Nets Arena May Not Be Finished Until 2011, Ratner Says

The planned new Brooklyn basketball arena for the Nets now may not be ready until 2011, according to developer Forest City Ratner, as the company acknowledges that the time to build the structure may take it past its current completion goal of calendar year 2010.

The news was first spotted by Norman Oder at his encyclopedic watchdog blog Atlantic Yards Report, where he put up part of a transcript from a Forest City conference in June [corrected]. In the conference, Forest City chairman Bruce Ratner said the company hoped to start construction on the arena by the end of this year, and would take two and a half years to finish.

We put the question over to Forest City this morning, and here’s their response, via a statement from vice president Bruce Bender:

"It is not a new schedule. I think Bruce was just stating that the schedule in place is in fact very aggressive. We plan to break ground this fall and are working to open in calendar year 2010. While that’s the goal, if it is not met then it would end up being calendar year 2011."

Of course, that timeline could itself be upset if the company cannot secure financing before the end of the year, and given that the IRS is raising hackles with the tax-free financing Forest City was expecting, that’s not at all an inconceivable prospect.

Nets Arena May Not Be Finished Until 2011, Ratner Says