Credit Crunch Scuttles Aqueduct Racetrack Deal for Peebles, McKissack - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

0311_bus-aqueduct-logoUnable to get financing for its $370 million development deal to produce video slot machines at the Aqueduct Racetrack, Delaware North Cos. Gaming and Entertainment said it has withdrawn from the project.

Peebles Corp. (No. 18 on the B.E. Industrial/Service 100 list with $245 million in revenues) and McKissack & McKissack, the nation’s oldest African American, female-owned, design and construction firm, were assigned to the project as prime contractors. Neither company was available to comment on the deal’s collapse.

“Since our bid was submitted in October 2007, there has been a deterioration of the credit and equity financial markets in this recession economy which has caused Aqueduct Gaming L.L.C. to restructure the timing for its financial offer,” said William J. Bissett, Delaware North president, in a statement. Aqueduct Gaming L.L.C. is a partnership between Delaware North Cos., Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, the Peebles Corp., McKissack & McKissack, and Mason Capital.

Gov. David Paterson selected Delaware North in October 2008 to develop the Video Lottery Terminal facility at the Queens, New York racetrack with the expectation that it would generate at least $8.2 billion for education over the next 30 years.

On Tuesday, Delaware North informed the Paterson administration that it would have trouble meeting a March 31 deadline to deliver the payment for the rights to develop the facility.

The loss of the project now leaves a $370 million hole in the NewYork state budget.

The Buffalo, New York-based company had been in discussions with state officials on altering the original deal that would have allowed it to revise its payment schedule, but the state rejected the restructuring proposal.

“The state remains committed to ensuring that Aqueduct is redeveloped,” Gov. David Paterson’s spokesman, Errol Cockfield, said in a statement Tuesday night. He added that the government will start a new selection process for the project.

Disappointed about the decision, Bissett said the rebidding of the project will cost New York even more in terms of added delays in construction and no assurance of a larger payment than Delaware North had offered. The company plans to submit a new bid for the project.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.