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Atlantic Yards Volcano Rumbles in Time for the Fall Season

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The volcano known as Atlantic Yards was dormant for most of the summer, but it is rumbling again. The news is either good or bad depending on how one feels about Brooklyn's longest-running mega-project saga. A story in this morning's Times updates the situation and the headline says developer Bruce Ratner is planning to break ground by December. The story, however, includes a couple of tantalizing tidbits that indicate it might be more of a wish than a reality, including the fact that he's asking for an additional $100 million in public subsidies, citing rising costs and trouble in the bond market. Also of interest: the $400 million Barclays naming rights deal requires the developer to close on land and financing by the end of November. This is potentially a landmine in that the surviving eminent domain challenge won't even be argued in NY state court until 2009. And, to add a bit more intrigue to the situation, the tax-exempt status of the bond issue being prepared for the project hinges on an IRS ruling. Mr. Ratner says he'll break ground by December. But Charles Bagli of the Times, whose last indirect contribution to the Atlantic Yards lexicon was "Atlantic Yards Stall" writes that "it is unclear whether Mr. Ratner will be able to meet his own deadline to start one of the most ambitious projects in Brooklyn in decades, given the softening economy, the crisis in the debt markets, rising costs and a persistent group of opponents who have filed one lawsuit after another." In the meantime, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn says "the deal is coming un-done." Call it the Atlantic Yards Rumble.
· Brooklyn Arena Builder Plans to Break Ground in December After Delay [NYT]
· Barclays naming deal has November deadline; FCR seeks $100M in subsidies [AYR]
· Atlantic Yards 'Stall': Timeline of Despair [Curbed]

Barclays Center

Atlantic Avenue at Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY