Could the Atlantic Yards saga be near its end?
This morning, tax-exempt bonds for Bruce Ratner’s controversial Brooklyn arena sold like there was nothing to worry about—$511 million dollars worth in two hours. And Mr. Ratner could have sold more, according to The Times, which says the demand far outpaced the supply.
It’s hard to imagine the project is finally in the clear, but the undying drama might not have much more to live on.
The bond sale—which had to be completed by January 1 to guarantee Mr. Ratner could use tax free bonds—was widely seen as the last serious hurdle facing the project, with opponents hoping the economic climate and legal uncertainty might scare away investors. That didn’t happen. Now, Mr. Ratner just has to sell $146 million in taxable bonds—in addition to the $200 million he’s pouring in—but that’s expected to be relatively easy, even before today’s strong showing.
Opponents are still hoping to topple the project with a number of outstanding lawsuits, but it would take a rather serious surprise for any of them to derail the project. The other longshot is the N.B.A., which may not want an enigmatic Russian oligarch as an owner—in which case, the drama would begin all over again.