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Bruce Ratner, with Chinese help, to sign formal agreement to expand affordable housing next to arena

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SHoP Architects

The Times reports Friday that Bruce Ratner will sign a formal agreement to accelerate the construction of 2,250 affordable apartments by 2025, 10 years ahead of the current schedule. The agreement, which calls for substantial penalties if the developer fails to meet the agreed schedule, will be signed Friday, Bagli reports.

Critics have claimed that Ratner has reneged on his original promise to include the affordable housing in the overall Atlantic Yards project, but the developer, still a minority owner of the Nets and majority owner of Barclays Center, has countered by noting much of the delay is due to the recession .. and lawsuits filed by some of those critics.

Charles V. Bagli  writes...

Under the agreement, the next two residential buildings — a total of 600 units — will be entirely affordable housing. If the developer fails to begin construction within the next year, it must pay what would essentially be a fine of up to $5 million.

Brooklyn residents have complained about the rise of housing costs, brought on by the borough's increasingly hip and hot reputation.  More than 80,000 people have moved into the borough since 2010.

Ratner, who's had cash problems throughout the 10-year history of the project, is about to formalize an agreement with one of China's biggest builders, the state-owned Greenland. Under terms of that deal, Greenland will pay Ratner's company $200 million for 70 percent of the project, not including the arena and the first residential building, called B2, at the southeastern edge of the arena. Its executives have said they want the buildings done as soon as possible.

Ratner was at the unveiling of plans for HSS Center, the Nets new training facility in Industry City. Neither Ratner nor his companies are involved in the construction or development of the center.