Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Fair market value," from 2004 to 2009

[F]or the land, the public land, the MTA land, is that, what we have agreed to is that we will lease or buy that land at the fair market value... by whatever independent process that they normally use.
--Forest City Ratner executive Jim Stuckey, New York City Council hearing, 5/4/04 (transcript)

Below are some quotes from the MTA board meeting on Wednesday in which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) agreed to let Forest City Ratner pay $20 million down for the Vanderbilt Yard, and pay the rest of the pledged $80 million over 22 years, at a generous interest rate.

The developer also would save $100 million on a cheaper permanent replacement railyard. There was no consideration of a last-minute offer of $120 million by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, no attempt to get an appraisal, no effort to test the market, and not even an acknowledgment of the Regional Plan Association's (RPA) proposal that the MTA get a cut of future project revenues.

“The market is what the market is.”--board member Jeff Kay, an appointee of Mayor Mike Bloomberg

“How can you sell off a valuable public asset without considering market value?”--City Council Member Letitia James

“It is likely to be years before the market recovers enough to attract new developers.”--Neysa Pranger of the Regional Plan Association

"I believe the only issue facing me as a board member is whether or not I believe... whether MTA was getting fair market value for its property."--board member Mitchell Pally, representing Suffolk County

“But there is no other market. No one else has come forward with a credible proposal at this time, and we should take advantage of that.”--Jeff Kay

"The most sensible course now is for the city to find out anew the market value of this property, and that cannot be accomplished through negotiations with one bidder."--New York Times editorial (1994)

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