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July 29, 2005

MTA Board Leans Towards Ratner

WNYC by Andrea Bernstein

Yesterday's report on the MTA Board's decision from WNYC contained some interesting points that were not brought up in other local coverage, an indication that Bernstein is covering the story of Bruce Ratner's proposal "from the ground up."

Bernstein clairifies that:

The MTA did not choose a developer for the Brooklyn rail yards at its board meeting yesterday. But it indicated a very strong preference for Forest City Ratner.

Bernstein adds some historical context:

Forest City Ratner has been working on a proposal for the Brooklyn rail yards –for two years. The 6 block has won the support of the governor, the Mayor, and other elected leaders. But stung by the controversy over the Jets stadium, the transit authority which owns the rail yards decided to auction them off. Forest City took advantage of its long lead time by putting in a far glossier, longer, and more detailed bid than its rival, Extell. Unfortunately for Forest City, its bid was also far lower – by $100 million. The MTA was not happy.

MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow muddled through an illogical explanation for the Board's action, claiming, "I’ve never sent two tenants a lease for the same space at the same time its just not right its not the way I like to do business."

Regarding the Kalikow quote, Berstein points out for WNYC's listeners:

This is of, course, not a lease. It’s a forty five day negotiation with one of the bidders on a multimillion dollar MTA property.

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Posted by lumi at July 29, 2005 7:17 AM