[Image courtesy of the New York Times]
Right about now, the reverberations of the story in this morning's New York Times are making their way around Brooklyn: key parts of the Atlantic Yards project are being scaled back, delayed or may never be built. The Times uses the word "stalled" in its headline. It all comes about as a result of comments in an interview with developer Bruce Ratner, who blamed the tanking economy and the credit crunch for big problems in the $4 billion project at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue. Mr. Ratner says the economy "may hold up the office building" and "the bond market may slow the pace of the residential buildings."
The "office building" is Frank Gehry's signature Miss Brooklyn tower, which was one of the things used to sell the project to public officials. The "residential builidings," meanwhile, are the affordable housing that brought many community leaders on board. Charles V. Bagli writes in the Times that Ratner "suggested that construction could be put off for years" and that the comments are "his first public indication that the darkening economy has slowed the ambitious project." The developer says he hopes to start on the $950 million Nets arena (double the cost when it was approved) by the end of the year, but even that timetable could be up in the air due to ongoing litigation. Pre-construction costs are at $550 million with the state and city kicking in $300 million, so far. He said he hopes some of the residential buildings would be done a year or two after the arena opens (IE 2010 or 2011, depending), but that Miss Brooklyn is a no go without a tenant. There is much reaction, none of it terribly good, and we'll focus on it shortly.
· Slow Economy Likely to Stall Atlantic Yards [NYT]
· Ratner Admits Major AY Delays, Rising Arena Costs [AYR]
· Atlantic Yards Problems Bullet Pointed [No Land Grab]