Here's a story from this week's Bronx Press.
By Brendan McHugh
|Diaz is hoping to do what
former Bronx BP's couldn't:|
bring a first-class hotel to the borough.
The proposals for a hotel in the shadow of Yankee Stadium are a home run, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. president Marlene Cintron says.
Four proposals have come in on the BOEDC’s Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI), Cintron told the Bronx Press last week.
Cintron said she was, “Quite pleased, actually,” with them.
She wouldn’t go into detail, but did say two are “chain” hotels and the other two are more mixed-use facilities that incorporate a number of amenities.
None of the projects would need taxpayer money, according to Cintron.
In September, Cintron joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., seeking interest from hotel developers to develop what would be the Bronx’s only major hotel. They called for a conference center, a top-class restaurant and a permanent location for a Latino Baseball Hall of Fame. The current Latino Hall is a traveling exhibit only.
Jump below for the full story.
The deadline for expressions of interest was Nov. 15.
Before Cintron could get into more detail, she said Bronx Parking Development Company, the entity that manages the various parking lots surrounding Yankee Stadium, would need to look at the proposals.
The hotel would be where a Bronx Parking garage is currently, on the corner of River Ave. and E. 153rd St. Because of the popularity of the subways and Metro-North, the parking garages have been losing money and are mostly empty, even during ballgames.
Bronx Parking has been in dire financial constraints. Not only are they quickly drying up their reserves to pay back debt, but also things aren’t getting any better.
The not-for-profit garage operator didn’t realize that Yankee fans could easily pay $10 to park at the nearby Gateway Center mall and walk three blocks rather than cough up $35 to park at the stadium lots.
This news has left locals in the area quite pleased, as well.
“Everybody in the Bronx is enthusiastic about having at least one hotel that can provide guests, visitors and Yankee fans a chance to stay in the Bronx,” said Dr. Cary Goodman, executive director of the 161st Street Business Improvement District.
“Over the years, since the closing of the Concourse Plaza hotel, there really hasn’t been a place where people around the world can get to know the Bronx and the great things about the Bronx,” he added, saying how easy it would be for tourists to get to the Bronx Zoo, Botanical Gardens and Orchard Beach from the transportation hub at E. 161st St.
“It would really help out the stores, the bars and restaurants,” said Carolina Culeto, who lives near Yankee Stadium, at Diaz’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony last week.
Any hotel development will have to be approved by various agencies throughout New York City, though most, if not all, local elected officials are backing the plan.
Diaz is the third consecutive borough president to try his luck at bringing a major hotel to the area. Neither Fernando Ferrer nor Adolfo Carrion had much luck. Carrion had the chance to bring one in during the construction of the new Yankee Stadium, but the Yankees ignored his requests and opted not to build a hotel.