation of the plan for about an hour and then the public (you)
has
an opportunity to comment or testify.

"On February 10th the Department of City Planning (DCP) and the
Economic
Development Corporation (EDC) are holding a public meeting where they
will
release the latest draft of the their “comprehensive plan for the
Hudson
Yards area of Midtown” (an area they define as 42nd Street to 24th
Street,
primarily west of 8th Avenue to the Hudson River)."

WHAT: *Dept. of City Planning Hearing on the Hudson Yard Development
Plan
WHEN: *February 10th at 6:00 P.M.
WHERE: Jacob Javits Convention Center, Hall 1E

"The meeting on February 10th will provide an opportunity for DCP and
EDC
to present the preferred direction for the [Hudson Yards] project. A
final
presentation of the Urban Design Master Plan is also anticipated in the
Spring of 2003. These two public presentations will provide
opportunities
to comment on the plan prior to the public scoping session for the
joint
Metropolitan Transportation Authority/DCP environmental impact
statement
(EIS) that will be undertaken for this project."

More info from the City Planning website at
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/hyards/hymain.html

================================================== ==========
GRAND VISION FOR REMAKING THE WEST SIDE JAVITS CENTER
by Charles V. Bagli
NY Times
February 10, 2001

Where some people see the far West Side of Manhattan as a low-slung
district of tenements, small shops, warehouses and parking lots, the
Bloomberg administration envisions a neighborhood transformed.

Tonight at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, city officials plan to
publicly unveil an ambitious proposal to redevelop the area between
Eighth
Avenue and the Hudson River, from 28th Street to 42nd Street.

The plan, which would require billions of dollars in public investment,
calls for a $1.5 billion subway extension, new office towers along 11th
Avenue, opposite a greatly expanded convention center, and a commercial
corridor stretching from Madison Square Garden on Seventh Avenue west
to
the Hudson River, between 30th and 34th Streets. A new boulevard with a
tree-filled center median — similar to Park Avenue — would be built
between
10th and 11th Avenues and run from 38th to 34th Street to help ease
traffic
congestion between office skyscrapers to the west and new apartment
buildings to the east.

There would be a waterfront esplanade, ferry terminals at 38th and 34th
Streets, hotels and residential buildings along 10th Avenue and small
parks
throughout the district, which now has few such amenities.

Some elements, like a $1.2 billion stadium over the West Side rail
yards,
have already generated resistance from local residents, business
executives
and politicians.

But the deputy mayor for economic development, Daniel L. Doctoroff,
argues
that the transformation of the West Side over the next several decades
is
critical to the city's future growth. If companies that are pressed for
space in other areas of the city cannot expand when the economy
rebounds,
he said, their jobs will go to the suburbs in New Jersey and
Connecticut.
Many proposed public investments would also provide the foundation for
Mr.
Doctoroff's bid to bring the 2012 Summer Olympics to New York, though
he
says the plans are not dependent on New York's being chosen as the site
of
the Games.

"The West Side presents the best opportunity for the city to invest in
its
future and grow," Mr. Doctoroff said in an interview. "Our highest
priority
is to create jobs for people, to develop businesses and to provide
places
for people to live. There has not been a time in the city's history
when
relatively virgin areas did not grow and develop after the extension of
mass transit and public investments. This is the best return on our
investment we can get."

Development in the area has been hobbled, he said, by outdated
manufacturing zoning and a lack of public transportation. To catalyze
the
vast development envisioned, the Bloomberg administration would
overhaul
the zoning and together with the state extend the No. 7 subway line
from
Times Square to 34th Street, where plans call for the establishment of
a
transit hub that would link the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and
the
subways and would be several blocks west of Pennsylvania Station.

Plans also call for a $1 billion public investment to double the size
of
the convention center, to approximately 1.6 million square feet, by
expanding it northward and linking it to the new stadium to the south,
over
the rail yards.

The planned Farley post office project would provide the link between
the
current site of Madison Square Garden and the stadium, which is
proposed
for a massive deck that would be built over the rail yards.

These projects, city officials said, would spur the private development
of
roughly 28 million square feet of office towers and thousands of
apartments.

"This is an area where the public sector can make an investment," Mr.
Doctoroff said, "and have it returned many times with new jobs and new
businesses that generate an enormous amount of tax revenue."

The administration likens the potential effect of its proposal to how
the
construction of Grand Central Terminal in the late 1800's on a one-time
rail yard and the sale of development rights over the tracks heading
north
sparked the development of the city's premier business district, along
Madison, Park and Lexington Avenues.

But critics have questioned whether the city even needs a stadium and
another business district, as well as how much commercial development
such
a district would generate.

Because the proposal is subject to the city's land-use review process
and
approval by the City Council, and because state assistance would be
needed
to expand the convention center and extend the subway line, the
Bloomberg
administration is waging an intensive campaign for official and public
support as it also faces huge budget deficits and a recession.

City officials have been meeting privately with hotel and real estate
executives, and officials from the hotel construction and restaurant
unions, in an effort to sell what the city is calling the Hudson Yards
Master Plan, to evoke the image of change coming to the rail yards
rather
than the entire neighborhood. And the word stadium has been banished in
favor of "multi-use facility."

Not everyone is impressed.

"They've gone through a bunch of euphemisms," said Simone Sindin, the
chairwoman of Community Board 4, which covers the West Side. "They've
been
instructed to drop the word stadium from their lips. I call it the
900-pound gorilla in the room."

The stadium, which would be built as an Olympic stadium and a home for
the
New York Jets football team, is the lightning rod for opposition to the
plan, be it from local residents fearing the destruction of
working-class
housing in favor of tall towers, or Broadway theater operators who are
worried that further traffic congestion will discourage patrons from
coming
to Times Square.

One opponent, State Senator Thomas K. Duane, has called for a "movement
like the one that stopped Westway," a reference to a successful 10-year
campaign against a $4 billion federal landfill and highway project
along
the Hudson River from the Battery to 59th Street. And John Fisher, a
founder of the Clinton Special District Coalition, has organized a Web
site
for the opposition, www.hellskitchen.net

Ms. Sindin complimented the City Planning Department for meeting with
community leaders and incorporating some of their recommendations. But
she
has not been won over.

"One of the positives I see is that they're planning for a great swath
of
green to run southwest across the district," she said. "They've also
added
housing on the side streets between Ninth and 10th Avenues. But they're
still married to the esplanade of skyscrapers along 11th Avenue. What
does
not impress me is the stadium. It doesn't belong here."

A business executive who is active in civic affairs and generally
supports
the West Side planning effort also questioned the wisdom of building a
stadium there. "We should be planning for future growth in an orderly
manner so that when the time for expansion comes we're not caught
flat-footed," said the executive, who spoke only on the condition of
anonymity because he often deals with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "But
I
think the stadium would be better elsewhere, like in Queens."

While the Jets have told the city they would be willing to finance much
of
the cost of a domed stadium, which could replace Madison Square Garden,
taxpayers would still have to pay for the $250 million deck on which
the
stadium would be built.

Jonathan Bowles, research director of the Center for an Urban Future, a
nonprofit urban planning group, says he doubts that the billions of
dollars
worth of infrastructure projects will spark the 30 million square feet
of
commercial development the Bloomberg administration foresees over the
next
30 years.

"Their plans look great, with all the parks and esplanades," Mr. Bowles
said. "But this is about office development. Economists see very little
growth in the financial industry. If Wall Street isn't going to grow,
will
there be enough jobs created in the service sector?"

Mr. Doctoroff said the city's projections are based on a study of the
historic growth of office buildings, hotels, retail and housing in the
city
by Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate firm, and Economics Research
Associates, a consulting firm. He said that based on very conservative
assumptions, the city estimates that from about 2010 through 2040 New
York
will need an additional one million square feet of commercial space and
roughly 400 apartments each year on the West Side.

The city's plan estimates that the stadium would be completed in 2009
and
the convention center in 2010, which alarms the hotel industry because
it
is far in the future.

"The industry is still focused on the Javits expansion as something
that
could be started almost immediately," said Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman
of
Loews Hotels and the city's convention and visitors bureau. "It might
take
a couple of years to build, but it would send a message to booking
groups
that New York City is serious."

Mr. Doctoroff has long said that the public investments would be
recouped
by the sale of development rights and new tax revenues from rising real
estate values within the district, a phenomenon known as tax increment
financing, or TIF. The redevelopment area would be the largest
so-called
TIF district in the country, but state officials have expressed some
doubts
about the marketing of bonds based on revenues expected from taxes
based on
increased property values. In any event, such revenues would not cover
the
$1 billion cost of expanding the convention center.

City and state officials have talked to hotel and tourism-related
industries about a dedicated tax, say $1 per hotel per night, that
could
finance the center and a marketing budget. Mr. Doctoroff said the city
was
still revising its financial plan, which will be completed in six to
eight
weeks.

"The assumption remains that we'll finance this through incremental tax
revenues generated as a result of our investment in infrastructure,"
Mr.
Doctoroff said.


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Evan
February 10th, 2003, 05:43 PM
I hope the NIMBY's are quiet on this. *This proposal benefits everyone, inlcluding the residents. *

DougGold
February 10th, 2003, 07:01 PM
I hate to play devil's advocate, because I love the idea of this huge vitalization project, but there's two things nagging at me: 1. I can't think of any city where the convention center is the heart of a huge office building complex, much less residential complex. Why would a giant Javits draw new construction around it, except for maybe hotels? And 2. Isn't NYC facing massive budget short-falls? AND trying to deal with a crushing debt? Where's the money coming from for all of these multi-billion-dollar projects?

dbhstockton
February 10th, 2003, 07:24 PM
The project is dependent on the extension of the 7 train to the area. *It will all make sense when that happens. *I am skeptical, however, that the stadium will do any good in that location. *We've all seen what wonders MSG did for commercial and residential properties in the neighborhood in the thirty years since it was built. *It's wonderful to see such a concentration of 70-to-100 year old buildings, but I doubt that the developers of MSG had that in mind in 1965.

Major cities need stadiums and arenas, but they do nothing for a neighborhood. *

(Edited by dbhstockton at 6:27 pm on Feb. 10, 2003)

JerzDevl2000
February 11th, 2003, 02:24 AM
I don't think the stadium should be on the West Side. The Jets fans are mostly from Long Island, so the new stadium for them should be ON Long Island, and last I checked, there's a great site for it right next to Shea. Maybe Woody Johnson will take some of his billions and chip in for it!

The West Side is gonna be developed, like it or not. I'm sure people who lived on 6th Ave in the 1950's were against the towers moving west. Now look at it - the IND line under it got expanded to 4 tracks and was connected to the Manny B via Chrystie Street in 1968. There went the neighboorhood!

Same thing for Times Square, minus the transit improvement. Things change, cities grow and property values go up. The Far West Side has open lots and could get great transit access with a few plans implemented. 42nd St had a bunch of apartment towers put up in the 90's, with the bus terminal right near it. Wait until New York Times and Farley are finished. In 30 years, we'll look at the West Side like 6th Ave. and wonder how tenements and low-rise buildings were ever on it.

ZippyTheChimp
February 11th, 2003, 11:01 AM
A football only stadium in Manhattan is not a good idea. Most of the time, it sits idle. But a multiuse stadium deserves consideration. Move the Knicks and Rangers from MSG, use as expanded convention space, and other entertainment/cultural events would make it a year-round facility.

I agree it would be better sited in Flushing Meadows, but the city must attract investment.

DCP report in PDF (large file):

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/pub/fwmt.pdf

billyblancoNYC
February 11th, 2003, 12:18 PM
I think if it's not on the Wesy Side, Queens would be great, but it will be a great facility that gets a lot of use if it's for the Jets, Knicks, Rangers, concerts, conventions, etc. *

Plus, as I've said before, if it's done right, it will be a great place to go out, a la Wrigleyville in Chicago.

NYatKNIGHT
February 11th, 2003, 01:41 PM
Quote: from dbhstockton on 6:24 pm on Feb. 10, 2003
Major cities need stadiums and arenas, but they do nothing for a neighborhood.That is absolutely not true. When I lived in Denver the construction of Coors Field completely revitalized that neighborhood and all of their downtown, you wouldn't believe the change. Camden Yards did the same thing for the Balitimore inner harbor. These sites were in abandoned industrial neighborhoods not far from their CBD. The businesses rolled in. They turned out to be quite walkable neighborhoods, and mass transit is largely used to get there. In fact, all across the country planners are finding that arenas and stadiums being built close to the heart of the city not only revitalizes the neighborhood but also attendance goes up.

And what's so bad about the neighborhood around Madison Square Garden? I think it's in much better shape than it was 30 years ago. Certainly it's better than the neighborhood around the site of the proposed stadium. People eat and drink in the neighborhood before and after every Knick game, Ranger game, and concert.

Putting the stadium in Long Island would be a waste for the city, there already is Shea Stadium over there, poorly situated among all the highways and in no neighborhood. The City of New York needs a state of the art, multi-use, world class facility, and it needs to be in Manhattan, where people will GO to it and feel like they are in New York when they are there.



(Edited by NYatKNIGHT at 12:42 pm on Feb. 11, 2003)

Eugenius
February 11th, 2003, 02:03 PM
It's also important to note what the proposed stadium would be replacing. *In the case of MSG, it replaced Penn Station, an architectural masterpiece. *The proposal would supplant what? *Tenements, empty lots, and train tracks. *How could the surrounding properties possibly go down in value?

billyblancoNYC
February 11th, 2003, 03:02 PM
The whole arguement is pure NIMBY madness. *Really, since it's in the city most poeple will NOT DRIVE, they'll take the train, etc. *Especially if the area is laced with bars and restaurants.

It's just so frustrating to see people protest everything, especially if it's good for everyone, including them.

Show me a city where the new stadium ruined the area.

dbhstockton
February 11th, 2003, 03:11 PM
What I was trying to say about stadiums and arenas is that they are not a path to commercial and residential real estate developments. *They may be good for a city, and create thriving tourists areas with the accompanied hotel and retail development, but they can't be sold as the centerpiece of a new business district. *Especially football stadiums. *

I'm not saying MSG ruined the area, I'm saying that there was precious little commercial and residential development in the thirty years after it was built. *We've got One Penn Plaza and the residential high-rise that went up recently on 34th between 8th and 9th. *The rest of the neighborhood around MSG looks almost exactly the same as it did the day before Penn Station was demolished.

NYatKNIGHT
February 11th, 2003, 05:10 PM
You're right, the stadium can't be the centerpiece for the West Side. The whole area needs a good well-rounded plan, and I think it is. They certainly aren't relying on the stadium.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/gif/pub/confwmt.jpg

But an all-purpose stadium located next to an expanded Javits Center is a huge plus, and would jump start the redevelopment with new businesses settling around the stadium. Not only will convention goers access the neighborhood, but residents and tourists too.

A stadium located there is accessible to the entire metro area (there are plenty of Jet fans in Manhattan and New Jersey too). There would be excellent river and rail access. Like other urban stadiums, provide little parking nearby and the surrounding neighborhoods won't get inundated with traffic. Located right on the Hudson River, it is much more high profile than tucked away off some outer borough highway. Constructed over a rail yard, it takes no demolition. It's a dream location for a stadium. Think about some day being IN that stadium with river and skyscraper views all around and Manhattan at your beck and call before and after the event. One of the country's premier stadiums, it would bring more than just 8 Jet games a year. And I'm a GIANTS FAN!

First things first - extend the 7 train.

billyblancoNYC
February 11th, 2003, 05:53 PM
Let's not forget about all the new jobs that would be created and, aside from the convention business, how about World Cup matches, the Super Bowl, NCAA tournament games, etc.

All these events that the city can't get now, we WILL get, without a doubt. *Groups would be beating down the door to get into this stadium. *

NoyokA
February 11th, 2003, 06:02 PM
These are exciting times.

(Edited by Stern at 5:03 pm on Feb. 11, 2003)

Thomas
February 11th, 2003, 06:36 PM
The great aspect about this multi-purpose stadium is that you can have more than one event going on at once, for instance you could have a Knicks game going on at one half and a concert (about 20,000 at each event )at the other half.

Imagine the savings that would be realised by having two events going on at once, it would probably save alot in Police and fire overtime by positioning just one group to cover both events in the same building.

Thomas
February 11th, 2003, 06:41 PM
Speaking of stadiums Shea is in a terrible spot, not friendly to foot traffic.

I take the NY Fast Ferry from Atlantic Highlands NJ to Shea, it's a great trip (40 minutes) but the short walk from the Marina to Shea is dangerous.

Imagine a modern Shea stadium on the East River in Long Island City, intergrating ferry service would be a breeze. Making it foot traffic friendly would help the surrounding neighborhoods, great Subway access, easy access to the LIRR, and NJ Transit if they build the Sunny Side yard station.

Plus great views.

billyblancoNYC
February 11th, 2003, 06:44 PM
The problem with Shea is the surrounding mess. They've been talking about getting rid of the junkyards, etc for years, but supposedly that's a top priority. *Along with finally utilizing the waterfront there. *

If they fixed up the area around, the location would be nice, and convenient.

DougGold
February 11th, 2003, 06:50 PM
Quote: from billyblancoNYC on 2:02 pm on Feb. 11, 2003
The whole arguement is pure NIMBY madness. *Really, since it's in the city most poeple will NOT DRIVE, they'll take the train, etc. *Especially if the area is laced with bars and restaurants.


You know, that's exactly what I think every time I'm stuck in traffic after a Yankees game lets out: "It's great how everyone who lives outside of the city takes mass transit in to see the game. Damn, I wonder what all this traffic is for?"

NoyokA
February 11th, 2003, 07:36 PM
Since we're on the subject of the Queens waterfront I've noticed streets and utilities are in place for north QueensWest.

Kris
January 9th, 2004, 07:25 PM
Mayor promises to more than double Javits

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has committed to more than doubling the size of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center—-representing a larger expansion than even the center itself has requested.

The mayor promised the expansion in his State of the City speech on Thursday, touting it as part of his plan to redevelop the far West Side of Manhattan and make it more “business-friendly.” Until now, the biggest expansion that was discussed would have nearly doubled the center’s space. Some Bloomberg administration officials had discussed reducing the size of the expansion, or doing it in phases.

Political, business and community leaders agree that expanding the Javits Center is crucial to the New York economy. Javits is too small to accommodate 43 of the 200 largest events ranked by Tradeshow Week, an industry publication. While the center is state-controlled, the Pataki administration has always insisted that the city pay for a significant portion of any expansion.

In his speech, the mayor also updated his plan to preserve and create 65,000 units of affordable housing in the city, saying that 10,000 new homes are currently in the development pipeline. In a few weeks, he said, he will launch a multimillion-dollar, public-private partnership that will develop up to 10,000 units of affordable housing on cleaned-up brownfields throughout the city.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

Clarknt67
January 9th, 2004, 10:44 PM
Mayor promises to more than double Javits

In a few weeks, he said, he will launch a multimillion-dollar, public-private partnership that will develop up to 10,000 units of affordable housing on cleaned-up brownfields throughout the city.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

What's a "brownfield"?

Gulcrapek
January 9th, 2004, 11:25 PM
Former devastated or run down area, or old industrial area

BPC
January 10th, 2004, 04:43 PM
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0401/gecan.php

Inside New York's Quiet Success Stories
Getting Better All the Time
by Michael Gecan
January 7 - 13, 2004

Peter Goldmark, past president of the Port Authority and the Rockefeller Foundation, used to say one problem with New York is that it takes its successes for granted.

That's especially true when the successes are both too recent and rapid to be noticed by historians and too distant and slow-developing to be covered by reporters. Compare the extensive coverage given to the newest hare-brained proposal for a new stadium on the city's West Side, announced last month, to the almost universal lack of attention given to the rebuilding of almost every abandoned building and vacant lot in the entire city. This "success" made its way into a recent New York Times piece grimly titled "One Housing Woe Gives Way to Another." You could almost hear Simon and Garfunkel whining in the background.

It's time to focus on the fact that New York has been the host, sponsor, and beneficiary of three great civic successes over the last 20 years. Only one of these achievements—the extraordinary improvement in public safety—receives any extensive comment. The other two—the improvement in public transportation and the rebuilding of much of the city's housing stock—are rarely mentioned. And the three together never receive the attention they deserve. Yet taken together, they have fortified New York. They have helped the city withstand a terrorist attack, a terrible economic slump, and years of very unsettled and distracted political leadership at the state and local level.

First, let's look at the improvement that receives the most notice and has the highest profile—in part because former mayor Giuliani made public safety his number one priority and bet the reputation of his mayoralty on his crackdown's success or failure. It drives the Giuliani crowd crazy, but credit has to be given to former mayor Dinkins and former City Council Speaker Vallone for pushing through the increased funding to hire more cops and set the stage for the revolutionary improvement in police performance that Giuliani, Bratton, Safir, Kerik, Dunne, Esposito, and Kelly implemented. But it's also important to say that more money and more cops would not have been enough without a dramatic change in the culture of the department.

Local leaders and organizers in east Brooklyn, the South Bronx, and elsewhere used to hear police at all levels say exactly what the last defenders of the old educational culture say today: The problem is in the community; the families are dysfunctional; the drug problem is global; and so on. Police administrators specialized in finger pointing and excuse making, useless programs, and public relations gimmicks (the state's McGruff the Anti-Crime Dog pamphlets, a Cuomo-era brainstorm, were probably the worst).

All through the '80s and early '90s, chapters of our Industrial Areas Foundation kept pressing for targeted, focused, relentless policing—with our leaders and the vast majority of good citizens willing to risk their lives to provide information and feedback to the best and hardest-working cops. Finally, when the Giuliani team arrived, it began to happen. Instead of chasing precinct commanders for pointless meetings filled with hand-wringing and whining, the precinct commanders and narcotics cops were calling us the day after a big bust to get our leaders' evaluation. The numbers are clear: A murder rate that peaked at 2,250 in 1990 dipped to 580 in 2002. A new Nehemiah homeowner who lives on New Jersey Avenue in East New York, all five feet and one inch of her, takes a walk in the evening with her lady friend through streets that used to be too dangerous for DEA agents wearing bulletproof vests.

The shocking and tragic death of an eight-year-old boy caught in a cross fire in November reminds us that the job is not finished. Criminals and killers have burrowed deeper into communities, particularly the stairwells and hallways of public housing developments and into the shrinking number of housing hellholes like Noble Drew Ali Plaza in Brownsville and Fulton Park Plaza in Bed-Stuy. And within the department, there are still cops who cross the line. A few weeks ago, two involved in drug activity were caught, making every citizen who notices a dealer perched arrogantly on a picnic chair across from a Bronx precinct worry about a return to the bad old days. Cops who bully, abuse, or long to pull the trigger still operate. But the overall culture of the department has changed more radically than any other public agency that we have seen or dealt with. Its performance continues to improve. And it seems prepared to meet any of its ongoing or newer challenges.

The second achievement is the remarkable improvement in public transportation. In 1982, subway trains broke down every 7,000 miles. Today they run more than 100,000 miles without a major problem. Ridership is 39 percent higher than in 1982, peaking at 1.4 billion riders, a 50-year high. More than one third of the stations have been renovated. Subway crime has plummeted. Veteran New Yorkers remember a dogged Richard Ravitch traipsing into editorial boardrooms in the early '80s with a vision for revamping public transportation in New York. Almost no one thought it was possible. But then-governor Cuomo paid attention long enough to get the ball rolling. The late Stanley Fink, the assembly speaker at the time, stayed focused long after Cuomo grew distracted. And the incomparable Robert Kiley, head of the MTA, helped bring the program home.

There's no way to measure the critical role played by NYPIRG's Straphangers Campaign, led by Gene Russianoff and others, who kept pushing for improved and affordable public transit and who never lost hope. Nor can anyone put a dollar value on the hard work and persistence of the women and men who drive trains and buses, repair tracks, and upgrade the system, in unsafe tunnels, at great personal risk. Under the new leadership of Roger Toussaint and Ed Watt, the 40,000-member Transport Workers Union has emerged as the most intriguing and pivotal player in the otherwise confused labor scene in New York.

The third achievement is the new construction and gut rehabilitation of more than 193,000 housing units since 1987—4,000 new, affordable Nehemiah townhouses built by East Brooklyn Congregations and South Bronx Churches; thousands more two-family and three-family structures built by the business group called the New York City Partnership; 4,000 apartments revitalized by the Northwest Bronx Clergy Coalition; thousands of units renovated by leaders as different as the Reverend Calvin Butts of Harlem, Father Lou Gigante of the Bronx, and Common Ground's Rosanne Heggarty. More than 15 percent of the entire supply of housing in the Bronx was built or renovated during these years. Home ownership increased in New York—a renters' city—from 28.7 percent to 32.7 percent, mostly in African American and Hispanic communities. This means there was an explosion of new minority equity—new wealth in the hands and wallets of people who waited a long time and earned it many times over—all across the city. When I last checked with city housing officials, I was told that there were only 105 abandoned city-owned buildings left in the entire city. The Times estimated the number at 800—still a 95 percent drop from the truly grim and woeful days of the early 1980s. Compare that to Philadelphia or Baltimore, where there are more than 30,000 abandoned structures in each shrinking town.

Who gets the credit for this? Well, Mayor Ed Koch certainly played a key role. He understood the vast scale of the challenge and began to raise and invest the billions of dollars that made this turnaround possible. But it never would have happened if there hadn't been topflight housing professionals in place to deliver the goods. The pioneer "inside man" was a woman, Felice Michetti. She was the deputy housing commissioner under Koch, commissioner under Dinkins, and currently is the president of Grenadier Realty. Another person—Mike Lappin, president of the Community Preservation Corporation—organized and channeled billions of dollars from banks and pension funds into the revitalization of entire communities. And a dozen or so of the larger local housing and citizens organizations were critical—in raising the issue, pressuring government, and delivering the homes and apartments. Reverend Johnny Ray Youngblood and the late, great Francis J. Mugavero stand out in the east Brooklyn effort, as do Father Bert Bennett and Reverend Heidi Neumark in the South Bronx, along with the late I.D. Robbins and Lee Stuart and Ron Waters on the development end. The list of major important players literally goes on and on.



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What can you say about these achievements—are there any common threads or themes? I believe they are bound together by what they are not.

First, they were not the product of one charismatic leader, one mayor, one celebrity. Each achievement was the product of a mix of leaders primarily from the public and voluntary sectors, who liberally borrowed both tactics and talent from the private sector. The great entrepreneurial leaders of New York in the past 20 years did not operate on Wall Street. They worked underground in the subways, or on Livonia Avenue in Brooklyn, or in a Bronx borough police headquarters right off the Cross Bronx Expressway.

Second, they were not quick in coming about. The swiftest achievement—in public safety—took 10 years. The housing and transportation work took 20 years and is not finished yet. And each is a work—an action—in process, always in need of constant attention, of rethinking and reorganizing. Unfinished, they fall into the gray area between history and journalism—too fast and fresh for most academics, too slow and incremental for most reporters.

Third, they were not cheap. Each cost many billions of dollars. But the housing subsidies alone generated a chain reaction of positive developments—a vast increase in equity that dwarfs the cost of the city and state subsidy, more purchasing power, more tax revenues, more citizens who have a sense of ownership, literally and figuratively, in their neighborhoods and their city. And how do you measure the yearly "savings" that 1,700 fewer murders represent? Here's one way: Black male life expectancy has dramatically increased since 1990.

Fourth, they were not done harmoniously. There were no meetings of "all the stakeholders," as the process types like to call them. There were no focus groups run by a highbrow university that got everyone to yes. These achievements were done in typical New York style—with claws out and voices raised and, at times, blood flowing. Many of the participants hated one another. But maybe, just maybe, this culture of confrontation and contention, so often derided by the goo-goo crowd, was integral to the success, rather than an obstacle. People cared and fought passionately about these issues, and worked as the Old Testament figure Nehemiah did: with a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.

Fifth, they were not sports facilities, football stadiums, new aquariums, more tourism, or any of the other baubles of urban redevelopment that turn the heads of modern mayors and governors. I mentioned Richard Ravitch as a key figure in the early days of the transportation turnaround. But another key figure was Marcy Benstock of the Clean Air Campaign. She played David to the Goliaths in the New York real estate and construction industries who wanted to build the Westway Highway and River Development Project. Her successful stand blocked this boondoggle, and sent a billion or more dollars into the public transit system, where they belonged. The next generation of real estate and construction czars now lobby as hard for an unneeded football stadium, unneeded subway extension, and unneeded tunneled portions of West Street that are, if anything, even more useless than Westway was nearly 20 years ago. The trouble with all the Westways and sports arenas and construction-for-construction's-sake schemes is not just that they are wasteful and costly. They also distract attention and talent and resources away from the more essential needs of a great and growing city: better subways, improved public safety, affordable homes and apartments, effective schools. These are the bones, hidden but essential, of a hearty and powerful city.

What's next to be done? While these three remarkable achievements were taking place, New York schools remained static or slightly declined, and New York children's health deteriorated. Graduation rates remained stubbornly stuck, while asthma rates soared.

That's why the bold and aggressive actions of Chancellor Joel Klein, the recent clashes in the City Council, and the widespread brawling over how best to improve the city's schools should be seen as welcome developments—the players tuning up for what may prove to be the next remarkable civic performance. New York has become much more than the center of great theater, opera, and art: It has once again become the incubator, the stage, of great urban change.



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Michael Gecan is a senior organizer with the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation.

ASchwarz
January 10th, 2004, 05:22 PM
BPC, you notice who wrote this article? He's paid to promote the manufacturing firms in NY's remaining industrial neighborhoods. Obviously, he opposes any rezoning of areas currently zoned as manufacturing. It is therefore not surprising that he rails against the West Side redevelopment.

The first half of the article is great, and I agree wholeheartedly. The second half is nonsensial; it has no relationship to his initial points. A healthy office sector (in a new West Side Business District) and an Olympics/Jets/Convention stadium is not incompatible with decent housing, low crime and good transit.

While the author refuses to offer any reasons why West Side redevelopment doesn't make sense, opponents typically offer two claims 1. Traffic will be madness or 2. The city has more pressing expenses.

Traffic seems like a selfish, parochial concern, as people should be riding the subway, not riding around in private automobiles. Traffic is generally a sign of prosperity. Trust me, Detroit would love traffic.

The second concern is not as easily dismissed. Still, if one accepts that financial services are the city's cash cow (and they are), it would be in the city's interest to accomodate its big piggybank. This can be accomplished by creating a third central business district in Manhattan. The alternative will be firms leaving for Jersey City, London or elsewhere.

billyblancoNYC
January 11th, 2004, 02:04 AM
Well put.

BPC
January 11th, 2004, 02:45 AM
... The second concern is not as easily dismissed. Still, if one accepts that financial services are the city's cash cow (and they are), it would be in the city's interest to accomodate its big piggybank. This can be accomplished by creating a third central business district in Manhattan. The alternative will be firms leaving for Jersey City, London or elsewhere.

I don't necessarily agree with everything the author has to say (e.g., trying to credit Dinkins for the plummeting of crime during the Giuliani years is a liberal flight of fancy), but only posted it for discussion purposes. I do agree with the autor, however, that public resources should be invested in projects that will provide a decent return on the investment -- schools, housing, subways -- not stadia.

Nor do I completely understand your logic (quoted above). If the Jets don't get a new domed stadium, will Merril Lynch be moving to New Jersey? I don't really see the connection. There is already plenty of office space available for financial firms (the downtown vacancy rate is pretty damn high these days) and plenty more (for example, 11 million square feet at the WTC site, if Larry Silverstein has his way) hitting the market in the near future. The last such proposed new business district, "Midtown West" as it was called in the 1980s, still has the owners of Worldwide Plaza waiting for everyone else to join them, despite having better subway access and a more centralized location than anything financial firms will be able to get at 12th Avenue.

We should expand the Javitz, for which there is a great need, forget the subway extension (convention goers take cabs) and let the rest of the neighborhood develop organically, like Tribeca, SoHo, the Meat Market, or (most recently) the subway-less Lower East Side.

billyblancoNYC
January 11th, 2004, 07:41 PM
You extend the train to allow for expansion and development. If the areas has trains, offices, hotels, restaurants, etc., then there is no driving needed to tourists anyway.

The stadium would be used for conventions and the convention center itself will double as well. This is the cornerstone of the area and will bring jobs, events, and lots of taxes to NYC. That's the point of building it.

BrooklynRider
January 12th, 2004, 11:58 AM
I think the limitations of the area are represented by the fact that not a single hotel has sprung up within one block of the convention center over the years. Not one.

Ninjahedge
January 12th, 2004, 05:27 PM
They need mass transit expansion AND they need to look ar how the whole system works (Ridership) and figure out how to streamline the whole thing. The more people can get on ONE train and ride it to their destination, the better.

Also, some of the Local lines are absolutely outrageous with how close some of the stops are to each other.

Agreed, that some of them are needed in the more crowded areas, but I believe there is one every 5 blocks on the 1 and 9 when you get downtown.

Extensions on mass transit may be needed, as well as an easier way to get cross town besides riding all the way up the E, or the N and R (or F).

But that is an entirely different subject, altogether.

I think the Stadium idea is a COLOSSAL waste. You have so much more room IN NJ, and some room in the outer boroughs. Why does there have to be a stadium in traffic central? Oh yeah, people point out that traffic is nothing. Nothing until you see the backup caused coming into the Lincoln Tunnel after a Giants Game gets out. And no, that is not the only tie-up after or before a game at the Meadowlands.

Anyway, point is, I still cannot understand what is taking the city so long to clean/convert some of this space into useable land. The things I see being needed, and eaten up in the city are mainly PROPERTIES. NYC is one of the most expensive places to buy or rent in the country, but yet we have areas just a few blocks away that are nothing but empty lots or old industrial yards.

NYC needs more middle class housing (not project homes, not luxury condos) and it needs the commercial space to supply it.

billyblancoNYC
January 12th, 2004, 05:46 PM
C'mon, if this was proposed for the waterfront in Jersey, you'd be all for it, no?

NYguy
January 12th, 2004, 06:13 PM
I think the Stadium idea is a COLOSSAL waste. You have so much more room IN NJ, and some room in the outer boroughs. Why does there have to be a stadium in traffic central? Oh yeah, people point out that traffic is nothing. Nothing until you see the backup caused coming into the Lincoln Tunnel after a Giants Game gets out. And no, that is not the only tie-up after or before a game at the Meadowlands.

NJ does have a lot of open space - its one of the reasons the NETS may be moving to Brooklyn. Traffic at the tunnels on the weekend won't be anything new. Once again, the added attraction to the stadium (as with the NETS) will be that it's in the city, not the swamp. And this stadium will have something that the Meadowlands needs - rail service. Whatever the plans may be for that area in the future, it comes a bit too late...

ASchwarz
January 12th, 2004, 07:24 PM
BrooklynRider, you're wrong about the hotels. I know of at least 3 hotels that have recently been built near the Javits Center, with at least one more planned. Granted, these are smaller, low profile hotels (Red Roof Inn, Best Western, Hampton Inn or something).

No major hotels have yet been built because there has been little need. The neighborhood is relatively isolated, with no subway service and little to offer besides the Javits Center. Why would Hilton build here if they could build in Times Square?

Of course, the new subway line and overall Hudson Yards development will lead to a number of larger hotels. A huge hotel is already planned as part of the Javits Center expansion.

Kris
February 13th, 2004, 02:40 PM
$2.2B Javits Plan Unveiled

Expansion linked to stadium

By Errol A. Cockfield Jr.
Staff Writer

February 13, 2004

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, Thursday unveiled details for expanding the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and linking it to a planned stadium and convention center for the Jets on Manhattan's West Side.

The proposal would double space at Javits from 745,000 square-feet to 1.53 million square-feet, and add a ballroom, a key attraction for large conferences and meetings. The two projects, side by side, would give the city an enormous corridor for hospitality.

"Let's face it, New York City's convention and meeting facilities have been inadequate for too long," Gargano said, during a luncheon speech in Brooklyn Thursday at the annual meeting of NYC & Company, the city's convention and visitors bureau.the city's convention and visitors bureau.

Gargano said officials would not release a financing plan for the expansion for at least two months, but he projected the cost could reach $2.2 billion.

Officials hope to break ground on the expansion's first phase by Spring 2005, just before the International Olympic Committee will decide whether New York or one of eight other cities would host the 2012 Olympics. The Javits expansion and the proposed Jets stadium are linchpins in the city's Olympic bid.

The center's current footprint stands from 34th to 39th streets, between 11th and 12th avenues. The first phase -- a six year project -- would take it north to 40th Street and south to 33rd Street. The second phase would then extend the convention center north to 42nd Street.

The limitations of the convention center, which opened in 1986, have hurt the city's efforts to draw signature events. Last year, the city lost 63 major events because of the Javits Center's tight size, representing an estimated $1 billion in missed economic activity, according to the convention and visitor's bureau.

Jonathan Tisch, chairman of NYC & Company's board of directors, said the Javits expansion and the new stadium will increase convention space more than tenfold.

"It will allow New York to offer an unparalleled package to attract major events," he said.

His announcement came a day after Daniel Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, released a $2.77 billion plan for a far West Side redevelopment that would feature a stadium and convention center for the Jets football team as its centerpiece.

While the financing for that plan is separate from the Javits expansion, both facilities would be connected. Jets president L. Jay Cross said both will host gatherings depending on an event's size, but attendees will not know the difference.

"It will be seamless," he said. "People will walk back and forth and never be aware they're walking from one building to another."

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

Kris
March 2nd, 2004, 09:33 AM
March 2, 2004

Javits Center Expansion Overshadowed by Stadium Debate

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/01/nyregion/javits.jpg
The Javits Convention Center is represented by light orange, with the proposed Jets stadium, left, and the planned expansion of the center both in darker orange.

Almost from the day the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center opened in 1986 on the West Side of Manhattan, hotel and tourism executives have lobbied to expand it to attract more conventions and trade shows, and with them the patrons who will book rooms, eat at restaurants and attend Broadway shows.

Eighteen years later, the state and the city are on the verge of announcing a $1.4 billion renovation and addition to the convention center. But that plan is entangled with a proposal to build a $1.4 billion stadium for the Jets between 30th and 34th Streets, on the south side of the center. Both are crucial elements of the city's plans for the West Side and its bid for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

While the stadium has come under fire from elected officials and West Side residents, as well as Broadway theater owners, the expansion of the convention center has generally received positive reviews. The Jets say they have designed a stadium that would also provide 200,000 square feet of exhibition space usable for conventions.

"The goal is to create one unique competitive convention corridor," Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said, referring to the plans for the center and the stadium. "It'll be able to compete effectively for any major event, trade show or convention held in the United States."

A new 184-page report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which was commissioned by the Javits Convention Center, indicates that nearly doubling the center's size to 1.34 million square feet would attract half a million more visitors, 18 to 20 new trade shows and conventions, and nearly $700 million in additional business a year. But the report does not mention the stadium, a reflection of political and economic tensions.

Behind the scenes, some Javits executives, hotel executives and trade show producers have questioned how well the stadium would function with the convention center. More broadly, some economists say that the PriceWaterhouse projections may be too optimistic, given that the trade show industry is suffering from an oversupply of space and lower demand.

"The experience in recent years indicates that the expansion of major convention centers doesn't necessarily mean any increase in business," said Heywood Sanders, professor of public administration at the University of Texas in San Antonio. "Convention centers are discounting rates and providing incentives, or literally giving away space for free."

Last month, Charles A. Gargano, chairman of the Javits development corporation, formally announced that the state supported both projects. The cost of the expanded center would be covered by a hotel tax, cash from the city and refinancing of the center's debt.

The PriceWaterhouse report envisions an expansion from 38th Street north to 42nd Street, where there would be a hotel and ballroom, but the first phase would extend only to 40th Street, providing more contiguous exhibition space and 235,00 square feet of meeting space.

In the past, because of its relatively small size and lack of meeting rooms, the center has had difficulty attracting conventions and medical associations, whose attendees spend the most on hotels, restaurants and entertainment. The report shows that annual attendance is down from its peak in 1997, but PriceWaterhouse concluded that the addition would draw trade shows that do not currently come to New York, as well as larger conventions and professional associations. It warned, however, that while many large trade shows and association meetings have a big economic impact, they also bargain hard for discounts.

The center does well despite its size, high labor costs and the city's high hotel rates, the report concludes, because New York is a highly attractive international city in a region with a shortage of exhibition space.

Business leaders like Jonathan M. Tisch, chief executive of Loews Hotels and chairman of the city's convention and visitors bureau, have supported the expansion project because it would put "heads on beds" and draw other tourist business.

Not everyone, however, agrees that the stadium counts as an expansion of the convention space, even though it could be converted into an exhibition hall. Although the stadium has been described by Mr. Doctoroff as "the southern expansion of the Javits," L. Jay Cross, president of the Jets, was more modest.

"We're not saying this is the Javits expansion that they've been waiting for all these many years," Mr. Cross said. "It is a midsize, full-service exhibition hall that will serve as ancillary space for the Javits or stand on its own."

Brandishing letters from two trade show producers, Mr. Cross said there was enough demand from conventions and exhibitions that he could easily book 40 events annually, generating an estimated $38 million in tax revenue. The stadium would be connected to the center by an underground tunnel.

St. Louis is one of only three cities in the country that operate a convention center in conjunction with a stadium. The St. Louis complex, the Americas Center, is connected to a domed stadium by a short hallway. Bruce T. Sommer, its director, said he books 5 to 10 trade shows a year into the stadium, 4 religious conventions and about 5 consumer shows, as well as concerts and other sporting events. "Major trade shows do not like noncontiguous space," Mr. Sommer said. "No matter how you break it up, one piece will be better than another piece."

Among those who are not sold on the Jets stadium as a convention center is George F. Little II, whose company produces 17 shows a year at the Javits center. Mr. Little said a stadium would be no substitute for an expanded convention center, although he might book the stadium for certain events.

Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Auto Dealers Association, said: "The stadium is a good-sized space to work with." But the primary need is to get the Javits expanded as much as possible."

Walter Mankoff, chairman of Community Board 4, whose district covers the West Side, described the stadium as an expensive project that would require $600 million in public subsidies. He said he doubted that it would do much convention business, but argued that it would bring traffic congestion and pollution.

"We do not agree on every detail, but we agree that the convention center needs an expansion and would be extremely helpful to the New York economy," Mr. Mankoff said. "We don't think the stadium is a proper expansion."

But even those who support expanding the center worry that the city is pushing harder for the stadium, which would require state legislation.

The expansion of the convention center is "the single most important public investment that the city and state can make," said Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City. "If a legislative package is not introduced in the next couple of weeks, we'll lose yet another year in what has been a tortuous, decade-long process."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 6th, 2004, 05:30 PM
March 6, 2004

Gridiron on the Hudson? Block That Play! (2 Letters)

To the Editor:

Re "Javits Center Expansion Overshadowed by Stadium Debate" (news article, March 2):

To tie up several viable Manhattan blocks with monolithic structures that will only support conventions and sports events ignores the lessons learned from the urban renewal era, when intricate blocks of varied uses were cleared for sterile and generally single-function complexes in cities across the United States.

One need only to look at the barren sidewalks that surround the present Javits Center to get a sense of what either or both these projects would add to the West Side.

The city would be better off developing these blocks with a mix of apartments, offices, retail and institutional space — uses that will draw people at all times of the day, week and year and be of greater value to a broader range of city residents and visitors.

DANIEL CAMPO
Philadelphia, March 2, 2004
The writer is a lecturer in the department of city and regional planning, University of Pennsylvania.



To the Editor:

As an architect, I am baffled and dismayed by our elected officials' relentless pursuit of a tax-subsidized Jets stadium on the West Side, this time couched with the Javits Center expansion (news article, March 2).

It represents the poorest urban planning of valuable New York real estate on the Hudson River that I can recall, as it does nothing for the waterfront or the neighborhood.

No one I have ever spoken to in all of the years of this proposal's existence has ever expressed anything positive about it, and all shrug it off as just another example of government graft.

If our elected officials wish to accomplish something commendable, they should use those resources for completion of the Second Avenue subway.

This would keep the construction crews employed and spur more economic development in the private sector, and the residents would reap the commuting benefits. Is that too much to ask?

WILLIAM FIGDOR
Maplewood, N.J., March 2, 2004

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

krulltime
March 6th, 2004, 07:32 PM
blah, blah, blah, blah....Aren't they going to stop complaining and build something! :x

OKoranjes
March 6th, 2004, 08:02 PM
I am sorry, but as a resident of a major city with major traffic problems, Washington DC, I can tell you that building a stadium in the middle of the city will NOT be a traffic problem. People aren't stupid. They know that they cannot drive into the city for a game like they could in a suburban stadium. For example, they is never traffic for ANY major sports games or major concerts at the MCI Center in DC though it is in the heart of the city. Why? Because it was built over a subway station. On the other hand, the new Redskins stadium that was selfishly built by the old owner in the suburbs of Maryland has Major traffic problems simply because there is no other way to get there than to drive.
Please, stop thinking that this new Jets stadium will bring traffic problems, because it won't.

--

Kris
March 11th, 2004, 09:48 AM
Jets Get Museum If City Gridiron Rises On 33rd St.

by Blair Golson

On the latest act of the mayor’s West Side development drama, the New York Jets are pursuing talks with several cultural institutions to build a museum and performing-arts theater at the base of their proposed stadium there, The Observer has learned.

According to team officials, the Jets are particularly interested in partnering with the Queens-based New York Hall of Science to create a "Science of Sport" museum.

"We’ve been considering for some time how to incorporate other community uses into the facility, and in the past few weeks we decided on a theater and a museum," said Matthew Higgins, vice president for strategic planning with the Jets.

Restaurant and retail space will also be added to the eastern side of the stadium, in a bid to make the face of the stadium more friendly to neighbors who imagine a windswept canyon on non-game days.

Mr. Higgins’ comments, along with the team’s decision to add ground-level cultural space to the facility, come as the Jets are under fire from community groups, elected officials and business leaders, who claim that the proposed 75,000-seat stadium will discourage, rather than attract, street life on non-game days. The issue is critical because the Jets and the Bloomberg administration claim that the stadium will act as a catalyst for the redevelopment of the far West Side.

"Trying to dress the stadium up in some fashion does not in any way obfuscate the real issue," said Gerald Schoenfeld, chairman of the Shubert Organization, which owns 17 of some 35 Broadway theaters. Mr. Schoenfeld and many theater owners have been among the stadium’s vocal opponents. "Is a stadium the right use in this part of New York? My answer is no," he said.

The proposed stadium is located on a stretch of M.T.A.-owned railyards from 30th to 33rd streets, between 11th Avenue and the Hudson River. The museum and theater will be located on the western, waterfront side of the facility. Mr. Higgins said the museum would probably be around 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, and the theater would have 199 seats. He also said the eastern side of the stadium, along 11th Avenue, would contain between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet of ground-level retail or restaurants.

Officially called the New York Sports and Convention Center, the stadium will double as expansion space for the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, which lies one block to the north. In addition, the NYSCC would host the 2012 Olympic games in the case of a successful American bid. The Jets have pledged to pay $800 million for the construction of the stadium, and the city and state will contribute $600 million for a deck above the railyards at the site, in addition to a retractable roof and an air-conditioning system.

The NYSCC has emerged as the most contentious aspect of the Bloomberg administration’s plan to redevelop the Hudson Yards district. Jets and city officials estimate that the stadium will generate $75 million in economic benefits to the city, largely from tourists and visitors who attend the facility’s convention shows. But many critics argue that the stadium will prove a poor convention hall, and will generate far less revenue for the city than is being claimed. In December, the Jets dropped plans to construct the area in such a way that it could serve as an arena—to host events like medium-sized concerts—which fueled criticism that the stadium will prove even less of an economic boon to the city.

Bloomberg administration officials maintain that the stadium will prove a magnet for development and pedestrian traffic in the area. The Jets’ decision to add cultural and retail elements to the stadium is an attempt to buttress that claim.

"This is another way to get the message out that this facility is going to serve many uses beyond a stadium," said Mr. Higgins. "In fact, the majority of uses won’t be stadium-related."

At least at first glance, however, that argument doesn’t seem to have much traction among the local officials opposed to the stadium.

"This is just window-dressing," said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who represents the area. "You can dress up a monstrosity, but it’s still a monstrosity."

The Jets’ decision drew praise, however, from the city’s tourism bureau, NYC and Company, whose president, Cristyne Nicholas, said that coupling the stadium with cultural offerings will help to make the far West Side a tourist destination. The Municipal Arts Society, one the city’s most respected urban-planning organizations—which has yet to take a formal position on the stadium in general—said that anything that encouraged street life around the facility would be a welcome addition.

Eric Siegel, director of planning and program development at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, said the Jets first contacted him about a week ago with the idea of opening a branch at the NYSCC.

"It looks like a very attractive space, and we could imagine a facility that would be about the science of sports that would fit their goal of making a community and visitor destination," said Mr. Siegel. "There’s a lot of great science in sports."

Mr. Siegel said the museum and the Jets are still in a very preliminary phase of their talks. At the earliest, the stadium wouldn’t open before 2009. (Incidentally, the Hall of Science is located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park—the very site many activists are pushing as an alternative for the construction of the Olympic stadium.)

The Jets are also carving out between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet of retail space on the eastern side of the stadium. According to real-estate agents, that’s about enough room for a Pottery Barn and an Anne Klein Store. The theater the Jets are proposing will have 199 seats. That puts it in the league of a very small Off Broadway or community theater. Mr. Schoenfeld, of the Shubert Organization, said that such theaters can be difficult to sustain economically, as their small size prevents them from incorporating the infrastructure necessary to support multi-set performances.

Mr. Higgins didn’t dispute that claim, but pointed to the lack of performance space in the city to support the team’s choice.

"Community theater is an integral part of the theater industry in New York, and such space is in short supply," he said. "It’s unfortunate that Schoenfeld doesn’t see the need for it—but we do."

You may reach Blair Golson via email at: bgolson@observer.com.

This column ran on page 1 in the 3/15/2004 edition of The New York Observer.

billyblancoNYC
March 12th, 2004, 01:02 AM
Good, most new developments should have to have cultrural, as well as retail, space.

Kris
March 16th, 2004, 08:57 AM
March 16, 2004

Jets Campaign for a Manhattan Stadium

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

The Jets are pressing hard to win the hearts and minds of New Yorkers for the team's proposed $1.4 billion stadium that would rise over the rail yards on the far west side of Midtown Manhattan.

In the latest round of barroom presentations, breakfast talks, Jets fests-in-the-park, endorsements and deals, some of the city's most prominent union leaders are expected to announce their support for the stadium on Thursday at a noontime news conference near the west side yards.

The construction unions are often used as the shock troops for real estate developers eager to counter community opposition, and the stadium effort is no exception. But organizers of the news conference have invited a broader array of labor leaders, including Peter Ward, president of the 25,500-member Hotel and Motel Trades Council, and Brian M. McLaughlin, president of the Central Labor Council, the governing body for New York City unions.

Of course, Mr. Ward's endorsement comes with a price: the Jets have to agree to let the union sign up workers at the four high-end restaurants the Jets plan for the stadium. It is a small but important step in an effort that the Jets hope will demonstrate the breadth of support for the project. "We're down to the wire," said L. Jay Cross, president of the Jets. "We want to be under construction within the next 12 to 15 months. We really want to ratchet up the amount of information that's available to the public.''

The sense of urgency comes from the Jets' desire to complete the stadium, which would double as an Olympic forum if the city wins its bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, before their lease runs out at the New Jersey Meadowlands in 2008. The city also wants to demonstrate some progress on the stadium by May 19, when the International Olympic Committee is expected to winnow its list of candidates for the 2012 summer games.

The Jets, the Bloomberg administration and state officials say the stadium, which requires a $600 million public subsidy, would provide an additional benefit because it could be used for conventions and trade shows in conjunction with the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The Jets have hired a small army of lobbyists and consultants, including former aides to Gov. George E. Pataki - Mike McKeon and Louis R. Tomson - and strategists with ties to labor, minorities and Democrats - Ken Sunshine and Bill Lynch. The Jets also hired Mr. Tomson's former aide at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Matt Higgins, as vice president.

The stadium has come in for criticism from local residents, politicians and some Broadway theater owners, who fear that the stadium would bring traffic congestion, displace Broadway-related businesses and discourage people from visiting the theater district. "Neighborhood feeling is as strong as it's ever been, or stronger, in opposition to the stadium," Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried said. "I don't think that's going to change by inviting them to parties or press conferences.'' In recent weeks, the team has gone into hyperdrive to answer critics and convince political leaders and New Yorkers that a West Side stadium will be great.

At a Feb. 25 meeting scheduled by Community Board 4 to discuss the issues surrounding the stadium and West Side development, dozens of construction workers arrived early, dressed in green Jets caps and chanting "J-E-T-S; Jobs."

Herman Edwards, the Jets head coach, addressed the annual Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Legislative Caucus dinner on Feb. 15. He gave an inspirational talk about leadership and tacked on a plug for the stadium, said three politicians who attended.

"It wasn't really a centerpiece of his speech," said Adriano Espaillat, chairman of the caucus and a Manhattan assemblyman. "For the most part, the audience wasn't really tuned into it."

Mr. Espaillat opposes the stadium. "All the research indicates that stadiums are one-shot deals and not a significant stimulus to local economies," he said. "I think it'll be a traffic nightmare all the way up to the George Washington Bridge, and it'll adversely affect the economy."

The Jets had a news conference on the steps of City Hall on March 4 to show that support for the project was surging, with the help of minority legislators and former Olympic athletes. There were only three politicians in attendance: Assemblymen Keith L. Wright and Darryl C. Towns and Councilwoman Margarita López. Mr. Towns represents a Brooklyn district; the two others are from Manhattan.

The team saw a better turnout at a gathering of about 30 bars owners last Tuesday at O'Farrell's, a bar at 10th Avenue and 33rd Street, even if some of them were from East Side bars. Team officials presented striking designs for the stadium, its connections to the Javits Center and its potential economic impact.

"I think the bar owners are going to be behind it," said Jim Breidenbach, manager of P&G Cafe on Amsterdam Avenue near 73rd Street.

On Sunday, the team sponsored a "Jets Fest" at a West Side park, complete with Jets players, that drew several hundred people, including opponents who passed out leaflets indicating that they loved the team and hated the stadium.

Yesterday, Councilman David I. Weprin, chairman of the City Council's finance committee, held a news conference outside City Hall with Mr. Cross. Mr. Weprin said his analysis of economic data, which he acknowledged was mostly provided by the Jets, led him to conclude that "this is a great deal for the city."

Mr. Weprin said he was speaking for himself and not for other members of the City Council, among whom opinion on the project is divided.

"They're not going to turn things around on the West Side," Assemblyman Thomas K. Duane said. "Mayor Giuliani tried to stuff a baseball stadium down our throats and it didn't work."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 16th, 2004, 07:27 PM
Jets President says fans will forego tailgating

By KAREN MATTHEWS
Associated Press Writer

March 16, 2004, 12:50 PM EST

NEW YORK -- New York Jets fans would take public transportation to a Manhattan stadium even if they had to give up tailgating to do it, the president of the Jets said Tuesday.

"People tailgate because there's not a lot else to do in the areas where tailgating is the most popular," Jets President L. Jay Cross told a business breakfast. "Certainly if you go to Giants Stadium, you're in no rush to get into that building and go to the concessions and washrooms."

"It's part of suburban football," added Cross, who has argued that the proposed stadium and convention center on Manhattan's far West Side would not add many cars to the streets because 70 percent of fans would take trains, buses and ferries. "In urban stadiums throughout the league, basically there's no tailgating."

Cross' appearance at a breakfast sponsored by Crain's New York Business was part of an extensive promotional campaign for the stadium, which faces opposition from many Manhattan neighborhood activists and elected officials.

The Jets, who now share the New Jersey Meadowlands with the Giants, propose spending $800 million on the new stadium, which would also anchor the city's bid for the 2012 summer Olympics.

The city and state would pay $600 million for a deck over the Hudson rail yards and a retractable roof that would allow the facility to be used for conventions.

A group that wants a Jets and Olympics stadium in Willets Point, Queens _ near Shea Stadium, the Jets' previous home _ bought a table at the breakfast and distributed anti-West Side stadium leaflets.

"At every event that they start to stage, we're going to follow them," said David Oats, chairman of the Queens Olympic Committee. "We're not going to let them get away with pushing this down people's throats.

But Cross ticked off several reasons why the Jets have no plans to return to Queens.

"First of all, if a company's going to make an $800 million investment in what is essentially its headquarters, it wants to make that investment where it has the greatest chance of success," he said. "From our point of view, we can only really justify making that kind of investment in Manhattan."

Cross said the city's Olympic bid "does not contemplate an Olympic stadium in Queens." Additionally, he noted, the West Side stadium is to include convention facilities that can be used in conjunction with an expanded Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, forming a "convention corridor" on the Hudson River between 30th and 40th streets.

Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press

Kris
March 17th, 2004, 09:52 AM
March 17, 2004

Developer Balking Over Plans for West Side Convention Hotel

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

The long-awaited plans for an expanded $2.8 billion convention and stadium corridor on Manhattan's far West Side have hit a snag, even as state and city officials prepare to formally announce the project.

Government officials want to build a 1,500-room convention hotel and ballroom at 42nd Street and 11th Avenue as part of a $1.4 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center nearby. They view the hotel as a critical element of their plans to attract more conventions and trade shows to New York.

But Larry A. Silverstein, the developer who owns the block where officials plan to build the hotel, is balking. "Larry Silverstein has not heard from either state or city government concerning that property," said Howard J. Rubenstein, his spokesman. "Therefore, he thinks it's premature to discuss what he might do."

Mr. Silverstein built a 900-room apartment tower on the western half of the block several years ago and has said he plans to build a similar tower on the parking lot next door. But in recent weeks, two people active in the hotel industry have said that Mr. Silverstein talked to a developer working with the Hyatt hotel chain about building a tower with condominiums and hotel rooms, though on a much smaller scale than a convention hotel. Mr. Rubenstein said, "He has spoken to no one about a hotel on his property."

In any event, Charles A. Gargano, chairman of the Javits development corporation, said the state would condemn the property if necessary.

"We've recognized all along that a convention hotel would work well with an expanded Javits," he said.

The hotel industry has lobbied for a decade to expand the Javits center, which stretches along 11th Avenue from 34th to 38th Street. And Robert Boyle, chairman of the Javits operating corporation, has long wanted to put a large convention hotel at 42nd Street and 11th Avenue.

The proposed expansion of the convention center would bring it up to 40th Street and nearly double the size of the exhibition space. On the south side of the center, the Jets are proposing a $1.4 billion football stadium that would provide an additional 200,000 square feet.

Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman of the city's convention and visitors bureau, said yesterday at a forum sponsored by Crain's New York that the executive board of the city's Hotel Association had agreed to a $1.50-a-night hotel tax to help pay for the Javits expansion. The state and city are each expected to contribute $300 million. He said he expected the project to be announced very soon.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

krulltime
March 17th, 2004, 10:10 AM
They should built the Hotel on top of the convention center expansion at 41st between 11th and 12th avenue. That way they could also built the residential/hotel building as well on 42nd and 11th.

Do I have to think for them? :wink:

Kris
March 17th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Jets’ Offensive Geared Toward P.R. Conversion

by Blair Golson

Speaking to a packed ballroom of droopy-eyed business leaders in the New York Hilton on Mar. 16, Crain’s New York Business publisher Alair Townsend issued a stern warning to potential hecklers at her magazine’s breakfast forum on the proposed West Side stadium for the New York Jets.

"Scattered around this room are many plainclothes security personnel from the hotel, private guards and the NYPD," she said. "Should any [outburst] occur, people will be removed swiftly …. If I get annoyed enough, I’ll press charges."

Ms. Townsend had been warned about the possibility of a disturbance by an article in that morning’s New York Post, which quoted an activist as promising some polite heckling that would fall short of "throwing a pie" in anyone’s face.

The activist quoted was David Oats, the founder of the fledgling Queens Olympic Committee, which is advocating the construction of a new stadium for the Jets in Queens and not on the West Side.

Perhaps cowed by Ms. Townsend’s admonition, Mr. Oats’ polite heckling amounted to nothing more than the distribution of photocopied fliers to forum attendees. In the meantime, Jets president Jay Cross and NYC and Company Chairman Jonathan Tisch calmly batted away critical questions about the stadium proposal from two journalists who rounded out the forum’s panel.

For Mr. Cross, at least, it was a marked improvement from the defensive performance he made during a meeting called by Community Board 4 in late February. That contrast is emblematic of the Jets’ new efforts to build support for the project. Although the stadium plan still faces widespread opposition, the Jets have begun to show that they have supporters, too. In the last two weeks, a group of minority city and state legislators endorsed the stadium, as did the chairman of the City Council’s finance committee, and the team expects several key union leaders to do the same on Mar. 18.

Proponents of a Queens-based stadium have yet to start their public-relations campaign in earnest, but Mr. Oats had plenty to say about the Jets’ recent publicity efforts. He pointed out that only three minority legislators showed up at a press conference to tout minority support for the West Side project. He also noted that the Council’s finance committee chair, David Weprin of Queens, acknowledged that he based his endorsement on a financial study that the Jets themselves had commissioned from Ernst and Young.

"I don’t think they’re on a roll," Mr. Oats said of the Jets. "I think they’re in a free fall. What they’re doing is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."

Mr. Oats said his presence at the Crain’s forum served notice that he and his supporters "are going to be at every single thing that the Jets do."

That may be so, but both Mr. Oats and Manhattan-based stadium opponents have the disadvantage of facing a Mayor and a Governor who support the plan and who refuse to consider seriously the idea of building the stadium in Queens, where the Jets once played before moving to the New Jersey Meadowlands in the early 1980’s.

At the Crain’s forum, Mr. Cross and Mr. Tisch made two announcements that further added to the sense of momentum for the stadium project. Mr. Cross said that one of the top show bookers of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center now supports the proposed stadium, which would provide additional space for the convention center when it is not being used for football.

The show booker, Jeff Little, president of George Little Management, had been a vocal opponent of the project, and his changed position means that the Jets can claim that the city’s top three show producers are now in favor of the proposal. This would seem to weaken the argument of critics who claim that the stadium will not be attractive to show bookers, and will not provide a large economic benefit to the city—as the Jets contend.

A spokesman for Mr. Little acknowledged that his changed position was at least in part due to political realities: The Bloomberg administration and Governor Pataki are pushing hard for the simultaneous construction of the stadium along with a northward expansion of the Javits Center. Because Mr. Little apparently feels that he cannot oppose the stadium while supporting the convention center’s expansion, he has, in effect, joined the Jets’ team.

"There’s been an evolution in our thinking in relation to the project," said Cathy Steel, a spokeswoman for Mr. Little. "The company is supportive of an expansion of convention center facilities, but to the extent that both the Javits expansion and the stadium development are going to move forward together, in that instance we would be willing to support the stadium."

For his part, Mr. Tisch announced that the executive committee of the city’s Hotel Association had conditionally approved—andwould recommend to its full board—a $1.50 per-key, per-night surcharge to room prices to help pay for the expansion of the Javits Center. Although that funding source won’t directly affect the stadium, the two projects are politically linked, and Mr. Tisch clearly hoped that the boost to the Javitsexpansion would convey a sense of momentum for the stadium proposal.

The Jets and city and state officials are pushing to begin stadium construction quickly because it is a centerpiece of the city’s bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee may begin winnowing down the finalist cities as early as May.

The Jets would pay $800 million for construction of the stadium, which will sit on a stretch of M.T.A.-owned rail yards between 30th and 33rd streets and 11th and 12th avenues. The city and the state would each contribute $300 million for the construction of a deck over the rail yards and a retractable roof—a necessary feature in order to use the stadium as a convention hall. In addition, the M.T.A. expects to be compensated for the transfer of the air rights of its rail yards. No agreement on that issue has yet been publicly announced.

Respected civic organizations like the Regional Plan Association and the Municipal Arts Society, which often play a significant role in influencing arguments for or against large city projects, have yet to take a public stance on the West Side stadium proposal. A spokesperson for the M.A.S. said that the group is waiting for more information before it takes a position. To date, the city and state have not announced how they will pay their $600 million share of the project—a figure that doesn’t include the potential cost of the air rights to the M.T.A. rail yards. A spokesperson for the R.P.A. said that the organization hopes to play the role of a "neutral convener" of all sides in the controversy. The R.P.A. has dedicated its Apr. 16 annual assembly to the issue.

You may reach Blair Golson via email at: bgolson@observer.com.

This column ran on page 1 in the 3/22/2004 edition of The New York Observer.

thomasjfletcher
March 22nd, 2004, 02:16 PM
here are some chilly pix of that site a few days ago----


http://home.graffiti.net/tom_2005:graffiti.net/PICT0049.JPG
http://home.graffiti.net/tom_2005:graffiti.net/PICT0052.JPG
http://home.graffiti.net/tom_2005:graffiti.net/PICT0001.JPG

more are available at---
http://nyc-architecture.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=5

here's my site-
http://www.nyc-architecture.com/

(be aware-some problems with the good old unix-windows case sensitivity lack-of interface is stopping a lot of the pix from loading.will fix soon)
cheers
tom

krulltime
March 22nd, 2004, 02:58 PM
WOW...They have ALOT of covering to do... :roll:

NYatKNIGHT
March 22nd, 2004, 03:07 PM
Great photos!

Eugenius
March 22nd, 2004, 07:32 PM
Wow, those are chilly photos... Hard to believe that it is past the middle of March. As usual, I blame the groundhog. :x

BigMac
March 23rd, 2004, 11:47 PM
The New York Times
March 24, 2004

Plan for Jets' Manhattan Stadium Surges Ahead

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/24/nyregion/24stad.l.jpg
This artist's rendering, released in New York Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004, depicts an aerial view of the proposed new development on Manhattan's West Side. The site, west of Madison Square Garden, includes proposed new office towers, a vast convention center and a waterfront stadium for the New York Jets football team.

New York City and state officials say they will unveil plans tomorrow to build the Jets a 75,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof on the far West Side of Manhattan and to nearly double the size of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center next door.

It would be one of the city's most ambitious urban redevelopment projects, officials said yesterday, second only to the $12 billion rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.

It would also open a new chapter for professional football in Manhattan. The last major game was on Dec. 14, 1963, when the Jets — the former New York Titans — lost, 19-10, to Buffalo before 6,526 fans at the Polo Grounds in Harlem. That stadium was torn down four months later. The Jets moved to Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens, where they played until they left New York altogether in 1984 for the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey.

Elements of the West Side plans have been circulating for years. But the announcement tomorrow at the Javits center will mark the first formal commitment by the city and state to move forward, with hopes of breaking ground next year. The $2.8 billion proposal is tied to plans to lure the 2012 Summer Olympics and extend subway service west.

When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki unveil the plans and a proposed financing package, the project will be called the New York Sports and Convention Center. The new stadium, to be built over rail yards, is viewed as a significant element in creating a half-mile "convention corridor" that will stretch along 11th Avenue from 30th to 40th Streets.

Despite the push by the governor and the mayor, the projects still face a series of hurdles, including an environmental review, zoning approvals, state legislation for the Javits expansion and any legal actions.

The project would be financed with $600 million each from the city and state, $500 million from a temporary hotel tax, $800 million from the Jets and the remainder from other private sources.

The $1.4 billion stadium has been the project's most debated element, while the $1.4 billion Javits expansion has the support of the hotel industry, some Broadway theater owners, community groups and elected officials. They fear the stadium will displace working-class residents and increase traffic congestion and pollution. Most everyone predicts there will be lawsuits.

To blunt criticism by economists that stadiums are poor public investments, the city has worked with the Jets to design the stadium so that it can be used for conventions, trade shows, meetings and plenary sessions, as well as concerts and other sporting events.

The stadium would also double as the Olympic stadium if the city wins its bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The city is eager to move the projects forward now, in part, because it wants to show some progress before the International Olympic Committee meets in May to pare its list of candidates for the 2012 Games. The committee will make its final decision in July 2005. The Jets want to start construction next year so they can move into their new home by their current lease expires in 2008.

Opinions vary on the city's Olympic chances, but real estate and business leaders favor the redevelopment of the far West Side. The city is in the process of rezoning the neighborhood to encourage the development of 30 million square feet of office space over the next 30 years. It also wants to extend the No. 7 subway line west from Times Square underneath 41st Street to 11th Avenue and then south to 34th Street.

The announcement tomorrow will come a month after Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff proposed a $3.7 billion financing plan to cover the extension of the subway line, create new parks and build a massive deck over a different section of the rail yards, where office buildings and a cultural institution could be built.

"The business community considers the expansion of the Javits to be the most significant economic development investment that the city and the state could make," said Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City. "And the redevelopment of the far West Side is critical to the future of the city."

Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the State Assembly, also supports the Javits expansion, but said "the jury is still out" on the stadium.

"We have to look at it very carefully," he said.

And Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Democrat from Westchester County, called for more public discussion about the use of scarce public resources for stadiums and the subway extension. "This has been a back-room operation so far," he said. "There's growing sentiment that it needs a public airing, pro and con."

According to state and city officials, the governor will announce the $1.4 billion plan to expand the Javits center north from 38th to 40th Streets. With more exhibition space and meeting rooms, it will be able to attract larger conventions and present more than one trade show at a time, officials say.

The cost of the Javits project will be covered by $300 million from the city; the $1.50-a-night hotel tax, which would expire once the $500 million goal is met; and the refinancing of the bonds on the Javits. State officials also hope to guarantee the bonds by using the state's Sonny Mae mortgage insurance.

They are also hoping that a private company will chip in $200 million for a proposed convention hotel on 42nd Street, although in other cities the hotels have required substantial subsidies.

The Jets have agreed to put up $800 million for the stadium over the rail yards bound by 11th and 12th Avenues, between 30th and 34th Streets.

The $600 million from the state and city would pay for the retractable roof and the platform on which the stadium would be built.

The Jets would also pay an undetermined rent to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the rail yards, according to executives on both sides. The transit agency is also close to an agreement with the city over compensation for the use of the yards, state and city officials said.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

BigMac
March 24th, 2004, 06:04 PM
Jets Stadium page with renderings at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (http://www.kpf.com/Projects/jets.htm)

Kris
March 25th, 2004, 12:59 AM
March 25, 2004

The Rush to a Stadium

As the city prepares to announce plans to give the New York Jets a stadium on Manhattan's far West Side, it has asked New Yorkers to see the stadium as anything but just a place to watch football. The stadium has been presented as a potential venue for the 2012 Summer Olympics, as part of an expansion of the Javits Convention Center and as an anchor in redeveloping the area. Anyone against the stadium, it might seem, is automatically opposed to those other appealing projects. That is simply not true.

The Olympics may or may not come to the city in 2012, but a project as big as the stadium has to be judged on its own merits, not simply as a potential ticket to the honor of being the host of the Games. The Javits Convention Center expansion is needed, but it does not require a stadium. And a looming football stadium may be more albatross than anchor for the Bloomberg administration's redevelopment plans for the West Side.

In short, while there may be a compelling reason to situate a football stadium in Manhattan, officials have not offered it. Meanwhile, the potential downside is disturbing — there are concerns about how the project would be financed, what impact it would have on traffic and whether there would be better uses for that prime piece of real estate.

By choosing a state-owned site, which is over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's rail yards, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is freed from having to ask approval of the City Council, which vetoed Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's attempt to get a stadium in the same part of town for the Yankees. Unlike the Yankees, the Jets have offered to make a substantial financial contribution, $800 million. But the city and state would have to split the remaining $600 million cost. That number could go higher if overruns occurred.

The plan to finance the stadium involves selling bonds against future tax revenue in the area. If the city's plans for redevelopment went well, tenants would start flocking to the far West Side, choosing that area over new Lower Manhattan office space. But if that failed to happen on the city's ambitious timetable, taxpayers would be liable for the shortfall. We'd like to see the city comptroller, William Thompson Jr., analyze the risk — preferably after holding public hearings on the whole project.

Perhaps the most critical part of a plan for developing the far West Side is the extension of the No. 7 subway line, and much of the allure of the stadium plan was the fact that it seemed coupled to expanded subway service to the area. Now the state seems to be backing away from the No. 7 expansion. Any plans for the far West Side must include not only building the subway, but also a guarantee that the strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority is able to pay for the service and maintenance.

The Olympics would be a good thing for the city, but getting the Games seems a fairly long shot, and it is disturbing that the planners failed to work harder to come up with an alternate possible stadium site. New Yorkers are being pushed into a deal that could, in the end, leave the city with nothing but a football team playing on the river, more traffic congestion and a pile of new debt.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

BrooklynRider
March 25th, 2004, 11:56 AM
The renderings on the KPF page make me wonder if the stadium with cast the Hudson River Park in a shadow fort he first half of the day.

BigMac
March 25th, 2004, 01:58 PM
New York Newsday
March 25, 2004

Plans for West Side stadium formally announced

The Associated Press

http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-03/11962905.jpg
The most recent rendition of the planned west side stadium.

City and state officials announced plans Thursday for a $1.4 billion stadium for the New York Jets that would also anchor New York's bid for the 2012 summer Olympics.

"We will have a home to bring the Jets back from New Jersey, and pro football back to New York City," Gov. George Pataki said in making the proposal official.

Officials also announced plans to nearly double the size of the Jacob K. Javits Center next door.

The Javits Center and the stadium, which is to be called the New York Sports and Convention Center, would together form a "convention corridor" stretching along 11th Avenue from 30th to 40th streets.

The Jets have agreed to spend $800 million on the stadium, but the city and state would have to kick in $600 million for a deck over the existing rail yards and a retractable roof that will allow the facility to be used for concerts and trade shows as well as Jets games.

Despite strong support from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pataki, the plan faces major hurdles including an environmental review, zoning approvals and likely lawsuits by opponents.

Officials say the Javits Center expansion, which would cost another $1.4 billion, would allow the city to attract larger conventions that now bypass New York for other cities.

The Javits expansion will be partly financed by a $1.50-a-night hotel tax.

The Jets currently share the Meadowlands in New Jersey with the New York Giants. Their lease expires in 2008.

The proposed stadium is part of the city's ambitious redevelopment plan for the far West Side, which also includes extending the No. 7 subway line from Times Square to 11th Avenue and 34th Street.

The new stadium would also be the centerpiece of New York's bid for the 2012 Olympics, serving as the Olympic Stadium for opening and closing ceremonies at the Games, Bloomberg said.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

NYatKNIGHT
March 25th, 2004, 02:36 PM
Let the lawsuits begin.

BigMac
March 25th, 2004, 05:31 PM
http://hometown.aol.com/baumerjet/images/jets_stadium2.jpg
(Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates)

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040325/capt.nyr10403251903.west_side_stadium_nyr104.jpg
(Associated Press)

Kris
March 25th, 2004, 10:20 PM
March 25, 2004

West Side Stadium Plans Unveiled Amid Praise and Protest

By KIRK SEMPLE

City and state officials formally unveiled an ambitious $2.8 billion development proposal for the far west side of Manhattan today that would nearly double the size of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and include a 75,000-seat stadium for the New York Jets.

At a press conference that had the tone of a pep rally, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the new complex would generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for the city, as well as revitalize a forlorn section of midtown Manhattan.

"It's about our future," he declared. He said the project would make the neighborhood "the premiere destination of 21st century New York."

Mayor Bloomberg, who was joined today by Gov. George E. Pataki and other officials, said the stadium would be an essential component of the city's bid to lure the 2012 Summer Olympics. Planners hope to begin construction by next spring and finish the project in 2010.

But for all the enthusiasm of its boosters, the development project faces several high hurdles, including environmental assessments, zoning approvals and almost-certain legal challenges.

Some neighborhood residents and local officials have criticized the plan as a waste of taxpayers' money and a recipe for traffic nightmares, and have mobilized a lobby to block the project.

John Fisher, spokesman for a coalition of community groups opposing the plan, called today's announcement "nothing more than hype in search of substance." He said in a statement that the proposed project would have "adverse ripple impacts throughout all of Manhattan."

Another opposition coalition that says it supports the convention center expansion but not the stadium, held a rally today at a community park within view of the convention center. They accused the city of subsidizing a sports team at the expense of schools, health care and other public needs that have suffered because of cuts in the city's budget.

"It's not a plan for our neighborhood, it's a plan for the Jets," Councilmember Christine Quinn, who represent's the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, said at the rally. She was among several local and state officials who attended the rally, organized by the Hell's Kitchen/Hudson Yards Alliance, a neighborhood organization.

"The mayor and the governor are trying to package a popular Javits expansion into an unpopular football stadium," said Anna Levin, a leader of the Alliance. "We want sensible economic development in this area, but this is certainly not what we have in mind."

Opponents also say the stadium will displace working-class residents, and most everyone from all sides of the debate predicts there will be lawsuits.

Mr. Pataki said the expanded convention center and new stadium would help create more than 15,000 jobs for the city and provide more than 500,000 days of additional hotel bookings per year.

"It's going to mean economic growth, exciting growth," he said.

Calling himself "one of those long-suffering Jets fans," the governor said the stadium would finally return the football team to Manhattan; it played games at the Polo Grounds until 1963.

"We will have a home to bring the Jets back from New Jersey, and pro football back to New York City," he declared. The Jets quarterback, Chad Pennington, also attended the ceremony today.

As the centerpiece of the Olympic proposal, the stadium would serve as the site of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the track and field competition, Mayor Bloomberg said.

The city is eager to move the projects forward now, in part, because it wants to show some progress before the International Olympic Committee meets in May to pare its list of candidates for the 2012 Games. The committee will make its final decision in July 2005.

The Jets want to start construction next year so they can move into their new home by their current lease expires in 2008.

The new stadium, to be built over rail yards, is viewed as a significant element in creating a half-mile "convention corridor" that will stretch along 11th Avenue from 30th to 40th Streets.

The stadium would be financed with $300 million each from the city and state, $800 million from the Jets and the remainder from other private sources. The stadium would be built over the rail yards bound by 11th and 12th Avenues, between 30th and 34th Streets.

The $600 million from the state and city would pay for the retractable roof and the platform on which the stadium would be built.

The Jets would also pay an undetermined rent to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the rail yards, according to executives on both sides. The transit agency is also close to an agreement with the city over compensation for the use of the yards, state and city officials said.

The Javits expansion would be financed by $300 million each from the city and the state; $500 million from a temporary $1.50-per-night hotel tax; and the refinancing of the bonds on the Javits.

Opinions vary on the city's Olympic chances, but real estate and business leaders favor the redevelopment of the far West Side. The city is in the process of rezoning the neighborhood to encourage the development of 30 million square feet of office space over the next 30 years. It also wants to extend the No. 7 subway line west from Times Square underneath 41st Street to 11th Avenue and then south to 34th Street.

Officials said today that the expansion of Javits center north from 38th to 40th Streets would provide more exhibition space and meeting rooms, and would therefore be able to attract larger conventions and present more than one trade show at a time.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 25th, 2004, 11:09 PM
Official press release:

March 25, 2004

MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND GOVERNOR GEORGE E. PATAKI ANNOUNCE HISTORIC PLAN TO CREATE CONVENTION CORRIDOR ON MANHATTAN'S WEST SIDE, INCLUDING EXPANDED JAVITS CENTER AND NEW 75,000 SEAT SPORTS AND CONVENTION CENTER

Convention Corridor To Generate 42,000 Construction Jobs And 17,500 New Permanent Jobs

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today were joined by civic, industry and community leaders to announce New York City's Convention Corridor, a historic plan to transform and modernize New York City's convention industry. The Convention Corridor will include the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to 42nd Street in two phases. The first phase expanding south to 33rd Street and north to 40th Street, including a 1,500-room convention hotel and the creation of the New York Sports and Convention Center, a new multi-purpose facility that will serve as both a 75,000-seat stadium and a 200,000 square foot exhibit hall - home to the New York Jets, and possibly the 2012 Olympics. The Convention Corridor will double convention center capacity, enabling New York City to vie for hundreds of events - and millions of dollars in economic activity - now lost to other cities.

"Today, Governor Pataki and I are pleased to announce that the State and the City have taken a giant step forward in realizing our shared vision for the Hudson Yards area on Manhattan's Far West Side: the creation of the new Convention Corridor," said Mayor Bloomberg. "By building the Convention Corridor and making a targeted set of public investments including extending the 7 line, creating acres of new parkland and greater access to the waterfront, and rezoning this area to allow for exciting new housing and commercial opportunities, we are beginning a process that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in construction, tourism and new businesses, large and small. Together, we are making an investment and a statement that will propel New York into the front ranks of the convention industry. This project will increase the square footage of New York's main convention center space from 18th in the country to 5th. We are bringing the New York Jets home where they belong, and capturing millions of dollars a year and thousands of jobs now lost across the river. The total transformation of the area will make all of New York more vibrant and economically sound for generations to come."

Governor Pataki said, "The Convention Corridor is an historic opportunity to build a world-class sports and convention center worthy of New York City. This development project will create thousands of jobs, and bring in millions of dollars in revenue every year that New York City currently loses to other cities. The expansion will mean a doubling of Javits' current convention capacity, catapulting New York to its rightful place among the top convention destinations in the country. This is a smart City-State investment in New York's future and one that leverages private investment to grow our convention industry and help realize New York's Olympic dreams. Not only will the New York Jets finally return home to New York, but they will be creating a multi-purpose facility that will host dozens of events throughout the year and generate tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue to the City and State."

Chairman of Empire State Development Charles Gargano said, "For years, the Javits Center has been unable to accommodate the changing needs of New York City. An expanded Javits Center will finally meet these needs and make the West Side more attractive to visiting businesses and conventions. In addition, it will bolster the state's second largest industry - tourism, and will provide economic benefits for the local community for generations to come."

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff said, "The Convention Corridor including the New York Sports and Convention Center and development of the surrounding area will solidify New York City's standing as a tourism destination. The unique array of spaces in the Convention Corridor will allow New York City to host nearly every trade show or convention of any size including the 2012 Olympic Games should we be lucky enough to be chosen. Simply put, investment in the Hudson Yards will create a more vibrant city for generations to come."

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Chairman Robert E. Boyle said, "Today's announcement is the beginning of the realization of a long-held dream of the entire Javits Center family. Ever since, under Governor Pataki's mandate in 1995, we began a new era of Center management, the tremendous turnaround that's been accomplished has made New York one of the most sought-after venues for trade shows, conventions and special events in the country. We are turning away almost as much business as we can book, and clearing space into the year 2025. That is why we are so thankful that our expansion is a major part, along with the NYSCC, of the redevelopment of Manhattan's West Side."

Jets Owner Woody Johnson said, "When I became owner of the team in 2000, I pledged that my highest priority was to bring the Jets back to where they belong, right here in Manhattan. Today was a long time in the making, but well worth the wait for a home to call our own. The New York Sports and Convention Center will also be home to major events, such as the Final Four, while doubling as New York City¹s only mid-size convention center to complement the Javits Center. It will become part of the fabric of the neighborhood, housing a museum, a community theater and several signature restaurants, while reconnecting the west side to the waterfront. The Jets are proud to invest $800 million in the future of our city to create the greatest sports and convention center in the world. And we thank New York City and State for committing the resources to make that investment possible."

NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch said, "The tourism industry is a vital part of our economy and critical to New York City's future. The Convention Corridor will allow New York City to win a greater share of the multi-billion dollar meetings and convention market - bringing more business, more visitor spending, and more jobs to New York City's five boroughs."

President of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council and Business Manager of HERE Local 6 Peter Ward said, "The expansion of the Javits Center and the New York Sports and Convention Center will mean an end to seasonal layoffs in New York City's hotel industry forever, as well as additional jobs in many industries. We are delighted that the City, the State and the Jets have the vision to create Convention Corridor, and that they have shown confidence in the future of New York. Our 25,000 members are committed to transforming that vision into reality."

President of the Hotel Association of New York City Joseph E. Spinnato said, "The Hotel Association of New York City has long and vigorously supported the expansion of the Javits Center. To that end, our members have decided to help support the funding of that expansion through a $1.50 fee per key per night on occupied rooms with the stipulation that the fee be allocated strictly for the expansion of the Javits Center."

Battery Park City Authority Chairman James Gill said, "After fulfilling our commitment of providing $600 million dollars to the City of New York for low-cost housing, the Battery Park City Authority is proud to work with Governor Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and Comptroller Thompson for the joint purpose of expanding the Javits Center and providing economic opportunity for Manhattan's West Side."

The Javits Center Expansion

Although nationwide, the Javits Center ranks first in attendance and second in number of shows among all convention centers, it ranks 18th in overall capacity. As a result of inadequate capacity, Javits Center has had to turn away bookings representing 800,000 room nights over the next five years.

Ultimately, the new Convention Corridor will be expanded from 760,000 square feet to 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space, 256,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 86,000 square feet in new ballroom space as part of the Phase 1 expansion. The Phase 1 expansion will cost $1.4 billion and funded through several sources. The City will contribute $350 million through reserve funds made available by Battery Park City Authority. The State will contribute $350 million through restructuring of existing Javits Center bonds and utilizing special federal advanced refunding legislation. The hotel industry has agreed to a dedicated $1.50 per key surcharge that will generate $500 million. And lastly, the 1,500-room headquarters hotel at 42nd Street and 11th Avenue will be constructed with a $200 million private investment. After Phase 2 expansion, total exhibit and meeting space will be 1,705,000 square feet -- this expansion will be financed separately. When complete, the expansion will have a profound impact on New York's economy, increasing the existing $97 million annual tax revenue generated by Javits by an additional $53 million and 415,000 hotel nights a year. The expansion will create 10,830 additional jobs.

The New York Sports and Convention Center

The New York Sports and Convention Center (NYSCC) is conceived as the most dynamic multi-purpose facility in the world. Approximately 17 days a year, the facility will function as a stadium including home to the New York Jets for 10 games and host to sporting events and concerts such as the Final Four and a Super Bowl, on the remaining days, and possibly other large scale events like the Olympics in 2012. During the rest of the year, the NYSCC will double as New York City's first mid-size convention center and offer ancillary space to the Javits Center linked via an underground concourse while also attracting new shows. It will become part of the fabric of the neighborhood, housing a museum, a community theater and several signature restaurants while providing much needed open space.

To make the NYSCC a reality, the New York Jets will invest $800 million, the largest private investment to a comparable facility, and they will pay the MTA annual ground rent for use of the property. The City and State will each contribute $300 million to build a deck over the rail yards and for the stadium's retractable roof, which will permit the facility to be used year-round. The State's contribution will be dedicated toward the platform over the rail yards, and the City and State's contribution to the NYSCC is limited to $300 each. The Jets have pledged to absorb any excess costs, and should the project come in under budget, the City and State will share in cost savings. As with the Javits expansion, the NYSCC will also have a profound impact on New York's economy, generating 6,700 permanent jobs, and $75 million in additional revenue to the City and State.

Convention Corridor - Investing in the Future

The investment in the creation of the Convention Corridor is a true public-private partnership. The project will generate $128 million annually in new City and State tax revenues, in addition to the $97 million in tax revenues currently generated by Javits, for a total of $225 million in annual City and State revenues. Total annual debt service costs on the public sector's $1.3 billion contribution to the Convention Corridor are estimated to be approximately $91 million. Moreover this investment will propel New York's convention corridor into the top five convention centers in the country, supporting the vital tourism and convention industry for years to come. And the combination of added exhibition and meeting room space, the ballroom, and the flexible capacity of the NYSCC give New York a unique ability to host nearly any event, convention, or trade show held in the United States.

Construction is expected to begin on Convention Corridor in spring 2005, following the conclusion of a comprehensive environmental review now underway.

Mayor Bloomberg concluded, "This announcement is not only about tourism, conventions and sports. It's also about something even bigger. It's about our future, and making sure that future means jobs for New Yorkers, and opportunity for everyone up and down the economic ladder. It's about diversifying our economy, so we can better withstand recessions, like the recent one that hurt so many New Yorkers. And it's about transforming a community that has been neglected by our City for years, and withered in the shadows of the rest of Manhattan."

www.nyc.gov

Kris
March 26th, 2004, 12:29 AM
March 26, 2004

Facing Long Road, West Side Makeover Gets a Big Sendoff

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/26/nyregion/26STADIUM.coverxl.jpg
A drawing of the proposed Jets stadium and expanded Javits Convention Center.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/26/nyregion/26STAD.groupxl.jpg
From right, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Gov. George E. Pataki and Woody Johnson, owner of the Jets, at a news conference yesterday.

Amid klieg lights, heavy security, a model and a billboard-size rendering, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Gov. George E. Pataki and Woody Johnson, the owner of the Jets, finally announced a $2.8 billion project yesterday that had been years in the making: the expansion of the city's convention center on the far West Side and the construction of a 75,000-seat stadium for the football team.

The fact that they could get state and city officials in the same room at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, along with some union leaders, hotel owners and real estate executives, was a step forward after years of talk, false starts, squabbling and back-room trade-offs. The event was a result of the single-mindedness and perhaps the naïveté of the deputy mayor for economic development, Daniel L. Doctoroff.

The stadium and convention center expansion are the crucial components of the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics, which Mr. Doctoroff cobbled together before he entered city government. He has sought to ram them through the usual political and economic barriers like a fast-moving train, but he still has a long way to go. The announcement yesterday was his way of saying the train was leaving the station.

The project he and the Pataki administration announced yesterday still needs approval from the State Legislature, where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said yesterday that he had "serious concerns and reservations." Mr. Silver said he opposed the city's plans to use $350 million from the Battery Park City Authority to help pay for the Javits expansion.

Elements of the projects also need approval by the City Council, where some members are angry that the city would spend $300 million on a stadium when it cannot find enough seats for schoolchildren. And everyone expects that critics, ranging from neighborhood groups to Broadway theater owners and Cablevision, will file lawsuits, a tactic that held up the redevelopment of Times Square for nearly a decade.

One of Mr. Doctoroff's biggest challenges may be in trying to keep his ostensible allies - the hotel industry, various state officials and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority - on board his speeding train. The transportation agency wants to be able to sell development rights that it says are worth $400 million to $600 million for allowing the city to build over its railyards. But those are the same development rights Mr. Doctoroff wants to sell to pay for a western extension of the No. 7 subway line.

"This is a local train, and it's going to make many stops," Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat vowed. Mr. Espaillat, a Democrat from Washington Heights, supports the Javits expansion, but opposes the stadium.

But for at least one morning in front of the television cameras, all the principal actors were singing together in harmony at the Javits Center. That was a lot more than anyone accomplished for previous stadium dreams, including Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's failed four-year quest to build a new home for the Yankees.

Mayor Bloomberg unveiled what he called a "historic plan to transform and modernize" the city's convention industry by creating a half-mile convention corridor along 11th Avenue, from 30th to 40th Streets. The state and the city would put up $1.3 billion for the projects, while the Jets said they would invest $800 million in the stadium.

"It truly marks a milestone," an ebullient Mr. Doctoroff said yesterday, "not only in the history of the far West Side, but for the entire city."

The proposal would nearly double the size of the Javits Convention Center by expanding it north to 40th Street, enabling the center to attract larger and more varied conventions and trade shows. The proposal also calls for building a convention hotel and ballroom on 42nd Street.

The $1.4 billion expansion would be covered by a temporary hotel surcharge of $1.50 a night, which would raise $500 million, and by $350 million each from the state and the city. The mayor said he expected a developer to invest $200 million in the hotel, although convention experts note that convention hotels are usually heavily subsidized and a developer is unlikely to invest such a large sum.

The city said its $350 million share would come from reserve funds from the Battery Park City Authority, an arrangement that would seem to violate Mr. Doctoroff's longstanding promise to pay for West Side projects with new tax revenues generated in the area, not with existing municipal money. Every year, the authority gives the city an average of $55 million from surplus funds, although this year the sum is about $151 million because of a special refinancing program, according to the authority.

Mr. Doctoroff said that the state was releasing money from Battery Park reserve funds, enabling the city to use that money for the Javits Center. The city, however, would continue to receive an annual disbursement from the authority, he said.

City and state officials also portrayed the stadium as a critical element of the Javits expansion; they contend that the $1.4 billion stadium, with its retractable roof, would double as a 200,000-square-foot convention hall and possibly as an Olympic forum if the city wins its bid for the 2012 Games. The state and the city will contribute $300 million to cover the cost of the retractable roof and a platform over the railyards on which the stadium would be built.

The Javits expansion and the stadium are tied to a $3.7 billion plan to rezone the far West Side for residential and commercial development, to extend the subway and to create more parks.

Much of the opposition to the West Side projects has focused on the stadium, which even supporters regard as the Achilles' heel of the redevelopment plans. Critics say the connection to the Javits Center is rather tenuous and merely an attempt to make the stadium politically palatable.

One opposition group held its own news conference a block away from the Javits Center in a basement meeting room next to a small park.

"We're here to tell the mayor and the governor that this is our neighborhood and we do not want a stadium," said Christine Quinn, a member of the City Council and the Hell's Kitchen/Hudson Yards Alliance. "It's not a plan for our neighborhood; it's a plan for the Jets." Given the scarcity of public resources, she said the stadium was a bad public investment, likely to discourage investment and produce traffic congestion and pollution.

The Alliance comprises mainly elected officials from the West Side. But they have been joined by some potentially powerful allies, including Gerald Schoenfeld, chairman of the Shubert Organization, which operates 15 Broadway theaters and actively opposes the stadium, and executives from Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers. Cablevision, which opposes the stadium because of the potential competition for circuses, concerts, Ice Capades and other sports events, has also hired an environmental lawyer to look at the project.

Ms. Quinn vowed to take the fight to City Hall, Albany and "the courts if necessary."

A second opposition group, the West Side Coalition, also vowed to fight the stadium as well as many other aspects of the redevelopment. "Just because they have now announced the stadium for the umpteenth time, that does not make the financing real, nor ensure its success," said John Fisher, a spokesperson for the coalition. "The West Side is littered with many megaprojects that did not happen despite the hype of politicians, the press and corporations."

Aside from his critics, Mr. Doctoroff must still spend time dealing with the very people who say they support the stadium and the Javits Center expansion. The city failed to strike a deal with Peter S. Kalikow, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, over development rights for the use of the railyards in time for the Javits Center announcement. Mr. Kalikow, who was on vacation in Florida, did not attend.

The hotel industry has also made it clear that it will be furious if the Pataki administration fails to get legislation passed in Albany this spring that would allow the Javits Center expansion to begin construction as quickly as the stadium. In the past, some hotel owners feared that the Javits would be left behind as the city pushes for the stadium.


The Stadium Touches Off a Typical New York Debate

By ANDREA ELLIOTT

The 75,000 seats of the city's proposed Jets stadium might barely contain the myriad, often unexpected views offered by New Yorkers yesterday about the project.

David Rasted is not a sports fan, but he loves it: "Anything to improve the area," he said between sips of black coffee at a Starbucks near his home in Chelsea. "Everything gets a face-lift."

Eric Hoppe, a self-described "football fan and Republican" who works on Wall Street, hates it. "It's greedy," he said about plans by the city and state to invest $300 million each in the stadium.

Some had never heard of the stadium project, let alone a team that has historically lived in the shadow of the older, more widely cheered Giants.

"Who are the Jets?" asked a 42-year-old film producer as she sat on a bench on Broadway munching an artichoke pizza.

But if one thing aligns New Yorkers to the Jets, it may be the team's long odyssey as somebody's tenant. In its 44 years, the team has moved from Harlem to Flushing and then to its current home, the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey, as a tenant of the Giants.

The irony that this team, whose singular moment of glory came with a Super Bowl win in 1969 and who once held a record for no-shows by fans, could come home to a $1.4 billion stadium was not lost. But the fans preferred to speak kindly about the homecoming.

"They need a new identity," said Burton Rocks, 31, a writer of sports books from Long Island, where the Jets have a strong fan base. "They play out of Giants Stadium, and it will always be Giants Stadium."

The city's announcement yesterday was greeted with more skepticism than cheering around the city. People questioned why, in such trying economic times, the city and state would pledge hundreds of millions of dollars for a football stadium.

"I think it's spending where we don't need to spend," said Barbara Somers, a retired cookbook author in her 60's who lives on the Upper West Side. "We have a budget deficit, and that's not going to help."

Sarah Katz, a retired secretary who was choosing tangerines outside Fairway on Broadway, shook her head at mention of the project. "I think it's a waste of money," she said. "I don't think we'll need a ballpark in the middle of the city."

Limited parking and more stringent policing at the proposed site might kill a long-cherished football game tradition: tailgating, with its barbecues and beer.

"I think it takes a lot of fun out of the game if you can't have the parking lot tailgating party before the game," said David Leslie, 34, a sales representative from Westchester.

But fans would have alternative methods of travel to the stadium on the Hudson River. "If you really want to party, you come up by boat," said Frank Ford, the manager and bartender of O'Farrell's Bar and Restaurant at 10th Avenue and 33rd Street, who wore a Jets tie.

Along with other local merchants, Mr. Ford hopes the stadium will breathe new life into the ghostly area, which currently sees little pedestrian traffic.

"It's like a cemetery," said Jerry McGuckin, 65, a carpenter nursing a beer at O'Farrell's. "You don't see any banks down here. It's nothing but trucks. It's a dead area."

Perhaps a New York homecoming will also revitalize the team's fan base, said a group of electricians as they ate fast food in a public atrium above the Wall Street station of the No. 2 and 3 subway lines.

Admittedly, the four men were less interested in the Jets than they were in the work a new stadium might provide.

"Times have been slow for us, so any new work is welcome," said Tim Murphy, 34, of Monmouth County, N.J. He and the other men belong to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, so a large job like this would likely involve them, they said. But the men said they were not getting too excited. They had seen too many proposals stall.

"There are too many jobs on the books that are ideas," said Larry Garelli, 37, of Long Island. "Who takes it seriously till it happens?"

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 26th, 2004, 01:02 AM
Large Image (http://www.newyorkjets.com/stadium/images/nyscc-hires.jpg)

Kris
March 26th, 2004, 02:21 AM
March 26, 2004

NYC

So, It's Jets Versus Striped Bass?

By CLYDE HABERMAN

REMEMBER the old joke about the eternally optimistic boy? Nothing could faze him, not even waking up on Christmas Day to find a lump of horse dung in his stocking. "There's a pony around here somewhere," he said brightly.

The skeptical flip side to that is pure New York. It came to mind yesterday on the long walk from the nearest subway stop to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, by the Hudson River. "There's striped bass around here somewhere," the thought ran.

Striped bass, for those with dim memories of the 1980's, helped doom Westway, the road that was supposed to run along Manhattan's western fringe. The Westway project died for several reasons, but the poor bass was what fired up many opponents, especially environmentalists. They warned that the Hudson's stock of that fish would be imperiled.

You just know that someone is already searching for striped bass or its equivalent to kill plans, formally announced yesterday, for a greatly expanded Javits center and an adjoining stadium for the football Jets, currently of New Jersey. Before this ambitious project can take wing, it will face environmental scrutiny, zoning studies, legislative reviews and - count on it - court fights.

Cue the bass.

Between eternal-sunshine pronouncements from the plan's supporters and world-is-ending gloom from the opponents, you had a splendid example yesterday of what makes New York at once so joyful and maddening. Spirited debate is the lifeblood of the city. But it is often also what keeps anything from ever getting done here.

First, the negative voices, a mixture of politicians and West Side community leaders who called the stadium idea fatally flawed.

Don't misunderstand, they said yesterday; expanding the Javits center is fine. But "responsible development" requires dropping the stadium, officially known as the New York Sports and Convention Center. It would, they warned, bring in too many cars, increase pollution, disrupt the neighborhood and potentially throw thousands out of their homes (even though the sports center would be built over state-owned rail yards, where presumably only the homeless sleep).

In their criticism were echoes of arguments that have been used to defeat or endlessly delay countless projects requiring government involvement. It is almost as if the very will to build on a grand scale has been numbed.

Whether the issue is an essential water filtration plant to go underneath Van Cortlandt Park or a desperately needed subway to run along Second Avenue, the civic motto sometimes seems to be, "Don't just do something - stand there!"

You have to wonder what would have happened if Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted had worked in today's political climate. Would Central Park have come into being? More than likely, it would have ended up a fraction of its present size. People were displaced for that project, too.

ON the other hand (this is one of those columns with lots of hands), some were left cold by rosy assurances from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki that the stadium concept is, unlike the Jets, a sure winner.

For one thing, the politicians themselves said little yesterday about the stadium as a lure to bring the 2012 Summer Games to New York. Perhaps Olympic dreams have faded along with the international spirit of "We are all New Yorkers" that prevailed right after 9/11.

Another issue is whether most Jets fans, suburbanites in the main, will leave cars behind and take the promised extension of the No. 7 subway line to the stadium. The Jets say yes, based on surveys. But look at Yankee and Shea Stadiums, both with excellent train connections. Only one fan in four takes mass transit to those ballparks.

There is yet another question: has New York pride suffered for lack of a football team? Hardly. Since 1984, when the Jets absconded to New Jersey, the city has enjoyed a renaissance, physically and spiritually.

As for cold cash, studies suggest that sports franchises are poor engines of economic development. Should financing arrangements for the $1.4 billion stadium go awry, we might have to rename this team the New York Debts.

In unveiling the project, Mr. Bloomberg began by saying, "If you don't have a smile on your face today, you're never going to have one."

It sounded almost like a curse. Torn between the sunshine boys and the doom-and-gloomers, many New Yorkers were too conflicted yesterday to smile.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NYguy
March 26th, 2004, 09:06 AM
(NY Post)

J-E-T-S!!!

March 26, 2004 -- Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki scored yesterday with their plan to build a new stadium for the New York Jets on Manhattan's West Side and to significantly enlarge the Javits Convention Center.

The plan complements Mayor Mike's vision of an urban oasis between 30th and 43rd streets, west of 7th Avenue - complete with subway service via an expansion of the No. 7 line.

Ambitious? Absolutely.

Pricey? Better believe it: The two plans together are already pushing $6 billion - and not all the costs are in.

But New Yorkers should be on their feet cheering.

Let's face it: New York, the most important city in the nation, lacks a professional football team, with both the New York (in name only) Jets and New York (ditto) Giants having absconded to the New Jersey swamps years ago.

Gotham is supposed to be the cultural Capital of the World, with the best theater, art, cuisine, sports - anywhere.

How better to complete the line-up than with a first-class stadium?

The facility will also be used for other big-ticket sports events, as well as - thanks to a retractable roof - additional convention-center space. Other amenities, such as a museum, are also planned.

Plus, the Javits Center space will soar, enabling large conventions to bring their big bucks to the city. A 1,500-room hotel will provide ample accommodations.

Now add in Mayor Mike's "Hudson Yards" plan - including the stretching of the No. 7 line to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, parkland and other redevelopment - for an area that is currently, to be blunt, a veritable wasteland.

Put it all together, and it's hard not see the Bloomberg-Pataki-Jets vision as an enormous revitalization of a huge swath of prime Manhattan real estate.

Indeed, it is not hard to imagine the final product dwarfing the nearby 42nd Street redevelopment - which, itself, has been a tremendous shot in the arm to the city.

Make no mistake: We're concerned about the price-tag. Much of the combined undertaking is to be financed with public dollars - to be repaid, theoretically, with tax revenues generated by the new development.

If that doesn't work out, taxpayers are on the hook: New levies may be needed. But there is little worthwhile that comes risk-free.

Meanwhile, the nattering nabobs of NIMBY-ism are in full throat: "We will fight until we defeat this ill-conceived plan," said the area's City Council member, Christine Quinn.

Blah, blah, blah.

Again, it's hard to see this project as anything but a tremendous bright spot in Gotham's future.

And the success that Bloomberg and Pataki have in moving it forward will be a measure of their ability to get serious things done in this city.

Now if the Jets' offense can put a few more points on the board, and the defense remains tough . . .


************************************************** **


WE'LL MAKE GIANTS GANG-GREEN WITH ENVY

By FIREMAN ED

March 26, 2004 -- I AM so fired up. Guess what: There's a new kid in town. Shout it to the world! Those days of being second-class citizens are over!

We're gonna have the NY on our helmet, and it's gonna mean something. We're the NEW YORK Jets. Tell the Giants to take the NY off their helmet. We can't wait to get out of the Meadowlands; I can't say those words [Giants Stadium]. We didn't want to go there in the first place. You know what's so powerful about Jet fans? Jet fans never had their own stadium, yet they always supported their team, even if they had to go hours and hours to the Meadowlands.

Now, they're gonna have the opportunity to play in New York, in the city, where they're gonna have options. They're gonna be able to take the railroad right there. They can go by car, and that walk is gonna be a proud walk. They're gonna look up and see that NY. That walk, if it's a mile or two miles, it'll be worth that walk. The NEW YORK Jets at Hudson Yards! What better?

I think the Jets' future is bright. If they surround our franchise quarterback [Chad Pennington] with the right weapons, we're not only gonna win a Super Bowl, we're gonna be hosting a Super Bowl! Now that we're gonna have a retractable dome, why wouldn't they have the Super Bowl played here?

We've tried to create a home field by doing the J-E-T-S chant. What would be better, just before we leave, than to win a world championship in the Meadowlands? The Giants won two world championships while we're there. They're one up on us. I want us to win a world championship before we leave and then I want to spank them and say, "Now we're going home!"

When all is said and done, the true fan is there to be at the football game. Thank you, Woody Johnson and Jay Cross.

Fireman Ed Anzalone is the Jets' No. 1 fan and the pride of College Point, Queens. As told to Steve Serby.

OKoranjes
March 26th, 2004, 10:02 AM
What's the word on if there is a green roof planned for the convention center...that is what it appears to have in the picture. If so, amazing!

BigMac
March 26th, 2004, 03:51 PM
New York Newsday
March 25, 2004

Stadium plan already draws fire

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD, JR

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Thursday threw up the first political roadblock to the multi-billion-dollar city and state plan to build a West Side stadium for the Jets and expand the Javits Center.

Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were in a celebratory mood Thursday in announcing their plans at Javits, but Silver, in his strongly worded statement, said he had serious reservations about the sweeping redevelopment project, especially its reliance on the use of Battery Park City Authority funds to finance it.

"I will review this complex proposal carefully, paying close attention to its financing and the burden it poses for city taxpayers," the Lower East Side Democrat said.

Silver's comments signaled the first major official obstacle for the project, which would require the backing of the State Legislature. The $2.8-billion project must secure an array of complex financing and survive Albany horse-trading.

"If we don't get that approval, there won't be a Javits expansion," said Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development.

City and state officials said the initial phase, which will link the expanded convention center with the new stadium, will cost $1.4 billion.

Necessary initiatives include a re-crafting of Javits operating laws to allow expansion, an extension of existing Javits bonds to generate a $350-million state financing commitment and the creation of a $1.50 per night hotel tax, expected to raise $500 million.

The proposal that drew the most fire calls for the city to finance its contribution by borrowing $350 million that would be paid for by revenue generated through the Battery Park City Authority. The plan calls for the city to tap into a funds generated from landlords through leases and payments in lieu of taxes that have been traditionally directed toward supporting low-income housing.

Critics fumed, citing assurances by Doctoroff that no existing city tax resources would go to the project. Doctoroff has said payments for city borrowing would be offset by an estimated $225 million each year in new tax revenue.

"You're essentially taking the tax base of a huge chunk of Manhattan and using it to pay for this project, which means that money won't be used to pay for city services," said John Fisher of the West Side Coalition civic group, which is fighting the plan.

Silver said he would not support the use of Battery Park City funds for any purpose other than revitalization of lower Manhattan. A spokesman for Silver's State Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R-Brunswick), would not comment, saying the Senate was waiting on an official proposal.

The expanded convention center and stadium would transform the West Side from 30th to 42nd Streets. Along with the 75,000-seat stadium, it would feature 1.5 million square feet of meeting space and a 1,500-room hotel.

The Jets have said they would pay $800 million for the arena, while the city and state have each committed to $300 million for a construction platform and a retractable roof. The stadium would house the 2012 Olympics if the city wins its bid.

Doctoroff said the city would pay for its portion by issuing securities on payments in lieu of taxes and rental income. Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corp., said the state would pay for its portion through borrowing estimated to cost $20 million a year in debt payments.

Officials also heralded the return of the Jets from New Jersey's Meadowlands, and team owner Woody Johnson noted the last time the team played in Manhattan was in the Polo Grounds in 1963. "I can promise today, once we come back, we're not leaving," he said.

The sports and convention center is the centerpiece of a proposed redevelopment that includes expansion of the No. 7 subway. Thursday's announcement came after the city, state, Jets and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the rail yards over which the stadium would be built, reached consensus on their roles.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

NoyokA
March 26th, 2004, 04:19 PM
Those tower heights are tight!

http://galleries.soaringtowers.org/albums/Stern/26STAD.jpg

Since we have become so accustomed to these models, is it to far fetched to assume that those are the determined building envelopes?

Eugenius
March 26th, 2004, 06:01 PM
From the rendering at the top of the page, you wouldn't think that any of the buildings would be remotely close to the ESB. I think that the rendering and the models represent different versions of the plan.

Kris
March 26th, 2004, 10:32 PM
http://nyc.gov/portal/beans/photogallery/images/2004/03/25/4478/8692/DB7D1799b.jpg
http://nyc.gov/portal/beans/photogallery/images/2004/03/25/4478/8693/DB7D1844b.jpg
http://nyc.gov/portal/beans/photogallery/images/2004/03/25/4477/8682/3b.jpg
http://nyc.gov/portal/beans/photogallery/images/2004/03/25/4477/8683/4b.jpg
http://nyc.gov/portal/beans/photogallery/images/2004/03/25/4477/8684/5b.jpg
http://nyc.gov/portal/beans/photogallery/images/2004/03/25/4477/8685/6b.jpg

www.nyc.gov

NYguy
March 27th, 2004, 08:55 AM
From the rendering at the top of the page, you wouldn't think that any of the buildings would be remotely close to the ESB. I think that the rendering and the models represent different versions of the plan.

The rendering at the top of the page is and old one, released before the models and renderings of the new westside plan came out...


(Daily News)

Mike mocks W. Side Jets worry

By MICHAEL SAUL

Traffic? What traffic? Residents? What residents?

Mayor Bloomberg mocked West Siders' complaints that a new Jets stadium would clog their streets and destroy their neighborhood, sparking outrage among community groups and local politicians.

"There's nothing on the streets on Sundays. I love people that say, 'There's going to be too much traffic.' Too much? Right now there's nothing. I mean, come on! Let's get serious here," Bloomberg thundered on his WABC-AM radio show.

In a second interview on ESPN radio, Bloomberg said: "There's nobody that lives there. You've got an area where there's no economic activity. The tax revenues keep coming down and down. There's a bunch of empty buildings and chop shops and parking garages."

Bloomberg's remarks came one day after he and Gov. Pataki unveiled a $2.8 billion deal to build a 75,000-seat stadium for the Jets and expand the Javits Center. The city and state will each pay $300 million for the stadium portion of the project.

Bloomberg also said yesterday that Jets' fans could tailgate in midtown Manhattan.

"You can still do it here," he said. "There are plenty of parking places available on Sundays."

West Siders were apoplectic.

"I can only assume the mayor is speaking of the West Side of Bermuda," said Jean-Daniel Noland, who lives in the neighborhood. "I'm losing respect. I don't know why he's saying these things. They're not true."

The current traffic situation is so bad, Noland said, "You can't hear yourself talk on the street. The windows rattle."

Elke Fears, who also lives on the West Side, said Ninth Ave. is extremely congested on weekdays and on weekends.

"There are days, many days, every week, you can barely cross the street," she said.

Councilwoman Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) called the mayor's comments "asinine."

"Clearly Mayor Bloomberg must spend all his time on the East Side because he has no idea what life on the West Side is like," she said.

Jennifer Falk, a Bloomberg spokeswoman, said Quinn "sounds confused."

"It's preposterous to suggest that there is always bumper-to-bumper traffic in this area on a Sunday afternoon," Falk said. "She should at least try to stick to the facts."

ZippyTheChimp
March 27th, 2004, 10:11 AM
It's amusing how both sides of an issue engage in hyperbole. Traffic rattled wiondows? Football tailgating on the streets in midtown?

At some point, someone is going to have to use availabe data, and come up with the expected number of vehicles and decide what to do about it.

The good thing is that the traffic will only happen once a week, but that's also the bad thing. It's a Sunday event, and many people are just not going to hop on mass transit to go to a football game. I've gone to many baseball and football games at Shea and Yankee Stadium (the Giants once played there) - I've never driven to a baseball game, but I've never taken mass transit to a football game.

The best case from the data is that 75% will drive. Figure 4 people to a car, that's 14,000 cars.

Kris
March 27th, 2004, 10:15 AM
http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/27/nyregion/mayor.large.jpg

TonyO
March 27th, 2004, 11:00 AM
It's amusing how both sides of an issue engage in hyperbole. Traffic rattled wiondows? Football tailgating on the streets in midtown?

At some point, someone is going to have to use availabe data, and come up with the expected number of vehicles and decide what to do about it.

The good thing is that the traffic will only happen once a week, but that's also the bad thing. It's a Sunday event, and many people are just not going to hop on mass transit to go to a football game. I've gone to many baseball and football games at Shea and Yankee Stadium (the Giants once played there) - I've never driven to a baseball game, but I've never taken mass transit to a football game.

The best case from the data is that 75% will drive. Figure 4 people to a car, that's 14,000 cars.

If this were in Queens, maybe that would be more accurate. But can you seriously expect the "typical" amount of people to drive into Manhattan for these games? I think the word is out by now that parking here is a headache. There will be many alternatives set up by then: ferry service, park and rides, increased service from Metro North, NJT, subways.

I fully expect that every available parking space will be taken anywhere near a stadium. People love their cars, but I think that common sense comes in when it comes to driving into the city.

A study on other stadiums in downtown locations would be useful...but only cities on an island or as dense as NYC would truly be representative.

ZippyTheChimp
March 27th, 2004, 11:13 AM
I use Yankee Stadium as a model. It has excellent mass-transit access, and is generally a pain in the ass to drive to. I was surprised to read that 75% drive to Yankee games; I would have thought that at least half took mass transit.

If 75% is the reality at a baseball game, it will not be less at a football game. There is a difference in going to a Wednesday night baseball game and a Sunday afternoon football game, and it's not the convenience of getting there.

TAFisher123
March 27th, 2004, 03:44 PM
You may be wrong about that.....whenever I went to a Yankee game knowing it was a sellout I took mass transit.....Every Jets game will be a sellout and the stadium will hold roughly 20,000 more people

NoyokA
March 27th, 2004, 04:35 PM
Don’t ask me why but people are more willing to use Mass Transit if its in Manhattan. Using transit to the outer boroughs while not in actuality might seem too overwhelming. Or as is the case with the air train, too confusing. I think the Jets stadium would find a percentage middle ground between MSG and Shea or Yankee Stadium.

On an unrelated note, I would like to thank the authorities on how fast they have developed this proposal. Only a couple years ago they were talking in terms of ideas and concepts, no backing, not even visionary, only a very far-fetched pipeline. However the authorities really stood up to the challenge and in only a couple of years assembled architects, planners, and most importantly financing. The scale, scope, and delivery is simply astonishing.

TLOZ Link5
March 27th, 2004, 06:21 PM
The community activists keep contradicting themselves. They say that the Hudson Yards project will bring unwanted traffic to the area as if there isn't much there. When they say that there is, in fact, a lot of traffic, they generally follow up with saying that a 7 train extension is not needed.

Frankly, whenever I've gone to that area I haven't seen much traffic.

STT757
March 27th, 2004, 07:26 PM
People from New Jersey and Long Island will take NJ Transit and the LIRR to see the Jets, the reason why they don't take Mass transit to see the Mets or the Yankees are..

Fear of the Subway, suburbanites are comfortable with riding commuter trains to NY Penn. However Suburban families are fearful of riding subways to the outer boroughs, no matter how safe it really is.

Double connect, people would rather drive than connect from NJ Transit or the LIRR to the Subway.

ZippyTheChimp
March 27th, 2004, 08:11 PM
The demographics of full and partial season ticket holders at Yankee Stadium are that the majority live within the 5 boroughs. Do you think that gate attendence reverses that pattern? So if that is true, suburbanites fearful of the subways would not account for 3 out of 4 people driving.

No one can accurately predict what the figure will be for a football stadium in Manhattan, but given the data, it will be significantly higher than the 30% the Jets came up with in their survey. Survey of whom?

Instead of painting a rosy picture, the city and state should look at this realistically, and come up with a solution, rather than wait until the problem is reality. It's only one day every other week.

billyblancoNYC
March 27th, 2004, 11:38 PM
People from New Jersey and Long Island will take NJ Transit and the LIRR to see the Jets, the reason why they don't take Mass transit to see the Mets or the Yankees are..

Fear of the Subway, suburbanites are comfortable with riding commuter trains to NY Penn. However Suburban families are fearful of riding subways to the outer boroughs, no matter how safe it really is.

Double connect, people would rather drive than connect from NJ Transit or the LIRR to the Subway.

I believe the LIRR stops at Shea, and runs more trains on game days).

TLOZ Link5
March 28th, 2004, 04:24 AM
I still don't understand why the 7 is no longer being extended to Penn Station. It would make sense so that suburban commuters disembarking there could just take the 7 from Penn to their offices at Hudson Yards or to the stadium/convention center.

ZippyTheChimp
March 28th, 2004, 08:10 AM
Maybe it's money. If they extend it east along W33 st, that would add another 50% to the length, and the cost. The alternative would be to run it south along 9th Ave to Penn Sta and west to 11th Ave, but that route wouldn't cover as much of the now-unserviced area.

Also, while the walk from Penn Sta to 11th Ave is a long 2000 ft, how many subarban commuters into Penn Sta would pay a subway fare to go that distance?

STT757
March 28th, 2004, 03:13 PM
The demographics of full and partial season ticket holders at Yankee Stadium are that the majority live within the 5 boroughs.

50% of Jets Season ticket holders come from New Jersey, that's why going to Flushing to be next to Shea is out of the question as it would burden half their fan base with a longer drive while the other half (Long Island) would get a shorter ride.

Manhattan is the region's core, and halfway between NJ and Long Island.

ZippyTheChimp
March 28th, 2004, 03:27 PM
That doesn't explain why 75% drive to Yankee Stadium or validate the Jets' estimate that only 30% of all fans will drive to the westside.

As far as the fanbase, I'll stand by what I said some time ago. The Jets or Giants will sell out no matter where they play in the metro area. The Giants played two years in New Haven and every game was sold out. If New Jersey fans won't make the trip, they'll be others waiting to snap up the season tickets.

NYguy
March 28th, 2004, 04:43 PM
Another look...

http://www.westsidestadium.com/stadium650a32604b.jpg?

http://www.westsidestadium.com/stadium650a32604.jpg?

The expanded convention center without the additional Westside skyscrapers...

http://www.westsidestadium.com/stadium650a32604c.jpg

www.westsidestadium.com

normaldude
March 28th, 2004, 05:19 PM
50% of Jets Season ticket holders come from New Jersey, that's why going to Flushing to be next to Shea is out of the question as it would burden half their fan base with a longer drive while the other half (Long Island) would get a shorter ride.

That's because the Jets currently play in NJ. When the Jets played at Shea, I highly doubt 50% of their season ticket holders were from NJ.

In general, I prefer projects like airports, stadiums, amusement parks, casinos, to be located outside the city center, but close to subways/trains. That way..
- car traffic is better spread out.
- human density is better spread out (in case of terrorist attack).
- land use is better spread out.
- still easy for everyone to get to the location via subways/trains.

In an ideal world, I'd have a football stadium, baseball stadium, indoor/basketball stadium, and big shopping mall, all in one location outside the city center, attached to subways/trains, all sharing a big parking lot & parking garage. That way, the parking lot is always used, and the big shopping mall could benefit from foot traffic before & after games.

NYguy
March 29th, 2004, 09:32 AM
Thankfully, NY is not a city of parking lots. One thing it is big on is public transit, which everyone should take anyway into the city. If you want to drive into Manhattan, then you deserve to sit in traffic for hours.


*****************************************

Newsday...

Mayor: Knicks' Dolan wants to nix stadium

By Glenn Thrush
March 29, 2004

Knicks season-ticker holder Michael Bloomberg is taking aim at Knicks-Cablevision boss James Dolan for trying to block City Hall's West Side Stadium plan for the Jets.

Bloomberg, speaking to Newsday on Sunday, revealed that Dolan -- who has not taken a public position on the $2.8 billion stadium project -- has been calling him at City Hall in a futile attempt to block the development deal involving the city, state and Jets.

The mayor, who has been stumping for the plan since it was unveiled last week, says Madison Square Garden's management is "scared to death" of any competition posed by a 75,000-seat stadium and an expanded Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

"The biggest guys that are making a fuss here, are plain and simple, Cablevision -- the Dolans," the mayor said, referring to James and his father, Charles, who effectively run Cablevision. "It is an outrage that you let your own personal economics, or economic interests stop a major project in this city."

Bloomberg said James Dolan called City Hall last week to express disbelief that the deal was finally moving forward. "'You're killing me,' was, I think, the ways he started out the conversation," Bloomberg said.

The mayor said he responded with: "Jimmy, I've been telling you all along, we are going to build this."

Bloomberg said he supports the idea of working with the Dolans to renovate the wilting Garden, one of the NBA's oldest arenas, even though he accused the father-and-son management team of "dithering around" on the project for years.

A spokesman for the Dolans said Monday night: "Cablevision and MSG will be articulating our position on this matter in the coming days, and will address the mayor's comments at that time."

West Side community groups, and some Broadway theater owners, have also lined up against the massive project, saying it would greatly worsen traffic problems and pollution.

Dolan has long been rumored to oppose the plan, but the mayor's comments were the first public indication that MSG officials were lobbying against it.

Knicks officials have also reportedly been miffed about Bloomberg's support of the Nets' move to Brooklyn, which may dent the Garden's fan base.

Bloomberg defended his administration's decision to spend billions on infrastructure improvements on the West Side, saying the choice of location was driven by Jets' owner Robert Wood Johnson's need to recoup his investment, not a bias against placing it in outer boroughs such as Queens.

In a far-ranging interview, the mayor repeatedly praised Johnson for committing $800 million -- much of which would have to be borrowed -- to build the stadium.

Bloomberg challenged other owners to make similar commitments before asking the city to spend lavishly on infrastructure improvements.

"Let me ask you: How much are the Yankees and [Mets owner Fred] Wilpon willing to put up?" he said. "This guy is putting up $800 million. If somebody else walks in with $800 million -- write it, quote me, Mike says he's pretty sure he can speak for the governor as well, both of us would like to talk to anybody who's got the money to do it."

Shortly after entering office in 2002, Bloomberg scuttled his predecessor Rudolph Giuliani's plans to help subsidize new stadiums for the Yankees and Mets, saying the city couldn't afford the expense.

The Jets-Javits plan must clear several state legislative hurdles before construction begins. Opponents have said they may sue to block it.

BrooklynRider
March 29th, 2004, 02:57 PM
I was at a social function up in Westchester this weekend. Two issues were brought up as arguments against the stadium: (1) no parking lot = no tailgating (2) How do they evacuate that place when someone calls in the inevitable bomb threat? Where do all those people go?

Issue #1 is a non-issue.

Issue #2 poses an interesting question that I don't think has been addressed. Or has it?

NYatKNIGHT
March 29th, 2004, 03:12 PM
They go out on the streets and parks surrounding the stadium.

Eugenius
March 29th, 2004, 04:10 PM
I was at a social function up in Westchester this weekend. Two issues were brought up as arguments against the stadium: (1) no parking lot = no tailgating (2) How do they evacuate that place when someone calls in the inevitable bomb threat? Where do all those people go?

Issue #1 is a non-issue.

Issue #2 poses an interesting question that I don't think has been addressed. Or has it?

I suppose that the procedure for a phoned-in bomb threat wouldn't be different from that used at any other stadium (whatever that procedure is). I don't see any unique circumstances surrounding this particular stadium proposal. If anything, the new design could incorporate more and wider exit paths than are commonly found in other public venues.

BigMac
March 30th, 2004, 02:18 AM
Downtown Express
March 30, 2004

Mayor looks to B.P.C.A to pay for Javits Center

By Albert Amateau

The Bloomberg administration plans to use $350 million in future surplus revenues of the Battery Park City Authority to secure the bonds that would finance the expansion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

But the plan needs the approval of City Comptroller William Thompson as well as the mayor and the B.P.C.A. board of directors.

As far as James Gill, authority chairperson, is concerned, it’s a great idea. In an interview after the announcement at the Javits Center, he told Downtown Express that the authority’s future excess revenue would be used to secure bonds only for the Javits expansion, not for the stadium.

Gill took part in the Thursday, March 25 announcement by Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki of plans for the Javits expansion and the stadium, intended for the football Jets, and as an adjunct to the Convention Center plus, it is hoped, for the 2012 Olympics. Bloomberg on Thursday made a special mention of Gill and B.P.C.A. for their role in the project.

“This is a great project,” said Gill. “It’s wonderful for the city, for the West Side and for Battery Park City. It’s a win-win-win for everybody,” he said.

However, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he was adamantly opposed to using B.P.C.A. funds for the $1.4 billion project. “This money is desperately needed for the revitalization of Downtown and failing to do so will have dire consequences,” Silver said in a statement. “It is nothing less than a blatant slap in the face to the people who lived through the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001,” he said. The money should be used for elementary and middle schools, community centers and park improvements, Silver said.

Silver, in his statement, also said he had serious concerns and reservations about the entire Hudson Yards project, which includes the Convention Center expansion, the stadium and reconfiguring a 50-block area with an extension of the No. 7 subway line to 11th Ave., new streets, parks and zoning to encourage high-rise commercial towers between 30th and 43rd Sts.

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, who represents the Convention Center neighborhood and opposes the stadium but supports the expansion of the Convention Center, said at a protest meeting following the announcement that the legislature will eventually have to approve financing for the Hudson Yards project.

“None of this package is going to move without the governor’s asking the support of the Assembly and the State Senate,” said Gottfried, “and that’s not going to happen with a stadium in the project.”

The authority collects Payments in Lieu of Taxes from developers — about 70 to 80 percent of its revenue — that go to the city. The other source of revenue is mainly ground leases to developers, which accounts for 20 to 30 percent of its revenues and is used for B.P.C.A. operating expenses. In the 1980s the city and the authority agreed, with the approval of the comptroller and the mayor, to earmark the money in excess of operating expenses for off-site affordable housing, up to $600 million. The agreement was subsequently amended to allow uses other than affordable housing.

Last year, Battery Park City’s contribution of its excess revenue to the city was about $45 million and this year is estimated to be $151 million. Gill noted that the b.p.c.a. had reached the $600 million mark established in the 1980s, Gill noted. That left the city free to use the B.P.C.A. future excess revenues to back bonds for the Javits expansion.

Copyright 2004 Community Media LLC.

NYguy
March 30th, 2004, 09:06 AM
Daily News...

Pols prod NFL for Super Bowl

By MICHAEL SAUL

The proposed Jets Stadium in Manhattan is still on the drawing board, but Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki already are thinking bigger.

They have asked the National Football League to commit to bringing the Super Bowl to New York within three years of the opening of a new Jets stadium on the far West Side.

Last week, Bloomberg and Pataki unveiled a $2.8 billion deal to build a new stadium for the Jets and to expand the Javits Convention Center. The Jets are expected to play their first season in Manhattan in 2009.

"On matters of public importance, as you and the league's members well know, timing is often critical, and a timely reaffirmation of the league's commitment to present a Super Bowl game in a new sports and convention center within the first three years of its opening is most important to our state and city and to all NFL fans," the mayor and the governor wrote in a letter released yesterday.

An NFL spokesman confirmed yesterday that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue received the letter. The commission plans to address the issue today during its annual meeting in Florida.

Last fall, officials in the New York area lost a bid for the 2008 Super Bowl to be played at Giants Stadium. However, at the time, Tagliabue said the league is interested in holding a Super Bowl in New York, especially if a new stadium is built in Manhattan.

"Everyone in our league understands the attractiveness of New York as a host for the Super Bowl," Tagliabue said in October. "And, hopefully, we get to the point [that] it's a question of when and not whether."

NYguy
March 30th, 2004, 09:24 AM
Newsday...

Sources: Knicks want roofless Jets stadium

By Glenn Thrush and Dan Janison

Madison Square Garden's owners want to raze the roof -- the retractable roof on a proposed 75,000-seat West Side stadium -- to prevent the defection of Garden events to the new home of the Jets, officials told Newsday Monday.

Charles and James Dolan, the father-and-son team who run the Garden, the Knicks and Cablevision, have urged Mayor Michael Bloomberg to back a roofless stadium suitable only for outdoor events, according to sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

"They proposed it, the city rejected it," said an official familiar with the conversation.

Jets' owner Robert Wood Johnson has said he'll pay $800 million for the new stadium. The city and state have budgeted $600 million to pay for the roof and a platform over the MTA's railroad yard. The city and state have also asked the NFL to consider the city for a future Super Bowl.

A Cablevision spokesman reached Monday declined to comment on any aspect of the stadium plan, or the mayor's relationship with the Dolans.

On Sunday, Bloomberg criticized James Dolan, the company's chief executive, for calling City Hall last week to complain about the $2.8 billion stadium plan. The mayor, who seldom goes public with private spats, accused Cablevision executives of being "scared to death" and putting their personal interests ahead of the city's.

Monday, Bloomberg softened his stance, saying he was committed to helping the Dolans fulfill their longtime goal of replacing or renovating their 34-year-old arena.

"I'd love to have them get a new Garden," Bloomberg said at a news conference in lower Manhattan. "I'll do anything I can to help them do it."

At the same time, Bloomberg confirmed that the city already has "a list a mile long of people who will rent" the new stadium. Bloomberg has also rebuffed another Cablevision request: that $11.7 million in annual property tax breaks be transferrable to any arena they might build at an alternative location in the city.

Dolan made the request during a January meeting at City Hall with Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, city officials said.

"We couldn't make any decision without all the specifics of their possible move," said Bloomberg spokeswoman Jennifer Falk.

The Independent Budget Office, a city-funded fiscal watchdog, has criticized the Garden's current deal, a 100 percent tax abatement that has added up to $200 million in savings since 1982. Former Mayor Edward Koch, who negotiated the agreement after the Knicks and Rangers threatened to leave the city, has called for it to be rolled back.

Kris
March 31st, 2004, 12:16 AM
March 31, 2004

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

A White Elephant for the West Side

By STEVEN MALANGA

As New York rushes to expand the Jacob Javits Convention Center and build a new football stadium on the Hudson River, we might want to take a look up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Boston's gleaming new $800 million convention center will open in a few months, yet it has booked only a handful of conventions and will need at least a $12 million annual operating subsidy in its first few years. Baltimore officials are trying to increase flagging business at the convention center they expanded in 1997, and are considering spending millions more in public money to build a subsidized hotel next door.

These cities are hardly alone: for a decade local governments around the country have been rushing, at enormous public cost, to build new convention centers or enlarge old ones. The increase in space has outpaced the growth of the convention industry, and the centers have often failed to generate the economic rewards predicted by supporters. The situation is only likely to get worse: some 40 more projects, with another 8 million to 10 million square feet of exhibition space, are scheduled to open within five years.

In this climate, how can New York City officials justify spending $1.4 billion to nearly double the size of the Javits center? Actually, they are using the same argument that officials everywhere else have made to justify their white elephants: claiming that their convention project will somehow work better than those of other cities. For example, they say that because New York is already a major trade-show destination, it won't suffer from new competition as severely as other cities.

To back up such claims, supporters put forward government-sponsored economic studies predicting an expanded center would create thousands of temporary construction jobs and permanent new jobs. But these studies, produced by an industry of consultants who specialize in helping governments justify gargantuan investments, tend to be unrealistically optimistic. One major New York study failed to take into account that the Javits center doesn't generate nearly as much hotel business as other centers because many convention attendees come from the New York area. The most recent report, by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, did not consider the nationwide overbuilding and excess capacity in the industry.

Let's face it: virtually every convention center around the country now having financial trouble was built on the strength of similar studies, which gives the consultants who produce them a pretty lousy track record.

Yet these centers get the green light anyway. Residents get swayed by the studies or promises of civic glory; the projects offer opportunities for politicians to burnish their images (and perhaps reward potential supporters with plum contracts). The original construction of the Javits center was perhaps the quintessential New York boondoggle: an effort rife with mafia influence and bid rigging that came in 30 percent over budget.

Unsurprisingly, the new Javits project also has the support of private-sector interests who would benefit from it yet risk nothing: the construction industry, the bankers who would underwrite the financing, and the hospitality industry. The hotel lobby has even signed on to a per-room tax increase to pay for the expansion — even though a decade ago the hoteliers vociferously protested raising that tax and even produced studies showing that doing so would hurt the local economy.

The proposed football stadium, with a $600 million taxpayer contribution, would be an even worse investment. Publicly financed sports facilities almost never return anywhere near their investment. For instance, an examination by economists from Stanford University and Smith College found that Baltimore was receiving only $3 million a year in additional tax revenues or new job benefits from its $200 million investment in the Camden Yards sports complex, which opened in 1992.

Developing Manhattan's West Side is a good idea, but the proper role for the city and state is limited: to extend public transportation into the area and to change zoning codes to allow privately financed, mixed-use construction there as the need develops. Doing any more would place far too much taxpayer money at risk and would put the government in the role of trying to predict what the market wants. The problem is, private investment isn't likely to appear as long as developers think they can wait for the government to pay for their dreams.

Steven Malanga is a contributing editor at City Journal.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

billyblancoNYC
March 31st, 2004, 12:57 AM
1) This is NYC. People want to be here. I am sure many more conventions will be booked with all the new space.
2) This is like a NEW team, not a new stadium for a team already here. Same for the Nets. This and Baltimore, for example, are apples and oranges. I hate that people "forget" this little tidbit.

MonCapitan2002
March 31st, 2004, 02:09 AM
I think Dolan is being unreasonable in requesting that the stadium being open air. To make the stadium an open air facility would greatly reduce its potential valuable. The only time it would be able to attract events is during the late spring, summer, and early autumn months. It would be insane to build it without a roof. With a retractable roof, it could be used year round.

NYguy
March 31st, 2004, 08:43 AM
NY Post...

MSG BLITZ TARGETING JETS PLAN

By PAUL THARP

March 31, 2004 -- A costly lobbying war among top political operatives is expected to unfold over Madison Square Garden's effort to block the proposed Jets stadium on Manhattan's West Side.

Fearing the Jets' planned new home could hurt Madison Square Garden's action, the Garden's parent, Cablevision, has been making rounds among elected officials, with mixed results.

Mayor Bloomberg has publicly brushed off attempts to curtail the Jets' 75,000-seat stadium project, and won't consider altering architectural plans to do away with a retractable all-weather roof.

Cablevision and the Jets won't publicly or privately discuss the stadium controversy, but industry sources say both sides have lined up plenty of firepower through their politically connected lobbyists.

Cablevision acknowledged that lobbyist Pat Lynch has been on its payroll for three years, handing other issues, and has "given valuable counsel."

She's a former top aide and close friend of the state's most powerful Democrat, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver.

Cablevision declined to discuss whether Lynch is working on the Jets project. Cablevision also hired former U.S. Sen. Al D'Amato as a lobbyist in past years but had no information on his new role, if any.

The Jets have several powerful political players on the payroll, industry sources said.

They include Gov. Pataki's top former aides Mike McKeon and Lou Thompson, former Deputy Mayor Bill Lynch under Mayor Dinkins, and Democratic operatrive Ken Sunshine.

Jets' owner Robert Wood Johnson says he'll pay $800 million to help build the basic stadium on the former West Side rail yards, while the city and state have budgeted $600 million for the retractable roof and a platform over the rail yards.

NYguy
March 31st, 2004, 08:47 AM
I knew this would come up eventually...(NY Post)

JETS' RETURN LEAVES JERSEY DREAMING OF MLB PITCH

By TOM TOPOUSIS

March 31, 2004 -- The city's plan to bring the Jets back to New York has sparked a return volley from across the Hudson - New Jersey officials are vowing a bid to lure the Yankees or the Mets to a new ballpark in the Garden State.

George Zoffinger, president of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, told The Post that New York's attempted poaching of the Jets would be met stadium seat for stadium seat with a new proposal for a baseball site west of the Hudson River.

"I could come up with a very aggressive plan for a baseball stadium and shop that to the Yankees and the Mets," Zoffinger said.

Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg last week unveiled plans for a new $1.4 billion West Side Stadium for the Jets that would be built above the MTA's railroad yard west of 11th Avenue at 33rd Street.

Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson wants to move his team to Manhattan after the 2008 season when his lease at Giants Stadium ends.

A possible Jets move comes on the heels of developer Bruce Ratner's purchase of the New Jersey Nets, which he wants to move from the Meadowlands to a new arena in Downtown Brooklyn.

"New York City should concentrate on the Yankees and the Mets," Zoffinger said. "Let us concentrate on the Giants and the Jets - and not have us in a situation where we are bidding against each other."

Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for the Yankees, said team officials would not consider a move to New Jersey.

A Mets spokesman did not respond to the New Jersey offer.

NYguy
March 31st, 2004, 11:22 AM
To get an idea of what the Westside development could look like, take a "virtual" walk down the new Boulevard that will be the centerpiece for the development....

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/hyards/anim.html


http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/gif/hyards/animation_key_map.jpg


Blue: Office
Gold: Residential

TLOZ Link5
March 31st, 2004, 03:58 PM
Add some litter, a homeless man or two, and a bit of dog doo, and those renderings would look just like New York. :mrgreen:

Very exciting.

Kris
April 1st, 2004, 01:10 AM
April 1, 2004

Reasons for a Stadium

To the Editor:

Re "The Rush to a Stadium" (editorial, March 25), about the New York Jets' plan to build the New York Sports and Convention Center on Manhattan's far West Side:

You say the city and state contribution of $600 million "could go higher if overruns occurred." In fact, the combined government contribution is capped, and if the project comes in lower than expected, the city and state will share the benefit.

You also say the plan to finance the stadium "involves selling bonds against future tax revenue in the area." The facility itself will generate $75 million a year in additional revenue to the city and state, much of which already fills New Jersey coffers every year. This will more than cover the yearly debt service. And as cities like San Diego, New Orleans and Tampa know, one Super Bowl can generate another $27 million.

If these are not compelling enough reasons to situate a sports and convention center on Manhattan's West Side, then consider the 18,000 construction and 6,800 permanent jobs it will create. The New York Jets are proud to make a historic $800 million investment in the project.

L. JAY CROSS
President, New York Jets
New York, March 29, 2004

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
April 1st, 2004, 09:12 AM
Our Beloved Alfonse Is Back, Lobbying To Block Stadium

by Blair Golson

The Dolan family, the dynasty that owns Cablevision and Madison Square Garden, has hired a small army of lobbyists, including former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, to fight the new West Side stadium for the Jets, which could compete with the Garden for big-draw events, The Observer has learned.

In recent weeks, the proposed stadium—which is part of a larger joint city and state plan to expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center—appeared to have won the approval of the major players in the Governor’s office and City Hall.

But the emergence of Mr. D’Amato, who became one of the state’s most powerful lobbyists after losing his Senate seat in 1998, could pose a threat to the project—which depends on cooperation across an alphabet soup of city and state agencies, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Battery Park City Authority and other members of the state government.

According to sources familiar with his efforts, Mr. D’Amato has been leaning on city and state officials to drop plans to put a retractable roof on the Jets’ proposed stadium. Without a roof, the stadium would not be a competing force with the Garden for arena-type events like rock concerts or Final Four basketball games.

In addition to Mr. D’Amato, the father-son team of Charles and James Dolan are working with high-powered lobbyist Patricia Lynch (a former top aide to State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver) as well as the powerful Albany firm of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman and Dicker. Ms. Lynch, who has done work for Cablevision since entering the private sector three years ago, declined to comment on her current lobbying efforts. A representative for Wilson, Elser could not be reached by press time.

Although Mayor Bloomberg declined to comment on Mr. D’Amato’s lobbying efforts, the Dolans’ attempts to derail the stadium project are clearly trying his patience. He recently took the unusual step of lashing out at the Dolans in a newspaper interview.

"The biggest guys that are making a fuss here are, plain and simple, Cablevision—the Dolans," the Mayor told Newsday on March 28. "It is an outrage that you let your own personal economics or economic interests stop a major project in this city."

Mr. Bloomberg went on to say that the Dolans are "scared to death" by the prospect of competing with an enclosed stadium only three blocks to the west of the Garden. A spokesperson for the Dolans declined to comment on the issue, as did a spokesperson for Mr. D’Amato.

The new home for the Jets, officially called the New York Sports and Convention Center, is part of a massive city and state project to expand the Javits Center. The NYSCC will be connected to the Javits Center via an underground tunnel and will serve as additional convention space when the Jets are not playing games. The Jets are paying $800 million for the stadium itself, and the city and state have committed a combined $600 million to cover the cost of the retractable roof and a deck over the railyards. The project, which the city and state formally announced with great fanfare at a Javits Center press conference on March 25, still faces several legislative, environmental and legal hurdles before becoming a reality.

Originally, the Jets had planned to construct the stadium in such a way that it could be converted into an arena when it was hosting neither football games nor convention shows. This would have put the NYSCC in direct competition with the Garden for events like medium-sized rock concerts. Not surprisingly, the scheme worried the Dolans, and, in mid-December, the state’s economic-development czar, Charles Gargano, got the Jets to abandon the plan. At that point, it was assumed that the Dolans would back off from their objections to the project.

"At that time, we felt it would allay the fears that M.S.G. had," Mr. Gargano told The Observer. "But right now, if they’re in the process of hiring consultants to kill the project, there must be something else behind it. It can’t be that they’re just concerned about the arena piece."

The Dolans’ renewed fears may stem from the fact that the Jets are pitching their prospective new home—which would also play a central role in the 2012 Olympics—as a potential host to perhaps half a dozen mega-events per year, such as a Final Four game or the Super Bowl. And though neither of those events could fit in the Garden, there’s no guarantee that a Jets stadium would never compete with the Garden. For example, when Bruce Springsteen comes to town, it’s unclear whether he’d choose to play at the Jets stadium or the time-honored Garden.

Raising the Mayor’s ire on the stadium-roof issue might also serve to complicate the Garden’s retention of its tax-exempt status. The Dolans—whose Cablevision company is on shaky financial footing—are anxious to construct a new facility of their own in the neighborhood. However, City Hall has indicated that if the Garden moves, it may not be able to retain the tax-free status it has enjoyed since the early 80’s.

"The Dolans requested a meeting with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Doctoroff, which took place in January, to discuss aspects of their possible plans to move, including their tax-exempt status," said a City Hall source. "At that time, we indicated that a decision could not be made without all the facts about the move."

The Jets, for their part, have no intention on buckling to the Dolans’ demands by building a stadium without a roof.

"The Jets are committed to building a facility that will generate $75 million a year in tax revenue by serving multiple uses," said Jets vice president Matthew Higgins.

You may reach Blair Golson via email at: bgolson@observer.com.

This column ran on page 1 in the 4/5/2004 edition of The New York Observer.

Jasonik
April 1st, 2004, 10:17 AM
Dolans/Cablevision, against New York Olympics

normaldude
April 1st, 2004, 03:43 PM
New Yorkers oppose Jets stadium: poll

A majority of New York City voters oppose using tax dollars to finance a new Jets stadium on Manhattan's West Side, according to a new poll.

Respondents to a Quinnipiac University survey say they oppose by 60% to 30% using their taxes to build the stadium. If the tax revenue comes from new office and apartment buildings in the area, the dissent eases, to 53% versus 38%. The respondents were split 45%-45% on whether the stadium can be constructed using only new taxes from the neighborhood. Opposition to the stadium, even with the tax increment financing, is strongest in Manhattan, at 60% to 34%.

Voters support by 85% to 7% the extension of the No. 7 subway line and by 80% to 12% the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, but only if their taxes aren't raised. A majority of voters, or 58%, say it's not likely that the added business taxes in the area will cover all the development plans.

In Brooklyn, respondents oppose 59% to 35% using tax money for a new Nets arena. If tax dollars are taken out of the equation, those surveyed support the arena by 75% to 19%. Brooklyn voters support the no-tax arena by a 71%-23% majority.

From March 23 to 29, Quinnipiac surveyed 1,159 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9%.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

BigMac
April 1st, 2004, 08:37 PM
New York Newsday
April 1, 2004

Opponents play offense

Council members threaten to block zoning for stadium complex if city diverts Battery Park funds they say are for affordable housing only

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD JR

A group of New York City Council members and housing advocates said yesterday that a Bloomberg administration plan to finance a West Side stadium and convention center project with Battery Park City Authority funds would divert money meant for affordable housing.

"We've all come together to protest what will be one of the most outrageous mishandlings of taxpayer dollars," Councilman Alan Gerson said at a news conference on City Hall's steps.

Aides to Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed the claim, asserting that opponents of the project were misstating how Battery Park City authority revenues have been used.

The officials said Bloomberg and three previous New York City mayors - Edward Koch, David Dinkins and Rudolph Giuliani - relied on the Battery Park money to plug holes in the city's general fund. "Through four administrations and 18 years, the city has allocated the Battery Park City money in the same way, and to claim foul now is sophism," spokesman Jordan Barowitz said.

Gerson, who represents Battery Park and other lower Manhattan communities, was joined by council members Christine Quinn, William Perkins and David Yassky. He demanded that Bloomberg withdraw his plan to partially fund the $2.8-billion project with $350 million from the authority.

Gerson also suggested that members of the council may try to block zoning approvals needed for other elements of the city's West Side plan, which includes office and residential towers and an extension of the No. 7 subway line.

After the city, state and Jets football team announced the financing elements of the New York Sports and Convention Center last week, the proposal to use the authority's revenues immediately drew fire.

Housing advocates said the money, which is generated from landlords through payments in lieu of taxes and income from leases, had been traditionally set aside for affordable housing projects.

Public opposition could prove crucial because the project must pass through a politically charged approval process within the state Legislature in Albany.

The opposition aired by Gerson and the others yesterday follows a statement last week from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), who said he would oppose the use of the authority's monies for any purpose other than the rebuilding of lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the terror attack of Sept. 11, 2001.

"The $350 million from the Battery Park City Authority is a drop in the bucket of what we need," said Michael McKee, associate director of Tenants and Neighbors, a state housing coalition.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

BigMac
April 1st, 2004, 10:18 PM
New York Newsday
April 1, 2004

NYers say yes to Jets, no to taxes

BY GLENN THRUSH

New Yorkers want to punt the Jets back to Jersey if the cost of a West Side stadium comes out of their taxes, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

By a 60 percent to 33 percent margin, New York City voters oppose using their tax dollars to build a $1.4 billion stadium for the Jets and the 2012 Olympics.

But the survey of 1,159 voters, taken from March 23 to March 29, found overwhelming support for subway and infrastructure improvements the Bloomberg administration says are essential for any redevelopment of the area.

More than 80 percent of New Yorkers support the extension of the No. 7 line and the long-awaited rebuilding of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, according to the poll, which has a margin of error of 3 percent.

Voters were generally warmer to the idea of developer Bruce Ratner's plan to move the Nets to Brooklyn, although they also opposed, 59 percent to 35 percent, using tax dollars for construction of an arena on Atlantic Avenue.

Jets' spokesman Matt Higgins dismissed the poll, saying it was too vaguely worded and failed to include the fact that Jets' owner Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson plans to spend $800 million of his own money to pay for the 75,000-seat stadium.

Bloomberg, speaking to reporters Thursday, said the poll also failed to emphasize the economic benefits of a West Side stadium.

"I know everybody wants to talk about it in terms of sports," he said. "But don't think of it that way ... Think of this as jobs, jobs, jobs."

The survey also found that while voters applauded Bloomberg's plan to end social promotions in the third grade, 63 percent to 30 percent, they didn't approve of his replacing two education panel members who wanted to delay the policy in the 11th hour.

"By a hefty 2 to 1 margin, New Yorkers back Mayor Bloomberg in the showdown over social promotions," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "They don't like seeing the mayor fire people who don't agree with him."

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

NYguy
April 2nd, 2004, 08:50 AM
There's also a poll included...

http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/manhattan/nyc-stad0402,0,3916185.story?coll=nyc-moreny-headlines

normaldude
April 2nd, 2004, 12:34 PM
There's also a poll included...

http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/manhattan/nyc-stad0402,0,3916185.story?coll=nyc-moreny-headlines

Man, that NY Newsday poll is poorly worded.

The title of the poll says: "Do you mind paying for the stadium?"

Then the description says: "Funding for the new West Side stadium and expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Center is set to come from many different sources. Do you mind your tax dollars going to support the project?"

Lots of New Yorkers are wildly in favor of the Javits expansion and 7 train extension, but opposed to the West Side football stadium. That particular poll is unclear on what you're actually voting for.

NYguy
April 2nd, 2004, 07:30 PM
"Do you mind your tax dollars going to support the project?"

I don't buy it. New Yorkers are smart enough to know what that means. The public is generally opposed to using money to pay for things like stadiums and arenas.

New York Newsday in particular, which has been running a semi-campaign against the Westside stadium (it assumes most of its readers would prefer a stadium in Queens) and this is about the 4th poll on the stadium.

Surprisingly, everytime, there was a clear majority in favor of building the Westside stadium.

NYguy
April 2nd, 2004, 07:55 PM
http://www.pbase.com/image/27541190/original.jpg

TLOZ Link5
April 2nd, 2004, 10:24 PM
I don't see how this is going to destroy the Clinton neighborhood. Most of the new development is going to be built over the rail yard anyway.

BPC
April 3rd, 2004, 02:01 AM
FROM THE NEW DOWNTOWN EXPRESS:


Mayor’s West Side plan competes with Downtown

By David Stanke

Image of proposed West Side development looking south from 39th St. shows new offices, left, and an expanded Javits Center and new Olympics/Jets stadium, center.

Mayor Bloomberg is focused on revitalizing the west side in the 30’s by expanding the Javits Center and building a new football stadium as the foundation for expanded residential and commercial development. By staking so much of his legacy on this West Side mega-project, the mayor must view the commercial potential of development at the W.T.C. as competition for his West Side plans and his Olympic dreams.

A lesson from listening to impassioned speeches in the aftermath of 9/11 is that most publicly stated positions are rationalizations for hidden agendas that are not quite so rational. To understand the mayor’s position on the W.T.C., we need first to evaluate his plans for the West Side, and then revisit his early comments in light of his newly exposed agenda.

The premise for successful development of the West Side is that the creation of two adjacent superblocks. A new Jets stadium along side the expanded Javits Convention Center will serve as the centerpiece for expanded commercial and residential development of the area. Extension of the 7 subway line would provide the single subway link to the area.

Stadiums do not revitalize neighborhoods. At best, they can provide life support for a comatose neighborhood, with just enough inflow of people and money to maintain basic retail. Residential neighborhoods may survive, but primarily for people who can’t afford to move elsewhere. A stadium is an insurmountable barrier to movement dividing communities around it, much as freeways divided and killed sections of the Bronx. When in use, stadiums bring hoards of outsiders and strangers with no incentive to protect, maintain, or support local communities or businesses. People come, they party, and they leave. After the game, please, keep your sons and daughters in the apartment — no offense meant to sports fans. I go to Knick games and love the crowds, but would never live next door to the Garden.

Convention centers do not support neighborhoods. Perhaps the mayor isn’t aware of the reputation of conventioneers. Perhaps, he has always attended sophisticated, well-healed conventions. He should at least be aware that conventioneers like to smoke when they drink. They are also more likely to support a porn district than a residential community.

So discounting any hope for neighboring residential development, what are the commercial prospects? The key for filling office space is to draw corporations that want a convenient and desirable location for employees at a reasonable price. This proposed West side commercial center will be supported by a single subway line, making it a two-train commute for any New Yorker not living on the 7 line. It will even be a three train commute many commuters. When people arrive at work, they will butt up against acres of useless super blocks. Even access to the river will be blocked. The only draws for commercial workers will be the nondescript convention center restaurants and convenient evening concerts at the stadium.

An Olympic size leap of faith is needed to accept the reasoning behind this plan. Stadiums always cost taxpayers money. And this stadium is getting a prime asset, Manhattan waterfront property, cheap. These rights should be auctioned off competitively to the highest bidder, not delivered with a handshake in a behind the scenes deal. Don’t even think about the economic morality of subsidizing rich team owners so they can pay more for obscenely compensated athletes. And even if the convention center generates entertainment and tax dollars, it will not contribute to local development. Has the mayor not noticed that the existing Javits Center generates nothing for the area? More Javits Center will generate more nothing.

How does this all relate to the W.T.C.? If nothing else, Mayor Bloomberg understands market competition. The plans for the W.T.C. are strategic and tactical competition with his West Side plan. Office space in the two areas would come into the market in the same time frame. Downtown already has very competitively priced real estate, so there is no hope for a West side price advantage. In every other way, the West side will face an uphill fight against the W.T.C. The W.T.C. is already hugely connected to subways. The street life deficiencies we now face Downtown will fade away in a few years with the completion of the Freedom Tower and surrounding retail areas. The W.T.C. will have a historic plaza and easy access to Tribeca restaurants. The West Side will have the Javits and the Jets. Where would you locate your office, if you owned a company? Where would you rather work?

So what might Mayor Bloomberg and Dan Doctoroff be up to? Doctoroff ran NYC 2012 before becoming Mayor Bloomberg’s deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding. He is on a long and determined quest to draw the Olympics. He has now gotten Mayor Bloomberg not only to sign on, but to place West Side development alongside running the school system as his two seminal challenges and achievements as mayor. Getting the Olympics to N.Y.C. would give both of these wealthy men great international exposure. To do this, they need sports facilities, hotels, and convention space. To finance this, they need funds from the sale of commercial and residential development rights on the West side, state and city money, and the political clout to pass tax increment funding. They are already planning to divert money from the Battery Park City Authority with the apparent complicity of the B.P.C.A. To have any chance of success selling the complete West Side commercial package, the W.T.C. plans must change dramatically or fail spectacularly.

In this context, let’s revisit the mayor’s suggestions for the W.T.C. He wants to eliminate what could be spectacular, vital super-blocks and replace them with narrow crowded Downtown streets. He wants to force commuters to street level and expand sidewalks to support them. This will, of course, reduce space for commercial buildings, already crowded by the expansive memorial. The mayor’s vision for the W.T.C. is far less than what the W.T.C. was pre 9/11 and much less what it could be.

The mayor may not actually want to weaken the W.T.C. to support his Olympic dreams. He may simply be a very bad city planner. But the W.T.C. and the West Side will compete for commercial tenants, reducing the value of West Side development rights. The mayor needs to sell these rights to fund the project. His W.T.C. plans will reduce the competitive commercial presence of the W.T.C. Recovering from our nation’s largest domestic attack is apparently less important than a couple weeks of games in 2012.

Based on the possibility that the mayor has been blinded by his Olympic ambitions, I give the following advice. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and Port Authority should thank the mayor kindly for his advice and put up some roadblocks between City Hall and the W.T.C. Governor Pataki, please don’t stand behind the mayor when he discusses city planning and the development of the West Side. Your credibility will be hurt by association. New Yorkers beware of the downside of men so rich they are not beholden to anyone. Their only true objective may be to further enhance their own egos.

Before this recent display of poor judgment at the W.T.C. and on the West side, I was a moderate Bloomberg supporter. But when a man works to lessen W.T.C. commercial development, while professing the contrary, to support a very unpopular and poorly conceived west side development using funds from a residential community (Battery Park City) that desperately needs the W.T.C. development; I would suggest that his drive to immortalize his name on a sports stadium has blinded him to the city’s priorities. He is squandering city assets on his personal ambitions.

David Stanke is co-president of BPC United, a group of Downtown residents, and can be reached at bpcunited@ ebond.com.

ZippyTheChimp
April 3rd, 2004, 09:52 AM
I agree with Mr. Stanke’s opposition to the stadium, but he also opposes expansion of the Javits Center, which would guarantee it’s non-competitive status. He also offers no alternative vision for the Westside. What should we do with the railyards, and for that matter, with the existing Javits?

I have always thought that the stadium has been driven by the rush for the Olympics, which is increasingly becoming a pipe-dream, and the fact that the Jets are kicking in all this money to build the stadium. If you look beyond the present condition of the area to its potential, the Jets are being handed a chunk of prime real estate.

And why the rush? It’s not like there is no commercial vacancy in Manhattan, and nothing in the pipeline. If the Westside is the next generation of development for Manhattan, it should be thought out more carefully, rather than be driven by two weeks in 2012.

Mr. Stanke’s argument becomes weak when he suggests an underhanded plot to weaken the WTC development to the benefit of the Westside. It reminds me of the so-called NY Times conspiracy to endorse inferior WTC development to enhance development of its new headquarters. Besides, Pataki is no idiot.

BPC
April 3rd, 2004, 11:35 PM
I agree with Mr. Stanke’s opposition to the stadium, but he also opposes expansion of the Javits Center, which would guarantee it’s non-competitive status. He also offers no alternative vision for the Westside. What should we do with the railyards, and for that matter, with the existing Javits? ...

Mr. Stanke’s argument becomes weak when he suggests an underhanded plot to weaken the WTC development to the benefit of the Westside. It reminds me of the so-called NY Times conspiracy to endorse inferior WTC development to enhance development of its new headquarters. Besides, Pataki is no idiot.

He does offer an alternative as to what we should do with the railyards. Stanke writes that "And this stadium is getting a prime asset, Manhattan waterfront property, cheap. These rights should be auctioned off competitively to the highest bidder, not delivered with a handshake in a behind the scenes deal. " That sounds like the right answer to me. Let the free market decide the best use for the property.

Also, I know Stanke, and he is a serious guy not prone to conspiracy theories, and I do not believe he is proposing one here. All he is arguing is that the Mayor is taking inconsistent positions with respect to Downtown and West Side development, trying to put the breaks on the former while proposing to spend billions in public funds on the latter. That's not a conspiracy; it's an inconsistency that at least merits a justification. Perhaps Bloomberg believes that Downtown is dead, and that the West Side is where we need to be putting our money instead. If so, he should be honest and say that.

Overall, I believe the LMDC has done a decent job in designing the redevelopment of the WTC Site -- a little too much memorial and way too much tunnel, in my opinion, but generally pretty good. But I believe they have done this IN SPITE OF the Mayor's anti-development ideas for the site. And I am thrilled that the Port Authority never swapped the site for the airports, as I trust the PA over the City to develop the site any day.

ZippyTheChimp
April 4th, 2004, 12:21 AM
The subway extension will not get built without a central plan, and commercial development will not occur without the subway extension. Does Stanke expect the railyards to be developed by market forces?

Stanke's statement that the Javits contributed nothing to development ignores two key facts: lack of transportation and current zoning.

NYguy
April 4th, 2004, 04:44 AM
I don't see how this is going to destroy the Clinton neighborhood. Most of the new development is going to be built over the rail yard anyway.

It depends on the take. If by "destroy" they mean take a desolate (by NYC standards), underutilized neighborhood and build more homes (whatever happened to the housing advocates?) and viable commercial space, then I guess you could say that.

I would call it an improvement. And that stadium will be a magnificent showpiece in Manhattan. I can't wait until its built....

NYguy
April 4th, 2004, 05:01 AM
Newsday...

Jets stadium plans put squeeze on Dolans

BY HARRY BERKOWITZ AND STEVE ZIPAY
April 3, 2004

Cablevision top executives Charles and James Dolan often try to wield their influence behind the scenes and on their own timetable.

But the Dolans' usual gameplan hit a brick wall last week when Mayor Michael Bloomberg publicly declared they were "scared to death" of a $2.8-billion plan for a new Jets Stadium and expanded Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the West Side of Manhattan.

"It is an outrage that you let your own personal economics, or economic interests, stop a major project in this city," Bloomberg said, disclosing telephoned pleas from James Dolan, who is Cablevision Systems Corp. chief executive and chairman of Madison Square Garden.

For the Dolans and their 36-year-old Garden, the timing could not be worse.

The premiere venue has been in a slump for years, as its two main sports teams, the Rangers and the Knicks, have failed to make the playoffs. The Garden's MSG cable network lost Yankees games to the YES Network, cutting MSG's advertising and subscriber revenue.

The Garden's finances are slumping so badly that it axed 80 employees in February and dropped a half-billion-dollar line of credit because it could no longer comply with financial covenants of its loans.

"They are under siege from a lot of different directions," said Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics specializing in sports at Smith College in North Hampton, Mass. "I don't think there are easy answers."

The plans for competing arenas, including one for the Nets in Brooklyn, threaten to rob Madison Square Garden of many of the events that are its lifeblood, and to put pressure on how much the Garden charges ticket buyers and event sponsors.

In an interview four years ago, Dolan said the Garden was in urgent need of replacement and a decision needed to be made on where to rebuild within a year. No apparent progress has been made and now it could get harder.

"The region is heading into an arena glut," said Brian Hatch, a former Salt Lake City deputy mayor who heads the Web site newyorkgames.org, which follows the city's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. "Everyone is looking at the same U2 concert to make their arena pay off, and I don't think there are enough concerts and enough circuses for all these arenas to make sense."

Sports analysts said a crowded market, with potential new arenas also in Nassau County and Newark, will make it much harder for the Garden to function without drastic changes.

"Madison Square Garden is an operationally obsolete facility," said Marc Ganis, president of Sports Corp., a consulting firm based in Chicago. "The Garden operates in a relatively inefficient manner and it has for decades. But because it is the only facility for events of its type in New York City, they have been able to get away with it."

It is not big enough to house such events as the Final Four of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. It does not have the number of luxury skyboxes that have proved lucrative to new arenas. And the Garden's expensive labor contracts compound the problems, industry experts say.

Among the logistical and security problems, its performance level is five floors up, requiring tractor-trailers to unload contents for shows on the ground floor and have them hauled up elevators. That cannot be solved by the kind of $200 million renovation the arena had more than a decade ago.

Bloomberg accused the Dolans of "dithering around" for years over the question of building a new Garden.

The Dolans have said little publicly. "We continue to explore all possibilities regarding a new or renovated Madison Square Garden," said Garden spokesman Barry Watkins.

At least three proposals for a replacement have emerged over the years, including one for a Madison Square Garden tied to the Jets Stadium.

"MSG didn't want to be a subordinate tenant in that facility, and they don't want to have to share various arena revenue streams," Zimbalist said.

An executive close to Cablevision said, "The evaluation process is just enormously complex and time-consuming. You have to look at mass transit and parking at a new location, the cost of renovating against the cost of a new building." Another question is what happens to the 5,400-seat Theater at Madison Square Garden, where concerts and other performances are held. "Is it worth duplicating it at another site?" the executive asked.

Building a new Garden is an expensive task, especially without public financing. Ganis estimated the cost at $500 million or more, not including land and demolition costs.

Dolan has considered building a replacement on the existing site, but that would mean finding temporary facilities for the teams and events and foregoing the huge value of selling the real estate to developers for another type of building.

A New York executive who has dealt closely with Cablevision and the Dolans said that, although they realized that deciding on a replacement had to be a top priority, they got distracted by myriad events and conditions.

"Three or four years ago, it was a better economy, financing was easier, the teams were faring better," the executive said.

Among the problems that arose, Marc Lustgarten, the Garden chairman and Cablevision executive who helped guide the company through dilemmas, died of pancreatic cancer in 1999 and was replaced by Dolan. The new vice chairman, Robert Lemle, was not as adept in sports issues and has been replaced by Hank Ratner.

In recent years the company faced major financial woes whose resolution included shutting The Wiz retail electronics chain. The economy slumped, especially after 9/11. Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a key ally, went out of office. Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan focused on launching a satellite TV service. And his bid to buy the Jets, which would have made finding a solution to the Garden question much easier, lost to one by Robert Wood Johnson IV in 2000. Further complicating matters, the Knicks and Rangers built up huge payrolls, swelled by star players with long-term contracts.

The Garden, including the teams, posted operating income of $4.5 million for 2003, down 92 percent from $56 million in 2002.

Prospects may be slightly brighter this year. Knicks attendance is up and the team appears to be headed for the playoffs. The Garden will host the Republican National Convention in August.

But Richard Greenfield, an analyst at Fulcrum Global Partners, said Cablevision should just sell the Garden and teams because the justification for owning them has faded.

"They are trophy assets that could realize greater value outside of Cablevision," he said.

NYguy
April 8th, 2004, 09:11 AM
Quotes from a NY Post article....(April 8, 2004)


Guggenheim eyes Jets site

By WILLIAM NEUMAN and TOM TOPOUSIS

The Guggenheim Museum has expressed interest in building a Frank Gehry-designed outpost on Manhattan's far West Side as part of the redevelopment that would include a new Jets stadium and an expanded Javits Center, sources told The Post.

Guggenheim director Thomas Krenz has discussed the museum idea with city and state officials, according to three sources familiar with the talks, which remain at a preliminary stage.

"They are quite interested," said one source. "Museums with money to build are few and far between. There are not a whole lot of museums willing to spend several million dollars on a new property."

City planners have designated the corner of 11th Avenue and 30th Street as the site of a future "major cultural facility."

Guggenheim spokesman Anthony Calnek said the museum's director attended two presentations by city officials. "He did find them interesting, but we are doing no work on the project," Calnek said.

Calnek said the museum wouldn't take any action on a move to the West Side until the city releases a request for proposals, which would spell out what the project entails.

krulltime
April 8th, 2004, 02:37 PM
:D More good news for the redevelopment!

If it the museum gets built then the whole area will spruce up with apartment and condo buildings...usually museums attract them...which I was not too sure about a stadium.

Kris
April 9th, 2004, 02:40 AM
April 9, 2004

Alongside the Jets, Jasper Johns and Others?

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

The Bloomberg administration and the Jets have held all manner of news conferences and media stunts to promote a sense of momentum for their $6.5 billion proposal to redevelop the West Side of Manhattan and build a 75,000-seat football stadium.

In an apparent bid to drape the plans in some art world glamour, word surfaced yesterday that the Guggenheim Museum was considering building a satellite museum across 11th Avenue from where the Jets hope to erect a $1.4 billion stadium with a retractable roof. The talk about the Guggenheim also serves as a convenient counterweight to complaints by some local residents and elected officials that the stadium will repel development and is undeserving of $600 million in public subsidies.

"Critics have said that if you build a stadium there, no one will want to be next to it," said Vishaan Chakrabarti, director of the City Planning Department's Manhattan office. "Lo and behold, there are cultural institutions clamoring to be next to this facility because they understand it will energize the district."

Well, maybe.

For one thing, the city plans to solicit bids, not just hand over the site to the Guggenheim or anyone else. And the Guggenheim wanted to temper the excitement generated by an article yesterday in The New York Post about its interest in the West Side.

Anthony Calnek, a spokesman for the Guggenheim, acknowledged that the museum had had a longstanding need for additional space in New York and that Thomas Krens, director of the museum, had met with city officials to discuss their plans for the far West Side. But that is it.

"We're not doing any work on this project," Mr. Calnek said. "It's far too early to even speculate on something like this. It's flattering that we have cachet, but we're sort of flabbergasted by this."

Mr. Calnek said the museum had not asked Frank Gehry to draw up plans for a new museum in New York.

Mr. Chakrabarti declined to identify the other cultural institutions that have talked to the city about the West Side site.

A Guggenheim board member who attended the meeting with city officials also played down the matter.

"It was the same presentation they've been giving all over town," said the board member, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It's their vision."

He suggested a reason why the story had surfaced two weeks after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki announced their financing plans for the proposed Jets stadium and an expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

"They're trying to get as much positive good will as they can generate to get this project going," the Guggenheim board member said.

The football stadium would sit on a $400 million platform erected over the railyard west of 11th Avenue, between 30th and 34th Streets, with state and city money. Under the city's redevelopment plan, a cultural institution would be built atop a $351 million platform built by the city.

Last week, a Quinnipiac University poll showed that 60 percent of New York City residents opposed using public money to build the Jets stadium on the West Side, while only 33 percent favored it.

"This is an attempt to glamorize a wolf in sheep's clothing," said John Fisher, a spokesman for the West Side Coalition, an opposition group. "A museum does not make the stadium more palatable."

The Guggenheim has talked with city officials from time to time since its plan to build a $950 million titanium building on the waterfront in Lower Manhattan unraveled in December 2002.

Museum officials say they are willing to consider the West Side as a possible location but have not made any commitments.

It is much further along on plans to build museums in Taichung, Taiwan, where it is working with the architect Zaha Hadid, and in Rio de Janeiro, where the architect Jean Nouvel is at work.

"There's not a parallel process in New York," Mr. Calnek said.

The New York Observer reported last month that the Jets had their own plans for a museum and community theater at the stadium, although there is no deal with a cultural institution or a theater group.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NYguy
April 16th, 2004, 08:50 AM
Daily News...

Jets toss lifeline to the High Line

By MICHAEL SAUL

The Jets plan to tear down a piece of the High Line elevated railway and then rebuild a portion as an entrance to a new West Side stadium, the Daily News has learned.

The Jets also propose to link the abandoned 1.45-mile line to a new park created above the West Side Highway.

The team plans to dismantle about a quarter-mile of the line and rebuild half that section to connect to the proposed 75,000-seat football stadium.

The High Line, built in the 1930s to remove dangerous trains from Manhattan's streets, spans 22 blocks from 34th St. to Gansevoort St. No trains have run on it since 1980.

Below the line on 30th St. between 11th and 12th Aves., the Jets are proposing a new street market that would feature art, antiques, crafts and furniture.

The Jets' plans for the High Line will be formally unveiled today at a day-long Regional Plan Association forum on the far West Side.

In March, Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki announced a $2.8 billion plan to build a stadium for the football team and expand the Javits Convention Center, including $1.3 billion in public funding.

Last year, city officials announced an ambitious plan to transform the rail line into an elevated park. Jets executives said their proposal complements that plan.

"We think that the New York Sports and Convention Center can breathe new life into the High Line," said Thad Sheely, the Jets' vice president for development.

The proposal has some strong backers.

"We're pleased that the New York Jets have recognized the value of the High Line and made its preservation and reuse a priority," said Robert Hammond, co-founder of the Friends of the High Line.

But City Councilwoman Christine Quinn (D-Chelsea), who is against the stadium, called the Jets' High Line proposal "a drop in the bucket."

Brian Hatch, who runs NewYorkGames.org, which also opposes the stadium, said the High Line should be preserved in its entirety. "When we get the stadium moved to Queens, we can come up with a plan for that area that will preserve the High Line," he said.

chris
April 17th, 2004, 04:37 AM
Living on the West side, I'm not that crazy about this plan. It does look as though they have a "big idea" and are not just ploping a stadium down. In general I'm indifferent. I certainly wouldn't want to live any closer to it that I already am (about 10 blocks).

The good thing is that it will create a lot of jobs.

BPC
April 17th, 2004, 05:07 PM
FROM NY DAILY NEWS:


Chuck: Cool to stadium, but don't punt No. 7

Sen. Chuck Schumer is jumping on the No. 7 subway extension bandwagon - but not to the controversial far West Side stadium.
Schumer endorsed lengthening the No. 7 line from Times Square to 11th Ave., calling it "the key to opening up the area to successful residential and commercial benefit."

"It is my No. 1 goal for the development of the far West Side and, to me, the most important part of the mayor's entire proposal," Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the Regional Plan Association.

"Yet, I fear, it is the part of the proposal least likely to get done - all the focus on the other stuff, and we've forgotten the No. 7 line."

But the senator would not take a position on the proposal by Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki to build a $1.4 billion stadium for the Jets.

"If the No. 7 is going to happen, then I'll devote my attention and look at the stadium," Schumer said.

Schumer also spoke against Gov. Pataki's plan to spend $900 million in federal funds to bury four blocks of West St. in lower Manhattan. He said the money would be better spent linking downtown to Kennedy Airport.

A Pataki aide said the governor has made no decision about how to fund the project.


Michael Saul

BigMac
April 18th, 2004, 05:50 PM
Newsday
April 18, 2004

Weiner: Build Jets stadium in Queens

By KAREN MATTHEWS

A new stadium for the New York Jets could be built in Queens for a fraction of the $1.4 billion that Jets officials say it will cost to build one on Manhattan's West Side, Rep. Anthony Weiner said Sunday.

"It is a better site for football and better for all of New York City," said Weiner, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

Weiner released a study that showed that even the $600 million proposed contribution from the city and state for a Manhattan stadium exceeds the total cost of all but one of the last 24 NFL stadiums that have been built.

The reconfigured Soldier Field in Chicago, which opened last year, cost $606 million. The average cost of the last five NFL stadiums built was about $445 million, Weiner said.

The Jets have proposed spending $800 million in private funds for a new stadium on the far West Side of Manhattan, with New York City and state spending $300 million each for a retractable roof and a platform over existing rail yards.

In addition to serving as a home for the Jets when their lease at New Jersey's Meadowlands expires, the stadium would include convention facilities and would anchor the city's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Weiner called the proposal "staggeringly expensive" and suggested Willets Point in Queens as an alternative.

He said the estimated cost of a Willets Point stadium for the Jets and the New York Mets that was proposed in the 1980s was $286 million, or about $445 million in 2004.

But Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson has rejected the Queens location, and the Jets have argued that the West Side stadium would be a good deal for the city and state because of the jobs and tax revenues it would generate.

Matthew Higgins, vice president of strategic planning for the Jets, disputed Weiner's assertion that it would be cheaper to build the stadium in Queens.

"The cost of the stadium itself remains the same regardless of location _ approximately $800 million, which the Jets are funding entirely," Higgins said. "But on Manhattan's far West Side, unlike any other location, the sports and convention center will reap millions of dollars a year in new tax revenue above and beyond the public investment."

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

NYguy
April 19th, 2004, 09:01 AM
NY Post...

'SMART TICKET' FOR NEW STADIUM

April 19, 2004 -- Tickets to a Jets game in the lavish new stadium proposed for the West Side will be good for far more than just admission.

Team President Jay Cross said plans are in the works to create a game ticket that can also be swiped at turnstiles for a round-trip ride on the MTA's transit lines, including the Long Island Rail Road.

In fact, the ticket will be embedded with computer coding so that it can act as a charge or debit card that fans can use to ring up hot dogs, beer, souvenirs or even a meal at one of the five swanky restaurants planned for the stadium.

"We hope the ticket will be a 'smart ticket' and with it the building becomes cashless," Cross said.

MTA spokesman Tom Kelly said he was not aware of any formal talks with the team to produce a new electronic ticket that could be used for transit fares.

Critics of the stadium proposal have cited increased traffic as one of their many objections to the $1.4 billion project. Any plan by the Jets to get fans to use mass transit instead of driving to the games could help reduce traffic fears.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


TRULY A SUPER BOWL

By TOM TOPOUSIS
April 19, 2004

This is definitely not your father's football stadium.

The new Jets stadium proposed for the far West Side of Manhattan has more bells and whistles than all the referees in the NFL.

From its exterior design, soaring 300-foot walls of exposed steel beams topped by 34 energy-producing wind turbines, to an interior filled with restaurants, shops and even a theater and museum, the stadium plan is beyond state of the art.

The Post got an exclusive preview of the designs for the $1.4 billion stadium and exposition center, finding a project that almost makes football an afterthought.

And that's how the Jets want it.

Jets President Jay Cross described the project as "a convention center that also holds football games."

But the design goes even further.

The stadium is intended to have four distinct public sides with entirely different roles, from a high-energy commercial and entertainment face on 11th Avenue to a more relaxed, park-like function by the river.

Designed by the New York-based firm of Fox, Pederson and Kohn, the stadium's exterior harks back to the city's industrial waterfront.

The north and south walls are inspired by the tall gantries that once sat atop working piers.

And the stadium's layout was shifted by the architects to run east-west, also as a reminder of the piers that once jutted westward into the river.

Cross said the architects were careful to create a building that could be "a transition piece" between the very different neighborhoods of Clinton in the north and Chelsea to the south.

"We hope to form the connective tissue," he said.

Most spectators will head into the stadium from entrances on 33rd and 30th streets.

The north side of the stadium will include a blockwide "porch" that will run directly to the Hudson River Park.

Cross said the southern side of the stadium will have a very different feel.

The Jets plan to convert the long dormant High Line elevated railroad trestle into a pedestrian walkway that will bring spectators to the stadium.

Beneath the railroad trestle, nooks and spaces between the steel piers will be used for antiques fairs and flea markets, more in line with the emerging arts district in Chelsea, and similar to public markets in Europe.

The stadium's western wall faces the Hudson River and a sliver of park that now runs up the shoreline on the opposite side of the West Side Highway.

The stadium plan includes a grass-covered deck over the highway that will connect to the park.

Overlooking the river, the stadium will include a 400-seat community theater, a restaurant and a museum open to the public.

It's here that Cross said fans will find "organized tailgating activities," with food vendors, bands and other entertainment.

On 11th Avenue, the VIP entrance for luxury suites and club seats, a two-story arcade of shops will be open to the public seven days a week.

Above the shops will be what Cross calls "the best sports bar in New York."

Similar to an ESPN Zone, the bar will also have a wall of windows looking directly down on the football field. And it'll be open on game days, with patrons able to watch the Jets play in exchange for paying an extra cover charge.

A lot of stadiums already have shops, bars and restaurants. But the Jets plan to go a few steps further. Roughly 60,000 square feet of retail space will include a high-end supermarket and a car dealer's showroom, Cross said.

"The idea is to make destination retail that is unique so that people will travel for it," Cross said of the shops closest to the entrance for the proposed extension of the No. 7 subway line, which will run to 33rd Street and 11th Avenue.

Kris
April 22nd, 2004, 01:42 AM
April 22, 2004

SPORTS OF THE TIMES

Queens Is Better Than Manhattan for Jets-Olympics Facility

By GEORGE VECSEY

PLOPPING the Olympics in New York sounded like a bad idea, right from the start. Even when the Jets promised to subsidize part of the cost of the Olympic stadium, it still brought out my inner Nimby.

I'm no urban planner. I'm just a journalist who has observed citizens getting so twittery about Olympic gold-medal ceremonies or touchdowns on the tube that they acquiesce to expensive new stadiums in their own backyards. The bills come due later.

But I never truly realized how impractical the plan for 2012 was until I spent last Friday at the Regional Plan Association's annual meeting, devoted to Manhattan's far West Side.

Most of the planners seemed respectful of the Olympics, but many said it made no sense to plunk a costly facility alongside the Hudson River when so much else needs to be done.

It has long been my opinion that my hometown, New York, does not need the Summer Games to put it on the map. The evidence is that, for good and for evil, people know where we are and what we do.

The push for the Summer Games here has always had the whiff of Wild West real estate madness. In a borough where the cost of an average apartment is now reaching seven digits, who would make money off expansion on the far West Side? And where would working-class people be shunted? Follow the money, not the Olympic torch.

The conference, titled "Make No Small Plans," came while the city and state governments are pushing to have shovels in the ground by July 2005, when the International Olympic Committee will choose the host for the 2012 Summer Games.

New York probably has only a sliver of a chance, what with the strength of the opposition (Paris and London, for openers) as well as America's unpopularity overseas because of Iraq. Many I.O.C. delegates would not have been encouraged by the drift of the planning conference.

What the city really needs, said Senator Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat from Brooklyn, is comprehensive transportation linking Long Island and New Jersey to Lower Manhattan, plus an extension of the No. 7 subway line to the West Side.

The proposed Olympic-Jets facility? "I'm going to reserve judgment," Schumer said.

Also, Richard Ravitch, a war horse of 40 years of New York government and business, worried about diverting public funds from school construction and other projects.

At this stage of the game, the Schumer and Ravitch responses were like a couple of touchdowns early in the second half — a definite attention-getter.

There was plenty of other skepticism. Charles Euchner of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government talked about the "stale old recipes" of stadiums and convention centers, and he warned that sports do not generate even 1 percent of a city's economy, despite "30 free pages of advertising every day," meaning the sports pages.

Jonathan Barnett of the Urban Design Program at the University of Pennsylvania predicted a lifeless ambience around the proposed facility and said, "I'm afraid the whole West Side plan will work better if the stadium were not there." He also worried about cutting off the waterfront.

Support for new stadiums came from Joe Berridge of Urban Strategies, based in Canada, who noted the flow of fans and money when the Skydome was opened on the fringe of downtown Toronto in 1989. Thad Sheely, a stadium development official with the Jets, stressed that the proposed facility would have a retractable roof that would accommodate many other events. And Ken McAvoy of Reed Exhibitions stressed the importance of conventions for New York's economy.

Several planners brought up the costs and problems from erecting a platform over the massive train yards and coping with bus traffic through the area and the lack of tunnels to move subway traffic westward — three days before Monday's collision in maxed-out Penn Station.

Perhaps the most practical comment came from Brian Hatch of New York, who, as deputy mayor of Salt Lake City, helped develop a modest light-rail system and an area west of downtown before the 2002 Winter Games.

The new goal of the I.O.C., Hatch reminded everybody, is for smaller, cheaper Games to accommodate potential host nations in Africa and Latin America.

That hope seems counterintuitive, given the current scramble to get Athens up to speed. But Hatch urged the NYC 2012 people to "fix the bid" within the next year and stress a backup plan for an Olympic stadium at Shea Stadium and the site of the 1939 and 1964-65 World's Fairs, at a fraction of the cost.

The concept of an Olympic base in Queens may sound like small change to the land-rush promoters of NYC 2012 and it may sound like outer-borough tackiness to the Manhattan-centric ownership of the Jets. But I say: tough.

New York needs a lot of things, but not the 2012 Summer Games. The NYC 2012 people should downscale their improbable bid to hold this floating, extraneous circus, and fast.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

billyblancoNYC
April 22nd, 2004, 01:22 PM
I can't see how people say getting the Olympics is a bad thing. Enough said.

Also, the plans for the stadium are more like a sports/convention/entertainment venue with added park and waterfront access. All the new ideas from restaurants to stores to the high line market, etc. seem like it would be an amazing addition 24/7/365. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic here, but this is not an ordinary staidum. This is not a stadium for a team already in the city...or the state. And this, plus the Javits and the Guggenheim(?) have already sparked major interest.

Rezone, build this stuff, finish the Hudson Rive Park, renovate the High Line, extend the 7 and you'll fulfill plans WAY before 2030 or 2040. That is a fact.

NYguy
April 25th, 2004, 05:27 AM
Daily News...

Mike eyes West Side hit squad

By MICHAEL SAUL

Mayor Bloomberg is looking for some muscle.

The city's Economic Development Corp. wants to hire a consultant to help push out residents and businesses in the way of Bloomberg's ambitious development plans for the West Side, the Daily News has learned.

The EDC has asked for bids from consultants who would help identify and move people in the area.

"Every person needs to be treated with respect and sensitivity," said Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding. "That's why you bring in experts."

Roughly 140 residents and 1,600 jobs will be relocated, Doctoroff estimated. One of the consultant's first tasks is to identify the number of residences and businesses to be moved.

But it's very hush-hush.

According to the bid document obtained by The News, the city wants the consultant to begin work in secrecy. "Consultant must obtain information without interfering with or directly notifying the in-place tenants," the document states.

Asked about the secrecy, Doctoroff said, "There is a degree of research that has to be done first. Before you begin to talk to people, it makes sense that you have a firm handle on the facts."

The administration's redevelopment plans call for the extension of the No. 7 subway line; the expansion of the Javits Convention Center; the construction of a new stadium for the Jets; the development of parks and open spaces, and the construction of a midblock boulevard between 10th and 11th Aves.

The area, known as the Hudson Yards, is bounded by W. 43rd St. on the north side, W. 28th St. on the south, Seventh and Eighth Aves. on the east, and the Hudson River Park on the west.

Bloomberg has consistently called the far West Side a wasteland.

Councilwoman Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and John Fisher, who heads a neighborhood group opposed to the stadium, both told The News they consider the hiring of a consultant an admission on the city's part that there will be substantial displacement.

"They've downplayed it and tried to make it seem insignificant," Quinn said. "But one doesn't ... hire a professional when something is insignificant."

Kris
May 6th, 2004, 03:31 AM
May 6, 2004

After City Hall Lobbying, Group Postpones Stadium Vote

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/05/06/nyregion/jets.583.jpg
The site proposed for a 75,000-seat West Side stadium. The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is at lower left.

The Regional Plan Association put off a vote on whether to oppose a $1.4 billion West Side stadium after the Bloomberg administration began an intensive lobbying campaign to sway the group's vote.

Fearing that the group was about to become the first major civic organization in the city to take a stand against the stadium, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, the Olympic bid committee and the New York Jets started a remarkable counteroffensive this week. The 75,000-seat stadium is an important element of the city's bid for the 2012 Summer Games and would also be the home for the football team.

So after some hot debate yesterday afternoon, the association's board voted to wait.

Board members said the group was prepared to begin a blistering critique of the heavily subsidized stadium, which the group's study paper suggested would "deter rather than attract the large-scale redevelopment" that the West Side needs. The board did not recommend an alternative site in Queens near Shea Stadium, as some had expected.

"We had a very intense discussion about the merits of West Side plans," said Robert Yaro, the president of the association. "At the request of the deputy mayor, we are submitting a series of outstanding questions about the stadium and the West Side project. We will defer action until, probably, June."

Officials with the Jets and City Hall were exultant.

The delay illuminated a behind-the-scenes effort by city officials and others to stifle opposition in business and civic circles, at least until after May 18, when the International Olympic Committee meets in Switzerland to pare its list of candidates for the 2012 Olympic Games.

"We didn't want this done on the eve of the Olympic decision," said one person active in the Olympic bid.

But some supporters of the city's Olympic effort favor putting the stadium in Queens because they fear that opposition to a West Side stadium and potential lawsuits from West Side community groups, Broadway theater owners and elected officials could scuttle the bid.

"My concern is that we'll lose the Olympics because some crazies will sue over the stadium," said one board member whose organization has endorsed the West Side plans. "I'd rather face the music now and go to Queens."

But Mr. Doctoroff and others are also anxious to head off any momentum for the Queens site, which they claim is not feasible. The Jets, which have committed to invest $800 million in the stadium, say they are unwilling to consider anything other than Manhattan.

The city's hotel industry, real estate lobby, convention and visitors bureau and the chamber of commerce have all endorsed the city's effort to bring the Olympic Games to New York, to redevelop the West Side and to expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

But privately, leading members of each of the groups say they are reluctant to express their misgivings about the stadium, because they are worried about alienating Mr. Doctoroff, the founder of the city's 2012 bid, who also presides over economic development projects in the city.

Jay Kriegal, executive director of the Olympic bid committee, NYC2012, said that he called members of the plan association to alert them that the organization might take a position in contradicting their support for the Olympics. He said that some members had a host of questions, making him think that the group was making a hasty decision.

Both PricewaterhouseCoopers, a consulting firm, and Merrill Lynch, an investment bank, sent letters to the plan association, objecting to a vote against the stadium.

One board member who got a call from Mr. Doctoroff found it a little intimidating, if unconvincing.

"It didn't change my mind," that board member said. "But whenever somebody like that calls, you have to pay attention because there are serious potential consequences. He makes important business decisions for the city."

Richard Ravitch, a board member and a former state economic development executive, said: "If one's major interest is in the Olympics, why pick a site that rightly or wrongly will be the subject of a great deal of litigation and controversy? It's hard to imagine the International Olympic Committee will base their decision on the location of the stadium."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NYguy
May 6th, 2004, 09:32 AM
(NY Post...May 5)

They're Bullish on Jets Stadium

The hot tempers over the new Jets stadium plan have spilled over to the Regional Plan Association, the opinionated nonprofit think tank. Merrill Lynch, which has a seat on the RPA's board, has told the RPA that it backs both the city's Olympics dream and the Jets stadium "in the strongest terms possible." Merrill Lynch fears that the RPA leadership will come out against the stadium even though many board members favor it.

A letter from Merrill Lynch vice chairman Paul W. Critchlow, obtained by Post real estate columnist Steve Cuozzo, to RPA president Robert Yaro notes that an RPA board meeting is scheduled today. "Our understanding was that RPA's objective was to encourage a constructive grassroots debate...not to advocate for specific positions," Critchlow writes.

Meanwhile, NYC 2012 honcho Jay Kriegel warns Yaro in another letter that with the finalist cities for the games to be announced this month, an RPA attack on the stadium could "damage" the city's chances. RPA public affairs director Jeremy Soffin had no comment on whether today's session would result in the RPA taking a stance on the issue.

NYatKNIGHT
May 6th, 2004, 12:44 PM
The Jets, which have committed to invest $800 million in the stadium, say they are unwilling to consider anything other than Manhattan.

Doesn't sound like Queens is really an option.

Kris
May 8th, 2004, 03:11 AM
May 8, 2004

Support for an Olympic Stadium, Only in Queens

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/05/08/nyregion/stadium184.jpg
David Oats has advocated building an Olympic stadium in the Queens area near Shea Stadium, sometimes called Willets Point.

David Oats - the standard bearer for those who want to build an Olympic stadium in Queens, not in Manhattan - likes to begin his unofficial 2012 Olympic tour at the 154-foot-6-inch-long panorama of New York City at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It provides perspective.

Why, he demands to know, does the Bloomberg administration want to build the stadium on a $400 million deck over the railyards on the West Side of Manhattan, where community groups, local politicians and some Broadway theater owners oppose it? The site, he points out, requires building a $1.8 billion subway extension to get there.

Flashing his handy laser pointer and talking as fast as the cars on Queens Boulevard, Mr. Oats zeroed in on the appeal of his site: all 1,255 acres of the Flushing Meadows park, which embraces Shea Stadium and the National Tennis Center, and its transportation-friendly location.

Here's the No. 7 subway line, which could carry Olympic visitors from Times Square to the Willets Point Boulevard stop near Shea, assuming the city wins its bid for the Summer Games. Over there is a station for the Long Island Rail Road, which would carry fans from Long Island, or Pennsylvania Station and New Jersey. The laser slashes along the Long Island Expressway, the Van Wyck, the Whitestone and the Grand Central Parkway. You like ferries? They can dock at the Flushing Bay marina.

"We're not Nimby," said Mr. Oats, the former editor of The Queens Tribune who heads an ad hoc group known as the Queens Olympic Committee. "We're saying: Put it in our backyard. You don't need to build a giant platform over the railroad yards. You can do it the old-fashioned way, on the ground. The infrastructure is here. The roads are here. It's got cultural institutions."

Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, founder of the official NYC2012 committee, has scorned Mr. Oats's message. So have the Jets, the football team that wants to occupy the $1.4 billion stadium when it is not in use for the Olympics, and that has agreed to spend $800 million on its construction.

Mr. Doctoroff has said there is no alternative to the West Side. And L. Jay Cross, president of the Jets, said the team was willing to invest more than any other professional sports franchise because of the potential revenues that exist in Manhattan. He said that the Manhattan site would work in conjunction with the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center when the stadium is converted to a 200,000-square-foot exhibition hall.

In Queens, he said, "the spinoffs are minimal. In Manhattan, there'll be a lot of spinoffs, if it's done right."

The team estimates that luxury boxes in Manhattan would generate more revenue than any other stadium in the country from corporate patrons. "If we go to Queens," Mr. Cross told a radio sports show in March, "we'll lose New Jersey-based businesses that buy suites."

Mr. Doctoroff and the Jets have lined up powerful support from many of the city's largest corporations, as well as the hotel industry, the chamber of commerce, the Real Estate Board and the convention and visitors bureau.

But Mr. Oats disputes many of their claims. On April 15, Mr. Oats sent an emissary to Lausanne, Switzerland, to deliver a letter to the International Olympic Committee outlining his group's views. Mr. Oats said he would go back to Lausanne on May 18, when the I.O.C. is scheduled to pare its list of candidates for the 2012 Olympics.

His quest may seem quixotic, but he is far from alone. Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman thinks it is a great idea to put the stadium in her borough. So do United States Representative Anthony Weiner and Richard Ravitch, once the state's top development official and chairman of the city's 1984 Olympic bid. Then there are the West Side politicians, Broadway theater owners and community groups that oppose putting the stadium in Manhattan.

"It's a better location in terms of traffic, transit, costs and the injury it'll do to the city," said Walter Mankoff, chairman of Manhattan Community Board 4, whose district includes the West Side railyards. "The Jets may feel they can make a bigger profit in Manhattan. But the city's decision shouldn't be based on enriching one private owner."

Even some prominent members of the city's chamber of commerce and the real estate board, groups that have endorsed the Olympic bid, privately favor putting the stadium in Queens, if only because they fear that an inevitable lawsuit by the opposition in Manhattan could hurt the city in the eyes of the International Olympic Committee.

Mr. Oats and others say that an ideal spot for the stadium is on the northeast side of Shea Stadium in a part of Corona sometimes called Willets Point, an 80-acre parcel of broken and water-logged streets lined with auto body shops, tow pounds, tire stores and steel sheds.

"They could get rid of this eyesore and complete the park," Mr. Oats said. "You wouldn't displace a neighborhood like they want to do in Manhattan."

Indeed, the city has plans to redevelop the area bounded by 126th Street, Willets Point Boulevard and Northern Boulevard at an estimated cost of $230 million.

But Jay Kriegel, executive director of the city's Olympic committee, NYC2012, contends that it would take years to condemn the land and relocate the existing businesses. There would have to be some kind of environmental cleanup and highway improvements. If the Jets are unwilling to move to Queens, he said, then the entire cost of the stadium, say $600 million, would have to be borne by the public. It is unrealistic, he said.

But it is just that kind of talk that drives Mr. Oats crazy. NYC2012 memos indicated that the group had considered the site in northern Queens as a back-up in 2002, he said. "The Jets reject Queens with this elitist attitude," he said. "They say they're not going to spend that kind of money in Queens. But next to Willets Point is the U.S. Tennis Open, one of New York's most elite sporting events."

Marc Ganis, a sports consultant based in Chicago, said that the stadium naming rights and luxury boxes in Queens could generate nearly the same revenue as Manhattan. Advertisers, he said, will pay heavily to have their name emblazoned on the stadium in the largest media market in the country. And Even Donald J. Trump, not exactly an outer-borough developer, has a luxury box at the U.S. Tennis Open.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

STT757
May 8th, 2004, 11:11 AM
Queens is a terrible site for a stadium, this is from a Mets fan. Queens is not the region's core, Manhattan is. Queens is not conveinent at all for folks from New Jersey, Rockland, Orange Counties NY.

It's only convienent to Long Island and Brooklyn, the major population centers for NYC's Sububurbs are moving West. Long Island's sububurbs are stagenent to dying, the suburbs in New Jersey are some of the fastest growing in the Nation.

normaldude
May 8th, 2004, 03:01 PM
Queens is a terrible site for a stadium, this is from a Mets fan. Queens is not the region's core, Manhattan is.

I don't think it's efficient to place a football stadium in a city's core.

As I said before, in general, I prefer projects like airports, stadiums, amusement parks, casinos, to be located outside the city center, but close to subways/trains. That way..
- car traffic is better spread out.
- human density is better spread out (in case of terrorist attack).
- land use is better spread out.
- still easy for everyone to get to the location via subways/trains.

Plus, a Queens location would still allow pre-game tailgating parties.


"We're not Nimby," said Mr. Oats, the former editor of The Queens Tribune who heads an ad hoc group known as the Queens Olympic Committee. "We're saying: Put it in our backyard.

- People in Manhattan don't want the stadium.

- People in Queens do want the stadium.

I think it makes more sense to place the stadium where it's welcome.. right next to Shea Stadium and the National Tennis Center.

fluffypolly
May 8th, 2004, 03:22 PM
well your not paying for the stadium now are you?? who cares where you would rather it. the truth of the matter is, the stadium was designed for Manhattan's grid, not the sprawled out Queens, and if you didnt get a clue the first time, im going to repeat what evryone else very slowly so you can comprehend this.... the stadium is not for car oriented cities, it is designed in mind for mass transit, and to be honest who gives a rat's a** about tailgating, if you want to tailgate do it in your backyard and shut the hell up.

krulltime
May 8th, 2004, 03:26 PM
- People in Manhattan don't want the stadium.

- People in Queens do want the stadium.

I think it makes more sense to place the stadium where it's welcome.. right next to Shea Stadium and the National Tennis Center.

Wait just a minute. I am in manhattan and I said YES to the stadium. There are only a few people who don't want it but most are either ok or are fine with it. I dont see a huge protest over this at all. I am pretty sure that if they try to built it in queens they will have a few people protesting about it. 'oh the park' 'we dont want this kind of people'...blah blah blah... get my point.

I am so tired of this few people who dont want progress...there is nothing over this yards and they are ugly as hell!

normaldude
May 8th, 2004, 03:41 PM
well your not paying for the stadium now are you??

$600 million in NYC tax dollars.



who cares where you would rather it.

Government should care what people think before spending $600 million in tax dollars.



to be honest who gives a rat's a** about tailgating, if you want to tailgate do it in your backyard and shut the hell up.

Are we starting personal attacks now?

normaldude
May 8th, 2004, 03:57 PM
Wait just a minute. I am in manhattan and I said YES to the stadium. There are only a few people who don't want it but most are either ok or are fine with it.

The majority of New Yorkers are against spending $600 million in NYC tax dollars for the Jets Stadium on Manhattan's west side. The 7 train extension, however, has much greater support.. so it's not like people are just government spending-phobic.

As posted earlier:



Last week, a Quinnipiac University poll showed that 60 percent of New York City residents opposed using public money to build the Jets stadium on the West Side, while only 33 percent favored it.



New Yorkers want to punt the Jets back to Jersey if the cost of a West Side stadium comes out of their taxes, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

By a 60 percent to 33 percent margin, New York City voters oppose using their tax dollars to build a $1.4 billion stadium for the Jets and the 2012 Olympics.

But the survey of 1,159 voters, taken from March 23 to March 29, found overwhelming support for subway and infrastructure improvements the Bloomberg administration says are essential for any redevelopment of the area.

More than 80 percent of New Yorkers support the extension of the No. 7 line and the long-awaited rebuilding of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, according to the poll, which has a margin of error of 3 percent.




Respondents to a Quinnipiac University survey say they oppose by 60% to 30% using their taxes to build the stadium. If the tax revenue comes from new office and apartment buildings in the area, the dissent eases, to 53% versus 38%. The respondents were split 45%-45% on whether the stadium can be constructed using only new taxes from the neighborhood. Opposition to the stadium, even with the tax increment financing, is strongest in Manhattan, at 60% to 34%.

krulltime
May 8th, 2004, 04:26 PM
Last week, a Quinnipiac University poll showed that 60 percent of New York City residents opposed using public money to build the Jets stadium on the West Side, while only 33 percent favored it.

Ok...now this is one of those weird polls.

First of all if they ask New Yorkers if 'public money' should be use to spend in building a staduim in Queens, I bet you get the same results.

besides the key word here is 'public money' :roll:

now if they do decide to build it in Queens then the city has to come up with the rest of the money to built the stadium...the jets said they are not investing a penny in another place except in the West side. I am pretty sure New Yorkers and I would be really upset if more then 600 millions of dollars will be spend in a stadium.

I rest my case.

normaldude
May 8th, 2004, 04:50 PM
Last week, a Quinnipiac University poll showed that 60 percent of New York City residents opposed using public money to build the Jets stadium on the West Side, while only 33 percent favored it.

Ok...now this is one of those weird polls.

First of all if they ask New Yorkers if 'public money' should be use to spend in building a staduim in Queens, I bet you get the same results.

besides the key word here is 'public money' :roll:

now if they do decide to build it in Queens then the city has to come up with the rest of the money to built the stadium...the jets said they are not investing a penny in another place except in the West side. I am pretty sure New Yorkers and I would be really upset if more then 600 millions of dollars will be spend in a stadium.

I rest my case.

If so, then it shouldn't be built. Shouldn't the opinion of New Yorkers matter when it comes to how their tax dollars are spent? New Yorkers seem wildly in favor of using their tax dollars for the 7 train extension, but don't want their tax dollars spent on a Jets Stadium on the Manhattan West Side.

If the public is against spending tax dollars for a stadium (Manhattan or Queens), and Jets won't do it themselves, then Jets can stay in NJ. After all, direct train access is being built to the Meadowloands/Giants Stadium, and should be completed by 2007.



NEWARK, NJ, March 10, 2004 – The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today approved a contract amendment for Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc. of Newark to redesign a portion of the right-of-way in East Rutherford along the Pascack Valley Line, which will allow direct rail services to the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

...

The Meadowlands rail link construction project, which includes a new station at the sports complex, is scheduled to begin in the summer 2005 and conclude by the end of 2007.

http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1399&postorder=asc&highlight=ruthe rford&start=15

fluffypolly
May 8th, 2004, 05:01 PM
well your not paying for the stadium now are you??

$600 million in NYC tax dollars.



who cares where you would rather it.

Government should care what people think before spending $600 million in tax dollars.



to be honest who gives a rat's a** about tailgating, if you want to tailgate do it in your backyard and shut the hell up.

Are we starting personal attacks now?


the tax is paying for the roof and the platform, not the actual stadium, so b4 you go and try to decredit my posts, you should do some research.
and no it wasnt a personal attack, just proving a point that football doesnt need tailgating, some [poeple have seem to forgot about the actual sport at hand. :evil:

normaldude
May 8th, 2004, 05:15 PM
the tax is paying for the roof and the platform, not the actual stadium


Which is all part of the $1.4 billion stadium construction costs.



and no it wasnt a personal attack, just proving a point that football doesnt need tailgating, some [poeple have seem to forgot about the actual sport at hand. :evil:

I don't go to tailgate parties. But there have been plenty of posts on this thread from other people showing concern about tailgating. That's why I brought it up.

I think the taxpayers' opinions should matter in regards to how their tax dollars are spent.

Jvbarton
May 8th, 2004, 07:01 PM
the tax is paying for the roof and the platform, not the actual stadium


Which is all part of the $1.4 billion stadium construction costs.



and no it wasnt a personal attack, just proving a point that football doesnt need tailgating, some [poeple have seem to forgot about the actual sport at hand. :evil:

I don't go to tailgate parties. But there have been plenty of posts on this thread from other people showing concern about tailgating. That's why I brought it up.

I think the taxpayers' opinions should matter in regards to how their tax dollars are spent.


I think the point that most people miss is that MOST of the public money ($400 million) is going towards decking over the railyards. The opposition to the stadium says, we don't want a stadium, but we do want a southern expansion of the Javits ceter. But the southern expansion of the Javits center REQUIRES decking over the railyards at a cost of $400 million. Then after the railyards are decked over the city and state must find funds to actually build the Javits expansion on top of the decking. At least the Jets were investing $800 million for the structure to go ontop of the deck.

krulltime
May 8th, 2004, 07:09 PM
Exactly...and the javits is going to make use of the stadium. No one else is going to use the stadium in Queens.

ZippyTheChimp
May 8th, 2004, 08:34 PM
Fluffypolly:
This is not SSP. You don't tell people to "shut the hell up," or you might be the one who is silenced. It might have been understandable if there was a back and forth exchange that escalated, but your first post on the subject was hostile and abusive.

One note to consider: The $800 million that the Jets are putting up gets them not only a stadium, but control over some of the most valuable real estate in the world.

fluffypolly
May 8th, 2004, 09:08 PM
Fluffypolly:
This is not SSP. You don't tell people to "shut the hell up," or you might be the one who is silenced. It might have been understandable if there was a back and forth exchange that escalated, but your first post on the subject was hostile and abusive.

One note to consider: The $800 million that the Jets are putting up gets them not only a stadium, but control over some of the most valuable real estate in the world.

my comment wasnt directed to him, it was directed to everone who is using the excuse that he is, i wasnt trying to attack him in anyway. :D

OKoranjes
May 9th, 2004, 07:21 AM
ok guys, let's just keep this pleasant. I don't like having to scroll through pages of twp people's silly back and forth.

thanks zippy.

Deimos
May 9th, 2004, 10:41 AM
One other point that's been ignored on the tailgating issue is that the Jets have proposed building a land bridge over the west-side highway to make official tailgates including live music on the park on the far side of the highway from the stadium.

billyblancoNYC
May 10th, 2004, 02:35 AM
Also, $600 million is for a deck and roof. The roof is needed for the Olympics, Super Bowl, and other events that the Jets really don't need. The deck would be built for anything that goes there, and since it is such prime, core real estate, it should be developed.

As far as spending tax payer's money, most people against this don't know what they're talking about. If you said would you support a $600 million investment (1/2 city and 1/2 state) that would pay back millions more per year in direct tax revenues, and millions more indirectly by increased business for bars, etc.? Because that is what this is. It's similar to extending the 7 train in some respects.

There is this bullshit notion now that stadiums are awful investements, blah blah. This is more than a stadium, it will help out Javits and be an anchor for development of a new business and residential district. It will also be bringing a team from another state to the city. The list of benefits goes on. Traffic and investing money to make money are not good arguements against it.

BrooklynRider
May 10th, 2004, 10:49 AM
I'm not sure how weak this will sound....

I have great reservations about the city finding that much money to invest in a "platform", while affordable housing continues to be the number one crisis in this city. I think it is amazing how politicians seem able to make money materialize for their pet projects. And, regardless of what projections the city shows, time and again, stadiums prove to be money losers.

However, with that said, I do support the building of this stadium. It just seems something that one of the largest cities in the world should have. I also think the $800M being put up by the Jets is something the city must give serious consideration to. I does create jobs - the question is: what jobs are created once the stadium is open. Similar to the proposed Nets arena, if it is built in a purely urban context (i.e., dependent on Mass Transit - limited, if any parking), I easily fall right in line behind it.

As for thye rail yard, the tracks there have been long barren. Despite protests to the contrary, this stadium does not impact a single person's home, does not abuse eminent domain, and is surrounded on three sides by commercial buildings and on the fourth by a major highway. The "neighborhood" that keeps complaining about the "impact" is just going through NIMBY motions. I don't think they have a leg to stand on.

In Brooklyn, the use of eminent domain, the destruction of people's homes, and the insertion of the project into existing neighborhoods have generated, in my opinion, much stronger arguments against it - although I support a modified form. Again, I think the context and design of that arena will ultimately decide its fate.

Given the facts and funding being offered, West Side Stadium seems a no-brainer.

NYatKNIGHT
May 10th, 2004, 01:02 PM
With a state-of-the-arts stadium that includes cultural attractions in addition to an expanded convention center, new mass transit, and improved waterfront, the ingredients are there to attract new businesses, housing and residents to that vastly unused area of Manhattan.

Eugenius
May 10th, 2004, 09:29 PM
I think that if I was against the stadium proposal, I would use an argument that would go something like this:

It is understandable that a $400 million investment by the city that would lead to an $800 million investment by the Jets is probably worthwhile. The question is, would an independent real estate developer foot the cost of the platform if given the right to build upon the resultant prime real estate. The answer is most probably yes. Think about it: in any other area of the city, $400 million would probably not buy you a chunk of land that big (note the $680 million paid for the Waterside plant on the East river).

However, because no developers have as yet come forth with open checkbooks and alternative proposals for the railyard space, I am backing the stadium.

BPC
May 10th, 2004, 11:19 PM
... However, because no developers have as yet come forth with open checkbooks and alternative proposals for the railyard space, I am backing the stadium.

The reason that no private developer has stepped up is because a developer would be required to pay the MTA hundreds of millions for that property (money that would accrue to the public treasury). The Jets, by contrast, are being offered it for free. If other private developers were offered that same property for free, like the Jets, you better believe they would come up with uses for the property that would lead to far greater economic development that and anti-urban and neighborhood-killing football stadium, used for only 8 Sundays a year.

BPC
May 10th, 2004, 11:32 PM
With a state-of-the-arts stadium that includes cultural attractions in addition to an expanded convention center, new mass transit, and improved waterfront, the ingredients are there to attract new businesses, housing and residents to that vastly unused area of Manhattan.

I ask this not as an attack but as an honest question. Has there ever been an experience in which an NFL football stadium has generated significant new businesses, housing and residents to a surrounding area? I've seen a few of them myself (most recently the brand new RCA(?) dome in St Louis), and the surrounding area invariably sucks. Baseball stadiums are a little better, because they bring 81 homes dates instead of just 8, but even those are very hit or miss (pun intended) in economic development. I just can't believe living near a domed football stadium would be all that appealing. The problem is not the drunken rowdies on the 8 Sunday afternoons, but rather the emptiness/lifelessness in the area the other 357 days of the year.

JMGarcia
May 11th, 2004, 12:42 AM
Can't say for sure but I recently visited San Diego and the area around the new baseball stadium is booming.

ZippyTheChimp
May 11th, 2004, 12:46 AM
If it was between the stadium and the present condition, the choice is obvious. However, there are other alternatives. The only factors that hindered development were zoning (that’s being changed), and transportation (that’s being changed). This is not unattractive, hard-to-develop property. Other developers have not come forward because there is no inducement for them to do so, since the city’s position is locked on the stadium.

The momentum for the Westside stadium began with the Jake in Cleveland and Camden Yards in Baltimore. Their success in transforming the downtowns of those cities led Guiliani and Steinbrenner to envision the Yankees playing with a midtown backdrop. It’s a compelling vista, and a Yankee Stadium in midtown would have been “better” than the one in the Bronx, but not as successful as the present Yankee Stadium plus whatever is developed on the Westside.

The same can be said about the Jets Stadium. The Jets want the Westside because it is a (much) better deal, but that does not mean that a stadium in Flushing Meadows is not viable. The Jets did not leave the city because of attendance. The two problems were both Shea Stadium: it is not well suited to football, and the Mets are the primary tenant. If the Mets made the playoffs, the Jets played their first four games on the road. In fact, if the Giants left, the Jets would be perfectly happy in the Meadowlands.

Which brings up the point of leverage. Do the Jets have any?
They can’t threaten to leave the city. If the city were to deny the stadium, what would the Jets do? I don’t see Chicago offering a site by the Chicago River. What would probably happen is that they would get a stadium somewhere in the Metro area that would be very similar to Flushing Meadow. And they would be very happy not being second class tenants in the Meadowlands.

I would love to walk up West St to a football game, and if it’s really the only way to develop the area, then they should build the stadium. I just think the opportunity to explore other possibilities is being missed.

billyblancoNYC
May 11th, 2004, 01:46 AM
... However, because no developers have as yet come forth with open checkbooks and alternative proposals for the railyard space, I am backing the stadium.

The reason that no private developer has stepped up is because a developer would be required to pay the MTA hundreds of millions for that property (money that would accrue to the public treasury). The Jets, by contrast, are being offered it for free. If other private developers were offered that same property for free, like the Jets, you better believe they would come up with uses for the property that would lead to far greater economic development that and anti-urban and neighborhood-killing football stadium, used for only 8 Sundays a year.

I would bet a large amount of money that this wull be used for a lot more than 8 days per year. For Jets football, sure 8-10 games per year. But, as far as the stores, restuaurants, bars, park-deck over the West Side highway, the market under the redeveloped Highline, the public theater, the NY Hall of Science Museum annex, Super Bowls, concerts, conventions, and whatever else, I think it will be utilized. There's already talk of the Guggenheim anchoring a cultural center right next to the stadium, and of course the Javits expansion.

I feel like this has been discussed with you before.

BPC
May 11th, 2004, 02:00 AM
...

I would bet a large amount of money that this wull be used for a lot more than 8 days per year. For Jets football, sure 8-10 games per year. But, as far as the stores, restuaurants, bars, park-deck over the West Side highway, the market under the redeveloped Highline, the public theater, the NY Hall of Science Museum annex, Super Bowls, concerts, conventions, and whatever else, I think it will be utilized. There's already talk of the Guggenheim anchoring a cultural center right next to the stadium, and of course the Javits expansion.

I feel like this has been discussed with you before.

Perhaps. I guess I still don't understand why the STADIUM is necessary. I support the extension of the 7, the expansion of the Javitz, the restoration of the Highlane, the development of the waterfront, a NY Hall of Science Musueum annex, a Guggenheim wing, etc., etc., etc. Those would all be good things for the West Side, but the Jets won't be paying for any of them, and none of them need -- or indeed would even benefit from -- an NFL STADIUM next door. Indeed, without the stadium, the City will have $800M more in the bank to develop the West Side, plus up to $1B (according to Peter Kalikow) in development rights for the site which is now going to be given to the Jets for free, money that also could be used to develop the West Side, plus the opportunity to have a nice, New York style development for the property, with street retail and sidewalk life, not an enormous deadening stadium.

Ninjahedge
May 11th, 2004, 11:28 AM
Bottom line, just about anything better than a wastewater plant, railyard or power station would be welcomed there.

A staduim is NOT the best of choices and it will bring some buisness, but not as much as publicists would make us all believe.

So whatever.

TonyO
May 11th, 2004, 11:33 AM
With all those railways below it, there is probably a small number of uses for the railyards. Stadium, low-rise covention center, parking lot are probably the few things that can realistically go there.

BrooklynRider
May 11th, 2004, 12:15 PM
I think the stadium in Cleveland is a lousy example. It is absolutely desolate there and there is NO subsequent development as a result. Just a nice stadium for the game days.

I think the problem is that no one wants to live "in the shadow" of a stadium. Effective development of property around the stadium is crucial. As it is, the Javits Center and its environs are isolated and deserted when no conventions are booked there, and it is completely ignored by New Yorkers even when conventions are there.

NYatKNIGHT
May 11th, 2004, 01:24 PM
Well said - everybody. I honestly wish the city would entertain other options, there are other ways to develop the site, possibly better ways, but so far there have been no alternatives presented that would actually bring all those projects and immenities listed above to that area. Would the Guggenheim really be considering that site without the stadium?

Supporters may paint a rosy picture of what the stadium could bring, but it's equally unrealistic to label it so negatively as deadening the neighborhood. It's not a slam-dunk that the area around the existing rail yards will be worse off. Even if there were no examples of NFL stadiums that have generated significant businesses, it doesn't necessarily equate here. Name any football stadium that has anything close to the immenities that Billy listed.

The new Mile High Stadium in Denver is an example of a stadium that has helped an otherwise stark stretch of highway anchor a neighborhood and connect to the CBD. New businesses are popping up around that stadium, though the businesses around the new arena and baseball stadium, both closer walking distance to downtown, are thriving year-round.

billyblancoNYC
May 11th, 2004, 01:24 PM
Well, with the zoning, there will be a buffer zone between the Javits/Jets and residential...

http://nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/hyards/hyprop_2_25_04.pdf

Jasonik
May 11th, 2004, 01:44 PM
With all due respect to the Jets organization, isn't the city offering such a tepting offer based on the Olympic bid?
I guess if there is no interest in attracting the Olypics to NYC, there are much more lucrative uses for the railyard property.

krulltime
May 11th, 2004, 04:34 PM
I think the stadium in Cleveland is a lousy example. It is absolutely desolate there and there is NO subsequent development as a result. Just a nice stadium for the game days.

I think the problem is that no one wants to live "in the shadow" of a stadium. Effective development of property around the stadium is crucial. As it is, the Javits Center and its environs are isolated and deserted when no conventions are booked there, and it is completely ignored by New Yorkers even when conventions are there.

I think that some stadiums like the Cleveland one are examples of poor planning. They did not think too much of trying to interact with the neighborhood...The jets stadium will have storefronts and other cool stuff that It will bring people over to the waterfront. Plus the architecture is really cool as well.

The reason that no one ventures to that area is because of the unfrendly convention center there already. I thnik that they did a poor job when it got built. The city and state should destroy it and built a new one with a couple of hotels on top that interacts with the waterfront and the neighborhood not just a wall of glass. :wink:

Kris
May 12th, 2004, 03:47 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/environment/20040512/7/977

Dreaming Of A Jets Stadium (And Junkyard Cleanup) In Queens

by Sam Williams

May 05, 2004

Few corners of the city exemplify the political inertia that can delay environmental remediation as well as Willets Point.

Nestled in between Shea Stadium, Flushing Meadow Corona Parks, and the Flushing River, this 16 block enclave of pock-marked streets, auto body shops and junkyards known locally as the Iron Triangle has long been a magnet for trash and a generator of toxic runoff for decades. One need only pass overhead on the Flushing-bound 7 train to witness the resulting blight: Wind and rain patterns have pushed the trash and oil so deep into the Flushing River watershed it's hard to tell where the human devastation stops and the natural ecosystem begins.

Though an obvious target for cleanup, Willets Point has to date defied all attempts to do so. The reasons generally boil down to economics: To get the land, the city would have to pay to relocate existing businesses. Throw in remediation costs and whatever legal fees might accrue in the process and it isn't too surprising that most redevelopment plans have rarely made it past the planning stage.

For David Oats, former editor of the Queens Tribune and current chairman of the Queens Olympic Committee, a group dedicated to reshaping Flushing Meadows Corona Park into an Olympics-worthy venue, it's hard not to memory the spirit of Robert Moses when discussing the stubborn parcel. It was here, after all, that Moses, political architect of Flushing Meadows, the Cross Bronx Expressway and dozens of other public works projects, met one of his most humbling defeats. As president of the 1964 World's Fair, Moses sought to condemn local properties and integrate Willets Point into an expanded Flushing Meadows park complex. To defend their interests, junkyard owners hired a young Queens attorney named Mario Cuomo. For both men, it was a turning point. Cuomo won the case and went on to the governor's office. Moses lost and went into grudging retirement.

"To his dying day, Moses was frustrated that there were still junkyards in Willets Point," says Oats, who remembers running into an elderly Robert Moses. "In the last conversation I had with him, I mentioned Willets Point at one point and his first question was 'Are those damn junkyards finally gone?'"

Undaunted, Oats and the Queens Olympic Committee have taken up the Moses-worthy challenge of redeveloping Willets Point. In doing so, they've hitched a ride on a national wave of municipal stadium projects not to mention the growing political resistance to the mayor's own West Side Jets stadium plan. Billing a Jets stadium in Willets Point as the ultimate kill-two-birds-with-one-stone bargain, Oats sees a chance to pull off what Moses never could: an Olympics-worthy park complex stretching from La Guardia Airport in the north to the Jamaica Railyards in the south while cleaning up the Flushing River in the process.

"This site eliminates every problem we've got," he says. "You can reclaim the air, clean up the trash, combine water quality, and build a stadium with better access to major transportation resources."

Oats punctuates the pitch with a flourish: "It's even got the globe sitting there."

That "globe" would be the Unisphere, a relic of the 1964 World's Fair and a symbolic reminder of the world-hosting ambitions that built Flushing Meadows in the first place. With the city angling to play host to the 2012 Olympics, Oats and other community leaders see Queens as a natural launching point.

The plan is a long shot, of course. The mayor's office, which has invested heavy political capital into the proposed $1.4 billion West Side stadium project ($2.8 billion if you factor in expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and extension of the No. 7 subway line) has already dismissed the Queens stadium plan as unworkable. Still, in the two years since Oats first started ferrying newspaper reporters out to Willets Point in an attempt to drum up media interest, other community leaders have jumped onboard. According to the West Queens Gazette, members of Community Board 3 endorsed plans for a Willets Point stadium in February. Last month, Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-Queens/Brooklyn) threw his own support behind the Oats plan. Weiner dismissed the west side stadium with its proposed $600 million taxpayer subsidy as "staggeringly expensive" and suggested Willets Point as a "better, cheaper, more transparent alternative."

"It just makes sense," says Queens attorney Corey Bearak, a participant in past studies designed to assess the feasibility of a Queens-based NFL stadium. "I have not visited a stadium or a stadium site anywhere in the country where you have an interstate coupled with a major limited access highway (Northern Blvd.) coupled with subway and light rail (Long Island Railroad). Throw in the opportunity for ferry access, it's a unique situation."

Not all Queens leaders have bought off on the plan, of course. Councilmember Hiram Monserrate from Corona finds it hard to justify any proposal that would replace a thriving, albeit ugly economic district, with a taxpayer-subsidized home for a team that abandoned the borough only 21 years ago.

"I have concerns," Monserrate says. "Are we merely insuring profits for corporations that are already doing well on their own? Secondly, are we providing a place for displaced businesses? The last thing we need to be doing is replacing good, sustainable jobs with entry level positions selling peanuts at football games. "

From an environmental perspective, Paul Graziano, a Green Party challenger for the District 20 council seat in 2001, is leery of any deal that would link stadium construction with environmental cleanup. Environmental advocates need only visit East Rutherford New Jersey to get a glimpse of how poorly a three stadium complex can blend in with a local, aquatic ecosystem. What's more, should the stadium plan fall through, Queens activists will have lost yet another step to their counterparts in the Bronx and Staten Island, places where sustained community pressure is finally yielding a turnaround for distressed waterways such as the Bronx River and Fresh Kills.

"It shouldn't take the Olympics to clean up things," says Graziano.

Such sentiments may be true in principle, says Oats, but as recent history has shown, especially in geographically divided Queens, an attention-getting solution and a deadline to match are quite often the "only way" to break through political gridlock.

"If you don't have a big plan, you're going to get mired in the minutiae," says Oats. "Moses learned that early on. When the 1939 Worlds Fair came along, he saw a chance to get rid of the (Flushing) dump and suddenly heaven and earth moved. Then the war came and he couldn't finish his park off, so he waited for the next chance. When the idea for the second Worlds Fair came around, he became the president and built the park."

Oats, a Moses admirer, hesitates to compare himself to the man whose earth-moving ambitions once sank in the morass of Willets Point. Still, even for those with a fraction of the Moses political will, the current Olympics bid is emerging as the latest "once in a lifetime opportunity" to clean up a piece of the borough and have the rest of the world help pick up the tab.

"Willets Point has gone through so many cleanup attempts and for some quirky reason or another, they've all failed," he says. "I don't want my grandchildren dealing with this problem because we couldn't get it done when we had the chance."

Jvbarton
May 13th, 2004, 01:52 PM
...

I would bet a large amount of money that this wull be used for a lot more than 8 days per year. For Jets football, sure 8-10 games per year. But, as far as the stores, restuaurants, bars, park-deck over the West Side highway, the market under the redeveloped Highline, the public theater, the NY Hall of Science Museum annex, Super Bowls, concerts, conventions, and whatever else, I think it will be utilized. There's already talk of the Guggenheim anchoring a cultural center right next to the stadium, and of course the Javits expansion.

I feel like this has been discussed with you before.

Perhaps. I guess I still don't understand why the STADIUM is necessary. I support the extension of the 7, the expansion of the Javitz, the restoration of the Highlane, the development of the waterfront, a NY Hall of Science Musueum annex, a Guggenheim wing, etc., etc., etc. Those would all be good things for the West Side, but the Jets won't be paying for any of them, and none of them need -- or indeed would even benefit from -- an NFL STADIUM next door. Indeed, without the stadium, the City will have $800M more in the bank to develop the West Side, plus up to $1B (according to Peter Kalikow) in development rights for the site which is now going to be given to the Jets for free, money that also could be used to develop the West Side, plus the opportunity to have a nice, New York style development for the property, with street retail and sidewalk life, not an enormous deadening stadium.

I think you are wrong on a few issues, and maybe right on some others.
The issues where you are wrong start when you ask why the stadium is needed. You are right, it isnt NEEDED in Manhattan, but it is the best deal for the city. Think of it this way, a stadium MUST be built somewhere. 1. for the olympics and 2. for the Jets to invest in the city.

IF the stadium isnt build on the West Side, the Javits center will still need to be expanded southward to get the square footage needed for the convention center to be competitive. With the southern expansion of the Javits over the railyards it will still cost the city $400 million in public money to deck over the railyards. And after the deck is built, the city and or state still needs to build the expansion struture on top and we all know that will cost way more than $200 million left in public funds that they stadium would have recieved. (Just look how much the northern expansion is costing $1.2 billion) There will be no developmental rights with the southern expansion of the Javits center and there is no way the city or state would ever pay the MTA $1 billion in air rights.

That is the main reason why the stadium on the West Side makes sense. A stadium is needed for the Olympics, the Javits center needs expansion, and the Jets are willing to invest $800 million, saving the city that much money in building the southern expansion of the javits center by making the stadium a convention center also.

Kris
May 15th, 2004, 06:52 AM
May 15, 2004

In Veteran Broadway Producer, Jets Seek Blocking Help

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

Martin Richards, who has produced scores of plays and movies in his 40-year career, finally has a starring role in an action drama that has sundered the theater world and is rocking the West Side of Manhattan. Title it "Bullets over Broadway."

Mr. Richards has been recruited by the New York Jets to help win over public opinion for its plan to build a $1.4 billion stadium along the West Side Highway at 34th Street, a proposal strongly opposed by several powerful Broadway theater owners and union leaders. He readily volunteers that he is not a football fan, and that nepotism played a role in his selection; his late wife, Mary Lea Johnson, was related to Woody Johnson, the Jets owner.

But Mr. Richards said he was convinced that a stadium with a retractable roof, next to an expanded convention center and near the waterfront, would be an exciting place that would draw more people to Manhattan and Broadway, his first love.

"Anything that's going to enhance New York City's excitement and bring in more people is a good thing,'' said Mr. Richards, who produced "La Cage aux Folles;'' "Will Rogers Follies;'' and "Chicago," both the original Broadway production and the Oscar-winning movie.

In his efforts to help the Jets, Mr. Richards has been joined by James L. Nederlander Jr. and his father, James Sr., who operate nine Broadway theaters as well as theaters in California, Chicago, Detroit and London. Their roles in the Jets' production puts them sharply at odds with Gerald Schoenfeld and Rocco Landesman, who between them control 22 of the 35 Broadway theaters, as well as Thomas C. Short, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Mr. Schoenfeld and Mr. Landesman have been outspoken business leaders opposing the stadium, which would be an Olympic stadium if the city wins its bid for the 2012 Summer Games.

Rather than attracting people to Manhattan, they say, the 75,000-seat stadium would create traffic jams and discourage many from visiting the theater district, which they say is the city's most important tourist attraction, pulling in 225,000 patrons a week.

The stadium would sit on a $400 million deck over the West Side railyards a dozen blocks southwest of Times Square. The Jets are putting up $800 million for construction, while state and city officials have agreed to provide $600 million.

"I support the Olympics in New York," said Mr. Schoenfeld, chairman of the Schubert Organization, "but not at the expense of the West Side. It's already terribly congested. There is no record of a stadium having a positive economic impact on an urban area."

Mr. Short said he was "philosophically opposed to giving a sports team $600 million when schools are crumbling in front of our eyes," voicing an argument similar to that of economists who question of the wisdom of public investments in stadiums. But Mr. Cross said the Jets stadium would be unlike any other in that it would be designed to be a convention hall, a home to basketball tournaments, circuses and Super Bowls, and a link to the Hudson River waterfront.

The drama has unfolded with a symphony of grinding axes and only a month before a possible strike by union workers could darken Broadway theaters. Off stage, rumors abound. Did Mr. Nederlander endorse the stadium because he is also a minority owner of the Yankees, who want a subsidized stadium of their own? Did Mr. Schoenfeld become a stadium critic after the city turned down his request for development rights to build a theater?

Nonsense, the two men say. "We think it'll be good for New York," Mr. Nederlander said. "The more people who come into the city, the more who'll go to the theater."

The Jets have sought a counterweight to Mr. Schoenfeld and Mr. Landesman since the men went public with their criticism. Unable to quell opposition from community groups and West Side officials, stadium proponents do not want prominent figures adding their voices against the plan.

Mr. Richards said both sides should be able to work out their differences. "There are so many people with so much money involved with the stadium," Mr. Richards said. "I think perhaps that people like Woody, who want to build the stadium, should do something for the theaters."

In the meantime, the battle of Broadway continues. Matthew Higgins, a vice president for the Jets, has been wooing union leaders with promises of jobs.

The American League of American Theaters and Producers decided to stay out of the fray. Alan Eisenberg, executive director of Actors' Equity, acknowledged pressure from both sides, but said the union had not taken a position because "we have really been overwhelmed with negotiations."

Labor officials suggested that the stadium could be used as leverage in the coming contract negotiations with theater owners. If there is a strike, the mayor could side with the unions, positioning himself as a friend of workers, while punishing Mr. Schoenfeld.

"I don't believe they would do that," said Mr. Landesman, president of Jujamcyn Theaters, which operates five Broadway theaters. "Bloomberg hasn't tended to play those games."

But Mr. Landesman is concerned that the combined efforts of the Bloomberg administration, the Olympic bid committee and the Jets have served to dampen public debate. "A lot of people are shy about articulating their concerns, because they don't want to alienate the mayor," Mr. Landesman said. "I love the mayor, but there are real questions about this project."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

normaldude
May 15th, 2004, 02:11 PM
..There is no record of a stadium having a positive economic impact on an urban area."

Mr. Short said he was "philosophically opposed to giving a sports team $600 million when schools are crumbling in front of our eyes," voicing an argument similar to that of economists who question of the wisdom of public investments in stadiums..


I think that summarizes why most New Yorkers are against spending $600 million in tax dollars towards the stadium.
- The economic benefit is questionable.
- The stadium only gets fully utilized 8 days out of the year (and for only 3 hrs each time).
- The stadium only directly benefits a certain segment of the population (football fans).

People are much more willing to have $600 million in tax dollars spent towards things like schools and transportation because..
- It's for things viewed as core necessities (schools & transportation) versus luxury/entertainment (football).
- It's for things that are fully used most of the year.
- It directly affects a broader segment of the population.

TonyO
May 15th, 2004, 03:03 PM
I think that summarizes why most New Yorkers are against spending $600 million in tax dollars towards the stadium.
- The economic benefit is questionable.
- The stadium only gets fully utilized 8 days out of the year (and for only 3 hrs each time).
- The stadium only directly benefits a certain segment of the population (football fans).

People are much more willing to have $600 million in tax dollars spent towards things like schools and transportation because..
- It's for things viewed as core necessities (schools & transportation) versus luxury/entertainment (football).
- It's for things that are fully used most of the year.
- It directly affects a broader segment of the population.

I have yet to hear any specific credible polls on whether New Yorkers support the proposed Jets stadium in Manhattan. Be careful when you say "most NYers".

The stadium will host more than Football, it will be a satellite space for the convention center, host large concerts, and probably much more. Do you think they would not try to use it every chance they get? It would most certainly benefit more than football fans...(which I am not, by the way).

Sometimes the NIMBYism dumbfounds me in this city. Theatre owners are upset that a stadium will create more traffic. It would seem that they would stand to benefit by the influx of people who might RARELY come into Midtown.

Anything built up is going to cause more traffic. I would argue that a new office tower with its thousands of inhabitants/workers/deliveries coming and going every day makes as much a traffic impact as a stadium, if not more. Weekday traffic is more of a hassle than weekend.

If the stadium is defeated, the money proposed will most surely not go directly to any school, affordable living or animal shelter. It will go to the next big project.

normaldude
May 15th, 2004, 03:29 PM
I have yet to hear any specific credible polls on whether New Yorkers support the proposed Jets stadium in Manhattan. Be careful when you say "most NYers".

See below regarding NYers view on using tax dollars for the Jets stadium in Manhattan (as mentioned on this thread already). So until I see a poll showing otherwise, I'll say "most NYers" oppose using tax dollars to fund the Jets stadium project in Manhattan.



Last week, a Quinnipiac University poll showed that 60 percent of New York City residents opposed using public money to build the Jets stadium on the West Side, while only 33 percent favored it.



New Yorkers want to punt the Jets back to Jersey if the cost of a West Side stadium comes out of their taxes, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

By a 60 percent to 33 percent margin, New York City voters oppose using their tax dollars to build a $1.4 billion stadium for the Jets and the 2012 Olympics.

But the survey of 1,159 voters, taken from March 23 to March 29, found overwhelming support for subway and infrastructure improvements the Bloomberg administration says are essential for any redevelopment of the area.

More than 80 percent of New Yorkers support the extension of the No. 7 line and the long-awaited rebuilding of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, according to the poll, which has a margin of error of 3 percent.

normaldude
May 15th, 2004, 03:46 PM
Sometimes the NIMBYism dumbfounds me in this city.


Sure, but I'm not talking about NIMBYism. If New Yorkers favored spending the $600 million in tax dollars for the West Side Jets stadium project, and the West Side residents were the ones opposed, then I could see this as NIMBYism.

If anything, there's plenty of "YIMBYism" from Queens. Since Queens residents seem like they would actually welcome the stadium. However, the Jets aren't interested in that location.



"..According to the West Queens Gazette, members of Community Board 3 endorsed plans for a Willets Point stadium in February.."

.."We're not Nimby," said Mr. Oats, the former editor of The Queens Tribune who heads an ad hoc group known as the Queens Olympic Committee. "We're saying: Put it in our backyard..





If the stadium is defeated, the money proposed will most surely not go directly to any school, affordable living or animal shelter. It will go to the next big project.

Who said anything about affordable living or animal shelters?

And if the next big project is something New Yorkers want, then that's a good thing. After all, New Yorkers favor using tax dollars for the 7 train extension, so it's not like New Yorkers doesn't want the government to spend money. I'd be willing to bet that New Yorkers as a whole would prefer $600 million be spent towards something like the 2nd Ave subway or N train extension to LaGuardia.. rather than a Manhattan football stadium.

Besides, it's not like NYC govt is rolling in excess money. We're in and out of budget crisises, and always fighting on how to raise taxes to cover those budget deficits. It's not like local government has $600 million just begging to be spent.

TonyO
May 15th, 2004, 04:36 PM
Quinnipiac is respected, so as far as that goes I am surprised. Give it time, I don't think that the details are as well known as sound bites like "public funding is $600M". The stadium is a good deal compared to other cities and stadiums built around the country.

I think the best that may come out of opposition to this is a better deal from the Jets for the city, give or take a hundred million.

ZippyTheChimp
May 16th, 2004, 08:38 AM
http://www.observer.com/index_go.html

Touchdown, Nieporent! Chez Jets In Deals With Four-Star Chefs

by Blair Golson

If the New York Jets, a lunch-bucket football team if ever there was one, return to the city of their youth, they will bring with them a more refined sensibility.

In a private dining room at the Four Seasons hotel several weeks ago, a congregation of New York’s best-known restaurateurs and bar owners heard Jets president Jay Cross pitch the team’s proposed West Side stadium as the next hot address for destination dining.

During an hour-long luncheon, Mr. Cross and team owner Woody Johnson held forth to a group of some 25 discriminating diners that included Nobu’s Drew Nieporent, Jean George’s Phil Suarez, Osteria del Circo’s Mauro Maccioni, W Bar’s Scott Gerber, Patroon’s Ken Aretsky, and even filmmaker and Jet fan Spike Lee.

As part of the team’s drive to make the controversial stadium project more palatable to the public, the Jets are trying to stress the supposedly neighborhood-friendly aspects of a structure that critics claim will be anything but. Recently, the Jets announced that the stadium would include a small community theater, museum and adjacent public parks.

But the topic at the Four Seasons luncheon had nothing to do with civic altruism. Topic A was high-end consumption: As part of the stadium project, the Jets want to include five upscale restaurants, five bars and several banquet facilities. The team invited some of Manhattan’s best-known restaurant owners to lunch in order to sell them on a new definition of ballpark dining.

"The Jets were basically saying, ‘We’re putting all you guys in this room to show that you’re all really interested in this project,’" said Mr. Gerber, whose brother, Rande, is married to Cindy Crawford. "They figured that instead of us reading about 14 different sides of the project in the news, they wanted to tell us their side."

Mr. Gerber said he showed up at the April 26 meeting because he has already been in talks with the Jets about setting up a W sports bar on the stadium’s top level, and he said he left the Four Seasons presentation thinking of himself as a tentative tenant.

"It sounds like a great project, and of course we’d be interested in pursuing it," he said.

The Jets culled their invite list largely from among a group of people with whom they’ve already had some degree of discussions.

"The ultimate goal is to provide the ultimate private banqueting space in the city, run by what we hope will be the best the city has to offer in terms of restaurant- and saloon-keepers," said Mr. Cross. "That gives the whole project a distinctly New York flavor and makes the building, both as a sports and convention center, a unique destination."

By "private banqueting," Mr. Cross meant that he doesn’t envision most of the stadium’s restaurants or bars to be traditional 365-day-per-year establishments. Rather, he sees the restaurants catering to functions like corporate hospitality events, somewhat akin to Cipriani’s or the Rainbow Room.

At the Four Seasons luncheon, which featured filet mignon, tuna and wine, Mr. Cross gave what has become his standard stump speech for the stadium, which would be the new home for the Jets and the centerpiece of the 2012 Summer Olympics if they are awarded to the city. Meeting attendees also said Mr. Cross emphasized that the stadium would be a good neighbor and a catalyst for the development of the so-called Hudson Yards district, the 59-square-block area that Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff is seeking to transform into the city’s newest neighborhood.

"They made a very impressive presentation on how they want to bring a lot of good things to the neighborhood, and how the stadium will have a positive impact on the community," said Mr. Suarez, the longtime business partner of famed restaurateur Jean-George Vongerichten.

Stadium opponents view the addition of high-end restaurants and bars to the stadium in much the same way that they regarded the earlier announcement of a theater and museum addition.

"Nothing says ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ like a five-star French restaurant," said City Councilwoman Christine Quinn. "This focus on high-end restaurants and high-end establishments is just another indication that this stadium is not directed towards helping or being part of the existing neighborhood."

Ms. Quinn also said that the addition of so many restaurants raised questions about the impact that the stadium would have on traffic. Many critics, including Ms. Quinn, worry that the neighborhood will become congested not only with sports fans, but also convention-goers and, now, upscale diners.

On the other hand, that’s exactly what the city and the Jets are counting on. Mr. Doctoroff and Mr. Cross have long conceded that the stadium, which will require a $600 million subsidy, will make economic sense for the city only if it draws visitors to its convention shows. These visitors will then spend money on Broadway shows, restaurants and hotels. Stadium supporters and critics disagree on whether those convention shows will ever materialize. So if the addition of restaurants ends up bringing more people to the stadium, as Ms. Quinn suggested, that would suit the Jets and the city just fine.

"As someone who grew up in New York, I can be as skeptical as anyone about the problems inherent in trying to do something like this," said Mr. Nieporent, owner of Nobu and Tribeca Grill. "But they really thought through the process, and they want this to be a win-win for everyone."

Of course, Mr. Nieporent doesn’t speak for the many urban planners who contend that it is folly to turn three blocks of prime Hudson River waterfront into a largely impassable super-block. Then too, almost every local elected official that represents the area slotted for the stadium—a stretch of the M.T.A. railyards between 30th and 33rd streets, from 11th Avenue to the Hudson—is a vocal opponent of the project, and most economists contend that urban stadiums are generally poor generators of economic activity.

As for the breakdown of the restaurants themselves, Mr. Cross said that on the stadium’s club level, there will be four "zones," each one with a different restaurant that offers a thematically distinct kind of dining experience. Zone 1 will be "exotic," where one might find an ethnic restaurant like Tabla or Nobu; Zone 2 is the self-explanatory "steakhouse"; Zone 3 is—believe it or not—"power," which could include a restaurant akin to the Four Seasons or Michael’s; and Zone 4 is "bistro," which might be home to a restaurant like downtown fixture Balthazar. (A Jets spokesman stressed that the zone names may be subject to change.) A ground-level indoor/outdoor café and the top-level sports bar—potentially home to another Gerber-styled W establishment—are being envisioned as traditional establishments, open daily to the general public.

Image Change

The Jets’ push to sprinkle their stadium with high-end restaurants is almost certainly part of Mr. Johnson’s attempt to transform the team’s raucous blue-collar image to something more befitting the billionaire owner’s Park Avenue–esque roots, according to writer Gerald Eskenazi, who covered the Jets as a sportswriter for The New York Times and wrote a book about the team called Gang Green.

"The Jets had the legacy of Brooklyn and Queens," he said, referring to the Jets’ longtime home at Shea Stadium. (Ironically enough, if the team moves to the West Side, it will be returning to its roots—the team, then known as the Titans, first played in the old Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan.) "The perception then was more of a blue-collar, subway kind of crowd," he added.

Mr. Eskenazi contrasted the Jets’ image with that of their rivals, the New York Giants. Their fans, he said, were more "P.J. Clarke, button-down shirt, advertising and media types."

That image of the Jets has changed since the team moved to the New Jersey Meadowlands in the mid-1980’s, but old stereotypes are hard to break. Mr. Johnson, however, is trying to do just that.

"Woody’s a New York guy who wants New York people," Mr. Eskenazi said. He noted that after purchasing the team two years ago, Mr. Johnson broke with the practice of housing Jets players in a hotel near the Meadowlands on nights before the game, and instead housed them in Manhattan hotels so the players "could taste the nightlife of New York City."

"Woody is very aware of the Jets’ sorry winning tradition, and he’s also aware of their image, which he wants to bring more into his circle of friends," Mr. Eskenazi said. "Woody is a Park Avenue kind of guy, and he’s looking to build a Park Avenue type of operation."

Mr. Johnson was not available for comment.

You may reach Blair Golson via email at: bgolson@observer.com.

COPYRIGHT © 2004
THE NEW YORK OBSERVER
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

NYguy
May 16th, 2004, 10:41 AM
WestSideStadium.org at 9th Avenue Food Festival

May 15th, 2004

http://westsidestadium.com/content/membership/9thavfest.jpg

Board member Sophfronia Scott discusses issues with interested passersby, while collecting several hundred signatures in support.

Setting up the tables, WestSideStadium.org members Tom McMorrow and Sophfronia Scott weren't sure what to expect.

They knew going in that there are many potential supporters of the stadium who have had no place to go before to express their support. But they also knew that there are many west siders who do oppose the stadium. And that is, indeed, the way the day played out.

Supporters of the stadium were surprised, and happy to see the stand. "You mean, you guys are out here in SUPPORT of the stadium? Where do I sign?" was a common refrain. Ms. Scott and Mr. McMorrow, along with fellow founding members Dan Elman, Patrick Centolanzi, Joan Lowel and Tom McMorrow, Sr (The Wise Old Egg) collected several hundred signatures in support, bringing many new members into the fold. The passing opposition was for the most part good-natured, with some being skeptical (we are, after all, New Yorkers) but still interested in hearing the pros and cons.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was the appearance of Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets. He walked over and signed the petition in support, then continued on his way. It was reported to us that Mr. Johnson then stopped at a booth manned by the opposition, and discussed the issues at length with those manning the booth.

WestSideStadium.org will be back again at the food festival tomorrow, so if you are in the area, stop on by.

NYguy
May 17th, 2004, 08:45 AM
Daily News...

Study: No gain for Jets in Qns.

The smart money's on Manhattan - not Queens - when it comes to a new stadium for the Jets, according to a report released yesterday by a construction company.

Tishman Construction - which may seek work as a consultant to the Jets, who are dead set on the West Side site - claims the stadium's price tag would be $1.4 billion in either borough.

The Manhattan site, located next to the Javits Center on Manhattan's far West Side, would generate more cash for the city, Tishman contends.

Critics opposed to building the 75,000-seat retractable-dome stadium in Manhattan have suggested Willets Point would make a better, cheaper home.

But Queens Councilman David Weprin said the city risks losing the $800 million the Jets have committed to build a stadium in Manhattan. The city and state have agreed to cough up the $600 million it's expected to cost to build the roof and the platform over the West Side rail yards.

"I'm afraid that the chatter about Queens is not useful and can threaten or delay the huge benefit this plan brings," said Weprin, a Democrat, as he stood with Tishman officials and union leaders.

Tishman Construction President John Livingston said his firm is not interested in building the stadium, but conceded it may seek consulting work.

Councilwoman Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) dismissed the report as self-serving. "They could use an independent study - this isn't that," she said.

(NY Post)

STUDY: W. SIDE STADIUM IS BE$T

May 17, 2004 -- If the city builds a new stadium in Queens it will lose at least $8 million a year in revenue, according to a study commissioned by the company that wants to build the complex.

"A New York Sports and Convention Center in Manhattan potentially provides the highest rate of return," said John Livingston, president of Tishman Construction Corp. The study, which was completed by Ernst & Young for free, says a Manhattan stadium will bring in more that $30 million a year in revenue.

Stephanie Gaskell

NYguy
May 17th, 2004, 06:26 PM
More fun and games from the 9th Ave street fair (westsidestadium.com)...

I should have gone just for a t-shirt. That makes two t-shirts I now must have, the other being the Brooklyn Nets t-shirt....


http://westsidestadium.com/content/9thavfest/fest12.jpg


http://westsidestadium.com/content/9thavfest/fest17.jpg


http://westsidestadium.com/content/9thavfest/fest15.jpg


http://westsidestadium.com/content/9thavfest/fest13.jpg


http://westsidestadium.com/content/9thavfest/fest1.jpg

NYguy
May 17th, 2004, 06:47 PM
A new FOX program, "When Enemies Meet..."
(from westsidestadium.com)


The Stalker

For the most part during the entire festival, we and the opposition respected each other's space. They had their booth and we had ours. There was, however, one exception.

On Sunday morning, one member of the opposition came over and stood in front of our booth. She would not budge until I asked if I could take her picture. This seemed to throw her for a loop. She slowly backed away from the booth, contorting her head to keep me from snapping her photo. I have no idea why she reacted this way, but it was quite striking the way she twisted herself to keep her face away from the lens. Contrast the pictures of her below with those of our members, above. If you don't believe in something enough to stand up and be counted, what does it say about your beliefs?


http://westsidestadium.com/content/9thavfest/fest111.jpg


http://westsidestadium.com/content/9thavfest/fest19.jpg


************************************


On a side note, I don't like taking pictures either, but it is kind of funny....

NoyokA
May 18th, 2004, 01:23 PM
The design of the west face has since changed:

http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-05/12679280.jpg

http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-05/12679292.jpg

http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-05/12679295.jpg

Kris
May 18th, 2004, 01:52 PM
Intelligencer

Go, Jets Stadium!

In the fight over the ever-more-contentious West Side plan, one side unveils a TV ad campaign.

By Greg Sargent

The controversial plan for a massive West Side development—including a stadium for the Jets, and perhaps for the 2012 Olympics—may be approaching a do-or-die moment. With a series of hearings on the plan set for June, foes are mobilizing rapidly. Backers (the Jets, City Hall) are worried that public opposition will turn undecided politicos against the proposal—and perhaps doom New York’s bid for the 2012 Games.

Now, at this critical juncture, a coalition of powerful unions and trade associations from the city’s construction and hotel industries is launching a $350,000 TV ad campaign in support of the project, which includes a 75,000-seat stadium, a new business and commercial district, and an expanded Javits Center.

The 30-second TV spot—set to run on local broadcast and cable channels for a month beginning May 17—opens with images of an Olympic torchbearer, then cuts to the Jets running a play. An enthusiastic narrator intones, “Major conventions and events like the Super Bowl. And thousands of good-paying jobs for the real champions of our city—the men and women who build New York.” The screen fills with urban images: construction workers, straphangers, a cop on the beat. The voice-over concludes: “A winner for taxpayers. A winner for working families. A winner for New York’s future.”

Opponents in the war over the $5 billion plan—Broadway-theater owners, local pols, community groups—say it’s being unfairly subsidized with hundreds of millions in public funds and predict a traffic apocalypse.

The ad blitz is the first time in memory that unions and management have joined to bankroll a TV campaign for a big capital project. It’s being paid for by the Building & Construction Trades Council and the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council (labor), as well as the Building Trades Employers Association and the New York Building Congress (management). And clearly the images are meant to exert pressure on pols wary of antagonizing unions. “These are middle-income jobs,” says ad producer Hank Sheinkopf. “They’re important to the city’s comeback.”

From the May 24, 2004 issue of New York Magazine.

www.newyorkmetro.com

ZippyTheChimp
May 18th, 2004, 01:53 PM
Increased capacity?

JMGarcia
May 18th, 2004, 03:11 PM
It may be temporary for the Olympics. Sydney stadium did the same thing in 2000 originally builts with thousands of temporary seats at the end zones. They were removed after the Olympics.

With the extra seating
http://www.house.gov/dunn/FOACaucus/Australia/Sydney2000Olympics/FullPhoto/stadium.jpg

Being removed
http://www.genslin.us/bokke/StadiumAustralia.jpg

All Gone
http://www.worldstadiums.com/stadium_pictures/oceania/australia/new_south_wales/sydney_telstra.jpg

Kris
May 18th, 2004, 03:13 PM
Increased capacity?
Guess so. The torch gesture is as hokey as the NYC2012 logo.

ZippyTheChimp
May 18th, 2004, 03:30 PM
I would put the torch on the east side of the stadium - a more related backdrop for stadium photo-ops.

Unless it's the Weehawken Olympics. :P

BPC
May 18th, 2004, 06:46 PM
It may be temporary for the Olympics. Sydney stadium did the same thing in 2000 originally builts with thousands of temporary seats at the end zones. They were removed after the Olympics.



Atlanta did something similar, shrinking their stadum for baseball-only use after the Olympics. I believe tens of thousands of seats were removed.

BigMac
May 18th, 2004, 06:53 PM
Newsday
May 18, 2004

Jets release stadium details

Associated Press

Photos: New Jets Stadium (http://www.nynewsday.com/sports/ny-jetsstadium-gallery,0,986751.photogallery?coll=nyc-sportshome-headlines)

The New York Jets released details Tuesday of their planned West Side stadium, which would feature wind turbines and solar collector tubes to generate much of its own electricity and hot water.

"We envision this as being the greenest building to date," said William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox, the New York-based architecture firm designing the project.

In addition to housing the Jets, the $1.4 billion stadium would be integral to the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics, which got a boost Tuesday with the news that New York was chosen one of five finalists to host the games.

Pedersen called the Olympic announcement "tremendously exciting" and said, "We feel we have a stadium that sets the right tone for it."

The stadium would be a rectangle bounded by 11th and 12th avenues and 30th and 33rd streets.

Pedersen said its design, which differs from the typical circular or oval stadium, is meant to fit seamlessly into Manhattan's grid.

"It should feel as if it's very much connected into this particular place, and as opposed to a stadium simply looking as if it could be anywhere, like a UFO landing from space," he said.

The south facade of the stadium would contain 25,000 solar collector tubes and the walls would be topped by 34 wind turbines, each 40 feet tall.

Pedersen said the windmills would generate almost all of the energy for the facility when it is being used as a football stadium and about 25 percent when it is being used as a convention and exhibition hall.

The Jets, whose lease at the Meadowlands in New Jersey expires in 2008, have committed to spending $800 million in private funds on the stadium. The city and state would add $300 million each to build a retractable roof and a deck over the existing rail yards.

The project, officially called the New York Sports and Convention Center, would anchor the city's plan to redevelop a large swath of Manhattan's far West Side.

Backers say the stadium would create 7,000 permanent jobs and 18,000 construction jobs and would be a good deal for the city and state. But community groups and many elected officials oppose using tax dollars for a sports facility when schools and city services are facing a budget crunch.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

BigMac
May 18th, 2004, 06:56 PM
Large renderings from the New York Jets website:

Olympic Stadium: Day (http://www.newyorkjets.com/images/manual_upload/olympic_stadium/olympic-stadium-daytime-800.jpg)
Olympic Stadium: Dusk (http://www.newyorkjets.com/images/manual_upload/olympic_stadium/olympic-stadium-night2-800.jpg)
Olympic Stadium: Night (http://www.newyorkjets.com/images/manual_upload/olympic_stadium/olympic-stadium-night-800.jpg)

JMGarcia
May 18th, 2004, 07:06 PM
I just love a good rendering. :D

MidnightRambler
May 18th, 2004, 08:22 PM
it looks more than a little silly.

BPC
May 18th, 2004, 10:29 PM
it looks more than a little silly.

Yes. Hopefully, that giant mural of the sprinters will not be on the actual stadium.

MidnightRambler
May 18th, 2004, 10:49 PM
it looks more than a little silly.

Yes. Hopefully, that giant mural of the sprinters will not be on the actual stadium.

indeed, but i was also referring to the addition in general. it spoils the look of the stadium, which wasn't all that great to begin with.

Derek2k3
May 19th, 2004, 12:19 AM
http://www.qgazette.com/News/2004/0421/features/009p1_xlg.jpg
Preliminary model of a stadium in Queens.
Article here:
http://www.qgazette.com/News/2004/0421/features/009.html

MidnightRambler
May 19th, 2004, 01:54 AM
no.

GowanusGuy
May 19th, 2004, 02:55 AM
Large renderings from the New York Jets website:

Olympic Stadium: Day (http://www.newyorkjets.com/images/manual_upload/olympic_stadium/olympic-stadium-daytime-800.jpg)
Olympic Stadium: Dusk (http://www.newyorkjets.com/images/manual_upload/olympic_stadium/olympic-stadium-night2-800.jpg)
Olympic Stadium: Night (http://www.newyorkjets.com/images/manual_upload/olympic_stadium/olympic-stadium-night-800.jpg)

In the last rendering the building looks like an enormous bulldozer :D

Kris
May 19th, 2004, 08:58 AM
May 19, 2004

New York's Olympic Bid

Champagne flowed yesterday as Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that New York had joined Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow as a finalist for the 2012 Summer Olympics. If the city wants a shot at bringing out the bubbly again when the winner is announced in July 2005, it should quickly rethink its proposal to build a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan.

That stadium, which would serve as a home for the Jets, would be too expensive and far from the best possible use for the last large tract of prime undeveloped real estate in Manhattan. By insisting that the fate of the Olympic bid hinges on giving the Jets what they want, the city may drag down its chance to be the Games' host. It simply strains credulity to believe that the best venue for opening and closing the Games must be created from scratch with a public investment of $600 million.

The Jets, the city and hired consultants argue that the stadium would offer multiuse space and high-end restaurants, and would serve as a destination for residents and visitors. Few sports arenas have pulled off that trick — other than the ruins of the Roman Coliseum. The Jets team, which is willing to spend $800 million for its share of the development price, has said it will not consider Queens, a borough that has been good enough for a couple of World Fairs and the annual United States Open tennis tournament.

The best argument for the Olympics in New York is that it might encourage useful projects like the extension of the No. 7 line to the far West Side — the real linchpin for development in the area. The Games would be fine, but not if they left behind a legacy of a large, expensive football stadium that was a bad deal on its own.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
May 19th, 2004, 09:05 AM
May 19, 2004

New York's Olympic Bid

Champagne flowed yesterday as Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that New York had joined Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow as a finalist for the 2012 Summer Olympics. If the city wants a shot at bringing out the bubbly again when the winner is announced in July 2005, it should quickly rethink its proposal to build a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan.

That stadium, which would serve as a home for the Jets, would be too expensive and far from the best possible use for the last large tract of prime undeveloped real estate in Manhattan. By insisting that the fate of the Olympic bid hinges on giving the Jets what they want, the city may drag down its chance to be the Games' host. It simply strains credulity to believe that the best venue for opening and closing the Games must be created from scratch with a public investment of $600 million.

The Jets, the city and hired consultants argue that the stadium would offer multiuse space and high-end restaurants, and would serve as a destination for residents and visitors. Few sports arenas have pulled off that trick — other than the ruins of the Roman Coliseum. The Jets team, which is willing to spend $800 million for its share of the development price, has said it will not consider Queens, a borough that has been good enough for a couple of World Fairs and the annual United States Open tennis tournament.

The best argument for the Olympics in New York is that it might encourage useful projects like the extension of the No. 7 line to the far West Side — the real linchpin for development in the area. The Games would be fine, but not if they left behind a legacy of a large, expensive football stadium that was a bad deal on its own.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

billyblancoNYC
May 19th, 2004, 11:26 AM
Intelligencer

Opponents in the war over the $5 billion plan—Broadway-theater owners, local pols, community groups—say it’s being unfairly subsidized with hundreds of millions in public funds and predict a traffic apocalypse.


From the May 24, 2004 issue of New York Magazine.

www.newyorkmetro.com

I like the apocalyse scenario. Accurate, and scary, to be sure.

Also, why is it Broadway has a problem? Traffic? I kinda think that the 2 costomer bases won't be feeding off each other, for the most part.

TonyO
May 19th, 2004, 11:54 AM
That stadium, which would serve as a home for the Jets, would be too expensive and far from the best possible use for the last large tract of prime undeveloped real estate in Manhattan. By insisting that the fate of the Olympic bid hinges on giving the Jets what they want, the city may drag down its chance to be the Games' host. It simply strains credulity to believe that the best venue for opening and closing the Games must be created from scratch with a public investment of $600 million.


If the public is going to use it, which they certainly will, it makes no sense to argue that the Jets pay for the whole stadium. If the Jets will stay in NJ, as opposed to building in Queens as their only other option, then it makes no sense to insist that they build in a place that neither they nor the city government will consider.

NYguy
May 20th, 2004, 09:07 AM
NY Post...

MTA EYES $400M IN STADIUM DEAL

By TOM TOPOUSIS

May 20, 2004 -- The city's ambitious plan to redevelop the West Side rail yards for a stadium, plaza, museum and office towers should leave the MTA with an infusion of at least $400 million, Chairman Peter Kalikow told The Post yesterday.

"If the mayor and the governor want to build a stadium, then we're not going to stand in their way," Kalikow said during an editorial-board meeting at The Post. "But we have to get a fair value for our property."

Kalikow estimates that the development rights for the two huge parcels between 10th and 12th avenues south of 34th Street are worth about $1.2 billion. But he said he would deduct the cost of building platforms over the yards from the final price.

"We can't give this stuff away," Kalikow said. "I'm protecting the assets of a public transit system that doesn't belong to me."

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said he expects the city will negotiate a fair price with the agency.

"I don't think there's any major conceptual difference between us and the MTA," he said.

Doctoroff said the payments to the MTA would be made over time, after the city recoups its costs for building platforms over the rail yards, including interest, from taxes generated by new office towers expected to rise in the neighborhood.

The western rail yard, between 11th and 12th avenues, is slated to become a stadium for the Jets and double as a convention center. The cost of the stadium project is $1.4 billion, with $800 million from the Jets and the balance shared by the city and state.

The eastern rail yard would be used to develop a public plaza, a new museum and up to three office towers.

The cost of the MTA's development rights have been a lingering issue during negotiations over redeveloping the far West Side. Those plans also include construction of an extension of the No. 7 subway line to 34th Street and 11th Avenue. The city would pay the $1.8 billion price for the subway extension.

Kris
May 20th, 2004, 09:31 AM
Kalikow waiting for $1.2 Billion M.T.A. olympiad

by Blair Golson

There was little surprise when New York was selected on May 18 as one of five finalist cities in the competition to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. "Two hurdles down and one to go!" beamed Mayor Michael Bloomberg immediately after the announcement. The Mayor joined Governor George Pataki at an NYC 2012 celebration breakfast outside Bryant Park Grill, where officials broke out the champagne and raspberry danishes to celebrate the announcement.

Conspicuously absent from the celebration was Peter Kalikow, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The M.T.A. happens to own the rail yards where the city wants to build a stadium that is the linchpin of its Olympics bid. Mr. Kalikow has long insisted that his agency expects to be paid fair-market value for ceding development and air rights on the property, which is located between 11th and 12th avenues and 30th and 33rd streets. He also expects the agency to be compensated for another set of rail yards one block east of the stadium site, where the city wants to build a park, high-rise towers and cultural buildings.

Mr. Kalikow has declined to say publicly what he considers to be fair-market value. But The Observer has learned that in several recent private conversations, Mr. Kalikow, a real-estate developer, has estimated that those rights could fetch more than $1.2 billion on the open market.

"Kalikow has in fact used that number in some private conversations he had with certain individuals," said Tom Kelly, an M.T.A. spokesman, "but he has not given the M.T.A. staff working on the projects any non-negotiable figures that the agency would be seeking."

That figure has the potential to wreak havoc with Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff’s financing proposal for the stadium. Mr. Doctoroff has long contended that the rail yards are essentially worthless until the city builds platforms above them. The platforms would support the new stadium, which also would be used by the New York Jets.

Mr. Kalikow, who is under tremendous pressure by M.T.A. bondholders to extract as much money as possible from the rail yards, apparently disagrees with Mr. Doctoroff’s assessment. And if he stands firm on his compensation demands, someone will have to pony up the cash. It’s not likely to be the Jets, who have agreed to contribute $800 million toward construction costs. The team will pay some yet-to-be-determined fee to the M.T.A., but nothing in the neighborhood of what Mr. Kalikow considers fair-market value.

That leaves the city and the state, which have already pledged a $600 million subsidy to pay for the platform and a retractable roof to allow the stadium to function as a convention center. Neither will relish the prospect of lavishing even more public funds on an already controversial project.

"This is the main weakness of the West Side plan, and it always has been," said a prominent stadium supporter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "There’s lots of other stuff you can waffle on, but the M.T.A.’s cut for its air rights? There’s not much wiggle room."

The stadium project faces several obstacles. Local groups appear to be preparing to sue the city to prevent the project from breaking ground. Meanwhile, the State Legislature in Albany could vote against Mr. Doctoroff’s complex financing plan for the stadium and other West Side development.

Meanwhile, cost estimates for hosting the Olympics continue to climb higher. According to a report in the New York Post, the clean-up bill for many potential Olympic venues has climbed from $70 million to $100 million. NYC 2012 now estimates the total cost of the Games at around $3.7 billion, although that figure doesn’t include expensive projects like the stadium or the Olympic Village, which are not included because they are designed to be used long after the Games’ closing ceremonies.

But when the big-ticket items are factored in, the price tag for the Games becomes truly Olympian—$12 billion, according to a tally by Brian Hatch, a former Salt Lake City deputy mayor who runs the Web site newyorkgames.org. Salt Lake City held the Winter Olympics in 2002.

The larger figure means that financing for mammoth sums of money needs to be in order very soon. To make the recent cut, cities only had to satisfy certain logistical requirements: existing transportation infrastructure, hotel rooms and a basic financing plan. Havana, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Leipzig, Germany, failed to make the second, and next-to-last, cut.

But in the next and final stage of the competition, the International Olympic Committee will be considering impressive bids by early favorites London and Paris, in addition to long-shots Madrid and Moscow. The I.O.C. will announce its decision in July 2005.

With New York in the final five, the Mayor and Mr. Doctoroff will have to move forward with a package of Olympics-related building projects. Mr. Doctoroff, who initiated and helped finance the city’s Olympics bid, skipped the victory breakfast in New York on May 18 to attend the I.O.C.’s official announcement in Lausanne, Switzerland. At Bryant Park, NYC 2012 president Jay Kriegel couldn’t help but make a joke about how Mr. Doctoroff’s micro-management of the Olympics bid could be felt across the Atlantic.

"While Dan Doctoroff may not be here physically, I can tell you he is here in spirit," Mr. Kriegel said. "The angry e-mails came at 5 o’clock this morning that we weren’t doing enough today for the event. So now you can all send him an e-mail in Lausanne saying we have done enough today here."

Mr. Doctoroff’s next challenge will be to bring Mr. Kalikow and the M.T.A. on board. Mr. Kalikow has come under tremendous pressure recently to ensure that his cash-strapped agency reaps a relative windfall from its rail yards, which are among the agency’s most potentially valuable assets.

The city has floated the idea of compensating the M.T.A. by paying for the construction of the extension of the No. 7 line—which now ends at Times Square—into the heart of the so-called Hudson Yards district, and letting the M.T.A. share in the benefits. Mr. Kalikow, however, apparently has shot down that idea, because extending the No. 7 line is not one of the agency’s top priorities.

"It’s not time for the M.T.A. to give away its assets by barter. It’s time for them to think about cold, hard cash," said former M.T.A. chairman Richard Ravitch.

A Vision Comes True

In the late 1970’s, Mr. Ravitch oversaw a development project that put supporting columns in the rail yards, which would enable engineers of the future to build a platform without having to first rip up the tracks. Although the area surrounding both rail yards was a wasteland of auto-body shops and empty lots when he initiated the project, Mr. Ravitch reasoned that the yards’ air rights would eventually be extremely valuable. That vision was borne out in Mr. Doctoroff’s master plan for the Hudson Yards district, which includes a rezoning of the 59-square-block area to support high-rise developments, the extension of the No. 7 line, and the construction of public open spaces and parks.

A source close to Mr. Kalikow said that the M.T.A. chairman realizes that the fair-market value of the rail yards will end up being diminished because the city and state will have to pay for the platforms. Nevertheless, the source said that Mr. Kalikow still valued each yard at around $400 million to $500 million each.

While it’s possible that Governor Pataki could end up helping to compensate the M.T.A, which he controls, it seems more likely that the city will end up having to foot the bill, in one way or another. For one thing, it is an open secret Mr. Pataki believes that his legacy will hinge upon the fate of Ground Zero, as opposed to the West Side of Manhattan. For another, the state just lost a court showdown with the city over the city’s refinancing of its 1970’s-era debt payments. The State Court of Appeals, in a 6-0 decision, ruled that legislation transferring repayment from the city to the state was constitutional.

"That complicates a lot of things," said the prominent stadium supporter, "but it makes Albany … less interested in helping the city financially."

Outside Bryant Park at the Olympics celebration, Mayor Bloomberg downplayed any ruptures between the city and the M.T.A. over the compensation issue.

"The city and the M.T.A. are coming along," he said. "I don’t think that’s a problem. There are a lot of details to be worked out, but the Governor and the M.T.A. are 100 percent supportive."

You may reach Blair Golson via email at: bgolson@observer.com.

This column ran on page 1 in the 5/24/2004 edition of The New York Observer.

Kris
May 22nd, 2004, 08:41 PM
May 23, 2004

Stadium Opponents Criticize City for Adopting Jets' Economic Study

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

When Bank of America asked the city last year for more than $1 billion in tax-free bonds and other incentives to build a skyscraper on 42nd Street, the city took nothing for granted and had its own economists analyze the potential economic impact of the project.

When the Yankees and Mets revived discussions last year about each of them building an $800 million stadium, the city hired a consultant to assess the value of the professional sports teams to the city's economy and a possible municipal investment.

Yet, when it came to the New York Jets' proposal to build a $1.4 billion stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, the city simply reviewed and adopted an economic impact study commissioned by the football team. An independent analysis by either economists at the city's Economic Development Corporation, or by a consultant, might have produced the same results. But the unusual break with a routine practice has made some officials at City Hall nervous and outraged opponents of the Jets stadium.

The Jets contend that the proposed 75,000-seat stadium, which requires $600 million in cash from the city and the state, would generate $27.5 million more in annual tax revenue than it would cost government in bond payments.

"This is the problem we've had with them from the beginning: there's no independent analysis," said Walter Mankoff, chairman of Community Board 4 on the West Side and an opponent of the stadium. "City money is at risk here. They're blind to all the alternatives."

The stadium, which would be built over the railyards bounded by 30th and 34th Streets, between 11th and 12th Avenues, would also serve as an Olympic stadium if the city is successful in its bid for the 2012 Summer Games. On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee selected New York as one of five finalists for the Games.

"The city is relying on the Jets for these revenue estimates," said Ronnie Lowenstein, director of the Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan city agency, which is doing its own economic impact analysis of the stadium. "It suggests how badly they want the project to proceed."

The Jets say they will put up $800 million for the stadium, more than any professional sports team has ever invested in a new facility. The state and the city are providing $600 million for a retractable roof and the platform over the railyards on which the stadium would be built.

According to a study done by Ernst & Young for the Jets, the stadium would generate $72.5 million a year in new tax revenues for the city and the state from football and other sports events, trade shows and circuses. City and state officials estimate that annual debt service payments would cost them about $45 million, leaving a surplus of $27.5 million.

Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said the city was comfortable with the results of the Jets' Ernst & Young study.

"The key conclusion is that there's a substantial net gain for the city and the state," said Mr. Doctoroff, who founded the city's NYC2012 Olympic bid committee before joining the Bloomberg administration.

He said that the city had not yet found the need to do an independent analysis, "given the fact that a reputable firm did a thorough analysis, and we had an opportunity to review it in great detail.''

"That's not to say we won't eventually do our own," Mr. Doctoroff said.

According to current and former city officials, the city generally does its own economic analyses of so-called retention deals, in which a corporation threatens to leave the city unless it gets tax breaks and other incentives for a new building. Last year, Bank of America and the developer Douglas Durst asked for $1 billion in tax-free bonds and $80 million in sales tax breaks to build a 51-story tower at 42nd Street and the Avenue of the Americas, according to one person involved in the negotiations.

Economists at the Economic Development Corporation did an analysis and pared the numbers sharply, with the city ultimately agreeing to provide $650 million in bonds and about $50 million in tax breaks, although critics thought even that was too much.

For larger deals involving cash investments, the city frequently hires a consultant, as it did last year when it asked the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche to do an analysis of revised stadium proposals from the Yankees and the Mets. Neither team was happy with the results and they have since hired their own consultants, according to a team official.

There is no guarantee, however, that a consultant will come up with a different or more accurate result.

"There's a fair amount of uncertainty in any of these studies," said Robert Berne, a senior vice president at New York University and an expert in municipal finance. "It's very hard to parse out the economic impact of any subject. The developer will always have one set of assumptions, and the city would probably cut it down using a different set of assumptions."

The Jets have gotten plenty of service from the Ernst & Young report. On March 15, Councilman David I. Weprin became one of the first members of the City Council to endorse the stadium, citing the economic benefits. Mr. Weprin, chairman of the Council's finance committee, acknowledged that he had based his evaluation on the Ernst & Young report.

Mr. Weprin was back on the steps of City Hall with the Jets and members of Mr. Doctoroff's staff last Sunday when he promoted a report by Tishman Construction indicating that the Manhattan site was better than an alternative in Queens favored by many critics. Tishman, which may bid to be the construction manager for the project, said it had used the Ernst & Young report.

"This is not an ordinary, arms-length transaction," said Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat. "This is driven by Deputy Mayor Doctoroff's personal vision of bringing the Olympics to New York. He married his idea to the Jets, a ready partner. I don't think the evidence, or the merits, play much of a role here."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NYguy
May 24th, 2004, 07:19 PM
WestSideStadium.org Banner Unveiled on 11th Avenue

Joe Klecko, honorary Chairman of WestSideStadium.org unveiled the organization's banner on the corner of 11th Avenue and 45th Street today.

The building was donated by owner Richard Breslaw, head of the Small Business Action Committee at WestSideStadium.org. Breslaw thought of the idea as a way to show that small business owners on the west side do support the stadium. The banner was made possible by a donation from the New York Jets, with the stipulation that all work done on it be union labor.


http://westsidestadium.com/content/Recent%20Events/unveil14.jpg


http://westsidestadium.com/content/Recent%20Events/unveil13.jpg


http://westsidestadium.com/content/Recent%20Events/unveil15.jpg


http://westsidestadium.com/content/Recent%20Events/unveil19.jpg

Derek2k3
May 24th, 2004, 10:44 PM
Though I don't mind the stadium proposal, but I think it would be better off in Queens. It's just an expensive waste of valuable real estate for something that can just be placed anywhere. Just a decade ago the MTA proposed a development entirely over the rail yards that had about 12 msf of residential and office space and I bet this development would surely attract more business to the area and yield more profits than a stadium.

http://galleries.soaringtowers.org/albums/Derek2k3/MTA_West_Side_Master_Plan_1.jpg
Would you honestly trade a 12msf development for a stadium. Obviously this complex is not as foreseeable as the Jets proposal but greatness would come with patience.

The stadium could be built in Queens with the same benefits and it would probably be cheaper. Also, it would also revitalize an area that is nearly worthless and attract more people to the borough. If stadiums are so much more beneficial than shining office complexes then why not build a new Yankee Stadium on the WTC site to revitalize downtown.

Only problem is that the Jets don't want to move to Queens, so let them stay in New Jersey. Even worse, the city and state is wasting 600 million dollars for them to waste our real estate.

BigMac
May 25th, 2004, 05:21 PM
Newsday
May 26, 2004

Razzle-dazzle on the Hudson

Would Jets stadium revive or ruin the West Side riverfront?

BY JUSTIN DAVIDSON

http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-05/12680955.jpg
New York Jets unveil new Olympic Stadium model.

Poll: Should the Jets get a new home on the West Side? (http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/manhattan/ny-etlede3817944may26,0,946444.story?coll=nyc-manheadlines-manhattan&vote12681338=1)

Slide Show: New Jets Stadium (http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/manhattan/ny-jetsstadium-gallery,0,3222146.photogallery?coll=nyc-manheadlines-manhattan)

To build or not to build - or to build somewhere else? That is the way the question of a West Side stadium for the New York Jets has been framed so far. Depending on which form of grandstanding you subscribe to, the colossal structure would glamorize a tawdry neighborhood and catalyze a decade of development, or it would ruin the waterfront, choke the area in traffic and depress it even more. Some NIMBYs hold that if the Jets must cross the state line from New Jersey, and if Olympic logic requires a new arena in New York City, at least the thing should be moved off this crowded isle: Queens can always absorb another toxic structure, so why not stick it there?

Until now, the fights have mostly been waged over the abstract concept of a stadium, not the specific building designed two years ago by Kohn Pedersen Fox and now significantly refined. That structure looks like a $1.4 billion shoebox: a shiny come-on, glamorous, luxurious, but still, in the end, a box. Granted, this is a very New York shape. Here, the city's street grid extends onto the gridiron, turns skyward and continues 300 feet into the air. Squint a little, and the stadium could be the base of an enormous imaginary skyscraper.

But this building will never soar, and it will never be graceful. No matter how clear the glass, how delicate the beams or animated the signs, it will remain a huge, earthbound block. The renderings made to sell the building to clients, politicians and the public show the stadium from above or at a distance, miniaturizing the colossus and setting it in a landscape bathed in a spiritual light. To counteract the digital romanticism of the renderings, we should try to visualize the way the megalith will loom above the waterfront on a gray February afternoon.

Emphasis on design

And yet, this is a building that may actually be more likable the closer you get. The Jets' president, Jay Cross, has made a lot of admirable decisions. Rather than hire a specialized stadium-builder, he turned to a firm full of architects who may have limited experience with football but have a track record of fine design. Second, he supported the ambition to make the stadium environmentally virtuous, equipping it with wind turbines, solar panels and rainwater- collection systems. Third, he understood that for Manhattanites to welcome the Jets, the stadium would have to adorn the city and be stitched to it rather than hunker, isolated and fortresslike, at the borough's bleak edge.

The result is a building that tries hard to be a good neighbor. One side will shelter a flea market, the other will open onto a gracious pedestrian boulevard connecting the city to the water. The building's backyard faces the Hudson River and a bridge of greensward will reach over 12th Avenue to connect with the waterfront strip of park. The south wall will provide an end point for the High Line, the elevated industrial train tracks that will one day be transformed from a relic into a park. In archi-speak, this is called "animating the edges": necklacing the building with ancillary activities to woo people who don't watch football.

Round-the-clock glamour

With facades clad in glossy metal panels and glass curtain- walls bedecked with two-story lettering and digital displays, the stadium will look glamorous even on quiet nights. It aspires to be a destination, not just a facility, a riverfront outpost of Times Square. Gaudy stores will line the sidewalk on 11th Avenue, and expensive restaurants as well will attempt to lure even those without tickets inside the building and up the escalators rolling along its great glass walls. Views to the east will star the Empire State Building; to the west, the Hudson.

If Mayor Michael Bloomberg likes the whole idea, it is partly because he sees the stadium as a salutary example for a design- challenged part of the city. The stadium has been designed to twinkle and gleam, the better to shame the neighborhood's grim, shabby hulks and the Javits Center's sad pile of black glass cubes into making something of themselves someday. The city's master plan for the far West Side rests on the belief that good design will be contagious, and that development will breed more development. The Guggenheim Museum is even contemplating a Frank Gehry extravaganza right across the street. If the architecture is good enough, the theory goes, art and football can live side by side.

Deluxe touches

The stadium's shed-and-truss design is inspired by the infrastructure of the old New York docks: the gantries, cranes and piers that once lined the Hudson here. But despite the blue-collar references, we can count on deluxe details. The metal slats on the facade, for instance, are not flat, but twist up toward the edges, revealing a tantalizing glimpse of colored undercoat - streaks of honeyed gold, lit from inside. The design has a certain imperial grandeur. The 34 great vertical wind-turbines arrayed across the top could be abstractions of the Bernini statues that stand vigil above the colonnade of St. Peter's in the Vatican.

In the international capital of multitasking, even a football stadium has to adapt. When the Jets are at rest or out of town, a retractable roof can slide into place and the synthetic turf can be stowed away to make room for conventioneers spilling over from the Javits Center next door. If New York were to get the 2012 Olympics, which would require more seats and a bigger field inside, the architects have come up with a nifty temporary extension that would lean, wave-like, toward the Hudson and be taken apart once everyone has gone home.

So what's not to like (besides the price tag, the potential traffic and the thought that all those resources might be better spent elsewhere)? Only the prospect that none of these gorgeous attributes will matter, that the far West Side will not bloom on schedule, and that, in the end, the stadium will be a well-dressed giant crouching in a cabbage patch.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

billyblancoNYC
May 26th, 2004, 01:57 AM
Stadium or not, this area will "bloom." I'm not sure many people honestly doubt that. They're building like crazy around there. Change the zoning and see what happens. It's almost a gimme, but it has to be done soon, to catch the rising tide of the economy. If you zone it, they will come.

Kris
May 26th, 2004, 09:17 AM
May 26, 2004

Bold Urban Planning

To the Editor:

Though I appreciate the misgivings about a new stadium expressed in your May 19 editorial, there is a philosophical misstep regarding New York City's current road to post-9/11 redemption.

Manhattan is experiencing a literally bottom-up rejuvenation of its urban land-use debate and its determination to realize complex works of contemporary architecture.

Instead of focusing on how the city "should quickly rethink its proposal to build a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan," you should encourage efforts to innovatively design and integrate crucial infrastructure. Ideas need to be explored in the depth they deserve, instead of shot down as they are proposed.

Tragedy has inspired us to seek redemptive designs for New York City; let's not make a tragedy of falling back on old habits of criticism without construction and construction without criticism.

ALEXANDER LEVI
Madrid, May 20, 2004
The writer is an architect.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

tmg
May 26th, 2004, 01:54 PM
Stadium or not, this area will "bloom." I'm not sure many people honestly doubt that. They're building like crazy around there. Change the zoning and see what happens. It's almost a gimme, but it has to be done soon, to catch the rising tide of the economy. If you zone it, they will come.

Everyone agrees that the area is primed to grow. But not everyone is convinced that large-floorplate commercial buildings are what the market will demand there. Traditionally, commercial development has gravitated to the places with greatest transportation access -- this would suggest that the growth areas of the future are more likely to be Midtown South, the 8th Ave. corridor, Lower Manhattan, LIC, and Downtown Brooklyn.

If, instead of the vision that Doctoroff has for the Far West Side, we see some large hotels near the convention center and a lot of new residential development over the rest of the area, the tax revenues anticipated as the basis for the stadium financing will never materialize. And then we'll all be in trouble.

NYguy
May 26th, 2004, 03:23 PM
Its the superbowl of NIMBY battles...(NY Post)


BLITZ HITS JETS

By TOM TOPOUSIS
May 26, 2004

Opponents of a West Side football stadium rolled out the big guns yesterday in their battle to block the $1.4 billion project, by hiring a high-powered lobbying firm and forming a new organization to lead the charge.

The key player in the new effort is Madison Square Garden, which fears competition. The proposed stadium on 11th Avenue at 34th Street could also be configured as an indoor arena — with more than double the Garden's seating capacity.

The anti-stadium group, called New York Association for Better Choices, intends to begin an "all-out grass-roots public opinion campaign," said the group's spokesman, John Del Cecato.

Joining the battle will be Gigi Georges of Glover Park Communications, a public relations and political consulting firm that includes several high-placed operatives from the Clinton White House.

Georges was most recently communications director for Mayor Bloomberg's Department of Education. She's now pitted against her former boss, who has made the stadium one of his administration's major goals.

Also enlisted in the anti-stadium battle is the Chicago-based political consulting firm Axelrod & Associates, which helped run Fernando Ferrer's 2001 mayoral campaign, sources said.

"These guys cost a lot of money," said the source, explaining that the high-profile firms are being bankrolled by Madison Square Garden's parent company, Cablevision.

A spokesman for Cablevision could not be reached last night.

Del Cecato, who served as Ferrer's spokesman in 2001, said the newly formed association will begin work on an advertising campaign, phone banks and media events to drum up opposition to the stadium.

"Spending $600 million in New York taxpayer money to subsidize the construction of a Jets stadium on the West Side of Manhattan is a terrible waste of precious public resources," said Del Cecato.

Jets spokesman Matthew Higgins said Cablevision is acting in its own selfish interest.

"It should come as no surprise to anyone that Cablevision would put their own interests ahead of New Yorkers — they've done it before, they're doing it again," said Higgins.

The Jets have proposed spending $800 million on the stadium, with the city and state sharing the $600 million cost of building a retractable roof and a platform over the railroad yard.

The newly organized opposition will face off against an array of powerful forces, including Bloomberg, Gov. Pataki, a dozen labor unions and the hotel and tourism industry, all of which have backed the stadium project.

**************************************

(Newsday)

Jets hire high-power help for stadium push

By Errol A. Cockfield Jr.
May 26, 2004

As part of the high-powered drive to build a stadium for his football team on the West Side, Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson has retained an elite group of seasoned lobbyists and even registered himself and team executives as lobbyists to advocate in the corridors of City Hall and Albany.

Johnson, a loyal Republican, was spotted attending a Democratic party reception held earlier this month by Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The team's effort has in turn provoked a fervent response from an alliance of elected officials, civic groups and business leaders who oppose the plan because of traffic, public financing and its possible effects on the city's 2012 Olympics bid.

Yesterday, they announced the formation of a coalition, the New York Association for Better Choices, to derail the stadium. Charles and James Dolan, who own Madison Square Garden -- the most prominent member of the coalition and the stadium proposal's most powerful enemy -- have rallied their own influential group of lobbyists to oppose the project.

"I am not at all surprised that it is a full-court press on both sides," said Christine Quinn, a Democratic City Council member who opposes the project. "This is in some ways the biggest thing to happen in the city in decades."

Madison Square Garden already has the No. 1 Albany lobbying firm, Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, and No. 4 lobbyist Patricia Lynch, a former aid to Silver, on its payroll. But according to reports filed with the Temporary State Commission on Lobbying, the Garden has also hired Kevin McGrath, a Democratic lobbyist to work on development issues related to the West Side.

Executives with the Garden did not respond to requests to be interviewed, but the Dolans have expressed their displeasure with the project to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent supporter of the plan.

The Jets have hired Lou Tomson and Michael McKeon, two lobbyists who are former aides to Gov. George Pataki, and Kenneth Sunshine, a well-known Democratic operative. Bill Lynch, a former deputy mayor in the Dinkins administration, is also on the team's payroll.

"It's a complex project and there's a lot of disinformation circulating," said Matthew Higgins, the Jets Vice President for strategic planning, who has largely engineered the Jets campaign. "We've assembled a team that enables us to make our case to all the different constituencies."

The team argues that seven out of ten of the stadium's attendees would take public transportation, but opponents are skeptical that those projections would not apply to the Jets suburban fan base.

Aside from lobbyists, the team has persuaded several minority politicians -- including Assembly members Keith Wright and Darryl Towns -- to support the plan because of their belief that it would generate jobs in a city where unemployment is wrecking communities of color. In early May, team executives also traveled to meet with the New York State Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Legislative Caucus.

The team has also made friends of a group of powerful labor unions and an influential business lobby. Last week the Building and Construction Trades Council, the Building Trades Employers' Association, the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, and the New York Building Congress jointly spent $500,000 to begin a four-week television ad campaign to promote the stadium and a linked expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

A thirty-second ad, crafted by Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf, says the $2.8 billion project would mean "better mass transit, new revenue for schools, parks and public safety." Union leaders say the project would generate jobs for their members. City officials estimate the stadium and convention center expansion would creat 42,000 construction jobs and 17,500 permanent jobs.

"Were not going to stand on the sidelines and let those people who oppose the plan stand unopposed," said Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers' Association.

The new NYABJ coalition seems to have taken a similar stance. It has hired Glover Park Group political strategist, Gigi Georges, who worked on Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign, as well as Democratic strategist David Axelrod. Those who follow development closely in the city say the fight over the stadium is shaping up to be the most pitched battle since the Westway project, a failed plan to replace the West Side Highway.

There are threats of lawsuits and a City Council hearing on June 3rd is expected to feature a rally by union members.

A soon to be released draft environmental impact statement expected is said to be the largest in city history and could be fodder for legal battles.

Referring to the Jets hope to have a stadium up by the 2009 season, Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York said, "It's a serious battle because you have threats of lawsuits ... and a timeframe that's important to one side."

NYguy
May 26th, 2004, 03:28 PM
http://www.newsday.com/media/graphic/2004-05/12780595.gif

NYguy
May 26th, 2004, 03:46 PM
http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-05/12679292.jpg


http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-05/12680972.jpg


http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-05/12680955.jpg http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-05/12680939.jpg

NYguy
May 26th, 2004, 03:54 PM
http://galleries.soaringtowers.org/albums/Derek2k3/MTA_West_Side_Master_Plan_1.jpg
Would you honestly trade a 12msf development for a stadium. Obviously this complex is not as foreseeable as the Jets proposal but greatness would come with patience.

How long are we supposed to wait for the Westside to be developed? Those railyards have been there for years. But it doesn't matter, because in this case, the plan comes with about 3 times as much development....

BrooklynRider
May 26th, 2004, 03:55 PM
I've pretty much supported this project along the way. However, I think the model is kind of disingenuous. The fact is, the only thing being financed, developed and built (if approval goes forward) is the stadium. All of those other skyscrapers and buildings are not a part of this. I would rather see what I'm getting than some baseless vision of things we may never see.

Derek2k3
May 26th, 2004, 10:36 PM
What is the rush to get it all developed at once? I showed the MTA proposal for what development could take place just over the railyards not the whole west side. The MTA proposal wasn't viable because there was no 7 line extention proposed or any great interest to develop the area by the city. Maybe if the city gave away 600 million dollars to the developer and built the 7 line extention this would have been a reality already.

Because it's the last great remaining area of undeveloped land in Manhattan, it should atleast be developed efficiently. Not something that just drops in mediocre proposals for the sake of getting the land developed.

STT757
May 27th, 2004, 12:12 AM
I was listening to WFAN 660 AM today and they announced that the NFL has tentativley awarded NYC a Super Bowl for 2010, conditional on the West Side Stadium Construction begining as scheduled in the Spring.

NYC would host an awesome Super Bowl!

krulltime
May 27th, 2004, 01:01 AM
:D Well, that sounds like good news! The Super Bowl is going to be seen around the country and beyond and will sure make the city look really cool thats for sure.

Kris
May 27th, 2004, 01:47 AM
Beyond the country? Who else follows football?

TonyO
May 27th, 2004, 01:50 AM
I was listening to WFAN 660 AM today and they announced that the NFL has tentativley awarded NYC a Super Bowl for 2010, conditional on the West Side Stadium Construction begining as scheduled in the Spring.


Very well played, they are pulling all the strings they possibly can....and having a tentative super bowl bid is a big string.

krulltime
May 27th, 2004, 02:01 AM
Beyond the country? Who else follows football?

I don't know...people who have satellite and get it and maybe some people in Canada or Mexico....I guess is not alot. :(

Maybe they can let soccer teams play there once in a while then people all over the world will tune in since is more famous.

TonyO
May 27th, 2004, 02:16 AM
Beyond the country? Who else follows football?

I don't know...people who have satellite and get it and maybe some people in Canada or Mexico....I guess is not alot. :(

Maybe they can let soccer teams play there once in a while then people all over the world will tune in since is more famous.

This is the home of American Football, and also the market for 2 NFL teams. The popularity of the sport outside the US is a non-issue.

While I think it would be a great to have the Metrostars play there also.

Kris
May 27th, 2004, 02:22 AM
Beyond the country? Who else follows football?

I don't know...people who have satellite and get it and maybe some people in Canada or Mexico....I guess is not alot. :(

Maybe they can let soccer teams play there once in a while then people all over the world will tune in since is more famous.
Or, more naturally, rugby. Almost as ugly.

Kris
May 27th, 2004, 02:35 AM
May 27, 2004

METRO MATTERS

Big Plans, Always Big, for West Side

By JOYCE PURNICK

FOR years, New York has dreamed up one plan after another for Manhattan's far West Side, from filling it with housing and skyscrapers (that was in the 1980's) to making it Yankee Stadium's new home (the 1990's). None of it happened.

Now the Bloomberg administration is trying again, hoping to turn the rail yards into an expanded convention center and a new stadium for the Jets. This time, though, City Hall married its plan to an attractive but elusive partner - the 2012 Olympics. The stadium would serve as home for both the Jets and the Summer Games.

The chance, however slim, that New York could play host to the Olympics is the tail wagging the dog. It's the central reason it has not yet gone the way of its predecessors, both supporters and detractors agree. As it happens, it could also doom the project - a prospect flatly rejected by its municipal godfather, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff. He prefers to emphasize the legacy the Olympics could mean for New York.

"We've always said that the Olympics was the catalyst for achieving things in New York City that otherwise we wouldn't have the political will to do," he said yesterday. "The process of bidding for the Olympics imposes deadlines. I have grown to appreciate that a deadline in government is a rare thing."

With the world watching and other competing cities meeting the deadlines, the pressure is on New York to behave itself, and it rarely does that when it comes to real estate. In a city where space is so precious that it is routinely stolen from the heavens, little is ever built easily.

It is particularly hard to envision an easy course for a sports and convention center complex on the western edge of congested Manhattan, the stadium to be constructed on decking over the rail yards from 30th to 33rd Streets, used to store Long Island Rail Road trains.

"This goes to the fundamental question of how difficult it is to get a large-scale project done in this city," said Lynne B. Sagalyn, professor of real estate planning and development at the University of Pennsylvania and author of a book on Times Square. "The logic of spending money to deck over that platform is more compelling when you can sell financing as a way to capture the Olympics, rather than just to build a stadium for a local team."

IN a city chronically short of resources, spending at least $600 million in public money just for the stadium's platform sounds outrageous. But if tied to the Olympics and construction of a conference center, parks, office buildings, housing and expansion of the No. 7 subway line, the cost can be stretched out over many years and sounds less objectionable.

"The tactic is a very clever one," said Sylvia Deutsch, a former chairwoman of the City Planning Commission. "If he didn't have the Olympics as his link and was talking only about the Jets playing eight, nine games a year there, he wouldn't get any traction."

But the Olympics connection could also backfire, especially if New York loses. And while it made the cut of the five finalist cities this month, it was rated fourth by the International Olympic Committee, behind Paris, Madrid and London, ahead of only Moscow. More important, because this decision is always highly political, the United States' current unpopularity around the world is likely to be a major factor in the winning city's selection in July 2005.

The timing is therefore perilous. It goes like this: The draft environmental impact study for the project is due by the end of next month. That is a critical factor because it will no doubt give rise to lawsuits challenging the plan.

Construction of the stadium has to begin by early next year for the city to demonstrate progress to the I.O.C. Also, the Jets need to use the stadium for football by 2009, and it's estimated that construction will take four years.

"All of the parties in support of the stadium have made it very clear the window of opportunity is a short one, that they have to start digging in early 2005," said Walter Mankoff, chairman of Manhattan's Community Board 4, which includes the rail yards.

What if the inevitable litigation slows the construction schedule enough to hurt the city's Olympics bid? Nobody can know today what the consequences would be if the city lost its prominent partner, the impact on the project or, for that matter, on plans for rezoning and developing the far West Side. Without the Olympics to jump-start ambitious redevelopment of that part of the city, could the city go it alone? Could the dog wag its own tail?

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


Grand Vision for Remaking the West Side (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=136)

krulltime
May 27th, 2004, 04:49 PM
Underwriters picked for W. Side bond sale: report

May 27, 2004

Five firms were chosen to help manage various parts of the bond sales intended to help fund a new stadium and expand the convention center.

The city has reportedly picked five underwriters to manage the sale of $1.2 billion in bonds to build the Jets football stadium and expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the West Side.

UBS, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch were tapped to sell as much as $850 million to double the size of the convention center, Bloomberg reports. Citigroup and Lehman Brothers will underwrite a $300 million bond sale to pay for a platform over part of the West Side rail yards. The Jets want to build their $1.4 billion stadium on top of the platform.

New York city and state officials are hoping the West Side development will boost the Big Apple's chances of being chosen to host the 2012 Olympics.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

Kris
May 28th, 2004, 01:04 AM
May 28, 2004

Garden Backs Ad Opposing New Stadium

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

There are heartwarming images of schoolchildren and wheelchair-bound grandmothers, and a voice-over in the advertisement that asks in pained tones, "What could New York City do with $600 million?" Among the suggestions are better schools, health care clinics, the reopening of neighborhood firehouses.

It would seem that this new ad, which deplores the city's potential use of taxpayer funds to help pay for a new stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, was produced by Democrats opposed to the mayor, social service advocates or local residents angry about the stadium plans.

But in fact, the ad, which was attacked by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday, was paid for by the owners of Madison Square Garden, who oppose a competing stadium proposed by the Bloomberg administration and the New York Jets.

James L. Dolan, who controls Cablevision, the publicly traded company that owns the Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers, and his father, Charles, have privately lobbied the mayor to cancel the stadium project, which will be paid for in part by the Jets, and with at least $600 million in city and state funds.

Now, the Garden is listed as the sponsor of the new ad, which began going on the air throughout New York on Wednesday and which chides the city for proposing to spend $600 million on the stadium. In the ad, against the backdrop of images of New York City and its inhabitants, an announcer lists all sorts of things that $600 million could pay for rather than a "stadium for the Jets."

Yesterday, at a news conference in Coney Island, Mr. Bloomberg said: "There is an allegation that one company in order to protect their own commercial interest is trying to stop jobs coming to this city. That's an outrage, nobody's going to pay any attention to it and if that's the only opposition we have to doing what's right for this city, then we're in great shape."

Whit Clay, a spokesman for the New York Association for Better Choices, a coalition of groups and officials opposed to the stadium of which the Garden is a member, said that the Garden was just one of those "who oppose spending $600 million for a football stadium on the West Side at the expense of schools, health care, affordable housing and public safety."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NoyokA
May 28th, 2004, 12:25 PM
I saw the commercials the other day on MSG’s own television station. Its two-faced that they show sympathy figures while in truth it’s a self-serving ploy by a heartless corporation. If you sponsor a commercial at least be honest, truth in advertising, we “MSG” don’t want the stadium, because our stadium is crum, and unlike the Jets we don’t want to put money into it, but in the same instance we don’t want to loose any events. Kudos to Bloomberg for exposing the truth, its time to tar and feather MSG and its also about time that it goes for their stadium too which has been the only show in Manhattan for way too long.

BPC
May 29th, 2004, 12:04 AM
I saw the commercials the other day on MSG’s own television station. Its two-faced that they show sympathy figures while in truth it’s a self-serving ploy by a heartless corporation. If you sponsor a commercial at least be honest, truth in advertising, we “MSG” don’t want the stadium, because our stadium is crum, and unlike the Jets we don’t want to put money into it, but in the same instance we don’t want to loose any events. Kudos to Bloomberg for exposing the truth, its time to tar and feather MSG and its also about time that it goes for their stadium too which has been the only show in Manhattan for way too long.

Call it a hunch, but I feel pretty confident that if Mayor Mike were to offer the owners of MSG (whomever that is these days) a free, large patch of Manhattan real estate, a new subway extension right to the property, and $600M cash, they would be willing to build a new arena as well.

If you were in a business, and the Mayor offered your principal competitor billions of dollars in public subsidies not available to you, wouldn't you be at least a little pissed off?

BrooklynRider
June 1st, 2004, 11:40 AM
I saw the new anti-stadium television ad this morning. Talk about "truth in advertising" - the only reason I know it is being run and financed by MSG is through this forum. Ads like this just frustrate me - say who the hell you are if you run a commercial.

NYguy
June 1st, 2004, 12:12 PM
I saw the new anti-stadium television ad this morning. Talk about "truth in advertising" - the only reason I know it is being run and financed by MSG is through this forum. Ads like this just frustrate me - say who the hell you are if you run a commercial.

LOL. I don't even know what those ads are for. Swaying public onpinion? The public doesn't even have a say in this development, whether you are for or against it...

BPC
June 1st, 2004, 02:50 PM
I saw the new anti-stadium television ad this morning. Talk about "truth in advertising" - the only reason I know it is being run and financed by MSG is through this forum. Ads like this just frustrate me - say who the hell you are if you run a commercial.

While one can agree or disagree with the arguments made in the commercial, one cannot fairly accuse MSG of concealing its sponsorship. The ad clearly states, for the first five seconds of the thirty second commrrcial, and in sizable typeface, that it is "Paid for for by MSG." For those interested, the ad can be viewed at http://www.newyorkabc.org .

krulltime
June 1st, 2004, 03:01 PM
oh please! :roll: The Jets or the city need to advertise on a new comercial on how the stadium is going to be good for the city that is all.

BPC
June 1st, 2004, 05:30 PM
oh please! :roll: The Jets or the city need to advertise on a new comercial on how the stadium is going to be good for the city that is all.

I've already been seeing pro-Jets stadium TV ads running locally for about two weeks now. I don't know who's paying for them; the Jets, I suppose. It would be improper for the City to run such ads, for obvious reasons. Public /governmental agencies are not supposed to use public funds to lobby on a particular side of a political issue.

Ninjahedge
June 1st, 2004, 05:53 PM
I have HEARD this commercial on at least a half dozen times. I have yet to hear them say anything about MSG sponsoring it.

It is like (forgive the cross-threading) Bush ads that say they are "approved by the Bush campaign" and then go on to the mudslinging on Kerry. (I am not advocating either candidate mind you! I am also not saying Kerry will not do the same, I am just expressing my distaste for this kind of advertisement and demotion).

All I see are pictures of poor defenseless babies being held by mommy and sad faces decrying the $600M being spent on the new stadium.

Since when do babies have anything to do with this? I HATE when people use things like that to try to push a point.

Like saying that putting in Jets Stadium will kill babies.

Geez!

krulltime
June 2nd, 2004, 01:29 AM
HIZZONER RIPS W. SIDE FOES

Frankie Edozien, June 1, 2004

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday slammed Cablevision's campaign to derail the West Side stadium project.
Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden, is the major player in a coalition that just launched a multimillion-dollar advertising blitz denouncing the plan to spend $600 million of state and city money to help build a new Jets stadium and an expanded convention center.

Images of schoolchildren and grandmothers in wheelchairs are depicted in the ad, and a voice reminds the public the city could spend more on clinics, schools and firehouses.

"That's a campaign trying to enhance the assets that they have in Madison Square Garden," Bloomberg said. "They don't have any interest in the rest of the city."

NYPOST

krulltime
June 2nd, 2004, 01:31 AM
"That's a campaign trying to enhance the assets that they have in Madison Square Garden," Bloomberg said. "They don't have any interest in the rest of the city."

Hmmm....Good Point.

BPC
June 2nd, 2004, 03:38 AM
"That's a campaign trying to enhance the assets that they have in Madison Square Garden," Bloomberg said. "They don't have any interest in the rest of the city."

Hmmm....Good Point.

The New York Jets, on the other hand, have only the City's best interests at heart. That is why they are willing to bring their 8 home games a year back into the City (after a few decades in New Jersey) for the small price of $600 million cash plus a real estate parcel worth up to $1 billion.

billyblancoNYC
June 2nd, 2004, 11:56 AM
At least they're up-front about it. Plus, they're throwing in additions to get it built that are only good for the area...green building, stores, museum, park extension, etc. Plus, the city waill actually make money over the coming years, unlike MSG that pays nothing and has the balls to try to stifle some competition.

krulltime
June 2nd, 2004, 12:03 PM
I couldn't have say it better billyblancoNYC. :wink:

Ninjahedge
June 2nd, 2004, 12:26 PM
"That's a campaign trying to enhance the assets that they have in Madison Square Garden," Bloomberg said. "They don't have any interest in the rest of the city."

Hmmm....Good Point.

The New York Jets, on the other hand, have only the City's best interests at heart. That is why they are willing to bring their 8 home games a year back into the City (after a few decades in New Jersey) for the small price of $600 million cash plus a real estate parcel worth up to $1 billion.

Or we could wait 20-30 years for someone to foot the bill privately to clean up and develop the railyard.

I mean, look at all the Helmsley properties that were remodeled!!! It's amazing that they ever let this happen!!! ;)


I agree, the ads are in poor taste. If you don't want the money to be spent on the stadium, say so, but don't hold a puppy up to the camera while doing it.

krulltime
June 2nd, 2004, 12:46 PM
Myths about a Queens stadium

Published on May 31, 2004

Last week, Madison Square Garden escalated the increasingly bitter fight over whether to build a sports stadium on the West Side by throwing its financial support to an anti-stadium coalition. The opponents are an unlikely combination of community groups who fear the impact of a stadium in Manhattan, civic leaders who regard the $600 million of public money to be spent as a misallocation of resources, and rivals such as the Garden, which is simply trying to stamp out a competitive venue. Most hew to the line that a stadium may be a reasonable idea, but it belongs in Queens.

Politicians, especially potential rivals to Mayor Bloomberg in the 2005 election, echo this refrain endlessly. It is the best way to oppose the stadium while supporting the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics, which requires a new facility.

All, however, are indulging in wishful thinking, based on three key assumptions.

Queens will be less costly. This idea is heard over and over again as if it is a truism. As any developer will attest, the cost of building in Queens or Brooklyn is virtually the same as in Manhattan. What can make a difference is the cost of land. The stadium on the West Side will be built on a platform over the Long Island Rail Road tracks that will cost $400 million. A city study of the alternative site in Willets Point, Queens, says it will cost $230 million to condemn businesses, relocate jobs, install utilities and remedy pollution. Pilings needed for the marshland add another $120 million.

Critics could show there is something wrong with the city's study, but until then it appears that the platform and what would be needed in Queens are comparable.

Who needs the platform over the rail yards? The stadium opponents seem to suggest that no stadium means no platform. They are wrong. It simply won't be possible to develop the West Side as the next major commercial district in the city without building a foundation over the rail yard. No office building or similar project would be economically viable if it had to pay for the platform.

Critics should admit either that the platform will have to be financed by the city or that they are happy to stop the entire West Side project by killing the stadium.

The Jets will pay for a Queens stadium.

It is amazing how many New York politicians and community leaders believe they know more about a business's finances than the company itself. The Jets are prepared to spend $800 million of their money, the most ever spent by a team on a stadium, because they can earn a profit on it in Manhattan, where naming rights and corporate ticket sales and boxes will be most successful. They say they can't do so in Queens, and they are probably right. Queens isn't their only alternative. They could stay in New Jersey and share a stadium with the New York Giants.

By all means, there should be spirited debate over whether the plans for a sports stadium on the West Side make sense. But the choices are the West Side and the Jets, and maybe the Olympics, or no stadium, no Jets and no Olympics.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

NewYorkYankee
June 2nd, 2004, 02:15 PM
Myths about a Queens stadium

Queens isn't their only alternative. They could stay in New Jersey and share a stadium with the New York Giants.


NO, NEW York teams need to be in NEW YORK, them ever being anywhere outside of new York is stupid.

NYguy
June 2nd, 2004, 03:18 PM
Its like there somebody's running for something, but nobody knows what...(NY Post)

JETS LAUNCHING TV AIR WAR VS. MSG

By TOM TOPOUSIS

June 2, 2004 -- The NFL Jets will counter-attack opponents of their proposed West Side stadium today by launching a battery of new TV ads touting the benefits of the $1.4 billion project on the eve of a long-awaited City Council hearing.

A pair of 30-second Jets ads — one focusing on job creation and the other on the proposed stadium's "environmentally friendly" design — are airing just a week after Madison Square Garden launched its anti-stadium campaign.

The Jets' employment-focused ad claims the stadium project will create 18,000 construction jobs and 6,900 permanent jobs.

A source familiar with the Jets' plans would not say how much the team is spending, but described the effort as "overshadowing" the ad campaign launched by MSG and its parent company, Cablevision.

TV ads broadcast last week blasted the stadium over the $600 million in state and city funding that would be contributed to the project, money the ads said could be better used on schools, firehouses and health care.

The battle over the stadium has pitted the football team and its principal political backers, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg, against MSG, whose owners fear competition for event booking from a new arena just three blocks away.

krulltime
June 2nd, 2004, 06:21 PM
A pair of 30-second Jets ads — one focusing on job creation and the other on the proposed stadium's "environmentally friendly" design — are airing just a week after Madison Square Garden launched its anti-stadium campaign.


Ohoh! This is getting uglier yet interesting! Oh Yeah!

:twisted: THE BATTLE HAS BEGAN!!!

BigMac
June 2nd, 2004, 11:16 PM
Newsday
June 2, 2004

Pataki tries end-run for stadium

Will introduce bill to supercede limits city would face in borrowing funds to finance the project

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD, JR.

In an effort to spur the development of the West Side of Manhattan, Gov. George Pataki is expected Thursday to introduce legislation that would redefine the boundaries of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and amend the state's public authorities law, people familiar with the bill said.

The change to the law would allow the city to use the Transitional Finance Authority for borrowing related to the massive development, which includes a proposed stadium for the Jets, an expansion of the convention center, and a redevelopment of the Hudson Yards.

Created in 1997, the Transitional Finance Authority allows the city to avoid ceilings in the state constitution that limit the amount of debt the city can incur. All told, the West side development is expected to cost $5.5 billion. All but $1 billion of the upfront costs for the project would come from taxpayer dollars.

The proposals contained in the legislation will further complicate an elaborate financing scheme for the project.

Wednesday, critics noted that two months after the unveiling of the plan few details exist about how the city and state will absorb the cost. "The water is so muddy," said Walter Mankoff, chairman of Community Board 4. "There is nothing genuinely definitive."

The city and state each plan to bond $300 million for the stadium, but officials have not said where the backing for that borrowing will come from.

The city also hopes to tap into the Battery Park City Authority's surplus revenue, but is awaiting a decision from City Comptroller William Thompson who must sign off on such a proposal. A recent Independent Budget Office report also threw a cloud over the city's intention to use those monies. While the monies were slated to go to affordable housing, the report found little of it did.

Further confusing matters, MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow estimates that the rail yards on which a stadium would be built are worth $1.2 billion, though city officials contend the yards are worth very little.

The project must also face a battery of approvals in the state legislature. In addition to Thursday's proposed legislation, Albany lawmakers must approve a $1.50 per room per night hotel tax that is expected to generate $500 million for the project.

Officials with the Empire State Development Corporation, the state's economic development agency, did offer some details Wednesday. They said $350 million for the state's contribution to the Javits expansion would come through a restructuring of bonds issued by the the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. Another $500 million for another phase of the Javits expansion would be backed by other revenue sources.

Pataki's bill comes as the New York City Council is scheduled to hold an afternoon hearing Thursday on the development plan even though the panel will only have a minor say -- over the rezoning of the site.

The event is expected to serve as a forum for opponents of the project who have criticized Pataki and the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg for what they view as an effort to avoid local scrutiny of the project by giving it a state economic development designation.

"It's clear the Pataki administration and the Bloomberg administration do not want legislative bodies involved in this deal," said Assemb. Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester), who chairs the Assembly's committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, which would have to review Pataki's proposal to amend the state authorities law. "They're going to be disappointed."

Within the past week the fight over the development took on a fiercer tone. A coalition -- the New York Association for Better Choices, backed by Madison Square Garden -- released television advertising, criticizing the city and state's $600 million contribution as wasteful spending.

The Jets meanwhile garnered two more union endorsements, from garment workers and musicians, and released its own ad, citing jobs the project would generate. Both sides were expected to rally at City Hall's steps.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

NYguy
June 3rd, 2004, 10:38 AM
A pair of 30-second Jets ads — one focusing on job creation and the other on the proposed stadium's "environmentally friendly" design — are airing just a week after Madison Square Garden launched its anti-stadium campaign.


Ohoh! This is getting uglier yet interesting! Oh Yeah!

:twisted: THE BATTLE HAS BEGAN!!!

I haven't seen the JETS ads yet, but I've already had enough of the Cablevision ads. They're showing them back to back during Yankee games! At least put a different message in. The commercial has become so annoying that it may backfire on whatever results they hope to achieve.

NYguy
June 3rd, 2004, 11:19 AM
Site of the planned JETS stadiuim...(June 1)


http://www.pbase.com/image/29710265/large.jpg

krulltime
June 3rd, 2004, 12:10 PM
That helicopter looks like is about to crash to a ugly low rise. Maybe is for the best.

krulltime
June 3rd, 2004, 12:11 PM
What is that lowrise anyway...apartments?

billyblancoNYC
June 3rd, 2004, 12:24 PM
I think it's friggin' storage. Too much of this is around that area, downtown brooklyn, long island city. They should provide big inceventives to develop these wastes of space. I understand the need, but not in such prominent places ready for development.

Ninjahedge
June 3rd, 2004, 01:21 PM
Start taxing storage facilities and reducing or eliminating the tax on new construction (residential) in these areas.

That railyard is a total eyesore. I still cannot believe, with the prices you have to pay for rent, maintainance or purchasing an apartment/condo in NYC that there are STILL areas that look like death warmed over.

As for teh ads on BOTH sides, I am tired of it already. Maybe someone should get a court order to silence both of them on grounds of harassment.

BigMac
June 3rd, 2004, 10:22 PM
Newsday
June 3, 2004

Pataki tries end-run for stadium

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD, JR.

Gov. George Pataki introduced a bill Thursday with various measures needed for a proposed expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, a linchpin in the city's overall plan to redevelop the West Side of Manhattan.

The legislation clears the way to extend the center's current footprint — 34th to 39th streets, between 11th and 12th avenues — north to 40th Street and south to 33rd Street.

It also allows the New York Convention Center Development Corporation to issue $350 million worth of debt for the state's portion of the $1.4 billion expansion, which proponents say has been long needed for the city to draw large conventions.

"A new multi-use facility on the West Side will be the most successful economic venture in New York in years," Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles Gargano, told members of the city council Thursday as they held an afternoon hearing on the West Side plan.

Some elements of the expansion's financing still remain unresolved. The city hopes to broker a deal to get $350 million in Battery Park City Authority money. The state legislature must also approve a $1.50 per room per night hotel tax that would generate $500 million.

During a brief interview as he left the hearing Gargano said the state had not identified how it would generate its $350 million contribution for Javits.

The West Side project also includes a proposed Jets stadium that would link to the convention center and a redevelopment of an area east of 11th Avenue known as Hudson Yards.

Members of the council peppered the project's key players with questions that examined whether the $4.5 billion public investment in the $5.5 billion project is worthwhile.

While critics note the failure of many sports stadiums, Doctoroff said this project would be surrounded by retail and parks. "This is not a stadium that sits out in a parking lot in some suburban area," he said."

From the questioning it was clear that Jets and Javits are far from resolving who would control bookings for the linked stadium and convention center.

"It's essential for Javits to control the bookings," said Javits chairman Robert Boyle.

But Cross noted the Jets may book large events, such as rock concerts, that require stadium seating, while Javits would book conventions for large associations. Cross said the Jets would operate the facility.

During one session, council members asked Gargano and Doctoroff why the city had relied on a study from Ernst & Young to support the stadium proposal. Gargano said ESDC had tested the firm's numbers against its own models — ESDC's typical practice.

"We're very comfortable provided it's a reputable firm," Gargano said. In response, council member Eric Gioia joked "Arthur Andersen was a reputable firm."

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

BigMac
June 3rd, 2004, 10:28 PM
Newsday
June 3, 2004

West Side Stadium debate gets hot

BY GRAHAM RAYMAN

Slide Show: The West Side stadium rally (http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/manhattan/nyc-rallgal0604,0,610742.photogallery?coll=nyc-manheadlines-manhattan)

The debate over the West Side Stadium and convention center expansion took on a much more urgent atmosphere in and around City Hall Thursday, as the combatants stripped away the courtly pretense.

From the land value, to the financing plan, to revenue projections, just about every piece of information uttered about the plan was disputed by one side or the other.

Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, a key stadium backer, and Madison Square Garden official Charles Dolan, a key critic, seemed to come under the most direct attack.

"Nobody elected Dan Doctoroff mayor to shove the stadium down our throats," shouted one aged protester during an anti-stadium rally on the City Hall steps.

At a union rally around the corner, Dolan, meanwhile, was called one of "the biggest losers we ever had," by Ed Molloy, of the Building Construction Trades Council. Molloy criticized Dolan for opposing the project, saying, "They've been getting a tax abatement for 20 years."

The central question has become whether the stadium project is the best use for the $600 million the city and state intend to contribute. Opponents said the funds should be used for housing and schools.

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum said the plan used "voodoo financing." City Councilwoman Christine Quinn said it was based on a financing scheme that "top grade financial companies raised significant questions about."

Doctoroff countered these arguments with a presentation he titled "Myths and Truths," in which he said the stadium, which would include other amenities, would bring in about $30 million a year in new tax revenue. He said the stadium is integral to any hope of improvement for the surrounding neighborhood.

There was also a geographic divide. Two Queens councilmembers, David Weprin and Hiram Monserrate, told the union crowd they backed the stadium plan. Manhattan Assemb. Richard Gottfried countered to his supporters that a Queens stadium project would create just as many jobs, and Quinn said Queens was the better spot.

And football references: Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corp., quoted Vince Lombardi.

Both sides sought to portray themselves as speaking for the little guy. The construction and garment workers unions appealed to members' support of blue-collar jobs.

Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn) charged, "There is a disconnect between this administration and the working class."

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller opted not to appear at either demonstration. At the hearing, he said he was in favor of expanding the Javits Center, and re-zoning the neighborhood, but said, "My concern is around the expenditure of public money."

In the end, it was clear that both sides were aware of the gulf that divided them. "Hey you better watch out on your way home, those anti-stadium people are around," quipped one strapping construction worker.

"Yeah, those little old ladies," the other said.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.