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”â€”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.
At 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]