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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.