Russian Billionaire To Bail Out Ratner?

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    There are mixed reports concerning the details, but it seems like Russia’s richest man, self-made billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, may be partly funding the Barclays arena, a part of Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development that just received final state approval. Reuters reports that Prokhorov is considering issuing bonds to raise $700 million for the arena, in exchange for a share of the New Jersey Nets, which will move there once complete. This report has raised several eyebrows; NBC New York points out that the Nets have been hemorrhaging money for the past few years, and it’s possible that Ratner is using Prokhorov simply to attract other investors. NBC New York writes: “All Prokhorov’s company spokesman would say is that he’s considering an investment, which is probably true and isn’t indicative of all that much.” The New York Times also takes the conservative approach, reporting simply that “Mikhail Prokhorov is the leading contender to buy a majority stake in the team and in the planned arena.” Bruce Ratner bought the New Jersey Nets for $300 million in 2004, and the Barclays Center is currently projected to cost about $800 million, so it is unclear how much of Ratner’s pie $700 million will buy Prokhorov. In other Atlantic Yards news, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn and the Atlantic Yards Report revisit the issue of the project’s timetable, questioning how Ratner could possibly complete the entire development in ten years. Click the links for details.
    Russia’s Richest Man Eyes Nets Deal [Reuters]
    Russia’s Richest Man to Pave Nets Path to Brooklyn [NBC]
    Ratner Said to Be Closer to Selling Majority Stake in Nets [NY Times]
    Russian Rescue for Ratner’s Nets Arena? [Field of Schemes]
    MTA Agreement Allows 22 Years for Atlantic Yards [DDDB]
    ESDC Defends 10-year Timetable [AYR]
    Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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