Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Orwellian, almost": ESDC says construction schedule = "useful timetable," but Bruce Ratner admits "projects take a long time"

Yet another "Orwellian, almost" explanation from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), in Response to Comments document issued at the September 17 board meeting.

Comment 24: The ESDC has not provided a useful timetable for full project build-out.

Response: The Technical Memorandum provides an updated detailed construction schedule for the Project.

Is a construction schedule a "useful timetable"?

Ratner: "projects take a long time"

Just today, Forest City Ratner CEO Bruce Ratner acknowledged to Alexis Glick of Fox Business News, "And our track record as a company is that projects take a long time, they're large, that's what our company does--we do development, that's our business--it takes a long time but we finish what we do. This is I think another example of that."

That echoes words from cousin Chuck Ratner, CEO of parent Forest City Enterprises, who told investment analysts in March 2007, "We are terrible, and we’ve been a developer for 50 years, on these big multi-use, public private urban developments, to be able to predict when it will go from idea to reality. All we know is that if we pick the right place and we’re in with the right people, that over time we’re going to create tremendous value."

After all, despite an official timetable (and construction schedule) of a decade, the deal with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority establishes a 22-year schedule and the ESDC gives Forest City Ratner 25 years.

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