Yankee Stadium Parking Operator Retains Bankruptcy Law FirmMartin Z. Braun
The operator of parking garages at the new Yankee Stadium, which haven’t generated enough revenue to pay $240 million in tax-exempt debt, has hired bankruptcy attorneys, according to a securities filing.
Bronx Parking Development Corp. will pay Willkie Farr & Gallagher $18,750 a month to serve as bankruptcy counsel, according to the corporation’s 2013 operating budget filed with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
Bronx Parking is in discussions with creditors and isn’t planning a bankruptcy filing, Edward Moran, the firm’s chief restructuring officer, said in a telephone interview.
“We’re still trying to work things through with bondholders,” Moran said, declining to offer specifics. “It’s very, very delicate times.”
The garages and lots, which have about 9,300 spaces, have suffered as more fans take public transportation to Major League Baseball games and drivers balk at paying $35 to park. The facilities averaged about 4,000 cars on event days and had an occupancy rate of 43 percent, according to filings. The Yankees have exclusive use of 600 spaces.
Nuveen Asset Management is the biggest holder of Bronx Parking debt, with $116.1 million of bonds maturing in 2037 and 2046 as of Feb. 28, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Chicago-based company held $15 million in bonds maturing in 2017 and 2027 as of Jan. 31.
Bonds maturing in 2046 traded on March 8 at 42.5 cents on the dollar, the data show.
Bronx Parking issued $237.6 million of municipal bonds in 2007 through New York City’s Industrial Development Agency to build three garages, renovate two others and refurbish six lots near the 50,287-seat Yankee Stadium. It opened in 2009 adjacent to the site of the team’s old ballpark.
The project received a $70 million subsidy from New York state and about $39 million from the city.
Bronx Parking’s next interest payment of $6.9 million is due April 1 and there is an $8.1 million payment due Oct. 1.
The corporation had about $13.5 million in various funds as of Dec. 31, 2012 which will decline to about $6 million at the end of 2013, according to the budget. Net operating income is forecast at $4.8 million.
A message for Willkie’s chief marketing officer, Antoinette McGovern, wasn’t immediately returned.