In recent years, the authority agreed to sell the development rights over its West Side Yards for $1 billion to Related Companies and the rights over its Brooklyn property that forms part of the Atlantic Yards project for $100 million to Forest City Ratner. But the money has been slow to come because of the recession and a restructuring of the deals.(Emphasis added)
For the record
Just for the record, let's deconstruct that vague language.
Forest City Ratner initially bid $50 million in cash for the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard, while rival Extell, the only firm to respond to a belated RFP--18 months after Atlantic Yards was announced, with FCR anointed the public property--bid $150 million.
The MTA, pressured by its political patrons, chose to negotiate solely with Forest City Ratner, which contended--as the MTA agreed--that the overall value of its bid was higher. (Then again, Extell was not allowed to fully develop its bid, nor was there an assessment--as seems necessary in retrospect--as to whether which bid was more likely to come to fruition.)
Forest City Ratner in 2005 then bid $100 million. But the MTA never got the money. In 2009, the developer, arguing that its bottom line had been hurt by the recession, requested a restructuring of the deal.
The MTA, again pressured by its political patrons, agreed to take $20 million down, with the rest delivered over 22 years at a gentle 6.5% interest rate. It also agreed to accept a smaller replacement railyard, saving the developer $100 million.
So the restructuring of the deal not only promised the MTA less money upfront and, arguably, less than it might have gotten had there been a fair RFP. It also promised a lesser package of benefits.
And Forest City Ratner, should it choose to forfeit a $86 million letter of credit, could still walk away from its railyard obligation.