On this, the fifth birthday of the Atlantic Yards announcement, Forest City Enterprises had a conference call about its finances today and there are many, many, many quotes from Chuck Ratner about money and Atlantic Yards. First, there was a statement that the market would determine when the project would actually be finished from Mr. Ratner's cousin, who is actually the corporate CEO. AYR reports the tone as "very somber, as Ratner declared that, though he'd seen many challenging times in 42 years of business, 'I must confess, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. We believe conditions will worsen.'" Company stock was down by mid-afternoon. Asked what "could happen" with Atlantic Yards, Mr. Ratner said:
"There’s lots of ‘coulds,’ OK?"..."There’s lots of things that could happen. We’ve been here before, right? We’re here with Brooklyn, 25 years ago, at MetroTech...That doesn’t mean everything works out, you saw our project write-offs are up."
There is of course more. Mr. Ratner also said:
He also said, "We’re very committed to this project, we believe very strongly in the market, which continues to be good. The apartment market, the rental market, in Brooklyn, for that matter in Manhattan, continues to be strong. Yeah, there’s going to be more hurt and it’s going to go down before it goes up. But we remain very committed to this markets and these products, longer term." And also: "Specifically to Atlantic Yards, there were some articles in the newspaper, you probably saw them, that we’ve stopped work. We stopped work because the work we were doing came to an end. We did what we were supposed to do on the demolition and the railyards. Until we get our lawsuits resolved and some of the hurdles overcome, we appropriately stopped what we were doing."And, then he said he's still committed to the project:"We remain committed to this and when we get--and we believe we will--successfully through the last of the litigation in 2009, we’ll evaluate the market at the time and see what our next steps are. But at this point in time...we don’t see any, uh—we don’t see any, uh, any potential impairment or any issue with our continuing to develop this property. It will take longer than we thought it was going to take, as it already has."Like we said this morning, the Brooklyn Nets were supposed to be playing ball two years ago.
· Chuck Ratner Repudiates Cousin Bruce's 2018 Pledge [AYR]
· FCR: Lots of Things Could Happen at Atlantic Yards [Brownstoner]