New York Daily News:
MTA unit backs Ratner's
deal for Nets arena
BY PAUL D. COLFORD
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, September 13th, 2005
Do the $100 million deal with Ratner.
That's what the MTA real estate division recommended yesterday to agency board members, who are expected to vote tomorrow on developer Bruce Ratner's sweetened bid to build a Nets arena in Brooklyn.
The written summary of negotiations between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Forest City Ratner Cos. confirms that the developer doubled his original July offer of $50 million to build atop the Atlantic Ave. railyards.
The 8.3-acre site, marked by the below-street-level yards of the Long Island Rail Road, stretches from Fifth Ave. to Vanderbilt Ave., between Pacific St. and Atlantic Ave. It is crucial to Ratner's grand plan for a 21-acre development to be anchored by an 18,000-seat arena for the Nets, which the developer owns.
The project, due to get $200 million in state and city subsidies, also calls for 6,000 housing units in 15 apartment buildings, 1.2 million square feet of office space, and stores. "I'm thrilled that he doubled what his offer was," MTA board member Barry Feinstein said, "but I still have a few questions about the value of the amount now being offered."
Transit sources have told the Daily News that the board is expected to approve the deal. In a 12-to-1 vote on July 27, the board gave MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow and Executive Director Katherine Lapp 45 days to negotiate an agreement with Ratner, shelving a competing proposal from Extell Development Co.
Meanwhile, the New York City Independent Budget Office concluded last week that the Nets arena would generate a fiscal surplus of $107 million over 30 years for the city and state. But Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and other community groups, which contend Ratner's profit will dwarf the city's financial gain, have called on the MTA to release the developer's cash-flow projections.