From DNA Info:
A "sweetheart deal" with one of Manhattan's most famous hotels could ultimately cost New York City taxpayers close to $350 million in lost revenue when its lease expires in four years, Comptroller and 2013 mayoral candidate John C. Liu announced Tuesday.
The Marriott Marquis in Times Square, a 49-floor hotel with famous curved, glass-enclosed elevators, will be eligible in 2017 to buy its property for the "fire-sale price" of just $20 million — a $173.1 million markdown from market value, Liu alleged.
"This is one of the worst deals since Manhattan was sold for $24," the comptroller said in a statement.
Under the terms of the new deal, the hotel avoided having to pay $172 million in rent it agreed to under the terms of the 1998 deal, Liu said.
The dispute's roots stretch to 1998, when the city's Economic Development Corporation allegedly encouraged City Hall to rewrite and shorten the Marriott's lease from 75 to 35 years, Liu said. The new terms sharply reduced the Marriott's rent payments — the hotel was still required to pay-off its back rent — and it permitted the hotel to purchase its location "for a song" in 2017, instead of 2057.
Liu is urging the city to renegotiate its lease with Marriott or find another tenant for the property.
The EDC seems to lose more money than it makes for the City. Why do we need them?