Brooklyn arena: Get cheaper, or get lost

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.

Share this post: