Ratner Avenue! Developer Gets MTA Atlantic Yards Windfall -- and Subway Station Naming Rights
Just when you think Bruce Ratner and his cockamamie Atlantic Yards project are down for the count, they get back up again -- assisted by the city's moneyed interests. The MTA just cut Forest City Ratner an amazing deal. As expected, he'll pay $100 million for the Vanderbilt Railyards -- but he only has to put up $20 million now, and gets 22 years to pay the rest. He also gets a cozy 6.5 percent interest rate. The "improvements" Ratner is obliged to make to replace the Railyards facilities subsumed by Atlantic Yards will cost him only $175 million, rather than the $240 million or so originally expected.
And with some of the extra pocket money he'll save, Ratner is able to make an amazing purchase: the naming rights to the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street subway station, which the Brooklyn Paper reports will be co-named "Barclays Center." For this he will pay a mere $200,000 a year.
Comments at the Times City Blog are lively. "The MTA needs a coup (or maybe a coup de grace)," says Dave Kenny. "This is fiscally insane and transparently malodorous if I may be permitted a mixed metaphor.... How does Ratner get away with this time after time? Oh yeah, campaign contributions."
This is only a preliminary deal, but no one with any power is said to object soi it should go through by Wednesday.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.