Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ratner on Bloomberg TV: projects includes 16 residential (?) buildings; arena job figures indicate "great job"

In a Bloomberg TV interview with the always probing Betty Liu, Bruce Ratner yesterday talked up modular construction and arena progress.

His interviewer asked him about modular.

"We've got 16 buildings to build, 16 residential buildings at Atlantic Yards," Ratner replied, either mistakenly swapping the planned office tower for residential or revealing that such a swap has already been decided.

“We wanted to come up with a method that assured the same kind of pricing and also was less expensive to build, but still as good or higher quality," he said. In other words, they want to maintain rents at luxury level, but save money.



Liu asked if there was demand for housing.

"It's amazing," Ratner responded. " In this city, we have such huge demand for residential rentals.

Why is that?

"This city did not have the kind of recession" that other places had. "Brooklyn is definitely the place to be today,”

Liu mentioned about financial layoff. Ratner said other fields, like tech and media, were growing.

What's next for the arena?

"Just to do it better and better," Ratner said. "We like to say, we're happy, but never satisfied."

Liu brought up "critics" who say the arena hasn't created jobs.

Ratner, naturally, disagreed, said "1800 new jobs have been created in the arena, it's absolutely remarkable... imagine 1800 jobs created, all union jobs. We've done a great job in the job area."

Initially, they announced 1900 part-time jobs and 105 full-time. If they're at 1800, that's a decline. And the initial total meant 1,240 FTE (full-time equivalent) jobs, by Forest City Ratner's own, un-vetted analysis.

Yes, there will be more construction and retail jobs as buildings are built, but nothing compared to the original promises of 10,000 office jobs or even several thousand office jobs.

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