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August 6, 2009

Did the MTA request a new appraisal for the Vanderbilt yard? No. Were board members officially told that was OK? Not in writing.

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for information pertaining to whether or not the $214.5 million appraisal for the Vanderbilt Railyards, issued back in 2005, still officially applied to the revised deal, or, if not, has another one been done, or, if not... then what?

The resolution passed by the board stated:

Whereas, the Boards of the MTA, LIRR and NYCT further find that an appraisal of the value of such MTA Property was previously made by an independent appraiser and is included in the record of the transaction.

So, did the MTA board get any official advice from its counsel that the 2005 appraisal, which was for $214.5 million--not $100 million, which is what FCR offered only after bidding $50 million and seeing rival Extell bid $150 million--was still legitimate?

Or that the appraisal still applied to the revised deal, with only $20 million down and the equivalent of the remaining $80 million paid over 22 years, at a generous 6.5% interest rate?

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NoLandGrab: The MTA Board's actions in late June raise serious questions pertaining to the legitimacy of the revised deal with Bruce Ratner. Certainly, the MTA has done its best to hopscotch through a legal minefield in order to accommodate Ratner, but, so far, the public authority has yet to demonstrate that it did so without breaking any laws or regulations.

Posted by lumi at August 6, 2009 7:06 AM