Release Main Page
Release: July 26, 2005
The Developer Has No Clothes
Ratner Rejection of Extell Arena Compromise Exposes Ratner
Plan for What It Is:
An Arena as a Front for a Massive Land Grab
NEW YORK, NY -- The NY Times (http://tinyurl.com/8r2wt)
is reporting today that:
"The real estate investment
group [Extell Development Company] battling with the developer
Bruce Ratner for control of the Atlantic rail-yard near Downtown
Brooklyn offered a compromise yesterday that it said would allow
both parties to declare victory: The group would incorporate
Mr. Ratner's plan to build a glass-walled basketball arena for
the Nets into its project."
"...Mr. Barnett [Extell
CEO] said yesterday that if he won [the MTA bid], his company
would resell a portion of the development rights for no additional
cost to Mr. Ratner so that he could build the basketball arena,
now expected to cost more than $500 million."
Mr. Ratner immediately rejected the compromise offer.
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn spokesperson Daniel Goldstein
said, "With Mr. Ratner's swift rejection of the Extell compromise,
the developer has shown that he is much more interested in the
enormous profits his land grab would bring to his firm, and
not interested in bringing pro sports to Brooklyn or compromising
with the community. Clearly if pro sports does not return to
Brooklyn, it will be Mr. Ratner's inflexibility that will be
Goldstein continued, "Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn remains
opposed to eminent domain for a sports arena or any private
development. However, we appreciate that Mr. Barnett, of Extell,
is interested in opening a dialogue, and accommodating those
politicians, and some Brooklynites, who are nostalgic to bring
pro sports back to Brooklyn, and the majority of the community
that wants to see sustainable, in-scale development. We are
also pleased to see that if there is an arena proposal, it would
go through the city's land use review oversight process known
as ULURP, instead of bypassing it as Ratner has chosen to do."
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn has always said that it is interested
in an open dialogue, and it believes a discussion about viable
options for an arena in Brooklyn can finally begin.
Goldstein concluded, "We need Mr. Ratner to tell the truth.
Thus far his track record doesn't lend us much hope for that.
The truth is that his arena has always been a front for a land
grab, and his rejection of this compromise offer proves that.
Development needs to be about what is best for the community,
not what is best for Bruce."
With this new compromise offer on the table, along with the two proposals
offered by Extell and Forest City Ratner ($150 million in cash from Extell,
versus $50 million in cash from Ratner), it is ever more necessary for the
MTA Board to deliberate further and fairly, and hold their vote in September,
not Wednesday–only two days after seeing the bids for the first time.
DONíT DESTROY BROOKLYN
leads a broad-based community coalition
fighting for development that will unite our communities instead of dividing
and destroying them.
We oppose Forest City Ratner's "Atlantic Yards" proposal in Prospect Heights,
Over 5,000 members.