According to the Brooklyn Paper, late yesterday the US Treasury Department exempted the Atlantic Yards development from a 2006 ruling that prohibits the use of tax-free bonds to finance stadium projects. This will potentially allow developer Bruce Ratner to proceed with an estimated $800 million in tax-free financing.
The exemption came about because the project was defined as being “substantially in progress,” meaning that it received “preliminary approval of the government” and involved “significant expenditures” before Oct. 19, 2006, and because the project’s financing plan included the use of tax-free bonds. However, New York State lawmakers did not give their approval to the project until December 2006.
Still, as the Brooklyn Paper points out, this ruling may not necessarily result in a windfall for the developer: “Despite apparently winning the right to raise money through tax-free bonds, it’s still unclear whether Ratner will be able to find investors for those bonds, given the decline in the economy.”