« The damage done to Brooklyn: Atlantic Yards has shrunk, and with it good jobs and affordable housing | Main | Senator Perkins confirms that Forest City Ratner was invited to the hearing »

May 28, 2009

Errol Louis blames AY foes, reveals that Ratner wants to pay MTA just $20 million at first

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder's running commentary on Errol Louis's column in today's Daily News inserts the truth where Louis left it out, and highlights the scoop that Ratner doesn't even have the jack to pay the MTA the already off-off-peak price they'd agreed on for the railyard.

Amid New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis's predictable support for Atlantic Yards, criticism of project opponents, and avoidance of inconvenient facts, is some real news: developer Forest City Ratner wants to pay the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) just $20 million--rather than the $100 million pledged--then pay the rest of the sum over some unspecified timetable.

In other words, another indirect subsidy. Hints of the developer's strategy emerged in December, but not the sum at issue.

If the MTA is truly a guardian of its funds--the money would go to the capital plan, not operations--that deserves a lot of sunlight. Louis wrote that the MTA could vote as early as Friday morning; no board meeting is listed, and MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin confirmed to me that there's no meeting. (An executive session requires a public meeting, and no special meeting is planned at this point, Soffin said. The next MTA board meeting is at the end of June.)

Keep in mind that Forest City Ratner's $100 million pledge in September 2005 was less than half the appraised value of $214.5 million--the appraiser took into account the value of an improved railyard, which FCR counts as a bonus--and less than Extell's $150 million bid. And that $100 million bid came only after a $50 million bid, and the decision by the MTA board--controlled by Gov. George Pataki at the time--to negotiate exclusively with FCR.

article

Posted by eric at May 28, 2009 10:03 AM