Ratner Wins Bond Financing for Nets Arena

Doubts are fading for Bruce Ratner’s new Nets arena planned for Brooklyn.

Mr. Ratner, owner of the Nets, has successfully marketed $511 million in tax-free bonds to build the arena, clearing the largest remaining hurdle to the project. Mr. Ratner’s firm, Forest City Ratner, announced the news Tuesday afternoon, saying the bonds were priced at 6.48 percent.

The bond sale comes amid a last-minute race to finalize numerous parts of the larger Atlantic Yards project before the end of the year, when an IRS exemption expires. Since the summer, Mr. Ratner has redesigned the arena; renegotiated a land sale in a deal rather favorable to him; renegotiated a subsidy deal with the state; nearly finalized a revised subsidy deal with the city; tentatively sold the Nets and 45 percent of the arena development to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov; and now sold $511 million in tax-free bonds.

He still needs to raise $146 million in taxable bonds, and put in more than $200 million in equity from Forest City. The arena is to cost more than $900 million, and is planned to be the first component to rise on the 22-acre Atlantic Yards site.

There are numerous lawsuits and legal actions outstanding that challenge the project. 

ebrown@observer.com