Shocking news from the New York Times today: Bruce Ratner is looking to sell as much as 80 percent of the as-yet-unbuilt portion of the controversial Atlantic Yards project. Real estate analysts quoted in the story spun the sale as business as usual (the story noted Forest City already sold a stake in the Nets and Atlantic Center and brought in a development partner for the first tower.) The development, cited as worth about $5 billion in the story, will include 14 residential buildings with 6,000 units, all grouped near Barclays Center at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues. So far, only Barclays Center has been completed, although work has started on the first residential tower. Barclays Center has garnered many accolades since it opened, but nonetheless the project “has had a long and tortured history,” said the Times. “Mr. Ratner first conceived of the development in 2003, when he sought to bring a major sports team to Brooklyn as a lever for a broader residential and commercial project. He received hundreds of millions of dollars in public cash and incentives. But after a long public review process, the developer was buffeted by a recession, community opposition and a weak market.” Forest City said it will continue to helm the project, and said the sale will help fund accelerated construction of several delayed buildings, which will include low-income units. Real estate company CBRE is marketing the investment. What do you think? Is this how Ratner rolls? Or is he getting out while the getting out is good?