Comptroller Thompson Raises Questions About West Side Development Plan

By Maurice Pinzon
Today New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. questioned whether the construction of a New York Jets stadium and commercial development on the West Side of Manhattan would provide as much revenue for the City as some expect.

In an exclusive interview with New York News Network in his office, he said, “I don’t know that the stadium returns a lot of additional revenue. I don’t care how anybody tries to dress it up,” he said. “I mean, as an adjunct to Javits [Center] and a bunch of other things — it’s a stadium. It’s a 75,000-seat stadium.”

In contrast, the comptroller fully supported expansion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center because he said numbers could show that it would bring revenue and jobs to the city. Regardless of whether the stadium is built, Comptroller Thompson said construction of the convention center should not be delayed.

He also agreed that extending the No. 7 subway line to the West Side would be important to any future development in the area. However, the comptroller recommended that the City postpone the No. 7 line expansion to see if the project could be included in the MTA’s capital budget. Under the current proposal the City has indicated that it will pay for the expansion.

In addition, Comptroller Thompson questioned the need for additional commercial space in midtown Manhattan, which he said has a vacancy rate of 11 percent to 12 percent, at a time when various commercial projects are being planned. These projects include the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, the Atlantic Yards Project and the expansion of MetroTech in Brooklyn, and the waterfront development in Long Island City.

The City and the State are expected to announce an agreement on the West Side stadium and convention center development tomorrow.

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