New York City Comptroller John Liu released an audit yesterday blasting a 1998 “sweetheart deal” with the Marriott Marquis Hotel that will allow the hotel to purchase the Times Square property from the city for $19.9 million – or about a tenth of its current market value.
The Bloomberg administration dismissed the audit’s conclusions and criticized the comptroller, but that hasn’t stopped others from jumping into the fray.
“An unprecedented sweetheart deal worth more than $300 million for a luxury hotel is the last thing hard-working families in the city need, especially in these difficult times,” said Bill Lipton, the WFP’s deputy director. “Our city is supposed to work for all New Yorkers, not just the wealthy and well connected. We’ve seen one too many handouts for the rich. Let’s get our priorities straight and focus our resources on getting New Yorkers back to work and rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.”
The hotel was part of a dramatic economic rebound in Times Square over the years, but Liu’s audit noted that the area was already on the upswing when the deal was re-negotiated with more favorable terms for Marriott.