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PR- 080-05
March 3, 2005


Professional Sports One Step Closer to Return to Brooklyn

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Forest City Ratner Companies to proceed with the historic development of the Atlantic Yards project at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn. The $2.5 billion project will include a Frank Gehry designed world-class arena that would be the home court of the Brooklyn Nets, which Forest City Ratner Companies and investors purchased earlier this year, and over 4,000 units of mixed-income housing, along with commercial, retail and 6 acres of new public open space. The development will span 21 acres and is adjacent to Atlantic Terminal, which is the third-largest transportation hub in New York City with nine different subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road converging.  The primary existing use on the proposed site is a rail storage yard for the Long Island Railroad. The project is expected to create over 12,000 construction jobs and approximately 8,500 permanent jobs. According to an economic analysis completed earlier this year for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the net fiscal benefit to the City and State from the Atlantic Yards project is estimated at $1 billion in present value over the next thirty years.

"This is an historic project that will continue to energize the borough of Brooklyn," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "While a new home town team will give all of us something to cheer for, it's the jobs and housing that will have the greatest lasting impact on the borough and the people of Brooklyn. Development is not just about constructing buildings. It's about building a stronger future for this great City and State"

"Today, we are one step closer to bringing professional sports back to Brooklyn," said Governor Pataki.  "But even more importantly, we are also a step closer to creating thousands of new jobs, much needed housing, including affordable housing, and providing greater hope and promise for the future."

Under the MOU, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) will act as the lead agency for the purposes of compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act and also adopt a General Project Plan and conduct public hearings.

"It has been a truly extraordinary year," said Bruce C. Ratner, President & CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies. "Only a year ago, we unveiled Frank Gehry's master plan and won our bid for the Nets. Today, with the help of the State and the City - and countless others who are working hard to bring the team and jobs and housing to Brooklyn - we are one step closer to creating a remarkable development that will hopefully make a proud borough and City even prouder."

Under the MOU, the State and the City will each contribute $100 million in capital contributions to fund site preparation and public infrastructure improvements on and around the arena site, including streets, sidewalks, utility relocations, environmental remediation, open space and public parking.

Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) has agreed to relocate and reconfigure the Long Island Rail Road Yard.  FCRC will also build and maintain the overbuild platform.  The rail yard will remain operable through all phases of construction.


Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk   (212) 788-2958

Lynn Rasic (Governor)   (212) 681-4640

Joe DePlasco (for Ratner)   (212)981-5125

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