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October 3, 2010

Don't hold your breath for completion of Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project

Daily News
By Adam Lisberg

Some folks are only now catching on that promises made by developer Bruce Ratner shouldn't be taken very seriously.

Developer Bruce Ratner acknowledged last week that his dream of office buildings and apartment towers anchored around a new basketball arena there won't be done in the 10-year time frame he once claimed.

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Don't expect that to change any city leaders' support for the project - or any of the heavy subsidies being poured into it.

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The IBO tried to measure the long-term impact of Atlantic Yards last year but threw up its hands because there was no realistic plan for when the costs and benefits would start.

Looking only at the Barclays Center arena, which is under construction now to open for the Nets in fall 2012, IBO concluded it will cost the city $40 million on balance.

The city Economic Development Corp. disputed that and put out a revised plan this year, claiming it will have a $411 million positive impact on the city over 30 years.

That analysis assumes the project started three years ago, though - before the crash. EDC insists the numbers are still valid, and that the project will be a boon to New York.

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Don't worry about the time, says Ratner. Don't worry about the money, says Bloomberg. So what about the space?

Ratner unveiled drawings last week of a plaza to be built in front of the arena. There was supposed to be an office tower there. Ratner says it's coming, sometime.

The rendering shows 16 cars, four buses and one van in the entire 15-lane intersection. Anyone who's ever been through there knows it's busier than that at 2 a.m.

link

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Daily News columnist takes skeptical look at project timeline and benefits, but says conclusion is up to "historians of New York" (nah)

In Don't hold your breath for completion of Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, Daily News columnist Adam Lisberg does a little homework, likely inspired by some tough reporting by WNYC and the Brooklyn Paper:

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Lisberg concludes:

Someday historians of New York will decide whether the timeline or the financing or the drawings were accurate. In the meantime, we'll have to live with it.

My comment:

So, Adam Lisberg does some homework and presents evidence that the timeline and thus expected benefits are extremely dubious.

But the conclusion is wimpy: "Someday historians of New York will decide whether the timeline or the financing or the drawings were accurate."

After all, the Development Agreement signed last December (and unveiled in January) gives Forest City Ratner ten years to start the third residential tower before penalties kick in. On the overall project, penalties kick in only after 25 years.

More here: http://bit.ly/c49bko

Oh, and the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush is part of the Atlantic Yards site, but a good chunk of the 22 acres is not in the hands of the developer or state.

Posted by steve at October 3, 2010 9:17 AM