Forest City Works, But Does Not Own

Forest City Ratner still does not own the 8-acre rail yard that will form the backbone of its Atlantic Yards project, but that did not keep the company from starting “preparatory work” on Tuesday. (From the looks of this photo, they needed to shovel the snow first.)

The developer agreed to buy the property from the M.T.A. back in September 2005 for $100 million, but there are some “technical issues” that have yet to be resolved before closing the deal, M.T.A. spokesman Sam Zambuto told The Real Estate.

“At this point, there is no time-frame set for closing the deal,” he said.

Neither Mr. Zambuto nor Forest City spokesman Joe DePlasco would say whether the company was waiting until lawsuits were resolved before closing. Mr. DePlasco said the work was being done under a “license agreement.”

Maybe that’s not so surprising: Would you pay that much for a rusty old rail yard unless you were really sure you could put it to use?

- Matthew Schuerman

UPDATE: Mr. Zambuto called back to add that there was no written agreement that stipulated that deal would have to wait until the lawsuits are resolved.