Develop-- don't destroy: BrooklynAction buttons

Click for a PDF of this letter and attached files.

March 28, 2006

Dear Honorable Speaker Silver:

We understand that Forest City Ratner (FCR) is seeking $100 million in the 2006-2007 budget for their “Atlantic Yards” development proposal in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

Attached to this letter you will find: our annotated notes made on a sample lobbying letter FCR distributed to your colleagues, and we assume to you; an exposé that completely refutes FCR’s lobby letter and continuous PR claim that their project “will be an economic engine generating over $6 Billion in new tax revenues over the next 30 years”; FCR’s 20-year pro forma cash-flow statement.

Some day FCR’s “Atlantic Yards” proposal may prove worthy of the state’s investment of the public’s tax dollars. BUT to date their proposal is not worthy of public investment, as we–the public and government–don’t know the following about the proposal:

1. There is no comprehensive, independent cost-benefit analysis by which legislators can base their decision.

2. There is no General Project Plan (GPP), so we don’t know what the project actually is: How big? How dense? What are its boundaries? What does it look like? What kind of public space? How will infrastructure be dealt with?

3. There is no Environmental Impact Statement so we don’t know the impacts the project would have on our communities or if those impacts would be mitigated (or what the cost of mitigation would be).

4. There is no known cost for “extraordinary infrastructure” for which the state and city will be asked to pay according to the Memorandum of Understanding between FCR, NY city and state.

5. There is no 20-year pro forma financial projection from the developer as required in the MTA’s May 2005 Request for Proposal for Vanderbilt Yards. The Yards are about 35% of the land FCR wants for its project.

Additionally our communities and city council are left out of the process that would decide Brooklyn’s future.

Therefore, we respectfully ask that you and your colleagues reject Forest City Ratner’s request for $100 million until the legislature has full disclosure and documentation of all of the above; only then can it make a reasoned decision whether or not the project is worthy of our public investment.

Thank you very much for your time.
Eric Reschke
President, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn

Governor Pataki
All Assembly Members
All Senators Comptroller Alan Hevesi
New York Times Editorial Board


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