The Brooklyn Nets & Manhattan/New York Knicks have a budding on-court rivalry, after splitting their first season series playing home games in the same city 2-2, but the rivalry doesn’t just exist on the basketball court.
Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner and Madison Square Garden/New York Knicks owner James Dolan both placed a bid to redevelop Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum (the current home of the New York Islanders, and also an eyesore), and the bids were allegedly competitive — until a Long Island developer backed Dolan’s bid, knocking Ratner into a distant second.
The reason given by the bidder? Twofold.
Firstly, Scott Rechler, owner of RXR Realty in Long Island, attacked the slow development of Ratner’s current Atlantic Yards project, where Barclays Center stands.
“They built an arena in Brooklyn that was supposed to be one part of a much bigger development — and they haven’t gotten that development done, at the end of the day,” Rechler told the New York Post.
Rechler’s other issue that led to his decision to partner with Dolan on a $250 million bid, outbidding Ratner’s current play of $229 million, is that less than 40% of Ratner’s bid is guaranteed to revamp the Coliseum in the next 15 months.
Nets brass discounted Rechler’s comments. From the Post:
Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark fired back, saying his group, since the filing, has informed county officials they’re willing to build the entire project simultaneously — “if that’s what they want.”
Yormark also said the Brooklyn comparison is “unfair” because Atlantic Yards was held up by a once-in-a-generation credit crunch.
“Perhaps if he thought them worthwhile, Mr. Rechler would focus on his own accomplishments rather than trying to disparage others,” sniped Barclays Center spokesman Barry Baum.
A decision is expected by the end of the month.