From the NY Observer:
Developer Forest City Ratner, which intends to build a basketball arena for the Nets and thousands of apartments at the site, has renegotiated a deal with the agency to the point where it pays about $180 million less, at least at first.
Forest City would build a new rail yard for about $150 million with one-fourth less capacity than planned, and pay $20 million upfront. Over the next 22 years, according to the agreement, the developer would give payments worth $80 million in today’s dollars to the M.T.A.
The MTA didn't have any good choices: it could reject the offer, but then it would have to find another buyer for those air rights in the middle of a recession. And in the process, it would upset Mayor Bloomberg and the coalition of construction workers and others who support the project.
From No Land Grab:
Something tells us that with just a smidgen of effort, the MTA could find a developer (or developers) willing to put down a heck of a lot more than $20 million for the Vanderbilt Yard.
And upsetting the Mayor and construction workers and other project supporters? What about all the transit-riding public, who get stuck with big fare hikes, service cuts and a deteriorating system in return for Bruce Ratner's bailout?
Yeah. How about this?