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May 9, 2010

Deputy Mayor hedging bets on whether AY arena will open in 2012; if so, haste to clear arena block more connected to Prokhorov deal than arena opening

Atlantic Yards Report

Will the Atlantic Yards arena open in October 2012, Forest City Ratner's goal, as stated in an affidavit by executive MaryAnne Gilmartin?

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that Robert Lieber, deputy mayor for economic development, told the Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable luncheon May 4 at the Brooklyn Historical Society, "You will see the first game played at the new arena at the end of 2012 or no later than 2013."

Well, maybe he was speaking casually, but October is not exactly the end of 2012.

And "no later than 2013" could mean February, midway through the basketball season, or it could mean the 2013-14 season, which begins in October.

Why the haste?

If so, it casts doubt on Gilmartin's claim that "it is essential to now vacate the buildings required for phase 1 of the Project, because the critical path to completion of the arena on schedule requires prompt realization of vacant possession of those properties."

Rather, it buttresses the argument made by condemnee (and Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn co-founder/former longtime spokesman) Daniel Goldstein that the developer's haste to achieve vacant possession of the arena block--backed by the Empire State Development Corporation--was connected more to the desire to consummate the transaction involving the team/arena to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov before the NBA draft.

link

NoLandGrab: It looks like certified aerobics instructor Gilmartin is bending over backwards to accommodate Prokhorov.

Posted by steve at May 9, 2010 8:47 AM