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May 16, 2008

Suites go on sale, timing unquestioned, ticket prices rise, parking prized

Atlantic Yards Report

A revamped Barclays Center web site with renderings of luxury suites for the Barclays Center emerged yesterday in tandem with the first effort to sell such suites.

The news coverage could've used more skepticism. The New York Times, unwilling to grapple with the developer's dubious claims about timing, suggested, Construction on the arena is expected to start later this year, assuming that financing being arranged by Goldman Sachs has been completed.

However, that financing depends on the resolution of three pending lawsuits (and possibly more), as even the Times has acknowledged. After all, Forest City Ratner official Andrew Silberfein submitted an affidavit in the case challenging the AY environmental review saying that "there is a serious question as to whether, given the current state of the debt market, the underwriters will be able to proceed with the financing for the arena while the appeal is pending before this Court."

Interestingly, a lawyer for groups challenging the environmental review noted that a threat was not dispositive, and that the bond market should "price the risk accordingly." Still, I'd bet there's no construction until the lawsuits are cleared, and it's likely such suits will linger well into next year.

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Posted by lumi at May 16, 2008 5:11 AM