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Jets vowing to build West Side stadium.

Even without the $300 million in funding from the state in place, the Jets still say they will build a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan.

On Monday, the Public Authorities Control Board voted against the approval of $300 million in state funding for the stadium--possibly jeopardizing the city's chance to host the 2012 Olympics games.

"Today is a setback, but it is not the final chapter to be written in our quest to build a home for the New York Jets in Manhattan," said Jets' President Jay Cross, after the Public Authorities Control Board voted against the approval of the funding for the stadium. "Four years of hard work and planning will not be washed away in a single day."

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senator Joseph Bruno abstained from voting, while Governor Pataki voted to approve it.

The board's decision, which had to be unanimous, came after the International Olympic Committee released its report saying that New York was still very much in the running to host the games--should the New York Sports and Convention Center (that will double as an Olympic stadium) be built.

The IOC will select the host city on July 6.

But the Jets say if New York isn't selected, it won't be for a lack of an Olympic stadium.

"This is an unfortunate day for anyone who believes New York City should continue to build upon its bright past," Cross said. "The Jets are prepared to invest $1.6 billion in the city we love and wish to call home."

Speaker Silver cast his dissenting vote because he said the stadium project would compete with Ground Zero development.

"The question is not whether New York City should host the Olympics; the question is what should New York City address?" he said. "We are four years after September 11th and there is not a brick in the ground yet at Ground Zero."

Silver wants an incentive plan for businesses wishing to relocate to Lower Manhattan, similar to one in place for businesses that would relocate to the 24 million s/f of office space that will be built on the West Side, with the stadium as its anchor.

The PACB vote was postponed three times, before Monday afternoon's vote.

Once it was postponed to await the outcome of four lawsuits that accused the MTA of unfairly awarding the bid for the Hudson yards to the Jets. However, last week those lawsuits were dismissed by a State Supreme Court Justice. All parties said they would appeal.

Detractors of the stadium say there are still too many unanswered questions and understand why the stadium was not approved.

"For months, the Assembly and Senate have demanded a specific financial plan," said Assembly Member Richard Gottfried.

"They want to know who will have real control over booking at the stadium--the Jets or the Javits Center? How have security issues been resolved? Since the Jets stadium would require major expansion to accommodate the Olympics, what future approvals will be needed for that?"

The IOC also cited other concerns with New York's bid to host the Olympics, as well.

"The IOC devoted more space to outlining its concerns regarding the Olympic Village than to any other potential weak spot," said Kinsey Casey, of the Hell's Kitchen/Hudson Yards Alliance, an organization that strongly opposes the stadium.

One of the larger concerns over the Olympic Village is that "Eminent domain may be required to secure the land for the Olympic Village, potentially delaying construction," said the IOC report.

With the majority of city Assembly members supporting the plan and six major real estate developers already agreeing to take part in the project, the Jets drive to build a stadium is still very much alive.

REW was unable to gather comment from the developers by press time.
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Title Annotation:New York Jets
Author:Nelson, Barbara
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jun 8, 2005
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