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August 7, 2006

Mr. Ratner's Neighborhood

Manipulative developers, shrill protesters, and a sixteen-tower glass-and-steel monster marching inexorably forward. What the battle for the soul of Brooklyn looks like—from right next door.

NewYorkMag-Cover.jpgPolitical reporter Chris Smith has been lying low, trying to avoid the issue stalking his front door, Atlantic Yards... that is, until now.

Taking into account all sides of the issue, Smith casts aside Marty Markowitz's creation myth, meets with all of the players (except for the elusive Caring Bruce), and pulls together all of the threads of the fight over Atlantic Yards.


When Chris Smith arrives at the end of his fact-finding mission, he is proof positive that when people are presented with all the facts about Atlantic Yards, they are most likely to oppose the project (at least that's NoLandGrab's take on the entire battle over the Yards).


The reporter finds someone who is willing to guesstimate Ratner's profit on the $4.2-billion plan.

“It’s difficult to quantify the profitability of the arena,” [real estate expert Jeffrey] Jackson says, “and the return will be impacted by the final mix of financing. But Ratner should make around $700 million to $1 billion—about a 25 percent return. That’s pretty good.”

This estimate is close to the 28% figure reported to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for large-scale private residential projects.

Posted by lumi at August 7, 2006 6:06 AM