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Bruce Ratner selling big chunk of Atlantic Yards

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The Times is reporting that Bruce Ratner wants to sell a big chunk of Atlantic Yards -- the 22 acre multi-use property at Atlantic and Flatbush -- to accelerate the development of the planned 14 apartment and office towers on the site. The sale would not include Barclays Center, which is owned by Ratner (55 percent) and Mikhail Prokhorov (45 percent).

Ratner has been stymied by an inability to get sufficient financing for the project, the biggest in Brooklyn's history, and the $800 million he could receive in the transaction would move things forward. The first apartment tower, a 33-story building called B2 BKLYN, is underway at the southeast corner of the arena. Two other towers, of 52 and 22 stories, are also planned for the "back" of Barclays.

Ratner, reports Charles V. Bagli, would retain control of the overall project. One of the big expenses he faces is the construction of a platform over the rail yards to the east of the arena. Several of the towers would be built atop the platform. The main effect on the Nets would be the continuing construction around the arena. And with an overall population of more than 12,000 people, the completed project would give the Nets a "captive audience," an ideal and unique marketing opportunity for the team.

Under terms of the original agreement between Ratner and Prokhorov, signed in September 2009, Prokhorov was to have an option to purchase up to 20 percent of Atlantic Yards. Prokhorov has yet to exercise the option. The Times did not report how Ratner's plan would effect that option.