Just when you thought developer Bruce Ratner was about to turn the corner in the P.R. war over his proposed $800 million arena for the Nets in Brooklyn, along comes the city’s Independent Budget Office with a big bucket of ice water. A new analysis concludes that "over a 30-year period, the arena would cost the city nearly $40 million more in spending under current budget plans than it will generate in tax revenues (present value, 2009 dollars)." It also estimates that "for the developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, the mix of special government benefits result in total savings of $726 million."
The report [pdf] comes a day after Ratner unveiled glittery new renderings for his arena, which the city is subsidizing at an estimated cost of $772 million. Interestingly, New York State would come out on top, making an estimated $25 million from the arena over 30 years, plus $6 million in new tax revenues for the MTA. That's because the state invested less capital in the project and stands to benefit by taxing Nets players relocating from Jersey.
David Lombino, a spokesman for the city’s Economic Development Corporation (who used to report on the Atlantic Yards project for the New York Sun), tells City Room, "The report is sloppy and contains numerous inaccuracies." But naturally, opponents like Daniel Goldstein at Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn are fired up by the report: "The project is the result of a corrupt and illegal process and is a financial disaster that destroys our community. We will not let it stand and will continue to fight it by every means possible."