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December 2, 2009

Ratner's Yards Bonds Rated 'Barely' Investment Grade

Brownstoner

On the heels of last week's eminent domain ruling, Forest City Ratner took another step towards realizing its vision for a basketball arena in Brooklyn when Moody's Investor Service gave the $500 million in tax free bonds being used to finance the Barclays Center a crucial investment-grade rating. According to a largely positive story in Crain's yesterday afternoon, "the “Baa3” rating reflects several factors, including the strength of New York City as a media market, existing sponsorship support for the team, the large amount of equity the developer and its partner are putting in the project and strong reserve funds." And check out this quote in The Times from a vice president at Moody's: “The lawsuits are not an issue as far as the rating is concerned. The rating assumes that the lawsuits will be settled and that the project will move forward." A more skeptical article in the New York Observer noted that while technically investement-grade, the bond rating was only one step above junk level, reflecting significant risk factors like relocation, weak team finances and "uncertain demand for premium seating."

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Posted by eric at December 2, 2009 2:24 PM