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Atlantic Yards Project Pushes Ahead With Groundbreaking Ceremony

Thursday, March 11, 2010

After many twist and turns, Mayor Bloomberg, developer Bruce Ratner and rap star Jay-Z, a part-owner of the Nets, are expected to break ground for the basketball arena at the Atlantic Yards site this afternoon. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: The ground breaking is largely ceremonial. The site work has been going on intermittently since 2007 and the foundation won't be poured until later this year. By that point, developer Bruce Ratner assumes he'll have possession of all the properties he needs. As of two weeks ago, 22 households were still living in the footprint for the project's first phase.

Ratner originally hoped to break ground about five years ago, but he hit legal, financial and logistical roadblocks. He ended up selling large stakes in the Nets basketball team and the arena itself to the Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

Host: The projected opening date for the arena is now 2012. Opponents lost another court battle yesterday but have one other lawsuit pending.

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