The Real Deal New York

Forest City may qualify for tax-exempt bonds

De Blasio rep says no favoritism toward supporter Bruce Ratner is at play
January 09, 2015 10:39AM

A company controlled by Forest City Ratner may be in line to receive $90 million in tax-exempt bonds to refinance Atlantic Terminal Office, the proposed site of the Democratic National Convention.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration supports the measure, which would make FC Hanson Office Associates LLC one of only a fraction of for-profit companies to receive tax-exempt bond financing through Build NYC Resource Corp., a “quasigovernmental” local development organization controlled by mayoral appointees, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Forest City executive chairman Bruce Ratner is a big supporter of de Blasio and co-chaired a fundraiser for him at the Waldorf-Astoria, but a spokeswoman for the mayor, Marti Adams, said that Ratner is receiving no special treatment. “To suggest that politics are at play here is absolutely baseless,” she told the newspaper.

Build NYC’s 15-member board is scheduled to vote on the deal next week. Under its terms, Forest City would use the tax-free financing to refinance debt taken on the 10-story building near the Barclays Center.

The deal would generate no additional jobs, and would work out to a $911,000 tax revenue loss to the city, according to the Journal.

Last January, Ratner said he supported de Blasio’s proposed tax hike on NYC’s wealthiest residents. [WSJ] — Tess Hofmann