AY Funding Agreement: This Could Take Forever


    The Empire State Development Corporation released Atlantic Yards’ 361-page funding agreement on Friday, the same day The New York Times ran an article in which developer Bruce Ratner acknowledged, for the first time, that the economy could substantially delay his project. According to the agreement, either party can pull out of the project at any time before eminent domain proceedings have been finalized, pending a decision on an appeal to the federal Supreme Court. In most scenarios, the city would gain control of the land and be required to build at least 1,199 market-rate and 646 affordable units. (By comparison, Ratner’s project was supposed to have 4,180 market-rate and 2,250 affordable units.) Even if Ratner proceeds as planned, though, the document reveals that he may take a lot longer to complete it than previously disclosed: He would be required to start arena construction within one year, or four years if forces beyond his control prevent construction. He would be required to finish arena construction within six years, and the five towers of Phase 1 in 12 years. As for the 11 towers in Phase 2, which are expected to contain the lion’s share of the affordable housing component, there is no time limit specified. Forest City Ratner spokesman Loren Reigelhaupt said the construction timetable outlined in the agreement is a minimum requirement, a worst-possible scenario. Atlantic Yards opponent Daniel Goldstein, at risk of losing his home to make way for the arena, said new information in the agreement amounts to a bait and switch, and called on the state to take another look at the project.
    Read the Fine Print [Atlantic Yards Report]
    PDF: Atlantic Yards Funding Agreement [DDDB]
    Photo by Tracy Collins

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