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Yankees Say A Parking Lot Operator Is Holding Up Plans For New Soccer Stadium

The parking lot standing near Yankee Stadium is causing headaches for developers hoping to build a soccer stadium on the site.

The drawn-out plans to bring the first dedicated soccer stadium to New York City have apparently hit yet another snag: the owners of a Bronx parking lot refusing to play nice.

Yankees officials claim Bronx Parking Development Co., which leases the lot next to Yankee Stadium from the Parks Department, is getting in the way of the construction of a new stadium, The City reports.

There are currently plans afoot for a 25,000-seat soccer stadium for New York City Football Club and affordable housing to be built near Yankee Stadium that would replace the parking lots and an elevator parts factory. However, problems with the parking lot operator are slowing the plans down. 

Bronx Parking Development has defaulted on $237M in bonds issued in 2007 by the city's Industrial Development Agency, and the parks department is threatening to terminate the company’s lease at the 153rd Street location. A lawyer for the Yankees, Michael Mellis, has told U.S. Bank, which serves as trustee for the IDA bondholders, that the parking lot company is not keeping the lots — which have around 9,300 spaces — safe, The City reports.

Mellis wrote in a letter to the bank back in July asserting Bronx Parking Development “has materially failed on all counts” to keep the lots in a “safe, secure, clean and reputable manner.” There are reportedly vermin all over the property, per the publication, elevators don’t work, lighting is poor and surfaces are dirty.

Ultimately, if the parking lot doesn’t fix the property, the club will not provide the required consent for the $1B stadium and housing project to move forward. Mellis claims that the company has "effectively brought the project to a standstill," The City reports.

NYCFC has been playing in Yankee Stadium, but rumors have swirled for years about the development of a soccer-specific stadium for the mainly Abu Dhabi royal family-owned club to play home games. The Yankees own 20% of NYCFC.

In February, The New York Times reported that a group of developers including Maddd Equities had garnered city support for the stadium plans. Though no formal deal was reached, it was said construction was to begin in 2022 with the view of completion in 2024 at the earliest.