Sections

Nets in ’11?

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Bruce Ratner has pushed back the New Jersey Nets’ move to Brooklyn again — now saying that the basketball team he owns might not play its first game in an Atlantic Yards arena until the 2011–2012 season.

If that turns out to be true, it means the Nets would relocate five years later than originally promised by the developer when Atlantic Yards was unveiled in 2003.

Ratner told investors at the annual Forest City Ratner Companies meeting in Cleveland in June that construction on the Barclays Center, at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, would begin in January 2009, according to the Atlantic Yards Report, an invaluable Web site.

“And then it will be about two and a half years to build our arena,” Ratner said.

Based on his own calendar, that wouldn’t make the publicly financed $950-million arena ready until July, 2011 — after the conclusion of the 2010–2011 NBA season.

It’s unclear how Ratner could possibly keep that promise. In order to clear land for the project, Ratner still needs the state to condemn a handful of holdout properties in the Atlantic Yards footprint. On Friday, nine of those property owners filed suit in the Appellate Division of New York State Supreme Court to block Ratner.

Arguments in that case aren’t even expected until January, 2009 — when Ratner said he hopes to be breaking ground.

On Monday, company officials revised Ratner’s remarks.

“I think Bruce was just stating that the schedule in place is, in fact, very aggressive,” said Forest City Vice President Bruce Bender. “We plan to break ground this fall. … While that’s the goal, if it is not met, then [the team’s first game in Brooklyn] would end up being calendar year 2011.”

The Nets’ move to Brooklyn has been steadily sliding further into the future. When Atlantic Yards was announced in 2003, 2006 was the target. In 2007, Forest City Ratner promised to deliver the stadium by fall, 2009.

As recently as May, company officials said the arena would be ready for the tip-off of the 2010 season.

The team can weather the uncertainty surrounding the Barclays Center, because its lease in the Meadowlands in New Jersey runs through the 2012–2013 season.

The adjustments to the timeline come while Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been lobbying the Nets to relocate from the Jersey swamps to the Brick City instead of Kings County. The team currently loses tens of millions of dollars per year in the Meadowlands, making a move to Brooklyn or Newark imperative.

The arena’s holdups are indicative of the troubles facing the entire $4-billion Atlantic Yards mega-project. Earlier this year, Ratner downsized and delayed the iconic Miss Brooklyn office tower. He now says it will not be built until an anchor tenant is found.

The additional setbacks have inflamed local elected officials.

“I am very concerned about the delay in breaking ground on the new Nets stadium,” said Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Park Slope). “This delay is further proof that we need better oversight of this project, especially when it comes to the promises they’ve made about affordable housing. It is critical that we hold all developers accountable, particularly a developer who is receiving public funds.”

Only the so-called “Phase I” of the project, which includes the arena and two, mostly luxury residential buildings, are on the construction schedule right now. The bulk of the 2,250 units of public subsidized affordable housing that Ratner says he will build at Atlantic Yards are not on any timetable anymore. Forest City Ratner maintains that the entire 16-skyscraper project will eventually be built.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Norman Oder says:
Here's a link to the original story:
http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2008/08/bruce-ratner-makes-it-official-ay-arena.html
Aug. 6, 2008, 1:51 pm
Gersh Kuntzman (Brooklyn Paper) says:
I meant to put the link to the Atlantic Yards Report in the original story. It is embedded there now. Thanks.
Aug. 6, 2008, 2:30 pm
red from b-lo says:
dribble dribble
Aug. 6, 2008, 3:33 pm
PJ from Williamsburg says:
I can't wait for the Nets to come to Brooklyn. Make it happen Bruce!
Aug. 7, 2008, 10:55 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
let's get started building the arena, these delays are nonsense. it's time to get started. it would be a good idea that whoever looses the legal battle should have to pay for all the costs of the lawyers.
Aug. 8, 2008, 9:14 am
fourlong from downtown says:
Al, the only one who can start building the arena is Bruce Ratner. One must ask Bruce Ratner, "Bruce, why aren't you building the arena?"
Aug. 8, 2008, 3:56 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

This week’s featured advertisers