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November 12, 2009

Arena bonds down to the wire? ESDC likely waiting until mid-December

Atlantic Yards Report

It looks like the sale of tax-exempt bonds for the Atlantic Yards arena would occur, at the earliest, in mid-December, two months after the date once predicted by developer Bruce Ratner.

A press release (bottom) from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) today announced a meeting November 16 of the ESDC's Bond Finance Committee.

Was that regarding Atlantic Yards arena bonds? (Seemingly the latter would involve the Brooklyn Arena Local Development Corporation, or BALDC).

No, said ESDC spokeswoman Elizabeth Mitchell. (The ESDC is issuing other bonds.)

Coming in December?

So, when might arena bonds be on the agenda? "We expect by mid-December," Mitchell responded.

That suggests that the ESDC--perhaps nudged by bond rating agencies?--doesn't want to issue arena bonds until and unless the state Court of Appeals rules in favor of the ESDC's use of eminent domain.

A decision is expected in the next weeks.

But a December date already represents a two-month delay for Ratner, who told the 10/1/09 New York Observer that, after bond ratings were determined in "about two weeks... then we'll start selling them."

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NoLandGrab: Ratner, who once claimed his Nets basketball club would be playing in Brooklyn by 2006, has been wrong before.

Posted by eric at November 12, 2009 10:13 PM