Atlantic Yards Developer Tries to Stiff MTA — Again

Ratner demands another discount from broke transit agency

The ever-dwindling  Atlantic Yards housing and arena project hit a new hurdle this week as developer Bruce Ratner asked the cash-strapped MTA to accept a mere $20-million down payment  on the already discounted $100-million price for the stretch of state land.

The MTA could decide as early as tomorrow whether Ratner should be allowed to pay the  $20 million down payment for the Vanderbilt Yards, the land on Atlantic Ave. between Flatbush and Vanderbilt Aves, the Daily News reported.

Ratner's $100 million initial proposal -- which came earlier this year -- was only half of the appraised $214.5 million value of the property. If Ratner's given permission to pay the $20 million down, it would be less than ten percent of the land's appraised worth as a down payment.

It was unclear how and when the MTA would vote on Ratner's proposal -- the next board meeting isn't until June.

The broke MTA is struggling to cope with a dismal budget that could've used Ratner's additional $80 million -- the transit agency has caught serious heat for its proposed fare increases that could empty straphangers' wallets.

The Atlantic Yards project will get more attention tomorrow during a hearing held by Sen. Bill Perkins of Harlem, which will evaluate the nearly five-year overdue Yards project's impact on the community. The invitation-only hearing will also take the project's financial pros and cons into consideration.

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