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When will Atlantic Yards be done? Depends on which Ratner you ask

The Brooklyn Paper

The Nets arena will open a year later than promised — and the rest of Atlantic Yards won’t be done until 2022 — six years behind schedule, two key officials said this week, contradicting a promises by Bruce Ratner that the mini-city would be completed on schedule by 2016.

“Hopefully, our timeline is to have the ball team open in 2010 [or] ’11,” said Bob O’Brien, an executive vice president for Forest City Enterprises, the parent company of Forest City Ratner, which is developing Atlantic Yards.

Forest City Enterprises CEO Chuck Ratner agreed with O’Brien’s assessment: “’10, ’11,” he said of the opening date for the basketball arena.

The executives’ remarks, made at an investors’ conference this week in Naples, Fla., were first reported on the Atlantic Yards Report, a Web site.

The FCE executives’ comments directly contradict those made by Bruce Ratner and his executives, who continue to say that the arena will be completed in time for tipoff in the fall of 2009.

Ratner has also promised that the rest of the project — including its 2,250 units of affordable housing — will be done by 2016.

Just two weeks ago Ratner’s Vice President Jim Stuckey reiterated that promise in the New York Observer after his landscape architect Laurie Olin said the project would take “20 years.”

“We expect that it will take 10,” Stuckey retorted.

But Olin may have been onto something, the FCE executives indicated.

“This is going to be a 15-year build-out,” said Chuck Ratner.

By that count, the project will be coming to a close in 2022.

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