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June 10, 2009

What's new with the mothership in Cleveland?

Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report listened in on yesterday's first quarter conference call with investment analysts.

Forest City executives to investment analysts: everything's fine with AY

Unlike past conference calls, Atlantic Yards does seem to be on the minds of some investment analysts, though Forest City executives still contend that the project is still on.

During the Q&A, about 30 minutes into the call, Analyst Sheila McGrath asked for an update on New York projects, including Atlantic Yards.

[Forest City Ratner President Joanne] Minieri responded: As it relates to Atlantic Yards, yes, there’s been a lot of press on Atlantic Yards, but we maintain, we’re committed to the project. We’re targeting a second part of the year master closing. We’re moving toward finalizing all the necessary negotiations with the public parties. We’re working very closely with Barclays and Goldman [Sachs] on the arena bond financing that is anticipated to occur so that we can go vertical on the arena. You probably have read today that we’ve announced the new architects on the arena. We are moving quickly to complete the design and cost estimates for that. That will enable us to meet our timetable for a second-half master closing.

Not only were the new architects announced, they were denounced. Minieri did not mention that there would be a new General Project Plan, and that there are pending appeals and potential new lawsuits.

What should $20 million buy? How much walking-around money do FCE family members have?

Though Forest City Ratner wants to short change the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, by only paying $20 million up front for the portion of the Vanderbilt Yard it needs to build the arena, instead of the $100 million as promised, family members of the parent company scrounged up $20 million to purchase more stock from the recent offering, intended to raise more capital to deal with the company's crushing debt burden.

Posted by lumi at June 10, 2009 6:25 AM