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September 12, 2007

Forest City executive: AY lawsuits cleared by mid-2008

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder listened in on yesterday's conference call with investors in Forest City Enterprises, the development company for Atlantic Yards, and noticed some interesting discrepancies and implausibilities in the timeline for the opening of the arena:

Could the planned Atlantic Yards arena (aka Barclays Center) open for the 2009-10 basketball season, as Forest City Ratner officially insists, even though the project is way behind schedule?

Well, officials from parent Forest City Enterprises (FCE) didn't assert an arena timeline yesterday during a conference call with investment analysts. However, when one executive predicted that legal cases challenging the project likely would persist through the midpoint of 2008, he again provided evidence that contradicts the company's stated timeline, which assumed that arena block would be flattened by now.

Without resolution of the Atlantic Yards legal cases--a pending challenge to the environmental review in state court, and a federal eminent domain appeal to be heard on October 9--certain buildings can't be demolished and/or construction can't go forward.

Could the cases be closed in less then ten months? That's not implausible, but it's not a lock, either. It implies success at the appeals court level for the defendants in both cases and (likely) no final appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court or the New York State Court of Appeals. So further legal delays could push the timeline back even more.

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Posted by lumi at September 12, 2007 7:59 AM