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NEW YORK CITY-NFL star Emmitt Smith’s plans to build a luxury hotel and retail project in Harlem got a boost Wednesday when the city agreed that the project should receive $19.8 million in federal tax-exempt financing, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Smith and his company, ESmith Legacy, are proposing a 200-room Hyatt at the southwest corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue.

A selection committee at the New York City Capital Resource Corp., a local development corporation controlled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is supporting the federal financing, the Journal reported. “This project would transform a long-vacant site in a vibrant commercial corridor into much-needed hotel and retail space, along with amenities for the community, creating hundreds of permanent and construction jobs,” a spokesman for the New York City Economic Development Corp. told the Journal.

A hearing will be held in June, following a formal vote from Capital Resource Corp.’s board, according to the Journal. In order to receive the financing, the $80-million project must start construction by year’s end.

To access the Journal article, click here.

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