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June 24, 2009

AY project cost rises to $4.9 billion; ESDC promises arena 2012, one tower; maintains ten-year timeframe while saying delay wouldn't be material

Atlantic Yards Report

Atlantic Yards, at least for the purposes of environmental review--and avoidance of pesky lawsuits--is pretty much the same, according to documents released yesterday by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) at a board meeting.

It’s just been delayed, and time has led to increasing costs, to a projected $4.9 billion. However, despite public statements by departing CEO Marisa Lago that the project would take “decades,” AY--according to the amended General Project Plan (GPP)--would still take ten years to build, would still generate the same number of construction jobs, and still generate the same $944 million in net tax revenue.

(Lago is pictured at right with board member Kevin Corbett. Photos by Jonathan Barkey.)

However, documents also suggested a significant chance of delay, thus decreasing the likelihood that claimed project benefits would be produced as promised. There's also an apparent contradiction between the ESDC's claim that a new railyard would be finished in 2013 and a Metropolitan Transportation Authority contract--to be voted on today--that would give developer Forest City Ratner until 2016.

Conspicuously missing--and a sign of the pressure to get the project passed even as the arena’s being designed, with a December 31 outside date for tax-exempt financing--were any posterboard renderings of the new arena and surrounding buildings, or a schematic diagram of the arena block.

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Posted by lumi at June 24, 2009 6:05 AM