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March 25, 2009

The Nets' Chief Exaggeration Officer


New Jersey Nets President and CEO Brett Yormark made an appearance on WFAN radio today with midday hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, and much of the talk revolved around Frank Gehry's diminishing confidence in the future of Atlantic Yards.

Ever the fabulist optimist, Yormark repeated his claim that the Nets would be in Brooklyn for the 2011-2012 season. And then he blew some more smoke at the credulous Benigno and Roberts, telling them that the project would create "17,000 construction jobs" and an outlandish "8,500 permanent jobs."

The problem with those claims is that they're not true. Even Forest City Ratner claims only 15,000 construction jobs, and those are actually job-years, arrived at by multiplying 1,500 constructions jobs by 10 years of build-out. As for the permanent jobs, FCR's most recent claim is 3,000 jobs, and Atlantic Yards Report has poked big holes in that number — Norman Oder calculates 2,418 permanent jobs, with only 725 of those being new office jobs. That is, if FCR actually builds an office tower, which it says it won't until it has a tenant for at least half the space.

Yormark also claims a record of 22-0 in Atlantic Yards court decisions, which he cites as the reason for optimism about clearing the remaining legal hurdle and breaking ground this year. But with Yormark's Nets sporting a record of 30-41 and sitting 3-1/2 games out of the NBA Eastern Conference's 8th and final playoff spot, he might do well to concentrate a bit more on basketball and a little less on real estate prognostications.

Listen to the interview

Posted by eric at March 25, 2009 11:14 PM