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March 14, 2012

Ratner, in softball Times interview, moves the housing goalposts again: groundbreaking will be "toward the end of the year"

Atlantic Yards Report

Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner gets the requisite gentle treatment in the New York Times's real estate page, in the regular feature, SQUARE FEET | THE 30-MINUTE INTERVIEW: Bruce C. Ratner.

I'll annotate some excerpts.

Arena schedule

Q. One of your latest Brooklyn projects is the Barclays Center sports arena, future home of the Nets basketball team. Is it still opening in September?

A. That’s correct. Virtually all the steel is up, and it’s virtually all enclosed. Now basically we’re working on the interiors. Some parts of it are even ahead of schedule. It’ll finish on time.

It'll finish on time, meaning that the building will open for a concert on September 28. But the substantial completion date has already been nudged back to 9/5/12, more than two weeks later than an earlier version.

And the arena, in terms of cash flow, was behind in January--and described as on schedule only by moving the goalposts.

And the rebuilding of the Carlton Avenue Bridge, a key artery, is a month behind.

Housing

Q. What is the status of the Atlantic Yards housing? Groundbreaking was supposed to have begun this year.

A. Breaking ground on the housing we had hoped would begin this year, and it will begin this year, toward the end of the year. A major reason that it’s gotten delayed is a strong desire to do modular.

Let me just say, there’s a lot of construction going on there besides the arena. Part of what we are doing and had to do was the infrastructure. We also had to move a railroad storage yard. And we’re working on additional infrastructure: the subway tunnel that connects the project, the arena, with existing subways.

Hold on. The construction besides the arena is nearly all connected to the arena. The housing was part of the public benefit created by the project.

The Times interviewer had the question wrong. Groundbreaking was not "supposed to be have begun this year." It was supposed to have begun in late 2010, but Forest City officials have consistently moved the goalposts.

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Posted by eric at March 14, 2012 11:50 AM