Monday, June 30, 2008

To federal regulators, ESDC claims Forest City Ratner has "acquired" 85% of AY site

I've already pointed out how, in a 5/8/08 letter to the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury Department, the New York City Industrial Development Authority and the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) cite Forest City Ratner's chimerical ten-year timetable in arguing that the PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) plan for arena financing should stand, even though the feds want to change the rules for tax-exempt bonds.

Here's another stretch. According to the "Atlantic Yards Chronology" (p. 6 of this PDF):
Forest City Ratner Companies ("FCRC"), the developer of the Project, has already acquired approximately 85% of the project site.

The word "acquired" covers a lot of ground. On the developer's own web site, the FAQ states:
With recent acquisitions included, FCRC now owns or controls 86 percent of the land needed for Atlantic Yards.
(Emphasis added)

What's the difference?

Here's a December 2006 property ownership map from the Empire State Development Corporation, which shows that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority railyard and city streets are not owned by the developer.

Also, remember that the developer once claimed 90% before a court said that property it claimed to control (Lots 5, 6, & 13 on Block 1129) was improperly leased. That case is under appeal. More background here on the difference between ownership and control.

In other words, the project isn't quite as far along as claimed.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting... the ever vigilant owner of Freddy's sold out? It's listed as owned/controlled by FCRC.

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  2. That's an example of how ownership does not necessarily mean control or acquistion. FCR owns the building. Freddy's has a long-term lease. Freddy's was a plaintiff in the now-dismissed federal eminent domain suit. It may be a plaintiff if another eminent domain suit is filed in state court.

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