Mayor Bloomberg dealt Bruce Ratner a blow on Wednesday, saying that the city would not subsidize the Atlantic Yards project with additional public funds.
The city has already pledged $230 million for infrastructure and land-acquisition costs at the embattled arena and skyscraper project — but Bloomberg dashed Ratner’s hopes for more.
“We’ve done everything,” he said in response to a reporter’s question at his daily availability on Wednesday. “We’re going to have a tough time balancing our budget.”
The mayor did add that the city needs the project, but said, “We’re not putting money in. We’re going to invest our money in better schools and in safer streets and in better parks and everything else.”
The mayor’s thriftiness is bad news for Forest City Ratner, which in recent months had been lobbying for more taxpayer aid from the city and state to help revive construction on the $4-billion complex in Prospect Heights, where work has been stalled since December.
But Ratner, speaking at a “topping out” ceremony at his 80 DeKalb Avenue project, claimed he will start the basketball arena this fall.
“We don’t need anything more [from the city and state],” he said.
©2009 Community News Group
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