Atlantic Yards Check-In

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Atlantic Yards development is flying up. Eliot Brown, commercial real estate reporter for the Wall Street Journal, gives an update on the project and checks in on the World Trade Center memorial, which is racing to meet the September 11, 2011, deadline.


Eliot Brown

Comments [17]

Norman Oder from Brooklyn

The heading on this segment states, "The Atlantic Yards development is flying up."

That's not close to true. When the project was announced in December 2003, it was supposed to be finished in 10 years, with the arena open in 2006.

When the project was approved in 2006, it was supposed to take ten years.

When the project was re-approved in 2009, it was supposed to take ten years.

Last year, WNYC itself quoted developer Bruce Ratner: “It was never supposed to be the time we were supposed to build them in.”
He added: “I would say it's really market-dependent as to when it will really be completed.”

As WNYC's Matthew Schuerman pointed out, "But the 10-year-timeline was also used by the city, state and Ratner’s own consultant to determine that the financial benefits to the public outweighed the roughly $300 million in direct subsidies the project is receiving. "

Aug. 11 2011 12:24 PM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

To fix my typo:
When you poach a team [not a "time,"] it's easier to get a net gain.

That's true, but there's no reason for the federal government to subsidize the move of a team from one state to another.

And Forest City Ratner will save well over $100 million in federal taxes thanks to triple tax-exempt arena bonds.

Funny, but Andrew Zimbalist, the sports economist who was the developer's paid consultant, has written that there's "no reason for the federal government to subsidize a process that picks one city over another."

He ignored that posture in the report he wrote for Forest City.

Aug. 11 2011 11:51 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

The issue isn't simply the lack of oversight by elected officials. The press played a role, too, in its lack of significant scrutiny.

That continued today.

Aug. 11 2011 11:39 AM
Les from Flatbush

Rumors are that the Flatbush junction - Brooklyn College area will be on the developers mix use towers list.

Aug. 11 2011 11:38 AM
RJ from prospect hts

So one fundamental question: A so-called "Community Benefits Agreement" was used to promise the affordable housing, local/union jobs--with no enforcement or penalties involved. It is not the first time. Why do we allow this? Is it too late?

Aug. 11 2011 11:38 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

When you poach a time, it's easier to get a net gain, said Mr. Brown.


But there's no reason for the federal government to subsidize the move of a team from one state to another.

Aug. 11 2011 11:37 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

"What kind of economic boost do you think the arena ultimately have?"

Jamie, stop laughing.

The NYC IBO already said it would be a net loss for the city

Aug. 11 2011 11:36 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

Jamie, you laugh about the rats, but you actually should check Forest City Ratner's calibrated--and, likely, inadequate--response to the situation.

Aug. 11 2011 11:35 AM
lucy from Fort Greene, Brooklyn

This is not a serious discussion. Get the people who really know about what is going on-Daniel Goldstein, Candace Carponter, Council woman Tish James, for instance. Rat Tsunami is not a joke to the people who can not let their children outside and who have rats chewing on their front doors. Have a serious discussion about the EB5 program. If Mr. Ratner doesn't have the money to build why was he given the project without any oversight?

Aug. 11 2011 11:34 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

The ruling is a "slap on the wrist" to the state, said Mr. Brown.

It's more than a slap on the wrist.

Judges set a very low bar--state agencies must have a "rational basis" for their decision.

So a ruling against the state is pretty significant.

It's "not likely to have an effect"? Well, one effect is that it shows that the state has bent over to help the developer.

Aug. 11 2011 11:34 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

Mr. Brown said the Chinese investors were investing "in the arena."

Not so.

They're investing in something called the "Brooklyn Arena and Infrastructure Project." which is replacing a land loan and will go to infrastructure (and possibly other things).

The program is supposed to create jobs.

No new jobs would be created.

But the investors have been told they're putting money into the arena.

Aug. 11 2011 11:31 AM
atlanticaveresident from Brooklyn

please stop laughing about the rats. I live down the block. it's really not funny

Aug. 11 2011 11:30 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

What's up with "phase two"? The first towers are not "phase two," despite the host's statement.

Aug. 11 2011 11:29 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

Any major surprises in construction?

How about that Forest City's misleading economic projections were based on a ten-year construction timetable. But now the developer has a 25-year deadline.

Aug. 11 2011 11:28 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

The first phase of the project is NOT the Barclays Center.

The first phase was the arena plus four towers.

The project as a whole is way behind.

Aug. 11 2011 11:27 AM

It appears a giant purse that has been placed on it's side is being built there...

Aug. 11 2011 11:25 AM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

Please ask Mr. Brown why Marty Markowitz shilled for Forest City Ratner's misleading effort to recruit Chinese investors for Atlantic Yards, an episode mentioned glancingly (and inadequately in today's New York Times front-page article).

Here's Markowitz on video:

Here's more about the misleading marketing in China:

Aug. 11 2011 11:20 AM

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