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New Agreement Expected on Atlantic Yards Project

Monday, June 22, 2009

The MTA is expected to unveil a new agreement to sell the development rights above one of its rail yards in Brooklyn. In 2005, Real estate developer Bruce Ratner promised to pay the MTA $100 million and build a state of the art rail yard at Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. In return, Ratner would have gotten to build his Atlantic Yards development on a platform above the train tracks. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: About a year ago, Ratner said he couldn't afford that deal any more. He's offered a slimmed down rail yard and a down payment on the $100 million up front, with the rest coming later.

The MTA didn't have any good choices: it could reject the offer, but then it would have to find another buyer for those air rights in the middle of a recession. And in the process, it would upset Mayor Bloomberg and the coalition of construction workers and others who support the project.

REPORTER: A committee of the MTA board will discuss the revised proposal today. The full board could vote on it as early as Wednesday. Seven city and state lawmakers from Brooklyn are calling on the MTA to postpone the vote to allow the public to give their input.

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