New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner has hired consultants to do “value engineering” on his Brooklyn arena plan, according to the New York Daily News, in a last-ditch effort to save the stalled project. “[Ratner] has to go out and get $1 billion in funding [for the arena],” the News quotes “a source” (that’s all it says) as saying. “That’s probably not going to happen. It can’t be built if that’s the price tag.”
Ratner actually has a couple of things in his favor in getting the price down: Labor’s going to get cheaper in this economy (though less so in a union town like New York), and so will raw materials, as there isn’t likely to be a lot of competition for structural steel anytime soon. On the other hand, he’s going to have a hard time finding a bank to lend him even half a billion dollars without putting up a kidney or two as collateral. So while the battle of Brooklyn that began five years ago is by no means over, Freddy’s can probably allow itself to breathe a little easier tonight.