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September 10, 2009

CBN analysis says AY would take 20 years; Ratner deflects the question (though his cousin was once more candid)

Atlantic Yards Report

The New York Times, in its print coverage of the new AY arena designs, has an exclusive, a document that questions the official ten-year project timetable, and an unconvincing response--though the Times doesn't dissect it--from Forest City Ratner CEO Bruce Ratner.

The Times reports:
Also on Wednesday, the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, an opponent of the project, released a 47-page risk analysis by a real estate consultant, Kahr Real Estate Group, suggesting that it would take 20 years to finish Atlantic Yards because of a glut of new, higher-end apartments in Brooklyn and the lack of financing for real estate projects.

Mr. Ratner’s renegotiated purchase agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns an eight-acre railyard on the site, also allows the developer to drop the second phase of the development, which involves the bulk of the residential construction, with few penalties, said Joshua Kahr, the owner of Kahr Real Estate.

“The New York City real estate market is remarkably weak,” Mr. Kahr said. “It’s a substantial challenge for Ratner to finish this project within the time frame he’s proposing. I don’t see how he can get the funding. It’s hard enough to get the funding for a little project, let alone one of this scale.”

This is hardly an unreasonable prediction, given that Marisa Lago, then CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), acknowledged in April that the project was scheduled to take "decades."

Click thru for Bruce Ratner's not-too-convincing response.

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Posted by eric at September 10, 2009 10:46 AM