Tuesday, April 05, 2011

As media pile on to Post's questionable scoop, Bloomberg defends Ratner; get ready for request for additional subsidies

The New York Post's questionable, conclusory article yesterday, based on SEC worst-case warnings, drew unskeptical follow-up in Gothamist, New York, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and others.

Even the Star-Ledger, in Nets' Brooklyn project reportedly could be scaled back, chose to trust the Post's framing of the story rather than the facts its reporters noted:
The Post reported that in documents filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission by developer and former Nets owner Bruce Ratner and his Forest City Enterprises, the developer said further delays in the project could scuttle the construction of high-rise office and apartment buildings intended to surround the arena.

However, the comments in the filing came from an SEC risk factor report, a necessary worst-case scenario report that all traded companies have to file. And it should be noted that Forest City Ratner’s SEC filing in 2010 had listed the same standard risks, risks that threaten any commercial real estate deal in the present economy.
As I noted in an update yesterday, I wrote about similar boilerplate in March 2010, May 2009, and March 2009.

The real news from last week's the SEC filings, as I pointed out, was that parent Forest City Enterprises is no longer talking about an Atlantic Yards office building, which would bring significant tax revenues.

Bloomberg professes optimism

In Mike believes Atl. Yards hoopla, the Post followed up:
A confident Mayor Bloomberg insisted yesterday that the housing and commercial component of the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards complex won't be scrapped, saying he was certain that developer Bruce Ratner is proceeding as planned.

"I talked to Bruce Ratner as late as 30 minutes ago, and let me tell you, he thinks his business is going very well out there and he's very optimistic about Atlantic Yards," Bloomberg said.
Except Ratner's business isn't going very well; that's why he sold 49% of 15 retail properties.

Nor is the project proceeding as planned; after all, Bloomberg's own administration--at least under the recently-departed HPD head--denied additional subsidies for the first tower.

What's likely? More subsidy requests

That doesn't mean it's likely to be scrapped.

What it means, more likely, is Bloomberg and the state will be asked for more subsidies and/or additional government support.

1 comment:

  1. "I talked to Bruce Ratner as late as 30 minutes ago, and let me tell you, he thinks his business is going very well out there and he's very optimistic about Atlantic Yards," Bloomberg said.

    what were he and Bruce talking about "30 minutes ago?" Presumably that coming effort to extract more subsidies you speculate on. But if he is optimistic about AY and his business, why the new subsidies?

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