Atlantic Yards: Miss Brooklyn & Housing to Die as Arena Lives?
Late last night, we saw very interesting news in the Times about the Atlantic Yards development. In an interview, developer Bruce Ratner suggests that the economy and credit crisis could scuttle or delay everything in the Atlantic Yards project but the $950 million Nets basketball arena. The Times headline is "Slow Economy Likely to Stall Atlantic Yards." Here are a couple of key passages:
The slowing economy, weighed down by a widening credit crisis, is likely to delay the signature office tower and three residential buildings at the heart of the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, the developer said. “It may hold up the office building,” the developer, Bruce C. Ratner, said in a recent interview. “And the bond market may slow the pace of the residential buildings.”Is it simply an extended timetable? Is Mr. Ratner looking for deeper public subsidies for the project? Will much of the project's affordable housing be tossed, which opponents have long predicted? Will he carve up the site and sell portions that are now being cleared to other developers? Will the land the state allowed to be cleared long before it would ever be developed sit fallow for years to come? There's an item about Nicolai Ourousoff's analysis below, including the conclusion that an area without Mr. Gehry's towers would be "urban blight" and that the process has been "a betrayal of the public trust." One can find the analysis on Atlantic Yards Report here. Also, No Land Grab has posted a list of bullet points from the story for easy digestion.
Mr. Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner, did not specify the kinds of delays possible, but suggested that construction could be put off for years. His comments are his first public indication that the darkening economy has slowed the ambitious project, spanning 22 acres at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues....Mr. Ratner insisted that the Brooklyn office market remained healthy, but he conceded that “until we get a tenant, we won’t start Miss Brooklyn.”
“It’s not going to happen in a nanosecond,” Mr. Ratner said during an interview across Atlantic Avenue from the railyard where he plans to build the arena. “I hope it’s not going to be drawn out. I’d hope that the first residential building will be done within six months of the opening of the arena, and a second one a year after that.”
Labels: Atlantic Yards