ESDC Forced to Cough Up Financial Docs on AY

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After dragging its feet for two years, the Empire State Development Corporation signalled yesterday that it would finally release documents containing financial information about the Atlantic Yards project. After the ESDC fought a freedom of information reques last year, Assemblyman James Brennan teamed up with state Senator Velmanette Montgomery on Monday to file a lawsuit against the ESDC for improperly withholding the financial documents. One reason opponents of the project are so curious to see the documents is to get a better view into how profitable the project is expected to be for Bruce Ratner, hoping that big numbers would undermine his argument for needing to make the site so dense. The craving for transparency is due in part to the fact that the project gets to by-pass the city’s land-review process because so much of the land is state-owned.
Lawmakers Push for the Release of AY Financial Documents [NY Sun]
Photo by nautical2k

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  • I think what’s going to happen here is that we will see a big number but no one will acknowledge or understand the risk associated with achieving that number.

  • I predict this will be yet another case where AY opponents cite something as a crucial breakthrough, but which ultimately does nothing to block or reduce the size of the project. “False alarm” anyone?

  • I think a lot more people than you think will understand the risk in that big number, particularly when most of the equity to do the transaction came from contributions from the State and City directly, and from the MTA indirectly.

    Forget about the big number that they will make (I’d estimate it at around a billion dollars), what is their real return on investment when they have been given atleast $300 million dollars up front from various city and state agencies to do the deal? Even if they end up spending $50 or a $100 million of their own equity outside of financing, at the end of the day, they will make 1000% to 2000% ROI from what they actually invested.

  • I may be missing something here but why should the city and state put up all the money and Ratner’s private company make the profit? And, if I understand, because the source of that money is risky, he should make an outrageous profit. Sounds like a good business to be in.

  • Anon at 10:06 — you’re not missing anything, you’re just not calling it what it is — corrupt.

  • Shahn, I couldn’t agree more. Why don’t we get together to discuss things more fully? Please email me (XOTigre@yahoo.com). I’d love to get together this weekend.

  • access to the finances of Evil Empire? they’re probably scouring and whitewashing the documents as we blog.

  • When it comes to big developments like this, there are always shady deals and ulterior motives. It’s the nature of the business.

    By asking to see certain financial documents, it’s akin to asking to see how the sausage is made. And that may not be so appetizing to the public’s eyes. If we actually see what goes on we may utimately not want to eat this sausage.

    It’s like the baseball stadium deals for the Yankees and the Mets. There may not be an absolute need for these new stadiums (why not just re-furbish existing infrstructures?), but developers and owners (as well other business and political concerns) make so much money from the process, they create the need with successful lobbying efforts.

    I’m not against development, and I think the AY is inevitable (there is the money and the political will). However, I’m glad to see there is some resistance to this project because it forces the business and political interests to at least make an effort (or appear to make an effort) to work for the public good.

    Ultimately we all want something that will benefit the city and its people for the long term, and not just the short term interests and profit of a few influential business and political persons.

    I applaud the efforts of those opposing the AY, and I believe that though they will not succeed to stop the project, their efforts will succeed in making this project better for the rest of us.

  • to be fair, we are all buy property as an investment – shahn andersen included – and i don’t think anyone is going to srutinize his ROI on Broken Angel – it is fair to say Ratner has been given outsized subsidies but lets not forget that he is also taking outsized risks – risks unimaginable to the average brooklyn homeowner…like buying an NBA basketball team, for instance.

  • 10:06 —

    Why do you think people have been screaming bloody murder all this time?

  • The difference with organic local development and evil back door development deals like the Atlantic Yards is that small developers like me do not borrow hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers with little return to them for their investment, steal property from its righful owners by way of eminent domain, and then thumb our noses at the public when they want to make any reasonable input on how their money is going to be spent.

    I don’t think a 1000% – 2000% return on an investment made with money from political and college buddies in an outsized risk at all.

  • I fail to see how buying a sports team constitutes some kind of exciting and excusible risk factor. No one made him do it, and it certainly is not a necessity for either Ratner’s business or personal life. It’s a vanity toy, the kind of ego trophy only the big players can have. Why should we, the public, subsidize it?

  • I think Shahn Andersen took more of an outsized risk partnering with Arthur Wood to make condos out of Broken Angel than Bruce Ratner did partnering with George Pataki to make a stadium and condos.

  • shahn – you’re just being cycnical and emotional here…and angry…why? the real estate market in the area is trading at historical highs…the market is telling Ratner and NYC that AY is OK with them…if the market thought it was going to be a total POS they would be selling in droves not buying. CHP – it was part of the deal – Ratner was “bringing a team back to Brooklyn.” All part of the plan to get this thing through the various levels of gov’t…the public subsidizes real estate deals every day, this is just another…bigger, yes.

  • With the substantial subsidies for this project (read OUR tax dollars), and the liberal use of eminent domain for a private commercial enterprise, every part of this process should be transparent. The timing of this info release can’t help but engender cynicism.

  • I’m not angry, I’m afraid. All home owners should be afraid of the abuse of eminent domain, which Forest City Ratner has used as leverage to bully this project forward.

    The plan to bring a team back to Brooklyn wasn’t to get the deal through the government as much as it was to dupe the public into thinking they were getting some sort of benefit.

  • kudos to Brennan and Montgomery for forcing the release of this information. Would that all our public officials were so diligent.

  • i agree entirely with you on the use of eminent domain in this case…scary, for sure – hopefully the judicial system will render a fair opinion – no cynical comments, please – i also agree that the use of sports teams as tools of “community pride” is crap – any economist will tell you that sports teams bring absolutely zero net dollars into a community.

  • 10:53

    I understand your point, but I respectfully disagree. The secrecy leads one to believe that that Ratner has his own interests in mind. It seems more likely he wants to develop a project that will give him huge profits and continue to make him money after all is said and done. That’s fine to make money. But when it’s a huge project that will affect hundreds thousands of existing residents, where tax money is involved, and the very structure of Brooklyn will be shaped, then the public has a right to have a say. And the fact that the project is far from transparent is suspicious at the very least.

    Somehow, I’m not worried for Ratner (he may be risking a billion, but I’m sure he has another billion in his back pocket). I’m more concerned for Brooklyn and its residents.

  • Nope, sorry Brownstone Dreamin, that doesn’t wash. Shahn is right, the team/stadium is a marketing tool. The money end of the deal is all the rest of the complex. If FCR wanted to build a stadium and bring a team here, for the honor and glory of Brooklyn, his own ego, to close the gaping wound left when the Dodgers blew town, whatever spin you want to put on it, there is certainly enough room in the yards and the property he bought, for that to be done. Done without eminant domain, back deal shenanigans (well, not too many)or much of the end run around the legal process. This is not about a stadium or a basketball team.

  • i agree it should be done WITHOUT eminent domain…i hope the judicial system in place works and we are given a clear and lucid reasoning for or against eminent domain in this particular instance…my suspicion is that, irrespective of the decision, Ratner has a contingency plan in place, anyway.

  • For some strange reson I dont think the truth will surface These guys are too sneaky and it took them 2yrs to hide the numbers properly. The truth will surface in 12 yrs when it’s too late.

  • Eminent Domain is not “stealing” – it is a process outlined in the Constitution and requires just compensation (and given the expense in doing it actually results in excessive compensation)

    What ROI will be considered acceptable to AY-opponents – please provide a specific number

    And Shahn on what basis can you possible say that “most of the equity is coming from the City and State”?

    BTW Shahn are you going to be getting 421(a) tax breaks on your new condo development

  • Enter the Rat ners.

    I bet you’d call it stealing if it was your home.

  • No I’d call it the quickest doubling of my money (actually in terms of ROI more likely = 500%) in the history of Real Estate and walk away a happy and rich man.

  • and while the “history of real estate” continues to take it’s course your future kin would call you a stupid sell out.

  • Shahn, will you please email Ed so he’ll stfu.

  • I wouldn’t call it stealing if it was my home, especially if I had sold to Ratner for double the value on a condo I’d purchased only a few months earlier.

    Give it up. Drama has failed you guys from the start and is not going to work at this late stage of the game.

  • Gee, so sorrie, 12:05, that I tipe much faster than I spelle. If I offend you that muche, I’ll juste impail myself on my keybord, in abject apologie. My imperfection in the fase of yor perfectshun is more than I can bare.

  • 12:57 iz me, ov corse.

  • So, David, in your opinion, the use of eminent domain is justifiable whenever anyone wants to build densely? Because you’ve made a very strong case on another thread that we should build high rises in the places where people want to live. Seems to me that in order to satisfy the demand, the State should be seizing property all over the place and delivering it into the hands of developers who are going to build big.

    It does get a bit confusing when you have to justify the “blight” designation. After all, it’s hard to argue that an area is “blighted” when so many people are so desperate pay big bucks to live there. But I’m sure you’ll figure a way to argue around that.

  • “Eminent Domain is not “stealing” – it is a process outlined in the Constitution and requires just compensation “- yes David, but that’s not the enitre story. eminent domain was also defined so as to limit its use to specific areas. using eminent domain for private developers like ratner was never the intent. Not only is the use of ED for Ratner’s project illegal if you go by the constitutional intent, but the end use will not be for the general public, but only for who can afford to pay Ratner for its use. A public road is for everyone. A bridge is for everyone. the Nets are for those who pay for the tickets, and the profit goes to Ratner, not the general public or the public project. So if using ed for private development is illegal, then “stealing” is the proper definition.

    Public good has been increasingly broadly defined by those greedy for money, and power, and who seem to be increasingly smug in the idea that the public is so stupid it doesn’t doesn’t know when its being screwed. I would never underestimate the public, if i were them.

  • 12:47 – Actually since I have to live somewhere, I would either take my windfall profits and immediatly buy an even bigger and better home somewhere else – thereby locking in even more future gains (if RE continues up)for my fickle future kin,

    or

    I’d immediatly take 1/2 the money and buy a comperable property to what I just sold and take the other 1/2 and diversify my investments teaching my fickle future kin that diversification is actually the key to sound investing.

    Either way I am far, far ahead then if Ratner hadnt come my way and bought out (at far abouve mkt prices) my poorly made (by virtually all accounts) new condo next to an empty rail yard, empty lots, a uhaul facility and some crappy auto repair shops.

  • You my friend are a mole

  • Both U-Haul and those “crappy” auto repair shops not only provide needed services, but also jobs. How nice eminent domain can be put to work for you by screwing a whole lot of other people, including the taxpayers who can watch their money fill your- and Ratner’s- coffers.

  • SPer & BxBklyn – my opinion is 1000% irrelevant – the Supreme Ct’s opinion is the only relevant opinion and in case after case the Supreme Ct has determined repeatedly that Economic Development is a valid public benefit. Now please dont tell me how this case is so different from the endless precedents espousing this opinion (that will be up to a court to determine) – personally I see this as virtually analogous to Kelo except that w/AY instead of just economic development the public gets a new railyard, a mass entertainment venue and the covering of an eyesore. BUT I KNOW you disagree so lets not debate it – the point is – its not stealing – it a legal process (whose validity in this case will be determined by law)

    as to who “profits” from a development – this is just plain silly – do you think no one profits (and there is no politics) when a new school is constructed, or a road is built, or a bridge??? Who do you think “built” the Brooklyn Bridge – Private Contractors many of whom profited handsomly (through regular profits as well as wholesale corruption). What difference would it make if instead of Ratner owning the arena, the city did (like Yankee Stadium) – what difference does it make?

    The only question for ED is if there is a public benefit – our opinions differ, and thats fair – it will be decided by a Court of Law – but please dont call it stealing cause you just undercut your own credibility.

  • Ahh the other f’ing retarted retort of the anti-AY crowd – you work for Ratner.
    I am flattered that your only response to my cogent arguments is that I am $ by Ratner – but if Ratner is paying $ for me to waste my time like this then I am a total fool, because I didnt know I could sign up.(should I get paid by the post or the hr????)

    Actually I have sent emails directly to Brownstoner (other tips) and I also have an IP address both of which should tell Brownstoner that I am not working at FCR. So try instead to actually refute what I say with something other then ridiculous claims, over the top hyperbole or outright lies.

  • Ok Mole got it…. Can you ask Ratner one more question? what are his feelings on the word “seizing” or “snatching”?

  • David- considering that supreme Court justices are just as prone to outside pressures (althought they’ll tell you they are not) as any politician, a look at the history of the supreme Court will prove to you that even the intent of the original constitution can be corrupted and subverted. Do I think money plays a huge part in this? Yes. Political friendships? Yes again. The Supreme Court is about interpreting the constitution and I believe that those interpretations are based more on politics, money and friends, than on pure constitutional law. And it also seems to determine the definition of “public good.” The Nets a public good? Well then by all means let give all sports teams someone’s house to build on. And by all means let the taxpayers fund it. If its “entertainment” by all means, lets distract the public with entertainment.

    Except, again, there is nothing in the Constitution that even comes close to considering that the AY project is a form of public good that deserves to use eminent domain.

    By the way, contractor and developer are 2 very different people. I never used the word contractor, and it is incorrect anyway in the context of what i was saying.

  • Hi – I am a property owner. I am pleased with Ratner’s plans. I hope this written testimonial is used for the purposes of moving forward with the yards. Thank you.

  • Ok Bx2Bklyn so what difference would it make to homeowners, nearby residents, renters, biz owners etc… if the developer of AY was actually NYC, NYS, the MTA or the PA????

    As for the fact that the SCt is affected by the political process – no kidding! of course it is. Sorry buddy but that is how this democracy works – there isnt a direct election on all political/societial decisions – and the Justices while insulated are of course still subject to politics to some extent (just dont tell this to G.H.W.Bush when discussing his Souter pick). The Consititution was designed to be an interpretive document and so of course it doesnt say explicidly 99% of waht we consider “consitiutional” (like Roe) or “unconsititutional”. That still doesnt mean ED is “stealing”
    And I note that the most vocal dissenters in Kelo (which is not the only case supporting AY BTW) are the justices who are considered most “political” (i.e. adhearing to a strict ideology/political view) – Wasnt it Scalia who recently went on a hunting trip w/ the Vice President. Maybe you dont realize that the Kelo dissenters were Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist and O’Conner?

  • I most certainly do realize. Still doesn’t make it right for someone to take someone else’s property. And once you start down that slippery slope, how long before your neighbor decides he has a right to your house just because he could build a prettier one and we all know that a prettier neighborhood would be more to the public good? should I have to give up my house because you want to put a Mcdonalds there? all your arguments are doing is opening the door to taking away property rights of private citizens. And even more importantly, for not very good reasons. there is no justificatiopn for using eminent domain in the AY project- there is plenty enough space without stealing it (and I use the word intentionally in this case) from other property owners. So unless you are going to come up with a very narrowly defined set of circumstances and protections regarding eminent domain, you may as well just come right out and tell homeowners and businesses that they have no rights at all, especially when a huge private developer decides he wants their property.

  • That was a little too eloquent for an Average Joe. Perfect punctuation? Paragraphs set aside with bullet points? Yeah, I really believe you work down on the docks. The AY public relations machine sleeps on no one!

  • Another thing that sleeps on no one is the arrogance of the anti-AY crowd. Now we have a stipulation that working class people can’t possibly use proper grammar or craft a coherent argument. Typical stuck-up NIMBYs.

  • Moles and Trolls have infiltrated. becareful what you write people.

  • Does FCR have a full time blog troll? You sure keep the conversation lively. When there are MBAs posting on this site who don’t spell and punctuate properly, it makes your “Average Joe” a little suspicious.

  • Average Joe writes:

    “The project is grand, ambitious and will immediately revitalize the depressed area surrounding Atlantic Avenue…”

    If it’s so “depressed”, why are there condos sitting right in the middle of the AY footprint worth millions? That doesn’t make any sense at all. It’s quite obvious that if Ratner hadn’t been properties vacant, they would have been built on long ago. The Brooklyn construction boom is out in force on every possible site that’s anywhere near “hot” neighborhoods. The State of NY had to declare the AY footprint to be “blighted” in order to push forward on eminent domain. Just one of the many lies of AY. How is a place blighted if it ALREADY costs millions to live there?

    Average Joe continues:

    “Brooklynites are very suspicious of all of the “newcomers” who are attempting to define our borough and what is in our best interest. No way in the world are we going to hand over the boroughs future to a bunch of transplant from the Midwest.”

    Ratner is from Ohio. And who do you think is going to live in AY anyway? People from Bensonhurst???

    Average Joe sez:

    “Furthermore, the people who you detest and hate to see on your streets on game day are people like me; regular Joe Shmoes, family men, who work blue collar jobs from nine to five and are just looking for some entertainment and the opportunity to share in some hometown pride with our friends and family.”

    Aw, Average, now I know you’re a complete phony. Because you and I both know that people with the area median income cannot afford NBA tix. That’s why you see so many black folks and families at WNBA games — tix are affordable.

  • the stadium and the phase “Nimby” are smoke screens.

  • I enjoy reading this blog and the different opinions. The AY is a really important matter that deserves our attention, and I’ve expressed my opinion above too. But it’s disconcerting when some commenters turn to personal attacks and insults.

  • Excuse me, but some of us live in Coney Island, and I don’t want this AY monstrosity anywhere near my property. Just about everything I’ve earned in my lifetime is tied up in my home and property. I don’t need AY moving in to sink it.

  • God you are just so hurt by those personal attacks, aren’t you Average Joe / Anon 3:02. I’m not sure how your delicate character can stomach the thought of kicking people out of homes they bought with their own money for a land grab by a private developer other than the fact that you are on his payroll.

  • Oh yeah- you’re some spokesman for Bensonhurst and the pro-AY crowd. Your eloquence simply spoke volumes. NOT.As for your version of Brooklyn pride- what? A new Jersey team bought here and paid for by a midwesterner???? That’s Ratner, av joe- your 4th point is not only a wonder of irrationality, but also schizophrenic.

    You’re no blue collar average Joe- those are hardworking, caring men and women who care about their families first and foremost, not a sports franchise, Frank Gehry or “best positioning ” (and what the hell is that about??). Blue collar, by the way, refers to the shirt associated with certain jobs- it doesn’t mean uneducated or unintelligent. I venture to guess you are no blue-collar worker but actually the “yuppie, uppity, know it all” you claim to despise. My best guess is that you are a Ratner PR flack and not a very capable one at that.

    So if you are so desperate to celebrate Brooklyn Pride maybe you should check out all the stuff Brooklyn does have- the Gardens, the museums, Coney Island, Keyspan Park, etc etc etc. If you think Brooklyn pride is predicated on the Ohio-born Ratner and the New Jersey Nets, I highly doubt you live in Brooklyn at all.

  • 3:21 a lot can happen in 15 years dont give up on coney island. Brooklyn wouldnt be brooklyn if it wasnt for Coney Island.

  • Well it looks like Coney Island is getting an AY of it’s own now anyway. Also, since when are white people deathly scared of Coney?

  • Bx2Bklyn the “slippery slope” argument is the second worst argument (After simply personal slander). EVERYTHING is a slippery slope – for example:
    ‘We shouldnt restrict ED b/c it is a slippery slope – today we make it illegal to build an arena, tomorrow some zealous property owner prevents a necessary scool from being built’ (please dont argue this back to me – it is an EXAMPLE)

    If you want to have some credibility argue why a rebuilt and covered railyard, a large entertainment venue, tons of brand new economic activity and hundreds of units of affordable housing in a mostly vacant or underutilized area are not a public benefit.

  • I’m ready for the prime time debate to be televised. NBC, ABC, PBS, anyone? Let’s put some faces, names and character to the advocates.

    Readers…take notice which ‘targets’ the blood-sucking vampires/nefarious trolls consistently try to defame and diminish. Notice, they never attack the likes of ‘David’ and other pro-AY supporters.

    What is it that these trolls fear? Could it be the creative, out-of-the-box thinker who has heart and isn’t completely driven by or beholden to the almighty dollar?

    Continue the journey of enlightenment! There is more to learn about this project and time alone will reveal all.

  • anon 4:03 PM, may I suggest some pepto bismol, valium, milk of magnesia, or any of the many elixirs available over the counter. Either that, or you probably ought to take up meditation and yoga (deep breathing at a minimum).

  • I don’t argue that it’s not, david. I never did. And if you bother to really remember all the previous discussions, most “anti-AY people have no argument with developing the area- it’s how its done. I’m opting for quality over quantity because you and I both know that sheer quantity does not make for quality. Hope I made that simple enough for you to understand because if you can’t grasp the slippery slope argument I can’t help you. There’s still is a great deal of validity in the argument, and I am quite well aware how it can be used both ways. However a school and an arena are 2 vastly different venues and if a society can’t put a school at a higher priority than an arena, it gets what it deserves.

    (note to 3:51 & 55- thanks, and sadly, 3:55 my life is not so exciting (if you’re judging based on the troll’s posted links.) those aren’t my links, and I don’t bother to click on them after getting tricked when the troll began posting them months ago).

  • You deny it until your little heart’s content, Bx2Bklyn. It sure is funny how the only moniker that ever gets linked to these foul links is yours. It sure is funny how I can go into the archives and find the same stuff many months ago. But whatever. Brooklyn has its share of perverts just like any other place. You’re just one of many, unfortunately.

  • Anon 4:15 PM, we’re trying to keep it that way. Brooklyn is, and has always been, a very special place. Everyone who lives here is aware of its rich possibilities. This blog, amongst others, is representative of that. However, our precious sandbox, is at risk. Not to get carried away with hyperbole, but it’s very difficult to sit by and observe the obfuscation of justice and the democratic process. The more that I witness the Atlantic Yards process, the more cynical I become, and the more I lose faith in the democratic process. And no where is that more evident than in the fact that a certain group of AY supporters took it upon themselves to spit upon the few protesters who showed up to picket the project. And all that they were asking for is just some transparency to the process and for an opportunity for the community to participate within the process. This project has been rotten from the start and it’s legacy will follow close behind it like an ominous shadow.

  • and you’ll notice that the troll has to post using my name but can’t with the typekey icon because I registered.

    But you already knew that since you’re the one doing it.

  • Oh she knows that full well. She’s trying to play dumb. It’s all part of the same old tired routine. She should hire a program planner or something.

  • 4:27- you’re misunderstanding what I said. I said I do not post unless I am signed into typekey. You will always see that icon if the post is really mine. I can’t control someone using my name to post on brownstoner, only the way they do it. If there is no icon after my name, I didn’t post it.

  • Bx thanks for defending PH, but it seems like the Mole and Troll are following you around. Maybe you should change your name or lay low.

  • tried both, and at this point why should I do that? That’s exactly what the troll wants. I can only keep reminding people I don’t post unless I’m signed in.

  • Anon 4:48- Fact: only one person can register as bx2bklyn on typekey. No one else can register as bx2bklyn through typekey. That’s why Mr. B set it up. And on this matter I’m finished.

  • Let’s stay on topic please…

  • Bx2Bklyn – actually when you are talking about building next to the largest hub in NYC – quantity counts for alot – this is a once in at least 150yr opportunity. Every person that is prevented from moving to AY b/c it is scaled down represents – either a person who most likely will be moving into an area further from their work with less mass trasit options (thereby increasing strain on mass transit through longer trips or more pollution through increased car trips) or they represent someone who can’t live/work in NYC which is of course an overall loss for the local economy.

  • brownstoner, why not go ahead and delete posts 4:00 PM, 4:12 PM and, 4:25 PM.

    Those were some of the ones that I submitted that your forgot to delete.

    Come to think of it, I am almost certain that you too are on the FCR payroll….but I can’t blame you…what’s a guy to do…the mortgage has to be paid, the family fed, etc…there’s no telling how hungry a self-employed, freelancer will get.

    why not go ahead and block my ip address too while you’re at it. Believe me, it would free me up to concentrate on more productive endeavors.

    Congrats on the blog; it’s been addictive. But I’ve gone cold-turkey. Every now and then I will experience a relapse…but I’m working consistently towards being ‘brownstoner free’.

  • By now everyone on this board should know that this troll is clearly under the employ of the Prince Hotel Group. I went back through about 25 threads on PLG and Park Slope Moms and witnessed the same troll tirelessly and systematically sabotaging every board with respect to these two areas. By virtue of his writing style, tone and penchant for praising, talking to, and arguing with himself, it became abundantly clear that the Park Slope mom troll and Lefferts Hotel troll are two of the same. Given these desperate measures, I can only surmise that Mr. Fried finds himself in quite a dire predicament. I’m happy to see that Mr. Fried and his minions are finally feeling some real heat and succumbing to the pressure. Hopefully, in a few years they’ll also feel the solitude and coldness of a federal prison cell.
    Trust me. There is a huge case here. I sense it. And at some point this house of cards will come crashing down. This dirty, rotten, bastards will not GET AWAY WITH THIS!!! I SWEAR TO GOD IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!!!!!
    Sincerely,
    Former Assistant United States Attorney
    The Criminal Division of the US Attorney Office
    for the Eastern District; with many friends and contacts still on the job.

  • I’m still reeling with the new found information given that “white people are deathly afraid of Coney Island”(Anon 3:21) Kinda flies in the face of all those photos and movies of nothing but white people at Coney Island, then and now. As 3:27 said, “Brooklyn wouldn’t be Brooklyn without Coney Island”. Now we’re tossing it to the curb?

    I’ll never understand rabid sports fans. I thought we had the NY Yankees, NY Mets, NY Rangers, NY Knicks. I didn’t know they really belonged to the borough that their stadia were in, I thought they belonged to the whole city. If the Nets were here, wouldn’t they be the NY Nets? Why the big pissing contest? It’s going to take Bensonhurst Joe longer to get to the new Nets Stadium that it would take him to get to Madison Square Garden. Bensonhurst Joe is not going to get on the subway, either. Tickets are going to cost more too, betcha. So’s the popcorn and soda. But shake the hand of the worker who gives you your food. He’ll be one of the few “Ordinary Joes” who will be employed in a minimum wage dead end job at Netsville, although he certainly won’t be able to afford to live anywhere in the complex. This is so wrong.

  • This is super wierd.

    B- you’ve been infiltrated big time ever since that little plug. did you let the vampire in the door?

  • He’s trying to get the entire thread deleted by Mr. B. He know that the Press routinely views this site for possible stories and this is about to turn into something very big. I’m sending a copy of this thread to the reporters from the NY Daily News and the NY Sun who wrote multiple articles last year on Moses Fried.

  • David,I think you are ascribing an awful lot of “build it and they will come” theory to AY. If AY was the only area of building, what you say is true. But it’s not. And brooklyn is an enormous borough. And as far as blaming a scaled down project for greater stress on the subway/mass transit system, what you’re proposing then is that we not worry about the outer areas and their poor mass transit, but simply improve it for those who can afford to live in the AY. Which means those people further out will still need to rely on their cars, which they will drive everywhere, including into AY. A hub is not just the big station, its a central feed for the system and the problem is with the outlying lines.

    and that doesn’t change the fact that the outlying areas are going to remain heavily car dependent and polluted,while people who don’t have the financial resources to live in the AY will be displaced further and further out. All AY is doing is overloading an already crowded area (around the yards) and putting increased strain on already strained transit hub, area resources and traffic.

    Above and beyond the fact that people are not sardines, what kind of civic planning concentrates on overbuilding in one area creating new problems, while not addressing the old problems? Because one area will impact another. I don’t see that scaling back the project is what causes the problem of people “who can’t live/work in NYC”- that’s happening because their neighborhoods are being gentrified and all the building going on seems to be luxury housing. Certainly not working class housing- but then neither will AY be.and while the biggest industry in NYC may be the financial markets, it’s the working class that keeps the City running and it seems to me AY will not help their situation anyway.

  • Frm AUSA – dont lie, you cant track anyone down – you barely could prosecute a mule case. You spent yrs building paper thin cases and got pleas post-indictment b/c the sentencing guideline coerced pleas.
    Now you are stuck-up troll working at some investment bank pretending you are’street’ and that you know something about crime b/c you were a pseudo-prosecutor in Brooklyn for 3 yrs. The only thing AUSAs are any good at is giving head.

  • OOHHH, the BROOKLYN Nets! Gosh, wow, that makes all the dIfference. Why, that alone totally justifies anything Ratner and company do. Sticking Brooklyn in fromt of anything makes it all good! Are we still in elementary school?

    Well, after the dust settles in about 2014, and promises are not kept, windows start popping out of buildings, traffic is snarled for years,and the investigations start on the largest boondoggle in the city’s history, we’ll see if calling something “Brooklyn” will be as magical. More like “Bruce Ratner pulled a Brooklyn on us, and we let him do it because he gave us the Brooklyn Nets.”

    Well – got some cookies to bake. Later.

  • regarding eminent domain/jobs…
    what bloomgerg & co are doing is taking land and power away from small and midsized business owners -usually locals, and giving it to megacorporations, and giving them state subsidies on top of that – this isn’t even ‘free market’ at work but big government helping big businesses at the expense of the middle class.

    Its bad for brooklyn – power is being transferred outside the borough – and bad for democracy – its part of the ‘war on the middle class’ that lou dobbs described.

  • anon 7:35pm, ‘go bake some cookies’?
    You, my friend, are the one displaying your sheer stupidity in addition to your sexism. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re also a proud subscriber to and advocate of other additional denigrating ‘isms’.

    The statement ‘Good riddance’ would be better applied to you. Unfortunately, like taco bell-kfc rats, you’re just a plague that the rest of us has to deal with.

  • Don’t worry, 10:26, those will be BROOKLYN cookies.

    See, just adding Brooklyn makes everything shiny, new, and alright.