Click for a PDF of this
letter and attached files.
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
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
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.
President, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn
All Assembly Members
All Senators Comptroller Alan Hevesi
New York Times Editorial Board