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Interim-uses sought for Coliseum again.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is trying once again to solicit proposals for the Coliseum while negotiations continue with developer Mortimer Zuckerman of Boston Properties for the $336.8 million Coliseum Center.

This time, Expressions of Interest are being requested for use or adaptive reuse of the office tower, garage and/or exhibition area with no lease term or other contractual items being specified.

John Cunningham, a spokesperson for the MTA, noted, "The current real estate market cannot sustain the sale of the level of the number of years ago. We want to continue to negotiate with Boston Properties and see what options we have."

Cunningham said they expect that any businesses interested in operating the property would be looking for a long term. The objective, he noted, is to determine what it takes to get a tenant.

When last we tuned in during September of 1992, the foes of the planned 57-story tower had called the city's bluff and refused to invest in a U.S. Supreme Court battle.

After the last court case was settled and a contractual 90-day period ran out, the city -- in what some officials considered its best option -- did not force developer Mortimer Zuckerman's hand. They did not demand that he either build the building and pay them the sum of $305 million or pay up on the $33.86 million letter of credit deposit.

The city officials simply acknowledged that real estate was indeed in crisis, agreed that no large corporate user was in sight for the 1.9 million-square-foot complex, and began to negotiate with Zuckerman.

Last year the MTA, which technically owns the site, requested proposals that would use the current near-empty Coliseum building while keeping its options open for the legal cases to end.

Several bona fide proposals were received, including visions of film and television studios and for use by trade shows. After the last legal ease was won by the city over the summer, however, the winning Canadian proposal for a film studio was withdrawn.

One interested party who asked not to be identified deemed the new request for Expressions of Interest "very disappointing," calling the documents "vague and contradictory with no criteria listed for selection."

The person noted the garage alone needs "a couple of million dollars" worth of work before it can be used. Cunningham said included in the Coliseum Center construction was a plan to repair and use the garage.

Proposals are due by April 30.
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Title Annotation:Expressions of Interest sought by New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Mar 31, 1993
Words:410
Previous Article:Harper Lawrence closes leases.
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