Friday, June 19, 2009

What could $20 million buy? Well, not even two small Alphabet City sites

Forest City Ratner reportedly wants to pay just $20 million to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the portion of the Vanderbilt Yard it needs to build the Atlantic Yards arena. It initially promised to pay $100 million for the whole railyard. This series attempts to add some context.

From the Spring 2009 Massey Knakal Sales Journal, covering the second half of 2008:
644 East 14th Street
sold : $12.3 milion
Neighborhood: Alphabet City
Type: Conversion Site
Lot Size: 115’ x 88’
Buildable Square Feet: 68,262

The segment of the Vanderbilt Yard at issue is 495' x 200', or 99,000 square feet, nearly 10 times larger than the Alphabet City site, which is 10,120 square feet. If you multiply the Alphabet City price by 10, it comes out to more than $120 million.

The Lower East Side site only supports 68,262 buildable square feet. The Atlantic Yards arena block, of which this segment (Block 1119, Lot 7) would be at least a third, would support an 800,000 square foot arena and at least 1.5 million sf in development rights, according to the City Funding Agreement. (The towers on the area block, as approved, were supposed to contain 2.69 million square feet.)

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