Saturday, March 29, 2008

FCR's Beekman tower finally financed; school will be a year late

Despite the credit crunch, Forest City Ratner shows it can cobble together major financing from several sources, announcing yesterday that it had secured $680 million in financing for the Frank Gehry-designed Beekman Tower in Lower Manhattan.

The bonds are issued by the New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYC HDC) but are not the tax-exempt housing bonds needed to construct the market-rate and affordable rentals in the Atlantic Yards project. Rather, they are a combination of tax-exempt Liberty Bonds, aimed to revive Lower Manhattan, and taxable bonds.

Specifically, NYC HDC contributed $190 million in Liberty Bonds and $476.1 million in taxable bonds to finance the 904 market-rate apartments and the New York State Housing Finance Agency contributed $13.9 million from its Liberty Bond allocation.

One year late

Forest City Ratner had said the school planned for the site would open in 2009; now, reports the Observer, the planned opening is 2010. Note that the School Construction Authority had cited a delay in steel, while the delay in financing was more clearly to blame. FCR had previously ducked a request from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver regarding the timetable.

On the Leonard Lopate Show Thursday, the New York Times's Charles Bagli said the developer anticipated closing on financing by the end of the month.

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