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BROOKLYN     Press Release Main Page

For Immediate Release: March 19, 2007

In Buying Albany’s Approval and the City’s Acquiescence
Bruce Ratner Was Number 3 Lobbying Spender During 2006

“Atlantic Yards” Developer Spent $2.11 Million on Lobbying
Without Spending a Single Cent on Acquiring Vanderbilt Rail Yards

BROOKLYN, NY—It was reported today that Bruce Ratner’s firm Forest City Ratner was the number three lobbying spender in NY State during 2006, spending $2.11 million to push forward his $4 billion “Atlantic Yards” proposal. The development firm trailed only the healthcare industry and Verizon. Forest City Ratner paid the largest single lobbying contract in 2006, $656,520, to Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.

Meanwhile it was recently revealed that New York City taxpayers will contribute $100 million in cash for Forest City Ratner’s “Atlantic Yards” related “land acquisition.” Since, in 2005, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) agreed to sell Ratner the rights to the 8.5-acre Vanderbilt Railyards for $100 million it has become clear that the City’s taxpayers are paying for the railyards so Ratner can get the yards for free.

“Forest City Ratner had $2.11 million to lobby Albany on ‘Atlantic Yards’ but will not spend a single penny to purchase the rail yards which comprise over one-third of the development site Bruce Ratner desires. Instead NYC taxpayers will pay to buy the yards for Ratner. It's an exquisite shell game,” said Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn spokesperson Daniel Goldstein. “Ratner has also left NYC taxpayers holding the entire bag when it comes to the so-called ‘extraordinary infrastructure costs’–or blank check–necessitated by his development experiment in extreme density founded upon eminent domain abuse. The taxpayers are being forced to pay Ratner’s bills without any say in the matter.”

Forest City Ratner employed eight different lobbying firms in an Albany climate that is sure to change under Governor Spitzer’s reforms.

The NY State Lobbying report is available here:

DEVELOP DON’T DESTROY BROOKLYN leads a broad-based community coalition
fighting for development that will unite our communities instead of dividing and destroying them