Today’s news:

So here’s the deal: Ratner to get huge break from MTA

The Brooklyn Paper

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will move ahead with a massive public bailout of the struggling Atlantic Yards project, changing the project’s financing to save developer Bruce Ratner hundreds of millions of dollars.

The MTA’s finance committee met this morning to discuss a new deal for the developer, who had originally promised $100 million for rights to build over the Vanderbilt railyards in Prospect Heights, but would now pay just $20 million up front for the prime eight-acres.

The remaining $80 million would be paid out, at 6-1/2 percent interest, over the next 22 years, said MTA Chief Financial Officer Gary Dellaverson, who presented the package to the committee.

Ratner had originally gotten the railyard rights for less than its MTA-appraised value because he also promised $345 million in infrastructure improvements to the MTA facility.

Under the new deal, which is expected to be rubber-stamped by the full MTA board on Wednesday, Ratner would make just $147 million in railyard improvements.

“It’s not quite as good as we had hoped,” said Dellaverson, who added that the reduced renovations would result in diminished capacity.

Others used stronger language.

“This is a bait-and-switch,” said Theresa Urban of the anti-Yards Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods. “The ‘glorious public benefits’ of Atlantic Yards are being whittled down.”

Representatives for Ratner did not respond in time for The Brooklyn Paper’s nonnegotiable online deadlines.

Dellaverson defended the deal, saying that the downturn in the economy encouraged the MTA to help Ratner, who must break ground by the end of 2009 on the arena, residential and office complex or risk new tax rules that would add prohibitive costs.

“Obviously, from every vantage point, it would be better to have $100 million at closing,” Dellaverson said. “[But] if they don’t [break ground by the end of the year], everything unravels.”

If he takes the full 22 years to pay off the $80 million loan from the MTA, he’ll end up paying $193 million (in future inflated dollars).

The finance committee also approved a naming-rights deal with Ratner, who will pay $200,000 per year over the next 20 years to have the Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street subway stations co-named “Barclays Center.”

It’s the first licensing deal for a subway station. Neither the Yankees nor the Mets pay to have stations near their new stadiums include the team names.

On the eve of Monday’s committee meeting, a group of Brooklyn politicians demanded that the MTA refrain from altering the deal with Ratner.

Updated 1:20 am, June 25, 2009: Story was updated to make things a bit more clear.
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Reader Feedback

Norman Oder says:
More coverage here:
http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2009/06/mta-deal-revealed-20m-down-21-years-to.html
June 22, 2009, 4 pm
LS from Brooklyn says:
Awesome we will be able to b*tch about the "Barclay's Center" subway station and its massive & dangerous overcrowding. Why didn't anybody want to name it when the Islamic militants tried to blow it up in '97?
June 22, 2009, 4:19 pm
o from o says:
o no
June 22, 2009, 4:57 pm
why? from barclay Center says:
Islamic Militants ?? what dose that have to do with anything... again ppl trying to divert from the real problem and confuse everyone else with a 1000 different things.
Stick with the issue - That the arena is no good for Brooklyn in that particular location!! Bring it to coney island it needs it more than anywhere else and they have the room right off the high way were home depot is.

O yeah did everyone forget about the backed up toilet problems that this arena would cause. 80,000 new toilets flushing continuously will back up our current under developed sewer system.. I can just smell it now ...and if you cant drive on the belt parkway were it meets the BQE and take a nice sniff... ewwww
June 22, 2009, 4:57 pm
why from bklyn says:
Islamic Militants ?? what dose that have to do with anything... again ppl trying to divert from the real problem and confuse everyone else with a 1000 different things.
Stick with the issue - That the arena is no good for Brooklyn in that particular location!! Bring it to coney island it needs it more than anywhere else and they have the room right off the high way were home depot is.

O yeah did everyone forget about the backed up toilet problems that this arena would cause. 80,000 new toilets flushing continuously will back up our current under developed sewer system.. I can just smell it now ...and if you cant drive on the belt parkway were it meets the BQE and take a nice sniff... ewwww
June 22, 2009, 4:58 pm
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Ha! ha! ha! You Anti- Arena folks are killing me & Brooklyn. Ha ha ha! Six years ago u filed numerous lawsuits saying Ratner is getting a sweetheart deal & what did you accomplished?
Your obstructionism has accomplish what? Hah ha hah! You've helped gotten Ratner a better deal with the MTA... ooh.. ooh! I can take it hah hah hah!! No you need to stop it. Please! Am gonna die from laughing too much. Hah hah haa.....! Ratner got a better deal, plus he can built another ugly building. Oh oh oh! Stop it! Stop it wooooo! I... I.. can't breathe!!!!
Obstructionist!!!! haha haaaha hahahaha...........!!! Oooooh lord!!! This is hiliarious!!!!!Ooh boy!
June 22, 2009, 8:06 pm
Raul from Prospect Heights says:
Good question, Judah Spechal. Here's one great thing that DDDb accomplished. Ratner originally big $50 million for the Vanderbilt Railyards, but he upped it to $100 million after DDDb (not the MTA) found a bidder willing to shell out $150 million for the railyards, which were valued at $214.5 million. If nothing else, DDDb quite possibly saved MTA riders $50 million, which is probably why you are so happy.
June 22, 2009, 11:46 pm
Just Stop Already from Park Slope says:
Face it you lost and Brooklyn is getting a team finally! I am excited. If you can't take it just leave Brooklyn you obstructionists will not be missed.
June 23, 2009, 12:22 am
al pankin from downtown says:
good the project deserves the mta's help. if the numerous frivilous lawsuits weren't filed this project would have been underway a long time ago, on a grander scale than what the brooklyn community will wind up with....this is what happens when a small group holds up a massive project and loses all legal challenges. they will move on, no one will remember them, the community will have a diminished development...some victory.
June 23, 2009, 8:24 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
SO, all those who support this project don't mind being played fools, allowing promises to be broken, and basically, paying for a private development with your hard earned tax dollars. You people are weak; sleep on that fact.
June 23, 2009, 9:52 am
Alan from Sheepshead Bay says:
Bruce Ratner, is teflon. This baby is going to be built, and it is going to be rammed right down the throat of Goldstein and his Liberal Park Slope Yo-Yo's.
June 23, 2009, 3:39 pm
freddy from slope says:
yup alan,

you are a great example of participatory government and holding your elected and no-elected officials accountable.

dddb sees something despicable and steps up to the fight because it affects many people in the area.

you hail from sheepshead bay where you cant even get loehmans or the former lundys to follow the law crafted specifically for your neighborhood.

seems you roll over regularly. not much backbone there. or credibility.
June 23, 2009, 8:45 pm
Dave from BH says:
Nice work Tish James. I hope they vote you out of office for your incompetence.
June 23, 2009, 11:23 pm
Lavonne from Midwood says:
Hats off to Bruce Ratner and the MTA! Their resourcefulness is admirable. ATLANTIC YARDS must move forward. Hopefully, Ratner will insist on the hiring of Brooklyn architects, project managers, interior design professionals, landscapers, electricians, plumbers, lighting specialists, HVAC professionals, and construction workers to erect Ellerbee's design. Once Ratner puts a Brooklyn face on ATLANTIC YARDS, I'm guessing Brooklyn political foes will become fast friends.
June 24, 2009, 12:43 pm

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