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July 8, 2009

Mystery solved! Work on sewer chamber resumes, as Forest City Ratner ramps up construction activities

Atlantic Yards Report

Now that the installation of sewer chambers are mentioned in an Atlantic Yards Construction Update issued for the weeks beginning July 6 and July 13, we finally have an answer to a mystery lingering from May--as well as an indication that life in the Atlantic Yards footprint, given new infrastructure work and the partial closure of Sixth Avenue, will become more complicated, at the least.

I had wondered back then what happened to plans for upgraded water and sewer installations, including, as stated in a Construction Update from last November, "Work will begin on a new sewer chamber on 6th Avenue at Pacific Street."

That new sewer chamber was not mentioned in subsequent Construction Updates, which are issued by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) via Forest City Ratner (FCR). So I observed that it looks like the utility work stopped abruptly instead of being completed.

The ESDC wouldn't answer but instead sent me to FCR, which, of course, didn't respond. It was another reason to doubt the developer's claim that it had completed all the work it could do while lawsuits were pending

Now much work, including the sewer work, is resuming (though lawsuits are still pending).


NoLandGrab: Last November, we heard through the grapevine that parent company Forest City Enterprises (FCE) wasn't paying their bills and the word in the marketplace was that the company was stricken with a severe cash-flow crunch, which is why work ground to a halt in the footprint of Atlantic Yards.

Subsidiary Forest City Ratner eventually blamed the work stoppage on lawsuits.

Lawsuits are still pending, work has restarted, the only thing that has changed is that FCE recently issued more stock to ease the company's debt burden.

This isn't the first time common sense tells us one thing, while Ratner says another.

Posted by lumi at July 8, 2009 4:43 AM