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September 5, 2007

Atlantic Yards: The Suspense Builds

The NY Observer

Real estate reporter Matthew Schuerman has a must-read article for all of your pals who keep asking what's going on with Bruce Ratner's controversial Atlantic Yards. AYLot-NYO.jpg

Forest City Ratner had once imagined that, by now, the Atlantic Yards site in central Brooklyn would be humming with construction activity. Contractors would be tearing up streets to upgrade utilities, moving train tracks for the Long Island Rail Road and digging the foundations for the basketball arena and nearby buildings. Some 588 workers would show up each day and 410 trucks would carry debris and material back and forth, according to the final environmental impact statement published last November.

But lawsuits, a construction accident, and other factors have delayed the pace of construction by two to nine months. The delays are having a number of contradictory repercussions, potentially costing the developer millions of dollars a month and also bolstering the argument that the area is blighted and in need of the dire intervention that the Atlantic Yards project—with its 16 high rises, basketball arena, 6,430 apartments and retail and office space—represents.

While never the image of manicured suburbia, the rectangular site emanating east and south from the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues had been slowly gentrifying before Atlantic Yards was announced four years ago. Three industrial buildings had been converted into condominiums, giving the impression of a half-finished landscape.

Now, the area looks half-begun.

article

Atlantic Yards Report, The Observer on AY delays and possible increased public costs

Observer reporter Matthew Schuerman alluded to possible increases in public costs for Atlantic Yards. Norman Oder takes a closer look:

While the project would cost some $4 billion, the developer's own funds, and the funds assembled from equity investors, might be half that.

If you add the direct contributions of the city and state, and the government-assisted bonds for the arena and the affordable housing, that means more than half the $4 billion cost (which is higher, if you add financing) of the project would come from public and public-assisted sources.

That would leave less than $2 billion to be raised privately, with a smaller amount expended by the developer. So half of that unspecified sum--certainly more than the $305 million already pledged--could be reimbursed by the government, according to my reading of the General Project Plan.

Posted by lumi at September 5, 2007 8:53 AM