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April 4, 2005

TAX SLAP FOR TIMES TOWER

NY Post: Ratner's NY Times tower might be rejected for Brownfield money.

New state guidelines threaten to yank hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits from some of the city's biggest new developments, including the New York Times tower planned for Eighth Avenue in Midtown.

Under the state's 2003 brownfield law, which gives tax breaks for cleaning and building on contaminated land, the Times is in line for up to $170 million in breaks.

But now the Department of Environmental Conservation can reject properties whose cleanup costs are not "significant" compared to the total cost of the project, a criterion written specifically for the Times, observers contend.

A spokesperson for Forest City Ratner, the developer of the $850 million Times building, had no comment.

Under brownfield rules, a project receives tax credits based on the total cost of the project, not just the cleanup, which balloons the New York Times credits.

article

NoLandGrab: This may have repercussions for the cost of Ratner's Atlantic Yards proposal, where Forest City Ratner has declared that they would seek money avaiable from the NYS Brownfield trust.

The original intention of the program, which was approved after the State Superfund was bankrupt in March 2001, was to aid clean up of sites that would not otherwise be developed, not sites where large developers are spending millions of dollars just for the opportunity. One of the dangers of approving applications for large projects like IKEA, FCR/NY Times, and Related/Bronx Terminal Market is that it would bankrupt the trust before the project was able to fulfill its original purpose.

For more info, read:
The Center for Brownfields Innitiative, Green Lady
Morgan Lewis (Environmental Attorneys), State Law Developments, New York Brownfield Legislation Enacted, (HTML version)
City Limits, DIRTY BUSINESS: RATNER SEEKS TOXIC TAX BREAK

Posted by lumi at April 4, 2005 7:54 AM