Ratner’s bonds for Nets arena get high marks

December 01, 2009 04:53PM

When Bruce Ratner begins selling $500 million in tax-free bonds to finance the Barclays Center in his Atlantic Yards development, as he is expected to do by the end of the week, he will now be able to lure sponsors with the bonds’ investment grade-rating from Moody’s Investor Service. The “Baa3” rating, announced today, means the New York media market is expected to generate high demand for Forest City Ratner’s new $1.06 billion, 18,000-seat Nets arena, which is slated to open in time for the 2011-2012 basketball season. Moody’s also cited the developer’s strong reserve funds and large amount of equity for the project as reasons for its favorable rating. Earlier this year, Forest City announced it would sell an 80 percent stake in the Nets and a 45 percent stake in the arena to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, in order to raise cash for stadium. The news comes fresh on the heels of last week’s eminent domain ruling, largely believed to be the last major hurdle for Ratner’s controversial Atlantic Yards project, which allowed the state to seize property on the site for use in the development. [Crain’s]