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October 30, 2009

NY to sell Nets arena bonds in three weeks, maybe

Reuters reports that New York's state-run Empire State Development Corporation has set the week of November 16 for selling $700 million of construction bonds for a Nets arena in Brooklyn. Read the fine print, though, and it's less certain than that:

"The expectation is that they will be issued," [ESDC CFO Frances Walton] said. This would not be first time that bonds have been issued despite "legal challenges," Walton said.
"We have begun discussions with ratings agencies," she said.

In other words, things are still where they were two weeks ago, with the state and Nets owner Bruce Ratner trying to convince bond rating agencies and insurers that these bonds are safe despite the growing number of lawsuits against it. And as bond expert Michael D.D. White points out on his Noticing New York blog, there's a long list of loose ends that should give pause to bond agencies, and bond buyers.

Meanwhile, Norman Oder at Atlantic Yards Report notes that today is the planned opening day for the Atlantic Yards arena, according to the construction schedule issued in December 2006. Missed it by that much...

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