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February 22, 2011

ESDC in 2009 promised B2, first affordable housing tower, wouldn't be delayed; is hold-up due to search for bank financing or new subsidies?

Atlantic Yards Report

The first tower planned for the Atlantic Yards arena block is delayed yet again, even though, when the project was re-approved by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) in 2009, the agency asserted that at least that building--Building 2, at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street--was on track.

According to the June 2009 Technical Memorandum:

These potential delays due to prolonged adverse economic conditions would not affect the timing of the development of the arena, the transit access improvements, the construction of the new LIRR rail yard, the reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge or the construction of Building 2. It could, however, delay the construction of some of the remaining buildings on the arena block as well as the Phase II sites.

It's unclear whether the delay is caused by the unavailability of affordable housing bonds, bank financing, or both.

But as of August 2009, as the Times reported, the developer was already seeking additional affordable housing subsidies, beyond the standard incentives.

A month later, Bruce Ratner told his company's favorite reporter:

“They [opponents] are 100 percent wrong about the affordable housing. It’s another red herring. We’re required to build affordable housing and it has been my personal commitment from the very beginning,” said Ratner.

If and when the building gets started, construction should take 18 months.

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Posted by eric at February 22, 2011 9:34 AM