Thursday, February 03, 2011

Flashback, 2003: “What happens if he builds the arena & one office tower & says, 'I can’t get the banks to lend me all that money for the housing'?"

Shortly after the Atlantic Yards plan was announced, the 12/22/03 Brooklyn Paper, in an article headlined BULLDOZED: Nets arena would skirt city review, reported on the questionable--and never-implemented--plan to finance the project with tax-increment financing, using taxes the project would generate.

The paper quoted a skeptic:
Neil deMause, co-author of “Field of Schemes,” a book delving into “how the great stadium swindle turns public money into private profit,” is not convinced.

DeMause, who lives in Flatbush, says that the city is actually losing money on the Ratner arena plan because people have a limited amount of entertainment dollars. Money spent at the Nets arena means money not spent at the movies or shopping, which would generate taxes free and clear for the city.

“The worry is that he’s talking about scaled development,” deMause said. “What happens if he builds the arena and one office tower and then says, ‘I can’t get the banks to lend me all that money for the housing?’”
(Emphasis added)

That latter warning remained true no matter the financing scheme.

The timetable

And now we know that the chances of building the project on the timetable announced are nonexistent, with the 25-year outside date seeming more likely.

Even Bruce Ratner acknowledged it last September, stating, despite evidence to the contrary, of the ten-year timetable, "It was never supposed to be the time we were supposed to build them in.”

So does the Empire State Development Corporation, in a document (below) approved 12/16/10. See p. 2:
As of the date of these findings, it appears unlikely that the Project will be constructed on a 10-year schedule, because the construction of the Project’s residential buildings has lagged behind the 10-year schedule provided by FCRC to ESDC in 2009, and because of continuing weak general economic and financial conditions.
ESDC Response to Remand Order, 12/16/10

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