While the city waits for Emmitt Smith's company to break ground on its planned Harlem hotel, officials have been busy making backup plans to spend every cent of the federal financing package set to expire December 31. The first of those backup plans got official city approval yesterday: $15 million in tax-exempt financing is going to Brooklyn developer Two Trees Management for a Williamsburg hotel, the Journal reports. The cash infusion will help Jed Walentas put a 73-room hotel at the corner of Wythe Avenue and N. 11th Street, perhaps, the Observer notes, widening a loophole in the city's zoning legislation that could allow more non-industrial construction in Williamsburg's Industrial Business Zone. But while that may inspire fears for Williamsburg's soul, we're not too worried about Emmitt Smith: there's still $51 million in financing left in the funding package, so if the hotel breaks ground, its cash will come.
· Brooklyn Hotel Gets City Nod on Funds [WSJ]
· Jed Walentas Gets His Williamsburg Welfare for Swanky Hotel [NYO]
· Two Trees Wants Emmitt Smith's Money for Williamsburg Hotel [Curbed]