Field of Schemes
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June 01, 2009

Nets crystal ball says: Reply cloudy, ask again in December

The New York Times' Richard Sandomir took a look yesterday at whether the New Jersey Nets' move to Brooklyn will ever happen, and concluded: "The question is impossible to answer nearly six years since Bruce C. Ratner hatched the idea." The biggest uncertainty: Can Ratner clear up the remaining lawsuits and figure out what he's building and how to pay for it by December 31, the deadline to get in under the IRS' tax-exempt bond loophole?

The New York state senate held a hearing on Ratner's Atlantic Yards project on Friday, but that didn't shed much light on things, unless you had a burning desire to find out what it sounds like for a roomful of construction workers to blow whistles at the same time. The most interesting piece of testimony: Independent Budget Office deputy director George Sweeting testified that the city's projected costs for the project have risen by more than $100 million, which would "eclipse the $25 million net positive benefit to the city that we previously estimated for the arena." That somehow didn't make it into Sandomir's article.


If I were Ratner, I'd pack it in and head for the Prudential Center, which is what the old ownership was trying to do.

If there is a lesson to this, it's that building ANYTHING in New York - even a crummy, refrigerator box hot dog stand - will cost at least ten times more and take five times longer than you'd figure for anywhere else.

Posted by Marty on June 1, 2009 11:19 AM

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