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Develop-
don't destroy

BROOKLYN     Press Release Main Page


For Immediate Release: March 30, 2006

State Legislators Bury $33 Million for Ratner Arena in Education Fund
"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 deal."

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.



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