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March 22, 2008

Ratner kills Miss Brooklyn, most of Atlantic Yards

The Brooklyn Paper
Gersh Kuntzman breaks down the "shocking developments" from the Times story, including financing:

The cost of the publicly financed arena, whose original pricetag was $435 million, but increased to $637 million last year, has now ballooned to $950 million.

It is unclear where the newly inflated figure comes from — the Times story merely stated it as an aside, “The developer did say he was confident about starting construction on a $950-million basketball arena for the Nets by the end of [2008]” — but if the cost of the area has indeed increased by such a large amount, it would have to be re-approved by the Public Authorities Control Board, an obscure state panel controlled by Gov. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D–Manhattan) and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R–Rensselaer).

The panel approved the project in late December, 2006, though Silver later admitted that he voted “yes” without being shown key financial documents.

Under the current plan, Ratner’s arena would be built by New York state and city taxpayers, who would supposedly get their money back via tax revenue from the sales of tickets, food and souvenirs — though analysts have long questioned the economics of publicly financed arenas and stadiums.

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Posted by amy at March 22, 2008 2:16 PM