AY supporter and real estate broker Tighe: "it will be a steep climb to get all that built in the next 10 years, if not much longer"
Why is it key? Because an Atlantic Yards supporter and real estate broker (thus an expert) expresses far more doubt about the project timetable than the "not unreasonable" ten-year buildout that consultant KPMG asserted to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC).
(The article is subscription-only but last night was available on the web.)
Size/Scope: 22 acres; an arena and 16 mixed-use towers
Date announced: December 2003
Original cost estimate: $2.5 billion
Current cost estimate: $4.9 billion
Developer/lead government agency: Forest City Ratner Cos./None
[AYR: Crain's apparently thinks the Empire State Development Corporation is a phantom, or maybe that's an editorial comment.]
Thanks to a Russian billionaire, the New York State Court of Appeals and an overwhelming response from bond buyers just last month, it appears that Bruce Ratner's mega-redevelopment of downtown Brooklyn will start to become a reality. At least, that's the case for the new home of the Nets basketball team, the 18,000-seat Barclays Center planned for the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues; construction could begin this month.
[AYR: Um, it's not downtown Brooklyn.]
The overwhelming bulk of the project still awaits financing, not to mention tenants. After the dismissal of Frank Gehry last year over cost issues, the project also needs an architect.
But Mikhail Prokhorov's $200 million purchase of a majority stake in the Nets and a chunk of their new home, along with Forest City's successful sale of $511 million in bonds, has given the project something it hasn't had in months: hope.
The arena is now expected to be completed this year. But the fate of the original plan, including more than 300,000 square feet of office space, 250,000 square feet of retail, a hotel, and 6,400 apartments—2,000 of which are earmarked for affordable housing—is still in doubt.
“Taking that first step is very important, but between the economic downturn, the luxury housing glut and the state of the office market, it will be a steep climb to get all that built in the next 10 years, if not much longer,” observes Mary Ann Tighe, chief executive of the tristate region for real estate brokerage CB Richard Ellis.
Amplifying Tighe's observation
Note that cases challenging the ESDC's project approval and the likelihood of a ten-year timetable were heard in state Supreme Court last week.
Also note that Tighe is not exactly a project opponent. She has longstanding ties to Forest City Ratner and even owns a piece of the Nets.
And she wasn't exactly going out on a limb. Wasn't it last April when ESDC CEO Marisa Lago said Atlantic Yards would take "decades"?