Monday, May 24, 2010

Dellaverson, ex-MTA CFO, joins a law firm, and the Times discreetly ignores the Vanderbilt Yard deal

Gary Dellaverson, former Chief Financial Officer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, lands at the law firm Proskauer Rose, and gets some positive words from the Times:
In 19 years at the transportation authority, the mustachioed, cigarillo-smoking Mr. Dellaverson took on some of the toughest assignments at a notoriously tough agency. As chief labor negotiator, he did battle with the Transport Workers Union during the 2005 transit strike. The headache-inducing complexity of the Hudson Yards development deal was his doing (after the first developer fell through, he nailed down another in five days).
The MTA's finances

The CityRoom blog post closes:
Would he comment on the transportation authority’s current precarious financial situation?

“I could,” Mr. Dellaverson said, “but why on earth would I?”
Why would he, indeed? Remember what he said last June about the two-day opportunity for the MTA board to consider a revised deal with Forest City Ratner for the Vanderbilt Yard: "I think that, in terms of why must it be now in the summer versus in the fall, I think it really relates to Forest City's desire to market their bonds as a tax-exempt issuance [by a December 31 deadline]. If the structure... is not such that allows for the marketability of the bonds, then the financial aspect of the transaction, as it relates to arena construction expenses that Forest City Ratner would incur, become less viable and perhaps not viable."

And what he said about selling naming rights to the Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street transit hub: "We've never successfully completed a naming rights before.... I don't have a nifty little spreadsheet to show you how we came up with $200,000. Our real estate division did review some naming rights that had been done by transportation and other entities. But y'know, we kinda felt our way into it."

(The Times's coverage back then? Contemptible.)

Selling "Atlantic Yards"

Reuters reports:
PROSKAUER ROSE LLP
The law firm hired Gary Dellaverson as special counsel in its labor and employment department. Dellaverson joins from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where he was most recently chief financial officer. He was previously the MTA's chief labor negotiator, overseeing such matters as the 2005 transit strike and efforts to sell the West Side Rail Yards and Atlantic Yards.
I don't know whether that summary came from a law firm press release or Reuters shorthand, but nobody sold the "Atlantic Yards." It's a project, not a place.

A law firm with a sports practice

Proskauer Rose, by the way, describes its Sports Law practice thusly:
We are widely considered the go-to firm for sports-related matters, from bet-the-company disputes to high-profile collective bargaining negotiations, the purchase and sale of teams, complex financings, the naming of stadiums, formation of new leagues and high-stakes contract negotiations. We were named the “Sports Practice of the Year” by Chambers USA, which also recognized us as “the nation’s leading sports practice,” with a “dream team of lawyers” having “the finest skills in the country” and “a superbly rounded practice, with great people, great skills and a great working knowledge of the field.” In short, our lawyers don’t just know this industry – they lead it.
If Dellaverson works in the labor and employment division, presumably he could work on this aspect of the Proskauer sports law practice:
Collective bargaining with players’ unions on behalf of Major League Baseball, National Basketball Assocation, National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and Women's National Basketball Association
If so, he could again be working cooperatively with Forest City Ratner (and, now, Mikhail Prokhorov).

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