Speakers will be limited to three minutes. (Let's see if that's strictly enforced.) Comments will be accepted for 30 days after the close of the hearing. That suggests that the ESDC board will vote to approve the plan in early September.
The schedule is related to developer Forest City Ratner's need to tax-exempt bond financing for the arena by the end of the year. The financing would last approximately 33 years.
Time limits: 6 years, 12 years, 25 years
The hearing notice, for the first time, imposes a 25-year deadline on the project as a whole, though I read that as 25 years to get construction started, not completed. So AY indeed would take "decades," as ESDC CEO Marisa Lago has predicted.
It states that the developer "shall use commercially reasonable efforts to construct the Arena by 2012." (I've written previously that Forest City Ratner's announced 2011 opening date is dubious.) However, as stated in the State Funding Agreement, the developer has six years without penalty to complete the arena after vacant possession of the arena block.
The State Funding Agreement says the developer has 12 years without penalty to complete the buildings on the arena block after vacant possession. The legal notice states that the interim leases for the arena block will expire no later than the 12th anniversary of vacant possession. I read that as saying that construction must have begun, but not necessarily completed.
Similarly, the legal notice states that the interim leases for the rest of the project site east of Sixth Avenue will expire no later than the 25th anniversary of vacant possession of the arena block or any other properties taken by eminent domain in the first stage. Again, I read that as requiring construction to begin, not necessarily completed.
The deadlines are subject to extension for force majeure.