January 23, 1945 |
|Occupation||Real estate developer and minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets|
--Lizzy Osher Ratner
--Rebecca Osher Ratner
Ratner was born into a Jewish family in the Cleveland metropolitan area, the son of Harry Ratowczer (later Americanized to Ratner), who was one of eight children to immigrate to the US from Poland. Four of his paternal uncles founded Forest City Enterprises in 1920; originally a construction materials company it eventually evolved into construction and then into real estate development. Ratner's older brother is New York attorney Michael Ratner and his sister is Ellen Ratner, a news analyst for Fox News. Ratner graduated from Harvard College in 1967, and earned a Juris Doctor from Columbia University in 1970.
Early career 
After law school, he worked for the City of New York. Under Mayor Ed Koch he became consumer affairs commissioner where he went after corrupt merchants, repairmen and alarm companies. He then turned to developing real estate.
MetroTech Center and Atlantic Center 
He developed the $1 billion complex of nine buildings in downtown Brooklyn called MetroTech. He built a 393,000 square-foot shopping mall at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in the 1990s.
Ownership of the Nets 
The controversial Ratner (he is among other things one of the biggest spenders in New York state on lobbying politicians according to the New York Times) first became owner of the Nets when he headed an ownership group that purchased the franchise from YankeeNets for $300 million. Ratner's group beat out an ownership group led by Charles Kushner and former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine. Since 2005, Ratner has been planning to relocate the Nets to New York City, specifically to build an arena in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn even though there was desire to keep them in New Jersey.
The Barclays Center is now the centerpiece of a $3.5 billion sports arena, business and residential complex called Atlantic Yards. This project is being built by Ratner's company, Forest City Ratner Enterprises. The site of the proposed arena is adjacent to the site that Walter O'Malley wanted to use for a new stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the early 1950s. (O'Malley's plan was rejected by the city, resulting in the Dodgers relocating to Los Angeles in 1958.) On September 23, 2009, Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov reached a deal with Ratner to purchase an 80% stake of the Nets for $200 million, subject to Ratner acquiring financing for the arena project and control of the land by the end of the year in addition to the approval of 3/4 of the NBA board of governors. Prokhorov would also provide a $700 million loan to the construction of the arena as well as attracting additional funds in Western banks. According to Ratner, accepting Prokhorov as majority owner "gives us a partner who adds to the financial strength of the venture. Mikhail will have primary responsibility for the basketball part and we will have primary responsibility for the arena and the real estate." On May 11, 2010, the sale of the Nets to Prokhorov was approved by the NBA.
Nets' relocation delay 
Ratner originally planned to move the Nets across the Hudson River for the beginning of the 2009–10 NBA season. However, he had to revise his goal and now plans to move the franchise to Brooklyn for the start of the 2012–13 season. Although the arena was scheduled to open in 2011, along with the rest of the complex, controversies involving local residents and the use of eminent domain, coupled with the lack of funding in a struggling economy, have caused the project to be delayed. On May 16, 2009, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division struck down an opponents' lawsuit that sought to prevent the state of New York from using eminent domain to seize the property where the 22-acre (89,000 m2) Atlantic Yards project is being built. The opponents appealed the New York Supreme Court's ruling, but lost when the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, upheld the right of the state to use eminent domain for this project. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on the site on March 11, 2010. The Nets are now slated to commence playing in Brooklyn in time for the 2012–13 NBA season.
Personal life 
Ratner is married to his second wife, 60-year-old Park Avenue plastic surgeon Pamela Lipkin who specializes in noses. He has two daughters from his first marriage: Lizzy Osher Ratner, a reporter for the New York Observer and Rebecca Osher Ratner, an actress. He and Lipkin live in a $7 million brownstone on East 62nd Street in Manhattan. Ratner also reportedly has a 194-acre (0.79 km2) estate in Ulster County. He recently sold his third home in Montauk for a reported $10 million to art dealer David Zwirner and has recently acquired a new home in Quogue, closer to Manhattan and with a view.
- Bagli, Charles V.; Berger, Joseph (September 26, 2012). "Nets Helped Clear Path for Builder in Brooklyn". The New York Times.
- Jewish Daily Forward: Top 50 Jews of 2012: "Bruce Ratner" retrieved December 25, 2012
- Forest City Website: "Our History" retrieved April 12, 2013
- Smith, Chris (2006-08-06). "Mr. Ratner's Neighborhood". nymag.com. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- "Bruce C. Ratner". Gawker.
- Bagli, Charles V. (2009-09-24). "Richest Russian's Newest Toy: An N.B.A. Team". The New York Times.
- Calder, Rich (2008-01-28). "Court Trouble: Ratner admits arena-funding woes". New York Post. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- Thompson, Ryan (2009-07-09). "The Court Date is Set for Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- Bagli, Charles V. (2009-11-25). "Ruling Lets Atlantic Yards Seize Land". The New York Times.
- Fahim, Kareem (March 11, 2010). "Ground Broken on Atlantic Yards Project". The New York Times.
- ""Dr. Pamela Lipkin, MD"". Healthgrades.
- "A Little Wine, Cheese and A Shot in the Head: Botox, the Hot New Party Drug". June 16, 2002..
- Mondoweiss: "In the beloved Old Country, a Jew has visions of her homeland" by Lizzy Ratner August 8, 2009
- "Bruce Ratner Buys Brownstone But (Surprise!) It's Not in Brooklyn". New York Observer. 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- "Pamela Lipkin, MD". nyc-plastic-surgery.com.
- "Ratner Moving West". New York Post. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- Forest City Ratner Enterprises
- Brooklyn Nets Official Website
- Bruce C. Ratner
- Battle for Brooklyn at the Internet Movie Database