City is broke, so we are told, so we pay ridiculous tolls, massive taxes, reduced services, and a punitive parking meters that are linked directly to our wallet – YET we have money to pay for this.
Something is wrong here – the bubble is at its limit – it will break – we cannot tolerate this anymore – the level of corruption is beyond control.[backtopost]
Mayor Bloomberg (center) is flanked by Related Companies’ Chairman Stephen Ross (left) and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Hudson Yards at 30th St. between 10th and 11th Aves. on Tuesday.
Rendering of some of the new Hudson Yards buildings.
Private developers were supposed to pay for the grand Hudson Yards project on Manhattan’s far West Side, but right now taxpayers are being made to finance an ever-growing bill for the development.
The Bloomberg administration paid $234 million during fiscal year 2012 to a city-created development group that oversees the huge new commercial and residential complex, one of the mayor’s most ambitious projects.
City Hall quietly earmarked most of that money — $155 million — to the Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corp. in late June, because the group has not been generating enough revenue to pay the annual interest due on $3 billion in bonds it issued.
Hudson Yards Corp. floated those $3 billion in bonds to pay for an extension of the MTA’s 7 subway line to 34th St. and 11th Ave., plus a new boulevard that will run between 10th and 11th Ave. Initial plans by Bloomberg’s aides called for private developers to pay enough money in fees, air rights, and taxes to Hudson Yards Corp. to pay back the $3 billion in bonds.
Rendering of the completed Hudson Yards project on the far West Side of Manhattan.
But when the City Council approved that plan in 2005, the Council also agreed that if revenues from private developers were not sufficient to pay debt service in the early years, the city would make up the shortfall.
In fiscal 2012 alone, six years after the project started, the city transferred $79 million to Hudson Yards Corp. from the general budget to make up for anemic revenues from developers. That’s nearly double the $42 million it paid in 2011.
Then in June, in the midst of final budget negotiations with the Council, Bloomberg aides added another $155 million to help Hudson Yards Corp. make up for even bigger revenue shortfalls expected for both 2013 and 2014, a city official with knowledge of the transaction said.
“Consistent with the city’s general approach to managing its budget and debt service, the city decided to make a grant to HYIC at the end of FY (fiscal year) 2012 to pre-fund future (interest) costs,” David Farber, spokesman for Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corp., or HYIC, said.
And that’s not all the money the public is forking out.
This column reported last December that an analysis by the city’s Independent Budget Office found nearly $160 million of additional “infrastructure projects” related to Hudson Yards that Bloomberg’s people have buried in the budgets of other agencies.
All the rosy predictions have not materialized of a new commercial district springing up in the Hudson Yards area once a new subway got underway.
Maybe it will in 50 years, when most of us are dead.
As you might expect, none of this was mentioned at the huge and happy groundbreaking ceremony that Bloomberg and other politicians attended Tuesday for the first office building to be built in the Hudson Yards area.
Bloomberg praised Stephen Ross’ Related Companies for leading the way in “developing Manhattan’s last frontier,” and all the press ran futuristic pictures of the new district. As for the cost to you, don’t dare ask.