Post is reporting that the Bloomberg administration is demanding that
the special Ratner
Clause for Atlantic Yards be removed from the 421-a reform bill. (The city
has said that the special clause would cost the city at least $300 million in
lost tax revenue.) The demand comes with the threat of pulling over $100 million
in city subsidies for Forest City Ratner's project.
In the article an anonymous city official expresses his/her disdain for the giveaway
to Ratner and an anonymous Ratner official fights back by making the point that Forest City Ratner, apparently, will not build "middle-income housing" unless
they are given a special carve-out that no other developer in the city can get:
Plan Hits Big $nag
An aside: We're not sure where that last line about "the area needing the
infrastructure repairs anyway" comes from. The purported necessity of the
" infrastructure repairs" (aka "extraordinary
infrastructure costs", aka "blank check") are due entirely to the
proposed Atlantic Yards project
Tax Deal Irks City
The Bloomberg administration is threatening to pull more than $100
million in city subsidies from the controversial Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn
unless a deal providing massive tax breaks for developer Bruce Ratner is drastically
"Pure and simple, it's a giveaway," a high-ranking
city official told The Post.
At issue is an affordable-housing reform bill hastily passed by the state Legislature that included a special "carve-out" for Atlantic Yards.
The provision, quietly inserted by Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn),
would provide Ratner with an extra $300 million in property-tax benefits.
Another provision eliminates - for Ratner only - the requirement that at least 20 percent of the housing units in each building in a complex be affordable.
Critics say it opens the door to Ratner "segregating" all of the project's 2,500 affordable-housing units into several buildings.
"More sinister, [Ratner] can build the market-rate housing
first and wait a decade to do the affordable housing or, even worse, come
back after the market-rate housing is done and then say, 'We can't
afford to do the affordable housing,' " an official said.
One high-ranking official at Ratner's company said, "Rather
than working with Albany to create more affordable housing for New York, the
Bloomberg administration is threatening to kill middle-income housing at Atlantic
Yards unless they get what they want."
The city committed $205 million to Atlantic Yards to help Ratner acquire
property and make infrastructure repairs. It might not hold back all the funds
because the area needs the infrastructure repairs anyway.