Struggles loom for AY, Forest City Ratner

TRD New York /
Apr.April 04, 2011 12:40 PM
Bruce Ratner and the Atlantic Yards Project

The plan that initially called for a new basketball arena, 16 residential and office buildings, affordable housing and parkland in Atlantic Yards, could be down to just a basketball arena. And that’s just one of the challenges facing Forest City Ratner, according to the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal. The Post reported that the developer filed documents with the SEC that said due to rising construction costs and financing rates, and the arena’s inability to find a sponsor, non-arena aspects of the 22-acre project could experience further delays and may be abandoned altogether. Forest City Ratner reported being at risk of losing $525 million on the project. “It was all just a mirage,” said Letitia James, the council member representing the district. “He underestimated the economy and opposition, and now all we’re getting is an arena and a large parking lot.” Ratner’s long-coveted arena is still on track for its 2012 opening date.
Meanwhile, the Journal reported that the Atlantic Yards development is just one of a handful of problems Ratner faces. The challenging commercial real estate market and high-risk nature of projects like 8 Spruce Street could further doom the firm. [Post and WSJ]

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