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Excerpts: Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Nets Arena

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"The arena would host a variety of events; at its largest capacity, the arena would seat 18,000 for basketball games and up to 20,500 for large concerts and other events. As contemplated, the Nets would relocate from its current home in New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York.

"The arena would open for the 2009 basketball season.

"The approximately 850,000-sf arena would be approximately 150 feet tall, have 18,000 to 20,500 seats (depending on the event), and include approximately 1 acre of private open space on its roof. The roof would also contain approximately 3 acres of green space, a sustainable design feature that reduces stormwater runoff. The arena is expected to be open in time for the 2009 NBA season.

"The arena would be located on the block bounded by Dean Street and Atlantic, Flatbush, and 6th Avenues. The Urban Room, a publicly accessible atrium with at least 10,000 sf at the southeast corner of Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, would be at the base of Building 1 (see Figure S-4). This glass-enclosed space would be a pedestrian pass-through, as well as a new access point to the underground subway connection. It would have a sitting area with café kiosks and include arena ticket booths. The arena’s loading functions would be entered from Dean Street, with all security screening, loading dock activities, truck maneuvering, and vehicle queuing taking place internally within this enclosed, below-grade area.

"The arena is designed to allow passersby to see into the bowl to the scoreboard from the Urban Room and Flatbush Avenue. The arena’s signage and lighting would be concentrated at the Urban Room and along Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, across the street from existing commercial uses, enlivening the streets along the project site blocks. Most of the project lighting would be in keeping with lighting in recently developed areas of Brooklyn and would be consistent with the active uses and sports events that would take place in the arena. Signage would be visible to the east and west on Atlantic Avenue, to the north and south on Flatbush Avenue, and on small portions of Pacific and Dean Streets south of Flatbush Avenue. Other residential areas would not have direct views of the signage. While the signage would be illuminated and highly visible at certain times, most residential areas other than those along Pacific Street and 5th Avenue would not have direct views of the signage.

"[T]he proposed arena is expected to be completed by fall 2009 for opening day of the Nets 2009 season.

"The siting of the arena at this location also takes advantage of the excellent mass transit services provided by the adjacent Atlantic Terminal transportation hub.

"[T]he arena would receive an exemption from sales taxes on materials used in the initial construction and fit-out and on capital repairs and replacements.

"The costs of constructing and fitting-out the arena and its ancillary facilities would be financed through one or more series of tax-exempt and taxable bonds issued by a local development corporation. ESDC would retain ownership of the arena and the land under the arena for the term of the bonds. As a result, the arena and the land under the arena would be exempt from real estate taxes. The repayment of the tax exempt bonds would be accomplished through a paymentin lieu of tax (PILOT) that would be the sole responsibility of the arena’s lessee. The State and the City would have no liability for repaying the bonds or for the PILOT. The issuance of taxexempt bonds would be of no cost to the State or City since the repayment would be solely the responsibility of the arena’s lessee."