Real estate developer and former New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner sold New York on his new Brooklyn arena, by promising a state of the art design, gleaming office towers, and affordable housing.Now 300 million taxpayer dollars, 800 residents displaced by eminent domain, and one fired architect later, and Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises has basically admitted that nothing other than the arena will ever get built.
Recently submitted SEC filings indicate that increased “risk” means that Forest City will likely pull the plug on any additional construction and eventually write the arena off as “liquidated damages.”
Not it that matters to Ratner. He sold off the team he used to get the deal to Mikhail Prokhorov (who also cleaned up most of Ratner’s debt) and still controls half the arena, which will bring traffic, congestion, and a terrible basketball team to downtown Brooklyn, but none of the promised jobs or houses.
The result should surprise no one who has followed the Atlantic Yards saga and recognised it for what it is: a gigantic boondoggle. And taxpayers are left holding the bag.
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