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Release: June 28, 2005
Bloomberg's PR Tactics Mislead on
Ratner's So-called "Community" Benefits Agreement
Ratner's 20-year History of Broken Promises Show Bad Faith
BROOKLYN, NY–On Monday the Mayor's office
released a press statement headlined, "Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,
Forest City Ratner CEO and President Bruce Ratner and Civic Leaders Sign
Community Benefits Agreement." Some press accounts had visuals showing
the Mayor signing a document. The Mayor, as well as the City, are not signatories
to this agreement. The agreement is between a smattering of 8 groups and
Forest City Ratner (FCR). None of those 8 groups represent the areas that
would be directly impacted by FCR's proposal.
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) spokesman Daniel Goldstein said, "Bruce
Ratner's firm, for the past 20 years, has left a trail of broken promises
through the Borough of Brooklyn. The so-called ‘CBA' announced yesterday
leaves room for FCR to continue breaking promises, as the penalties will
simply be the cost of doing business."
Goldstein continued, "The Mayor's little PR dance is dangerously misleading.
It pretends that this document has accountability to the City and the Administration.
It has no such accountability. The only accountability is between Ratner's
corporation and 8 groups that, overall, do not represent the wide spectrum
of community groups* surrounding, and in, the proposed development site."
Further misleading statements appeared in the Mayor's press release, including
the claim that the FCR proposal "will create 8,500 permanent new jobs,
4,500 mixed-income apartments…" FCR themselves only claim 6,000 jobs
and have admitted at a City Council hearing that they cannot guarantee that
any new permanent jobs would be created or that local residents would get
the jobs. FCR said at the same Council hearing that they now plan on building
6,000 or even 7,300 housing units, with no commitment to make those additional
units affordable. This would reduce the percentage of so-called affordable
units to a mere 18 percent.
* Click for a list of
Organizations that are Opposed to or Deeply Concerned about the proposed
Forest City Ratner Nets Arena, 19-highrise Proposal for Brooklyn.