After six months of discussions, building contractors and unions have reached an agreement to slice labor costs. The problem is that developers estimate the deal will only save them no more than 15%—far less than the 25% they had sought when negotiations began.
Labor makes for roughly half the costs of the project, and Crain's suggests that these cuts--work rule changes more than wage/benefit concessions--might not be enough to get projects moving.
Also, Crain's notes that construction costs across the city have fallen from 5% to 15% since last summer.
None of that suggests that the Atlantic Yards arena price tag could be cut nearly in half, as developer Forest City Ratner apparently hopes.