City Comptroller John Liu says Times Square's Marriott Marquis Hotel has a sweetheart deal with the city that could wind up costing taxpayers as much as $350 million.
According to an audit by Liu's office, the 1998 deal gives the company the right to buy the land it is located on for $20 million, just one-tenth of the property's market value.
Marriott currently rents the property and Liu says it is getting a deal on the rent as well.
"The city has an obligation to the taxpayers, with billions of dollars of deficits on the horizon, to do everything it can to recover money for the city. I don't begrudge Marriott. They got themselves a great deal. Unfortunately, the EDC gave the store away and taxpayers are hurting for it," the comptroller said.
The owner of the hotel called Liu's audit report "wrong on all counts."
The Economic Development Corporation says the audit fails to measure the significant impact the hotel has on Times Square and the city in general.