Thursday, March 13, 2008

Would real estate "angst" about Paterson extend to AY?

Crain's reported yesterday that Governor-in-waiting David Paterson "is largely an unknown quantity in real estate circles, creating angst about how his accession will affect development."

The article suggested that plans for both the Hudson Yards and Moynihan Station, "already challenged by the credit crisis," could be slowed further. One factor regarding the latter project is whether Patrick Foye, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), is replaced.

Foye's ESDC has been shepherding the Atlantic Yards plan, which unlike the two mentioned above, has already been approved. The Spitzer administration vigorously defended lawsuits challenging the project, though the ESDC has taken some steps toward greater transparency in listing meeting agendas and hiring an ombudsman.

Focus on ESDC?

Given Paterson's statement in 2005 about eminent domain, he might be expected to be wary of eminent domain for Atlantic Yards. However, given the enormous challenges he faces, starting with a state budget and appointing new top aides, it's quite possible he either won't want to change ESDC or just wouldn't put it at the top of his agenda, as I wrote on Tuesday.

And even if he changed ESDC, the agency might focus on projects like Moynihan Station rather than a project like Atlantic Yards.

Update, from the Observer

From the New York Observer:
Atlantic Yards – This $4 billion project was approved in late 2006 by the Pataki administration, and the Spitzer folks left it as they received it. The state still has some money they have yet to give developer Bruce Ratner, though there do not seem to be all that many points of leverage at which the state could force changes if it so desired.

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