Yesterday, Related Companies chairman Stephen Ross completed his purchase of the 2008 AFC East Champion Miami Dolphins. He's probably clinking glasses with Bill Parcells right now, testing out the lavish owner's box, doing windsprints down on the field, crank calling Dan Marino and generally celebra?oh crap, the Hudson Yards deadline! The MTA and Related had set a November date to hammer out the details of the megadeveloper's $1 billion deal to take over and develop the 26-acre West Side Rail Yards. It was supposed to be a formality, but the deadline was extended 90 days because the MTA had to pretend that it's poor so it could jack up fares and cut service. Now the new deadline is set to expire, and wouldn't you know it, the economy kind of collapsed. And so, with a $50 million deposit due once the agreement is made, the Observer's Eliot Brown hints that Related might be looking for an exit:
Related has recently expressed worries about financing to numerous real estate executives and others familiar with the project, saying that the company has had trouble raising new money, according to those people. Although such credit problems are hardly unique, Related, not known for doing much on a shoestring budget, has also cut back its payments to contractors. The firm stopped paying its architects, according to people familiar with the developer. And just as the public review is beginning for zoning changes integral to the project, Related has cut by half the amount it is paying its lobbying firm Capalino + Company, according to lobbying records. The lobbying firm specializes in guiding projects through the public review process.
An MTA spokesman told the Obserser, "Discussions with Related are at a sensitive point, so we will not be commenting substantively on them.” Meanwhile, a Related spokesman was spotted taking Atlantic Yards out to dinner.
· Deal or No Deal Time on West Side Yards [NYO]
· Yardsmania: MTA in No Hurry to Sell Cursed Land for $1B [Curbed]