Friday, September 12, 2008


In today's NY Daily News, Juan Gonzales examines the crack assessment techniques of the city in regards to the new Yankee Stadium: "In January 2007, the city assessed land under the new Yankee Stadium at 10 times the market value of virtually all other land in the South Bronx neighborhood. The assessment - not including the new ballpark - worked out to a fair market value of $275 per square foot. But a Daily News analysis of city property records shows that city assessors said land on a dozen blocks around the site was worth an average of less than $25 a square foot."

The city responded as follows: "Assistant Finance Commissioner Sam Miller denied that allegation. "Finance estimated the value of the new Yankee Stadium accurately and independently by using a standard cost approach for new construction, and by comparing the costs to other new stadia around the country," Miller said."

Yet, as Gonzales points out: "Among the most astounding disparities:
- The site of a VIP parking garage that will be connected to the new stadium: $20 a square foot.
- Land under the old Yankee Stadium: $16 a square foot.
- Land under the giant Gateway Center mall, currently under construction a few blocks south of the stadium: $9 a square foot."

Last we heard, the Gateway Mall qualifies as new construction, Could its low assessment reflect a further city aggrandizement of its owner Steve Ross (close friend of Deputy Dan)?" In any case, there is a lot of shenanigans here, and if true, would raise asome serious questions about the political integrity of the Imperial Mayor's reign. After all, as Juan says, the assessment of Bronx parks has already been exposed: "This column reported on July 27 that a separate appraisal of the new stadium site done in 2006 - one the city commissioned and submitted to the National Park Service - claimed it was worth $46 a square foot. "Our assessors jacked up the numbers and the justify the stadium bonds," a veteran Finance Department official said."

Who knows, if this all turns out to be a fraudulent process, maybe Mayor Mike could say, kinda like Charlie Rangel. that he just got confused because the assessors started to speak Spanish. Que Lastima, indeed.