State Legislators Bury $33 Million for
Ratner Arena in Education Fund
Release Main Page
Release: March 30, 2006
"Atlantic Yards" Developer, Seeking $100 Million, Receives Subsidy
While Proposal Remains a Financial, Planning and Environmental Mystery
ALBANY, NY–As a sign that political support
for its proposal is waning, State legislators have proposed to grant $33
million for Forest City Ratner's "Atlantic Yards" development
proposal in Brooklyn. Ratner had requested $100 million.
Developer Forest City Ratner (FCR) requested $100 million for its 16 tower
and arena proposal, but both houses have granted and buried
$33 million of it in the proposed budget in an amendment to the Education,
Labor and Family Assistance Budget. The budget item is lined "Atlantic
Yards Railway-Nets project."
Develop Don't Destroy spokesman Daniel Goldstein said, "It appears that
Albany has put a basketball arena in the education budget. To make matters
worse, this giveaway has been made without
any knowledge of the proposed development’s: cost-benefit analysis,
scale, density, design, environmental impact, cost of mitigation, financial
viability, and security measuresto
name just a few of the unknowns about the development plan.
Goldstein continued, "Granting a single cent to Ratner at this point is
grossly premature. We'd like to know what other backroom politics were
at play 150 miles from the people of Brooklyn who would have a front row
seat to Ratner's destructive, publicly-subsidized, sweetheart, backroom
Brooklyn assembly members, such as Roger Green who represents the district
where the development is proposed and is an avid Ratner booster, lost
their one chance at using the Ratner request for $100 million as legislative
leverage to gain any meaningful concessions or mitigations from the developer.
In November, Mr.
Green said, “"I didn't sign the C.B.A. and that was intentional, because
my position was that my ultimate endorsement on behalf of this project
would be the state legislation, the legislation that would authorize the
resources that they would need to complete this project."
"We want an explanation about this giveaway from Assemblyman
Green and his colleagues, and we want it before this budget item is
voted on," Goldstein concluded.
The state has proposed this giveaway despite the fact that Forest City
Ratner has only provided this indecipherable, meaningless
20-year profit/loss financial projection to Albany and the MTA (a
real 20-year projection was required in the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority's Request For Proposals for Vanderbilt rail yards.).
Reports say the body will vote on the budget package on Friday.