Development Survey of Prospect Heights
Report and Analysis of Prospect Heights Development Survey
Undertaken by The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council
and The Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development:
by the National Taxpayers Union at the May 4th
City Council Hearings.
NY Daily News Sports Columnist, Mike Lupica, Tears
Apart the Ratner Proposal
lot on his mind: NJ honcho takes aim at Nets, Jets and mayor
over arena controversies
July 11, 2004 The
New York Daily News
Interview with George Zoffinger, president of the New Jersey
Sports and Exposition Authority, who has led the state in
resisting demands from team owners to subsidize arena contracts
with taxpayer money: "Brooklyn is not a deal about the Nets.
It's a real-estate transaction."
foes smell a Ratner
26, 2004 The New York Daily News
"A huge real-estate deal, riding into Brooklyn behind a Jason Kidd-led
fast break, right through neighborhoods we are supposed to hand
over to a developer like Ratner."
Mike Lupica does his take on the economic analysis of Ratner's
plan and warns tickets buyers that Ratner "didn't want the
Nets because he loves basketball. What Ratner is trying to
do is pull off one of the sweetheart real-estate deals in
the history of this city. To do it, he needed a sports team.
We have gone over this before. The Nets were handy."
Price of Ratner's Hoopla: Brooklyn Stadium Would be a Money
Loser for NYC
June, 2004 The
"The much-anticipated report on the financial feasibility of the
proposed Atlantic Yards project was released on May 1, 2004, and
the message was not only stark, but considering the fact that the
study was commissioned by Ratner & Co., rather startling: THE PROPOSED
BROOKLYN BASKETBALL STADIUM IS NOT A GOOD INVESTMENT FOR THE CITY
AND STATE OF NEW YORK."
How is this possible? This article reviews some startling finds
in Andrew Zimbalist's report.
New Brooklyn Arena is a 'Nets' Loss for City
25, 2004 Newsday
"If the arena is a dog and the housing a winner, why not ditch
the hoops and carpet the rail yards with apartment buildings?"
Neil de Mause, co-author of "Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium
Swindle Turns Public Money into Profit," examines the absurd details
of the report released by Ratner's own "hand-picked economic consultant"
and explains how the purchase of the Nets figures into Ratner's
plan to bolster his "faltering retail empire."
Council fouls out: Community residents not allowed to speak
until press and most officials leave hearing
8, 2004 The Brooklyn Papers
After battling to have their voices heard in an official public
forum, community members were left fuming this week when a City
Council hearing on the Atlantic Yards arena proposal left them waiting
nearly five hours to testify.
ESPN Page 2: Should We the People Ever Build a Stadium for these
December 29, 2003 ESPN.com
What usually happens is a couple of rich guys make a pile of money
for themselves by selling naming rights to the arena to a corporation
that leaves out the name of the city completely. They then sell
the team, or raise ticket prices, or ask for more tax money. There
are never more jobs, there's not much growth outside the stadium
(really, who wants to live near a stadium parking lot?), and there
are awful traffic jams. Just ask the people of Milwaukee, Cincinnati
or Houston what a boon their new parks have been.
Arena costs us 100s of millions. Ratner exec says taxpayers
22, 2004 The Brooklyn Papers
Pressed by Manhattan Councilwoman Christine Quinn at the May 5
hearing about how much public money would be needed to build Atlantic
Yards, Forest City Ratner Vice President James Stuckey was evasive,
first saying only that it would be less than $1 billion and more
than $10 million.
A NEW GROWTH WAR
May 24, 2004 New
New Yorkers are beginning to understand this concept of economic
infertility - and no neighborhood wants it in their backyard. It's
a new, beneficent form of NIMBY: "No economic infertility in my
Letter to Ratner - May 2004
May, 2004 The
And since, Mr. Ratner, it is clear that you are not very responsive
to arguments about community values, I hope that this discussion
about financial values has at least made you question whether you
and your shareholders really want to invest here in Brooklyn.
Taxpayers will lose on new sports arenas
March 30, 2004 Newsday
This comes on the heels of another proposal recently floated to
build a new arena in Brooklyn so the Nets could leave the Meadowlands
as well. If these sports dreams become reality, is New York the
economic and political winner, and New Jersey the loser? Hardly.
Nets of Plenty: Bruce Ratner wants to turn public funds into
private equity with a little help from his friends.
10, 2004 New York Press
"By leveraging hype over the New Jersey Nets, Ratner wants to use
millions in public funds in a clever, pay-us-later bid to execute
an unprecedented land grab." The best article yet on the shady finances
of this deal.
The Nets Arena Is Not The Real Issue In Development Of Downtown
2004 Gotham Gazette
Should downtown Brooklyn get a 19,000 seat basketball arena designed
by world famous architect Frank Gehry? Developer Bruce Ratner, who
proposes to build the arena for the Nets, a team he hopes to own,
seems to want everyone to believe this is the question Brooklynites
and their elected officials have to answer. Ratner is a principal
in Forest City Ratner, downtown Brooklyn's biggest office developer.
Forest City built the Metrotech complex in the 1980s and most recently
the Atlantic Center Mall.
Ratner Rules: Brooklyn Nets Plan Spares Developer Shaya Boymelgreen's
April 5, 2004 The
The proposed site plan for Bruce Ratner's central Brooklyn development
looks like a saber, with the Nets' basketball arena near the point,
where Atlantic and Flatbush avenues intersect. The blade extends
two blocks wide and half a mile long to the southwest, much of it
made up of office and residential towers. But the sharp edge of
the knife has a notch in it, a five-acre parcel that won't be touched.
Protesters need to adjust focus
Ed Weintrob May
22, 2004 The Brooklyn Papers
The soulless utopia Bruce Ratner would impose won't please and
won't generate a widening swath of prosperity. For evidence, consider
Metrotech and its immediate environs; compare that massively subsidized
dead zone in our midst to what has happened throughout such Brownstone
Brooklyn neighborhoods as Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens, just
slightly removed from that "urban campus".
Ratner's Brooklyn Nets Blinding the Community?
8, 2004 NYCBasketball.com
The major problem with this half-baked rally is that the kids were
used again and anyone that had anything to do with that rally MUST
be ashamed of themselves. This is worse than the way the sneaker
companies use the kids. Those who supported this rally and anyone
who posted this rally on websites should send a written apology
to each and every one of those kids and their parents, NOW!!
On Dean St., Ratner a rat
26, 2004 New York Daily News
"This isn't about a basketball team replacing the Dodgers all this
time later. This isn't about the Nets being some sort of link to
playground basketball. Give me a break. This is about political
cronyism, developer greed, and what we believe is unconstitutional
action against taxpayers."
Brooklyn Papers: Brooklyn's identity safe without the 'Jersey
31, 2004 Brooklyn Papers
We're getting a basketball team we never asked for to replace a
baseball team most of us don't remember - and that's supposed to
restore an identity we already havet ask the people of Milwaukee,
Cincinnati or Houston what a boon their new parks have been.
'Net' Effect: Ratner Scores Big With Our Dough
27, 2004 Newsday
Money is the last thing developer Ratner likes to talk about. In
public he's preferred to wax rhapsodic about future hoops glory,
while claiming his arena would be "almost entirely privately financed."
Perhaps "almost" has a different meaning to real-estate moguls,
though, because, according to published reports, Ratner's arena
scheme for the junction of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues would be
awash in taxpayer money: an estimated $150 million in city cash
to relocate the existing LIRR tracks; the donation of air rights
over the MTA's rail yards that might be worth as much as half a
billion dollars (money that could otherwise go to holding down bus
and subway fares); plus $435 million in tax increment financing
to pay for the arena's construction.
'Ratner Opens Pandora's Box...Can He Deal With What's Inside?
17, 2004 Hoopsworld.com
And while I have not actually stepped foot in this neighborhood,
I have had the honor of these eight people sharing a piece of their
life with me, both in pictures and in words that invoke mental pictures.
28, 2004 New York Post
A new analysis of Downtown Brooklyn's traffic shows the borough's
major construction proposals - which include office complexes, warehouse-type
stores, shopping centers, a hotel expansion, a movie studio and
a new arena for the NBA Nets - would add more than 174,000 cars
daily to already overcrowded streets.
"We already have gridlock, but the cumulative result of all these
projects will be double- and triple-gridlock," said Brian Ketcham,
an engineer with Community Consulting Services, which analyzes traffic
and transit impacts.
Arena concerns hit home - Net effect of housing will be road
woes, say foes
29, 2004 New York Daily News
Crowded intersection of Flatbush, Atlantic and Fourth Aves. will
see 9,000 more cars and 40,000 more transit users per day if the
Atlantic Yards project goes through.
No Respect For Downtown Brooklyn Residents
2004 Our Time Press
Even if the project had been perfect, and improved the community
in every way, Bruce Ratner and the politicians owed these residents
the respect of consulting with them through the officials who represent
them. Ratner would never dare to pull a stunt like this in the communities
where Gifford Miller, or Mike Bloomberg have their homes. It just
wouldn't happen, and it shouldn't be happening in downtown Brooklyn.
This Borough President wasn't elected because of substance. He
was elected because he is a great entertainer.
Ratner in search of terra firma
28, 2004 Newark Star-Ledger
There is a revolt today in this country against entrepreneurs sacking
the public treasury for sports arenas and then eventually leaving
them behind for a new aggression elsewhere.
Arena: Not a Done Deal 'Til People Sing
2004 Our Time Press
"The politicians team up with wealthy businessmen on projects that
are sold to the public as engines for economic development", said
former Yankee pitcher and author Jim Bouton. Bouton was speaking
in the back of Freddy's, a prohibition-era bar on Dean Street....
"But all economic studies have shown that this is not true and in
fact, jobs are lost and replaced with jobs at a lower level. The
real jobs go to the players and the owners. But the arena overall
has a negative impact on the community.BROOKLYN
February 8, 2004 New
MAGICIANS know that the best way to fool an audi ence is to get
them looking in one direction while you do your real business elsewhere.
The same holds true for the conjuring trick that mega-developer
Bruce Ratner is trying to play on New York City.
A City With Five Sports Arenas?
January 25, 2004 Newsday
But last week critics and independent analysts questioned whether
the city and state can afford to support such projects at a time
when they are struggling to balance their books. The state is facing
a $5.1-billion deficit, while the city's budget gap is $1.8 billion.
"It's not realistic at all," said E.J. McMann, a senior fellow with
the Manhattan Institute, a public policy think tank. "It's politicians
spending other people's money to bask in the glow of sports team."
Putting up a fight: Jim Bouton warns Brooklyn not to build arena
with taxpayers' money
January 17, 2004 Daily
Bouton reminded those in the crowd - most of whom vehemently oppose
real estate magnate Bruce Ratner's plans to build a Frank Gehry-designed
Brooklyn arena for the New Jersey Nets - that $16 billion has been
spent in the last 20 years on new sports facilities across America,
mostly tax dollars that he says could have been put to to better
60 Minutes: Eminent Domain
December 23, 2003
"It is fundamentally wrong, and contrary to the Constitution for
the government to take property from one private owner, and hand
it over to another private owner, just because the government thinks
that person is going to make more productive use of the land," says
"Everyone knows that property can be taken for a road. But nobody
thinks that property can be taken to give it to their neighbor or
the large business down the street for their economic benefit,"
adds Berliner. "People are shocked when they hear that this is going
on around the country."
A Better Idea...
2004 The Brookyn Rail
Can someone explain to me how buying the New Jersey Nets automatically
gives Bruce Ratner purchase on the future of downtown Brooklyn?
This is decidedly not what democracy looks like.
Time$cam: With government help, the New York Times moves in
on Times Square businesses.
29, 2002 National Review Online
The U.S. and state constitutions allow officials to take private
property for public purposes, provided the owners receive "just
compensation." This traditionally meant that if private property
obstructed a highway, military base or other government project,
its owner could be bought out for the public's benefit. The Founding
Fathers never envisioned government abusing this authority to transfer
one owner's hard-earned land to the private portfolio of another.
Ratner, BP Say Thanks, But No Thanks To Barron`s East New York
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Barron (D-East New York) who recently announced his candidacy for
mayor, and an outspoken critic of the downtown arena plan, challenged
developer and NBA Nets franchise team owner Bruce Ratner to consider
East New York as a possible home for the arena during a public forum
last week sponsored by opponents of the arena.
2004 New York Sports Express
The article paints a rosy picture of Ratner-he didn't really
want to own an NBA team, you see, he wanted to help the community.
During his "I bought the Nets celebration," Ratner was quoted
as saying "This is not only about basketball. It's about a
vision, about housing, about jobs, and an urban landscape
we can all be proud of." The article ended by dismissively
noting the presence of a cluster of protesters who demanded
Ratner "abandon his dream."