State Legislators and Governor Grant
$100 Million for Ratner Proposal
Release Main Page
Release: April 12, 2006
"Atlantic Yards" Developer Receives Subsidy
While Project Remains a Financial, Planning and Environmental Mystery
ALBANY, NY - State legislators in the Senate and Assembly, and Governor
Pataki have proposed to grant $100 million for Forest City Ratner's "Atlantic
Yards" development proposal in Brooklyn.
Developer Forest City Ratner (FCR) requested $100 million for its 17 tower
and arena proposal. Last week the Assembly appropriated $33 million, and
reports today say that the Senate has appropriated $33 million and that
the Governor will add $34 million.
Develop Don't Destroy spokesman Daniel Goldstein said, "It appears that
Albany has put a mystery development proposal and potential white elephant
in the state budget. 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 measures–to
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
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."
The lone Senate vote against the $33 million appropriation came from Senator
Velmanette Montgomery who represents the district where the development
plan has been proposed.
"We want an explanation about this thoughtless
and reckless giveaway from Assemblyman
Green, his colleagues in both houses, Mr. Silver, as well as Mr. Bruno
and Governor Pataki," Goldstein added.
The Daily News report on the budget item has this comment from Brooklyn
state Senator Martin Golden (R-Bay Ridge): "I support it because of economic
development," said. In a DDDB meeting with Senator Golden last year the
Senator stated that he supported "Atlantic Yards" but would never want to
see it in his district or neighborhood.
DDDB sent a letter earlier this week to Governor Pataki, Speaker Silver,
and Majority Leader Bruno explaining to them why their appropriation for
Forest City Ratner's proposal is premature and irresponsible and at this
early stage relinquishes any leverage the state legislature would have over
the proposed development plan. That letter
can be found here.
The state has granted 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.).