A new audit done at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square could be bad news for city taxpayers, as it may end up costing them a cool $344 million.
“This is one of the worst deals since Manhattan was sold for $24,” city Controller John Liu said of the situation, whose office investigated the 15-year-old agreement.
The audit found that the cost of the property under the amended 1998 deal was $19.9 million, about one-tenth of its fair market value of $193 million. Already, this has cost the city $173 million in rent over the last 15 years.
Also in the revamped contract between the Giuliani administration and the Marriott Marquis was a rent forgiveness clause, where the hotel was permitted to pay off its back rent in lieu of paying its current rent. This alone cost the city another $171.8 million.
“City Hall needs to reexamine this agreement and do whatever it can to recoup the millions taxpayers have lost in this boondoggle,” Liu said. He urged the city to reopen the lease agreement and negotiate terms more favorable to the city.
City Hall didn’t seem to worried, though.
“What a joke — the controller must have run out of things to audit and is now rummaging through old Giuliani files,” said Julie Wood, spokeswoman for Mayor Bloomberg.