Extell’s Airball

So the foregone conclusion in downtown Brooklyn is almost concluded: developer Bruce Ratner is sort-of guaranteed to be the buyer of the Vanderbilt Yards in Downtown Brooklyn.

That is: the M.T.A. voted yesterday to negotiate exclusively with Ratner, though it plans to seek more money from him in the deal.

But if they can’t come to terms in 45 days, Extell is back in the running.

Newsday quoted M.T.A. chairman Bob Kalikow thusly:

“I think the bid that we did get from Forest City, while complete and well thought-out, frankly was not as high as I expected.”

Community activists like Develop, Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, are decrying the M.T.A.’s willingness to negotiate with a low bidder.

The Real Estate wonders how far community activists should push this point, though. We surely are not sorry that the Port Authority has banished mall-moguls Westfield America from the World Trade Center site, right? Though they’d probably bring in more dough than–what is it again, The Drawing Center? Right.

Meanwhile, the picture above, via the more design-erudite real-estate blog, Curbed, comes from blogger Aaron Naparstek, who, rightly, we think, is reminded of the “New York, New York” fiasco in Las Vegas when he sees the models for the Ratner project.

- Tom McGeveran