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KPMG’s Report on the Atlantic Yards Project Didn’t Impress Some People

Thumbnail image for bklyn.jpgWe might be going out on a limb here but it seems like a lot of studies that the large accounting firms put out don’t get much attention. There might be a press release and a mention here and there but otherwise not too much excitement.

That being said, KPMG must be thrilled that the Atlantic Yards Report is taking such exception with their report on the Atlantic Yards Project:

KPMG’s Atlantic Yards market study, conducted on request of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), backs up the assertion that Atlantic Yards might be completed in the announced ten years, rather than, as then-ESDC CEO Marisa Lago said in April, “decades.”

Well, not only are projections about condo values questionable, as I wrote earlier today, but KPMG’s report has some very shoddy research. Consider that the report (dated August 31) claims that Richard Meier’s On Prospect Park is 75% sold. (Only rental buildings are pre-leased.)

However, the New York Times reported September 27:

While the developers say half of the building’s 99 units have been sold, the real estate Web site documents only 25 closings through public records.

KPMG claims that the Oro Condos are also 75% sold. But just this week Crain’s reported that prices at Oro had been slashed 25%.

If you’re not familiar with the Atlantic Yards Project, you’re lucky. Let’s put it this way, it’s a $5 billion project that involves moving the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn courtesy of Nets owner Bruce Ratner and sixteen new high-rise buildings and will be finished long after we get global accounting convergence.

So yeah, a developer’s paradise. Problem is that all the hype has transformed into a giant argument that pretty much involves everyone. As NoLandGrab points out, “if the Atlantic Yards project is so great, why does everyone pushing the project forward, and every alleged ‘study’ extolling its virtues, have to stray so far from the truth to make it appear viable?”

The obvious benefit we foresee is that the project may get rid of the worst Target on Earth but we may lack vision.

As for the Radio Station, they probably had the best of intentions when preparing their report but now, for better or worse, KPMG, who has yet to respond to our request for comment, is near the center of the rage. Enjoy.

What was KPMG smoking? Report claims 75% of Meier’s On Prospect Park has been sold; other statistics are way off [Atlantic Yards Project via NoLandGrab]
KPMG Atlantic Yards Market Study.pdf

UPDATE – July 13, 2010: Hey gang – a bit of belated correction/clarification here. Norman Oder, who writes the Atlantic Yards Report got in touch with us about our little quip about Target. He wrote to us “I know you’re trying to be entertaining, but that’s not close to true. The Target is across the road from the project site.”

So I guess our wishing out loud for the big Brooklyn bullseye to be destroyed won’t be happening (it’s not part of the plans at least) but we stand by our assertion that the Target is a hellhole and needs to be destroyed.