The Nets organization’s dream of moving the franchise to Brooklyn moved another step closer to reality this afternoon as team owner Bruce Ratner and the Brooklyn Arena Local Development Corporation were able to sell $511 million in tax exempt bonds this afternoon, according to a report in the New York Times. Ratner and his partners are expected to raise the rest of the money needed to finance the 18,000-seat Barclays Arena privately.
What was even better news for Ratner and co. is after six years of battling lawsuits and local property owners and politicians, the bonds sold rather quickly, according to the Times:
“There was a strong appetite for the bonds,” said Jay Abrams, a bond analyst at FMS Bonds. “The market was comfortable with the ratings the deal received and the security that was pledged.”
With this news in place, next week Ratner is expected to complete the “master closing” of the project, including taking possession of the properties condemned by the New York State of Appeals last month. Ratner is also looking to finalize his deal to sell an 80 percent stake in the Nets to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, provided he is approved by the NBA.
In a show of just how divisive this project has been, check out these two comments from the Times’ comments section:
This is great news. All of the NIMBY opposition and consequent increased costs have not stopped this beneficial economic development project from moving forward.
“which is to include more than 6,000 apartments.”
Also to be included are magic unicorns and leprechauns.
The Atlantic Yards Report, which has followed this project exhaustively, notes in their reaction post:
Ratner couldn’t sell tax-exempt bonds on his own. Let’s not forget the role of the Brooklyn Arena Local Development Corporation, the questions that have been raised about it, and the curious (and reportedly abandoned) plan to issue $400 million more in infrastructure bonds.