Atlantic Yards Scope Trimmed; Funding Still Fuzzy

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Forest City Ratner is now envisioning a somewhat diminished Atlantic Yards, according to an article on Atlantic Yards Report based on the transcript of a meeting FCR held with investors last fall. To begin with, an FCR exec said the development would span “21 acres in downtown Brooklyn with 6.5 million square feet of residential and commercial development rights”—quite a bit smaller than the project’s original scope, 8 million square feet over 22 acres. FCR has also reduced the planned size of the Miss Brooklyn tower. The skyscraper was originally supposed to take up more than 900,000 square feet, but it’s now slated to be smaller (exactly how much smaller is unclear, though it’s possible more than 300,000 square feet will be lopped off the building when all’s said and done). Miss Brooklyn will also have more office space, and FCR has nixed the condos it planned for the building. FCR also revealed that it now thinks it will take 4 1/2 to 5 years to build the railyard, not 3 1/2 years as stated in the project’s environmental review; that the number of planned arena suites has been reduced from 170 to 130; and that the residential project at 80 DeKalb is a test run for Atlantic Yards.

ay-trim-02-2008.jpgAt the meeting, FCR Executive VP MaryAnne Gilmartin also said that the firm has signed funding agreements with the city and state which allow us to be reimbursed for investments made in infrastructure and land to date on the project. This news contradicts other reports that funding agreements haven’t yet been finalized, so it’s anyone’s guess what the real story is on that score. In a separate piece of AY financing news, a spokesman for HPD told the Brooklyn Eagle that FCR has not applied for affordable housing bonds, and that when it does its application won’t be given preference over other proposed developments. According to FCR’s financial projections, it expects to ask for $177 million in bonds for affordable housing in 2008 and $344 million in 2009. Those projections would take up a lot of HPD’s bond financing if the bond money the department released last year is any indicator: HPD’s total allowance of bonds in 2007 was $659 million.
Forest City’s Report to Investors [AY Report]
Ratner Will Be Treated Like Other Developers, Says City [Brooklyn Eagle]
Where’s the Dough for AY Affordable Housing? [Brownstoner]

0 Comment

  • so every person who cried about atlantic yards for the last few years is an idiot because now it may not even happen.

  • Without posting my opinion of AY, this is -hardly- diminished.

    22 acres down to 21?

    That took my breath away.

  • the railyards won’t even be completed for another 5 years.

  • 8 million sf cut down to 6.5 milion sf is significant. And I reckon this is only the first of many trimmings in scope.

  • I predict the worse thing that happens is the project is put on pause until we get out of recession or credit crunch. I think there’s way too much momentum for it to be absolutely killed. Didn’t Atlantic Center have similar issues?

  • “the railyards won’t even be completed for another 5 years”

    “But in order not to encumber the arena site proper, we’ve devised a plan to create a temporary yard, which we’re in the process of constructing now and will complete so that we can begin construction on the arena site in earnest on that project. The temporary yard work is underway at the moment as we speak.”

  • Isnt this a victory for the anti-AY crowd – shouldn’t they be happy – it is a 20% reduction in the size of the project (so far) a smaller “Miss Brooklyn” and office space being substituted (for gentrifying Condos).

    So why arent the anti-AY people at least somewhat pleased???

    Could it be that nothing short of another generation with an eyesore at Atlantic and Flatbush will please them?

  • “I predict the worse thing that happens is the project is put on pause until we get out of recession or credit crunch. I think there’s way too much momentum for it to be absolutely killed. Didn’t Atlantic Center have similar issues?”

    No Homeboy, This is the beginning of a depression. Ponzi finance is needed to support high asset prices and it’s all gone now. Stop living in denial, this is scary economic times.

    This is a repost from yesterday. Methinks Ratner is looking for the exits. There is great turmoil in the credit markets and getting access to money is a big problem. Methinks the Nets will be in Newark NJ. No Bullshit!

    “The What: how much of AY did you think will actually get built?”

    Well… Ratner will have to borrow plenty of money! Goldman Sachs is getting cold feet in this project. If GS goes forward, they will have to hold the debt on their books. The market for Commercial debt is imploding. Just look at the story, rates are going up.

    Auction-Rate Bonds Force `Predatory’ Yields on Cities

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601009&sid=aZdB.TLa5k2c&refer=bond

    How can NYC give Ratner 2 Billion??? Plus he needs the money in place before construction. BTW The Nets are bleeding money. Plus there is a new arena in downtown Newark NJ http://www.prucenter.com/ and it is beautiful!! I think Ratner will Back-Door Brooklyn and go to Newark NJ in 2012. If this happens, they will need to get me a oxygen tank. I will be laughing my fucking ass off.

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • “Isnt this a victory for the anti-AY crowd – shouldn’t they be happy”

    But we are happy, Blanche, we are.

  • Ha Ha! McCain: ‘The war will be over soon’. yep but, it’s not over yet. BTW I don’t think the US can leave Iraq. If they do, it will leave a big vacuum there. Gotta love America

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • Jimmy Legs

    all this economic hysteria and moaning will be worth it if it bites a fatcat like Ratner in the butt.

  • the picture says it all – super dump! ghetto! you anti-AY people are total a-holes. we should all be helping ratner. he’s a visionary.

    that area totally sucks now.

  • Ratner’s a visionary the same way Michael Milken’s a visionary.

    With Ratner out of the picture the blight could be developed well, instead of 6,400 apartments and a stadium creating the densest living environment in the US. And the taxpayers wouldn’t have to pony up $2 billion.

    Maybe we can give Ratner his deposit back. Sell to the folks that bid $100 million more for the site (and wanted to create a smaller, nicer development) and it’s win-win for the developer and for Brooklyn.

  • The only vision Ratner has is of a conga line of money dancing from your pocket to his.

  • Yeah Johnny b/c the land wasnt available for development for the last 50years….

    If Ratner doesnt build, NOTHING will be built on this site for another 20years MINIMUM.

  • The What -

    speaking on the (real War) – how can Obama NOT pull out of Iraq; how can you get elected as the candidate of change – arouse mass public expectation bordering on fervor and then just come into office and say…”well not so fast”;

    Seems to me that their would be significant danger of domestic unrest if Obama get elected (assuming) with such passion (assuming) and then continues the status quo (or gets out-maneuvered into the status -quo – ala Spitzer)

    Then again maybe domestic unrest is what you are really hoping for.

  • Actually there were several bids on the property. Ratner’s was I believe, the lowest. There’s no shortage of people looking to develop New York.

    Should be mentioned that his political contributions and PR costs are significant, even if his bid for the yards wasn’t.

  • “Actually there were several bids on the property. Ratner’s was I believe, the lowest.”

    Yes, several others decided to bid after ratner announced the project. Like 12:07 said, it would otherwise remain a big hole, just like it has for my entire life (I’m 45). Anti AY-ers didn’t come up with a “plan” until Ratner announced his. You guys are full of a lot of hot air, but few specifics.

  • “speaking on the (real War) – how can Obama NOT pull out of Iraq; how can you get elected as the candidate of change – arouse mass public expectation bordering on fervor and then just come into office and say…”well not so fast”;”

    How you know Obama will be your next president? The Vacuum will be huge if the US pull out of Iraq. Go read The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives: Zbigniew Brzezinski. This is the game plan of geopolitical operations.

    “Seems to me that their would be significant danger of domestic unrest if Obama get elected (assuming) with such passion (assuming) and then continues the status quo (or gets out-maneuvered into the status -quo – ala Spitzer)”

    What the fuck you think The Patriot Act is there for??!! Look at José Padilla. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/José_Padilla_(prisoner). He was the first American tried under this bullshit. The US took a American citizen strip him of due-process. There will be no civil unrest because Americans are too fucking stupid to have one!

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…..

  • maybe they could just put the project out to bid like they did with the west side yards.
    remember, that’s the way these things are supposed to work when the government wants to sell land to a fat cat.

  • “maybe they could just put the project out to bid like they did with the west side yards.”

    Yeah, that worked out really well, didn’t it?

  • Prospect Heights residents would prefer the hole that was, is and will be there then any development that had twenty 30-60 story buildings; we are just fine if nothing happens. We can only pray this monstrosity goes away and leaves us with a beautiful hole in the ground. You want the Nets – stick’em in your backyard, leave ours alone!

  • “How you know Obama will be your next president? ”

    I don’t you dim-witted moron – did you not see I used the word ASSUMED

    But its not like Senator Dodd is going to be the next president – there are essentially 3 possibilities and absent a miracle only 2 have a good shot right now (Obama and McCain).

    All indications are this is a Democratic year so it isnt crazy to think that Obama has a better then average chance to be our president.

    And IF he is – he will have to pull out of Iraq relatively quickly or lose or credibility to his presidency (I am NOT saying this is the smart military/political/global decision – just that I don’t see that he would have a choice)

    And BTW Padilla was ultimately tried in Federal Court with all the criminal due process (or not – but more then he’d get in virtually any other country) that all American citizens get.

  • The best idea would be for the MTA to pay for covering the yard, then sub-divide the land on top to MULTIPLE developers, rather than just ONE. They would get more money in the long run and there would be a better more neighborhoody mix of buildings rather that EVIL Ratner’s horrifying vision.

    Ratner’s plan now is even worse than it was before. He wants to build more commercial space which means less affordable housing (that he has promised and run his ‘campaign’ on from day 1) From what I know, Metrotech isn’t even completely leased, so why would commercial space here do any better?

  • Looks like the stars (credit crunch and frivolous lawsuits) are aligning to give Prospect Heights residents EXACTLY what they want; hope you enjoy the hole – cause it is all you and your kids will ever see.

    The only thing that I love is that Dan Goldstein will get to keep his (defective) apartment – and in the process find it is worth half what he payed; which is 20% of what he was offered to sell. And he will get to ponder his million dollar loss while looking out over a weed strewn hole.

  • What I love is that you live in some far flun neighborhood, 1:11, and your opinion always was meaningless. Go build some overblown, corporate-welfare eyesore next to your hovel.

  • Oh great – we (the public) can pay to cover the railyards with higher taxes (or higher fares) and then sell the land to developers piecemeal – brilliant.

    First you’ll have the MTA spending billions extra due to inefficiency and mismanagement and then you’ll be left with the same choices:

    either you sell the land at a cost that covers the MTA costs – which will make only 50 story buildings feasible (which is fine by me)

    or

    The public gets stuck subsidizing the cost for many developers as opposed to one (and at a much higher cost – since it will be the public(MTA) doing the work.

  • Yeah far-flung – 8 blocks away…..

  • build it 8 blocks away then, bruce.

  • the way this is starting to look, the lasting impact will be felt on the affordable housing front. same story played out in the build out of battery park city. ironic that these anti-AY suits may have (indirectly) lead to a reduction in affordable housing.

  • BL, if you thought they were actually ever going to include that “affordable housing” to any meaningful degree, I’ve got an an overblown eyesore that benefits Bruce Ratner at the taxpayers’ expense I’d like to sell you.

  • 1:20 – NIMBY to the core

  • 1:42 – corporate whore to the core.

  • Err… Nice graphics, brownstoner.

  • This could be great news! Does it say anywhere what actual land may get trimmed from the site? Is it possible my home won’t be demolished? Will they find where my neighbors went and bring them back into their vacated apts? Does anybody still care about pro basketball?

  • Ratner still owns the land – you’re not getting your apartment back – but you and your neighbors may still enjoy your inflated buy-out profits.

  • I do.

    Sincerely,

    Shaquille O’Neal.

  • by the way, re trimming of affordable housing, likely the same float right now in cas’ myrtle project.

  • 2:06:
    my inflated buy out profits? ha! is that what they told you? I’ll be lucky if they help pay for the u-haul.

  • According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the City is providing bonds for the affordable housing at the rate of $622K per unit. I’ll take that action. I own a vacant lot. Give me a $1.2 million bond and I’ll use the money to build a three unit 4000 sf four story house. I’ll sell/rent to floors to people who qualify for affordable housing and keep an upper duplex for myself. For free thank you very much. Is this the sort of giveaways out city govenrment is making?

  • 2:06 – not unless your are buying the uhaul and then decking it out with gold leaf – Ratner payed everyone far more then your place was worth or what you payed.

    Dispute it – ok then please provide your block and lot number for verification.

  • not everyone in the footprint owns their home. many, like myself are renters and many are rent-stabilized. many of these renters have been living here 30+ years. We have been offered exceptionally little beyond a kick in the pants, let alone a Uhaul decked with gold.

  • “not everyone in the footprint owns their home. many, like myself are renters and many are rent-stabilized. many of these renters have been living here 30+ years. We have been offered exceptionally little beyond a kick in the pants, let alone a Uhaul decked with gold.”

    What, exactly, is someone who does NOT own a hoje in the fotprint entitled to? It’s really too bad that you have to leave, but you don’t own your building, so why would you be entitled to an “offer?”

  • Just a quick comment about the affordable housing financing. A developer looking for those bonds in NYC can either get them through HDC or through the State (HFA). The State has a much higher bond capacity than the City does. Not sure what the plan is for Ratner (City vs. State) for the source of the bonds, but you should keep that in mind for future posts b’stoner.

  • “someone who does NOT own a hoje in the fotprint” is entitled to live their lives without the wealthy being able to do with them as they please. a rent stabilized lease has real value, especially in a neighborhood like prospect heights. people in those apartments are spending as little $400/month in rent. so someone wants to bring a basketball team to Brooklyn, now that guy who has lived their for 30 years, through the good times and bad has to move to Delaware? its absolutely pathetic to think that person is not entitled to anything. why? because he is not wealthy? because he has not been able to afford, or has chosen not to buy a place?

  • I would hardly call this a “kick in the pants”:

    From the relocation agreement offered to ALL tenants:

    Forest City would cover the tenants’ moving expenses, pay the difference between their current rent and their new rent at the interim apartment, and provide apartments in the proposed development “at rent levels comparable to their current rents.”

    All you ‘own’ is a leasehold in a RENTAL apartment – what else do you expect to be provided – this settlement seems pretty fair to me and is FAR more then you’d get if you were being evicted by a LL who wanted to convert the property to a single family (for example) – in such a case you’d get NOTHING.

  • “a rent stabilized lease has real value”

    Yes because NY affords RS tenants incredible protections (such as perpetual lease renewals) – virtually everywhere else such protections do not exist and a lease only has a value for the period it is in effect and the LL is not obligated to give a renewal.

    HOWEVER, there are exceptions to this protection and therefore your lease does not = OWNERSHIP. You have enjoyed the benefits of NY laws for 30 years – now you will have to LIVE by those same laws and vacate your leasehold – lucky for you there is a very generous relocation agreement in place that will afford you an equivalent apartment under similar lease terms for likely the rest of your life.

    Not a bad financial deal who put up $0.

  • that “generous” relocation agreement is what is required by law. it’s not something being offered out of kindness. relocation is indeed a kick in the pants. it means the haves can essentially do as they please with the have nots. relocate where? these people live here! this is their neighborhood! relocate them to kensington? bed-stuy? who gets to decide? thats not stated in the relocation “offer”. i’m sure it seems like a sweet deal for those not affected, but for those who are it’s a slap in the face.

  • “its absolutely pathetic to think that person is not entitled to anything. why? because he is not wealthy? because he has not been able to afford, or has chosen not to buy a place? ”

    Yes, now you’ve got it! You are not “entitled” to a place you do not own, no matter how long you’ve lived there, no matter your financial status. Why is that a slap in the face? Did you expect to be offered something for nothing? This is the United States of America.

  • WAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Amazing they call people in Park Slope – “entitled”.

  • 1. The law does not specify the terms of a plan of relocation – just that there be an “adequate” one – seems to me Ratner’s plan is generous

    2. The “haves” obviously can’t do what they want to the “have nots” – as the law provides amazing protections – this relocation plan stems from that law and costs plenty of $

    3. In most places in the US (and the rest of the free world) at the end of the lease you would have NO RIGHTS –

    4. In many other places they just shoot you in the head and take your property

    But here in NYC you are granted terrific protections and rather then being grateful you whine and complain that it isnt fair. Can you not see how LUCKY you have been and how LUCKY you are?

  • Speak for yourself, 12:57. I live in Prospect Heights and want this development.

  • 1. The law does not specify the terms of a plan of relocation – just that there be an “adequate” one – seems to me Ratner’s plan is generous

    Ratner’s plan is the bare minimum. Who defines “adequate”. What actions can someone take if there is a disagreement about what “adequate” means.

    2. The “haves” obviously can’t do what they want to the “have nots” – as the law provides amazing protections – this relocation plan stems from that law and costs plenty of $

    i shed no tears for the billionaire who is forced to spend money to uproot a community

    3. In most places in the US (and the rest of the free world) at the end of the lease you would have NO RIGHTS -

    good thing we all have long leases that require eminent domain to terminate early

    4. In many other places they just shoot you in the head and take your property

    good point. now i feel grateful.

    But here in NYC you are granted terrific protections and rather then being grateful you whine and complain that it isnt fair. Can you not see how LUCKY you have been and how LUCKY you are?

    i sure do feel lucky. i can’t wait to be relocated to ditmas park and be forced into having an ongoing contractual relationship with FCR for the rest of my life. but hey at least I’ll have the Nets!
    look, you say whining, I say fighting for my neighborhood. I’ll leave when they drag me from my living room and not a moment earlier. luckily the process for terminating our leases will take at least a year, by then all funding will have dropped out so I may as well throw a new coat of paint up on the walls b/c this deal is going down the drain, and I’m proud to be part of the reason why.

  • Providing a new apartment with rent stabilized protections in a brand new luxury development is far from the “bare minimum”

    If your apartment is rent stabilized then the longest lease it can only be is 2yrs

    And congratulations on your potential victory – Please enjoy living in your dilapidated rent-stabilized apartment in the middle of a huge vacant garbage-weed-strewn lot; next to a disgusting railyard for the rest of your life.

  • Providing a new apartment with rent stabilized protections (in 10 years? super!) in a brand new luxury (ha!) development is far from the “bare minimum”.
    –legally, it is.

    If your apartment is rent stabilized then the longest lease it can only be is 2yrs
    –long enough to sink this thing

    And congratulations on your potential victory -(thanks!) Please enjoy living in your dilapidated (it was in great shape before Ratner bought it, talk about a bad landlord, why would I want to move back into one of his buildings? he’s the worst!) rent-stabilized apartment in the middle of a huge vacant garbage-weed-strewn lot (? which lot is that? before the construction started there was nothing but happy people, businesses and attractive buildings here); next to a disgusting railyard for the rest of your life. (no one said there shouldn’t be construction on the railyards. higher bidders offered to clean that up nice.)

  • “which lot is that? before the construction started there was nothing but happy people, businesses and attractive buildings here”

    Sorry I didnt realize you were delusional

  • and so our discussion ends with name calling. nicely done. i too may have taken that route if I didn’t have facts on my side.

  • dunked deal. dunked in cement. dropped in the ditch. dead. buried. go home, ratnervillers.

  • Bruce Ratner, Blight Mogul.

  • I heard he’s going to re do his East Side Brownstone to look like Atlantic Center.

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  • I’m calling it. Time of death: 9:47 AM.

  • Ratner doesn’t care about the Nets. If Ratner had well and truly purchased the Nets out of a sense of civic pride (like the New Jersey based ownership led by Chambers and Cosby that took over from the Secaucus Seven in the late 90′s) he would have:

    a) built a stand alone arena
    b) embraced the Sportsplex at Coney Is
    c) moved the Nets to a domed Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing!

    But make no mistake my friends, Ratner’s propsed Arena was the equivalent of “Monorail” on the Simpsons.