BROOKLYN - The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved a deal for the Atlantic Yards project Wednesday, reworking the payment timeline of the site?s developer.

The MTA voted 10-2 to allow the developer, Forest City Ratner, to pay only $20 million upfront instead of $100 million, as it had been previously agreed upon, to develop the Vanderbilt Yard as a part of the Atlantic Yards project. The remaining $80 million will be repaid in the course of 22 years.

The MTA currently owns the Vanderbilt Yard, which is used by the Long Island Rail Road as a commuter railcar storage yard. If the Atlantic Yards project goes forward as planned, the site will be used to build a basketball arena, create retail space and erect apartment buildings.

Proponents of the MTA?s decision say it will allow the project to go forward and create jobs in the area. Opponents, however, contend that the MTA is bailing out a wealthy developer.