Emmitt Smith Punts on Harlem Hotel

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emmitt smith dwts Emmitt Smith Punts on Harlem HotelSome people (certainly no one at The Observer — Go G-Men!) consider Emmitt Smith to be one of the best running backs of all-time. So far, his success as a developer has been less impressive, as he continues to run circles around a development site in Harlem.

While Smith and his ESmith Legacy, Incorporated, have not given up on the prominent site at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, where they planned to build a 200-room Hyatt hotel, the team will be holding off for now after ESmith Legacy missed the deadline for roughly $20 million in tax-exempt financing for the Harlem project. Brian Morris, who co-founded the company with Smith, told The Journal that it will look to other funding sources for the long-vacant site, and he remains optimistic. “We fully expect to close on our financing and begin construction in the first quarter of 2011,” Morris said.

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Another hotel did manage to secure the funding recently, as developer Jed Walentas won similar financing for a boutique hotel in Williamsburg, despite concerns over the number of jobs the project will create, which is the justification for the bonds.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo