City University is offering to sweeten its deal with developer Bruce Ratner, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.
Last month, CUNY’s Board of Trustees voted to pay Ratner $307 million to build a new 11- to 14-story laboratory and classroom building for City Tech in Downtown Brooklyn — a whopping $221 million more than the $86 million the university system originally offered the developer in 2004.
The request for additional cash will be taken up by the state legislature next month.
In addition to the fee for constructing the new college building, Ratner would also get control of a lucrative site on the southeast corner of Jay and Tillary streets — a Downtown plot where he is reportedly planning the city’s tallest residential tower, the so-called “Mr. Brooklyn.”
CUNY selected Ratner’s development company to build the 335,000–square-foot building in 2005. Since then, the university and Forest City Ratner have been in negotiations that led to last month’s proposal to increase Ratner’s take.
A CUNY spokesman said that the university’s request for more money from the state does not seal the deal. What Ratner will eventually be paid for his construction services will not be finalized until more negotiations between CUNY and the developer are concluded, he said.
But at this point, negotiations have been going in Ratner’s favor. CUNY’s original 2004 request for proposals promised the winning developer $86 million to build the City Tech lab on the southeast corner of Jay and Tillary streets, plus 1 million square feet in development rights.
The cost of the building has swelled to more than $300 million — and in addition to the extra cash, CUNY is offering to enhance Ratner’s “Mr. Brooklyn” project by building a park on Tillary Street between Jay and Bridge streets.
With his development rights, Ratner is reportedly planning a 700- to 1,000-foot residential behemoth designed by Renzo Piano, the same starchitect behind his well-received Times Tower in Manhattan.
Mr. Brooklyn would include 600 market-rate apartments and serve as a shimmering new corridor into Ratner’s Metrotech Center, an office complex that covers 10-block swath of Downtown.