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Newark Mayor Predicts Sale Of Nets, Demise Of Brooklyn Project
Published May 18, 2009
|Booker Expects To See
Nets Up For Sale Very Soon
POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT: A New York state appeals court last week ruled 4-0 against opponents of the Atlantic Yards development, upholding the state's right to use eminent domain given the public benefits associated with the project. Forest City Ratner Chair & CEO and Nets Owner Bruce Ratner said that he is "confident the project would break ground this year," and reiterated the Nets would move in for the '11-12 season. Eight companies, in addition to Barclays, have signed on as founding partners for the arena (Forest City Ratner). Ratner said of the court ruling, "I'm honestly overjoyed. This is a weight off my back." Ratner added that he plans to "break ground by October" on Barclays Center, and that he "wants to pare the projected $1[B] cost of the arena by about" $200M. Ratner said that he will "decide within 60 days whether to keep the original design, by the architect Frank Gehry, or use another." In N.Y., Charles Bagli noted opponents of Atlantic Yards "vowed to continue their fight and expressed skepticism that Mr. Ratner would get the financing at a time when lenders are refusing to invest in real estate projects." Meanwhile, the housing and the commercial building at the Atlantic Yards development "may have to wait for some time ... given the anemic economy" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/16).
NOT OVER YET? In N.Y., Rich Calder noted the four-member appellate panel "determined the project has enough 'public benefits' -- such as the creation of 2,250 affordable housing units and thousands of jobs -- to warrant condemning land." Opponents said that they "plan to take the appeal to the state's highest court," but Ratner said that he "believes the latest ruling is the 'final hurdle' holding up construction and vowed to finally break ground" (N.Y. POST, 5/16). In N.Y., Jotham Sederstrom noted further appeals could delay the project "from several months to three years." But state officials indicated that Friday's ruling "removes the final obstacle to construction" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/16).