Flashback, 2005: “We don’t know when this [Vanderbilt Yard] sale will close," warned one dissenter on MTA board
The vote followed hours of public testimony at the Sept. 14 hearing in Manhattan, both for and against Ratner’s plan. The only MTA board member to question the deal at the hearing was Mitchell Pally, a Suffolk county appointee.Indeed, four years later, Forest City Ratner renegotiated the deal and put down only $20 million for the segment of land needed for the arena block.
Pally said he was baffled that the board didn’t insist on getting more money, or arrange a deal whereby Ratner had to pay the full price up front.
...Pally also questioned why the MTA was making its own transaction contingent upon the actions of other state authorities.
“Why is the MTA making closing contingent on these other bodies?” asked Pally. “We don’t know when this sale will close. It could be two years, it could be five years, it could be 10 years,” he said, pointing out that the MTA faces incredible demands in their current capital budget.