Daily News from New York, New York on May 30, 1996 · 188
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Daily News from New York, New York · 188

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 30, 1996
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I ' . Iff I QUOTE OF THE DAY ' This offers a tantalizing opportunity to build something Important in one of the top urban comers of the world' JOHN DYSON, Mayor Giuliani's lead representative on the MTA board, following the vote to sell the Coliseum Mdsoiiogijd d MTA puts end to haggling By PETER GRANT Daily News Business Writer The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board yesterday voted to put the Coliseum up for sale, ending months of battling over the future of the much-coveted site. The move is expected to spark a bidding war for the 3.4-acre parcel at Columbus Circle from such developers as Donald Trump, the Zeckendorf family and Millenium Partners. They are interested in building retail and apartment buildings on the site, which has been in limbo for two years. But the developers will not be able to build as big or as high as they would have under an earlier plan for developing the site that collapsed in 1994. To avoid the legal challenges from community groups which helped scut tle the old plan, the MTA is limiting developers to building under current zoning restrictions, which allow for a 750-foot tower with 2.1 million square feet of space. - At one point under the earlier plan, the developer Boston Properties which is owned by Daily News chairman and co-publisher Mortimer Zuck-erman was planning a 925-foot tower of 3.3 million square feet. "We're not going to listen to romantic ideas of getting more money from changing the zoning," said former deputy mayor John Dyson, who is Mayor Giuliani's lead representative on the MTA board. The MTA and city want to avoid possible delays because they are both under budgetary pressure to move ahead with the sale as soon as possible. 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LET BIDDING BEGIN: Coliseum's prime location is expected to draw such major developers as Donald Trump, the Zeckendorf family and Millenium Partners. as much as $200 million for the property and will employ 2,000 construction workers for over two years. The MTA, which owns the site, will start soliciting bids from developers throughout the world within the next few days. Construction could begin as early as next summer. "This offers a tantalizing opportunity to build something important in one of the top urban corners of the world," Dyson said. The MTA and city decided last year to sell the Coliseum rather than lease it for a short time period. But for months, the city and MTA battled over how this should be done. Dyson insisted that developers include 300,000 square feet of exhibition space in their plans because he felt the city needs additional convention facilities. But MTA executives felt that such a limitation on developers would greatly reduce the price they would be willing to pay. In the end, Dyson conceded. "We were persuaded that developing passenger ship terminals and expanding the Javits Center are possible ways of accommodating that need for more convention space," he said. But Dyson noted that the city also got much of what it wanted in the sale of the Coliseum. The developer will have to pay all cash, which will insure that a transaction will not bog down due to financing problems, he said. "We'll end up with a real bid from real people with real money," he added. Also, the proceeds of the sale will go into the city's budget for two years. It will then be paid into the MTA capital budget over a two-year period. jeiffl toss aooDauaire, M ttioiitss taiilliioiigrjas Usay The boss of former Kidder Peabody trader Joseph Jett said yesterday that he did not know of Jett's trading practices, and in hindsight, saw nothing wrong with them. "I didn't see anything per se wrong," with Jett's trading, said Mel-vin Mullin, former manager of Kidder's government securities desk. Mullin, testifying at an administrative hear-ing on civil fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, said he was unaware of the alleged tactics that Jett used to trade government securities. The SEC has charged that Jett, 38, concocted fake profits to hide nearly $100 million in losses. Mullin, under cross-examination by Jett's lawyer, Kenneth Warner, said he had re-examined Jett s trading in 1992, and discovered that Jett had received ton small a hnnnC ' "' ""."L ' I " ' JOSEPH JETT gets boost from ex-supervisor. . nized about $1.5 million in overall profits that Jett's trading had earned for the firm. Jett received a $2 million bonus in 1992. Warner later argued that the discovery only strengthened the argument that his client had acted properly. Asked about an investigation conducted by ah-ex top Kidder official, David Bernstein, Mullin said that Bernstein told him that he was looking into Jett's activities. "He (Bernstein) didn't say what he was doing" about Jett, Mullin said. Mullin, who ran Kidder's government desk from 1988 until 1993, last week settled charges brought by the SEC accusing him of failing to supervise Jett By early '93, after Mullin was no longer supervising the desk, he said he had heard from others at Kidder that Jett "over time had hflcnms hard on those who Were not smart enoueh or lullin ald thepfttad nct rec6g-- aggressive enough:. . ' " ' Reutej

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