Monday, December 18, 2006

Still waiting for Ratner's profit projections

According to the 2/18/05 Memorandum of Understanding that Forest City Ratner signed with the city and state, the developer was required to provide a 30-year pro forma income and cash flow statement regarding the Atlantic Yards project.

Was it made public? No.

From the New York magazine cover story last August on Atlantic Yards:
Despite the Ratner team’s claims of transparency—“I don’t know, other than to have people sitting in my office, how you could make it any more transparent!” [Forest City Ratner's Jim] Stuckey says—FCR refuses to discuss how much it expects to clear, saying it’s a public company and can’t risk accusations it’s manipulating the stock price. The only public documentation of profit appears to be a nearly illegible one-page form filed with the MTA labeled pro-forma cash-flow statement. It seems to show Ratner with a profit of $1 billion. Real-estate expert Jeffrey Jackson ran all the available Atlantic Yards numbers and came to the same rough conclusion. “It’s difficult to quantify the profitability of the arena,” Jackson says, “and the return will be impacted by the final mix of financing. But Ratner should make around $700 million to $1 billion—about a 25 percent return. That’s pretty good.”


PACB disclosure?

Has it been presented to the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB), which may vote on the project Wednesday? No.

As the New York Times reports today, in an article on the murky politics of the PACB and the role of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, headlined Fate of Project in Brooklyn Hinges on Nod of One Man:
Both Forest City Ratner and the development corporation have so far kept the project’s financial projections secret. No one else knows how much the developer expects to make from the Atlantic Yards, how big it needs to be to turn a profit, or how much profit will be needed to sustain its more popular elements, including about 2,250 units of moderately priced housing.
In recent days, the development corporation has turned over some financial information to Mr. Silver’s control board staff. But Eileen Larrabee, a spokeswoman for Mr. Silver, described it as “very cursory information, basically what’s available on the Web.”
She added, “We have asked for some detailed financial and economic information that has not yet been provided.”

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