Is Emmitt Smith aiming to be the next Magic Johnson of Harlem?

By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
Like most blogs, we received the same, interesting alert about Emmitt Smith and his posse of investors plans to open a hotel on the southwest corner of Lenox Avenue and 125th Street. The Wall Street Journal broke the story today (Friday) saying that Smith and the unnamed investors went to the City recently asking for close to $20 million in financial assistance! In my view, that is small change given what has been doled out by the Feds as bail out money to some companies located in lower Manhattan. I hope the City gives the former Dallas Cowboy the financial backing he is requesting so that he can join in and achieve the equal level of success that Magic Johnson has achieved in Harlem. Johnson’s movies theaters appear to have done well in Harlem. Let’s see what happens. Stay tuned.

12 thoughts on “Is Emmitt Smith aiming to be the next Magic Johnson of Harlem?”

  1. @HarlemGal
    I’ll get back to you, but as far as I know, the only that exists is the press release. (And thanks for a great site).

    1. @DJ. Thanks for the comment. I came across the news wire about East Harlem Media Entertainment and Cultural Center on East 125th. I believe construction has started over there? I have not been to that exact location so I can completely confirm. Do you know anything about this construction site?

  2. @Pete. That is correct. The request for financial backing is to “New York City for $19.8 million in federal tax-exempt financing to help pay for the project.” I only referenced bail out money because I don’t think the public should squirm at the requested amount. I agree with your remaining points completely.
    @afinelyne. Based on what we know now there will be two hotels close by each other. Having more options is better for the community. Time Square or Central Park South has a ton together. I think the more options Harlem can provide the more turn out it will receive. I am not an expert by any means but one lone hotel soldier cannot dominate one area.
    @chezshea. Never heard of the Macy’s rumor before. Now I am sort of bummed . I would have loved that since I like shopping!

  3. I’ve been curious about that lot – and why it hasn’t been developed. This will be a nice addition. But will we be getting a Hyatt on Lenox and a ‘W’ on FDB? Is this overkill?

  4. Agree with your post and would just add the following: It seems Emmitt Smith & his co-investors are not asking for $20 million of government funds. They are asking for the ability to use a tax-exempt bond funding mechanism to attract additional private capital to the project. The bonds in question appear to be federal recovery bonds that have already been authorized and allocated to the city for development projects.

    I’m not trying to be overly technical, but it does make a difference that the city is not being asked to shell out a pile of cash under the current budgetary state of affairs. Given that the city does control a mechanism that could make this happen, however, I hope they take prompt action to support a project that could really help to shape the future of Central Harlem.

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