Monday, April 04, 2011

Wall Street Journal: beyond Atlantic Yards housing, Beekman Tower, Ridge Hill leasing post tests for Ratner

What's the news from Ratner Facing New Tests, an overview today from the Wall Street Journal?

Forest City Ratner races an "uncertain rental market" for the high-priced units in the Beekman Tower, it has leased only 45% of its Ridge Hill mall in Yonkers, and, as we know, it hasn't been able to start housing at Atlantic Yards. The Journal reports:
The company's drive to build cash was underscored last week when it announced completion of a months-long deal to sell off a 49% stake in $852 million worth of retail properties. Forest City also announced its president, Joanne Minieri, was leaving the company to start her own firm.
I suggested that Minieri's departure also was a way to save money.

About that railyard

The Journal reports:
In November, Forest City asked New York City officials for an additional $10 million in subsidy to help start a residential tower at Atlantic Yards. The city turned it down. The developer also must put in tens of millions of dollars toward a rail yard it pledged to build at the site to replace a former rail yard where the arena will sit.
Remember, that replacement railyard is far smaller (and perhaps $100 million less costly) than the one the developer originally pledged.

Also, the cost of the railyard was factored into the low cash component of the bid--$100 million, less than half the appraised value.

Extending the loan

The article closes with this cryptic paragraph:
For Atlantic Yards, Ms. Gilmartin said the firm has improved its situation by extending a large loan recently, and it hopes to start the housing this year.
That sounds like they're using the money raised by EB-5 investors seeking green cards, as the Times earlier reported.

How does extending that loan create jobs, as the federal program is supposed to require?

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