Russian Billionaire To Bail Out Ratner?

mp_180909.jpgThere are mixed reports concerning the details, but it seems like Russia’s richest man, self-made billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, may be partly funding the Barclays arena, a part of Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development that just received final state approval. Reuters reports that Prokhorov is considering issuing bonds to raise $700 million for the arena, in exchange for a share of the New Jersey Nets, which will move there once complete. This report has raised several eyebrows; NBC New York points out that the Nets have been hemorrhaging money for the past few years, and it’s possible that Ratner is using Prokhorov simply to attract other investors. NBC New York writes: “All Prokhorov’s company spokesman would say is that he’s considering an investment, which is probably true and isn’t indicative of all that much.” The New York Times also takes the conservative approach, reporting simply that “Mikhail Prokhorov is the leading contender to buy a majority stake in the team and in the planned arena.” Bruce Ratner bought the New Jersey Nets for $300 million in 2004, and the Barclays Center is currently projected to cost about $800 million, so it is unclear how much of Ratner’s pie $700 million will buy Prokhorov. In other Atlantic Yards news, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn and the Atlantic Yards Report revisit the issue of the project’s timetable, questioning how Ratner could possibly complete the entire development in ten years. Click the links for details.
Russia’s Richest Man Eyes Nets Deal [Reuters]
Russia’s Richest Man to Pave Nets Path to Brooklyn [NBC]
Ratner Said to Be Closer to Selling Majority Stake in Nets [NY Times]
Russian Rescue for Ratner’s Nets Arena? [Field of Schemes]
MTA Agreement Allows 22 Years for Atlantic Yards [DDDB]
ESDC Defends 10-year Timetable [AYR]
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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  • gee, did jscheff get a degree in P.Relations….learned how to spin everything. Getting a partner is now called getting bailed out.

  • daveinbedstuy

    I posted this story in y’days AY thread. I’d call it a bailout. I think we should all be looking at investing in Brighton beach property with this Russian $$$ headed to brooklyn.

  • d.stern, p.allen, m.cuban, m.dolan and a russian oligarch?
    i think they’ll find a way to ix-nay him and his dubious dollars.
    rattner is trying to drum up interest elsewhere.
    nba/nets/ay seem to be up to their eyeballs.

  • daveinbedstuy

    I also pointed out that Forest City’s stock price (FCE/A) has foubled in the past 6 weeks.

  • Wait!!! DDDB and AY Report are “questioning” Ratner???

    I dont believe it! This is truly earth shattering news!

  • Kensingtonian

    Dave, I wouldn’t invest in Brighton anytime soon. Now Mill Basin is a different story.

  • So as Ratner’s AY begins to gain steam, it looks like the opposition groups are going to once again to prove how dumb, selfish and short-sited they really are.

    Ratner WILL build an arena at AY – he has a proven over and over again that he can navigate the political & business climate in NYC – even if it takes decades (Metrotech for one).[which is why politicians like him btw]
    But rather then even contemplating this reality, the opposition groups will keep demonizing Ratner, spreading endless FUD and end up having ZERO impact on the ultimate outcome.

    Yet now the community needs a voice more than ever – an arena will prove to be an amazing asset to the boro, but only if done correctly – with little to no parking lots, commitments for a certain amount of public events (H.S Basketball, etc…) and coordination on scheduling to maximize public transportation usuage at the arena. BUT the opposition will never do this – to them its all or nothing (which makes no sense to me since nothing equals a great big pit in the middle of our neighborhoods) –

    I of course will not be suprised when Dan Goldstein et al continue on their (ultimatly destructive) cause, because it should be obvious that these groups represent individuals (and their PERSONAL) agendas rather then representing any community.

    Sad, it will be fun to walk to a concert or a Nets Game – its just going to suck to sit in traffic along Atlantic Avenue as the thousands of cars spill out of the endless parking lots to the east of the Arena….

  • @fsrg
    Agreed. I would love to be part of a group advocating for those very things, but as you say, who is representing those of us who are pro-arena but anti-blank check?

  • Rookie it should be our politicians – but basically unemployed trust funders like Goldstein have sucked all the air out of the room because they have endless time to muckrake – so now the sheep (I mean pols) generally are either against it or try to run from the issue entirely.

  • I tried to find candidate who seemed least likely to be anti-arena (and also anti parking permits) to vote for. Wasn’t sure who that was if any of them. THey all sounded the same.

  • Now it’s DDDB’s fault that all of those things Ratner should have planned for in the first place will not happen? Wow- that’s the most pretzel like argument I’ve heard in a long time. DDDB was protesting that very lack of good planning in the first place.

    And you totally wrong that only “unemployed trust funders” are against it. All you ever had to do was go to a community meeting to realize it.

  • Comrade Mikhail needs to buy it and move it to Little Odessa.

  • To FSRQ:

    While obviously we disagree that THIS arena will be an asset for the Borough, DDDB and many others have been trying for years to get the ESDC and Forest City Ratner to take a realistic look at what the arena and the rest of the project would do to exacerbate the traffic problem. To come up with a mitigation plan.

    They have not.

    As of yesterday the ESDC, yet again, approved a project with no traffic plan, even while they admit the project would add at least 23,000 new vehicular trips per day.

    We’ve explained, as have many others including transportation experts, that the subway hub is at capacity already. ESDC has said that is not a problem.

    So we have tried for years to do exactly as you suggest. As have other groups and coalitions.

    It has fallen on deaf ears.

    We do not have an all or nothing plan. we want to see the rail yards developed in a rational way. This current plan is irrational and not feasible and the best way to ensure that the rail yards remain undeveloped for decades.

    As for who we represent:
    We have over 4,500 individual donors. By way of comparison. Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson was bragging about how he has 2,000 donors in a citywide race.

    So who do we represent? We represent those who support our efforts, those who oppose AY. And those numbers are far bigger than those who support Forest City.

    Insomuch as you say we represent personal agendas, that is just false and easily refuted.

    Also, you should note that the leading political opponent just handily trounced her rival, who happens to be the chair of the AY CBA. 12 of the 15 candidates in the 33rd and 39th did not support AY. And the two winners of the 33rd and 39th primary do not support AY. And the three assembly members in and around the site, do not support AY. and the three senators in and around the site do not support AY. and the three community boards in and around the site do not support AY.

    Surely those are not all personal agendas. Surely all of those representatives want what is best for the Borough.

    Finally, the AY plan calls for 3,800 parking spots and long term, interim surface parking. That is precisely what DDDB is trying to stop from happening.

    Perhaps you can suggest your strategy for fixing those traffic and parking problems.

    Ours is to stop the degraded AY project from happening and move forward through a public process toward a UNITY Plan-like development over the rail yards. That’s our long term, very out in the open agenda.

  • Bxgrl – please read my post I never said that ONLY unemployed trustfunders are against it – I said that such people (alal Goldstein) have stolen the agenda, from a more (approriate) nuanced approach.

    And no Ratner should not have “planned for this in the first place” – since he didnt plan for anything like this at all – he planned for a Frank Gehery designed development that should have been completed by now.

    Further, while Ratner isnt the devil, he is a businessman and given his current investment (considerable) and potential loss (huge) he may not see the benefit of NOT using his acres of abandoned lots for (paid) parking, especially since the frivolous lawsuits and the follow-on credit market crash probably ensures that the land will not be developed for years – this is PRECISELY the time for community groups to voice their concerns – not to vilify the guy, or destroy everything (cause they wont be able to anyway) but to reasonable demand that the project (or whats left of it) retain the spirit of AY as proposed – a PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION based development.

  • Oh, DDDB – so cute in their self-righteousness. Won’t you please buy a house in White Plains and just go away??? PLEASE! Or you and ACORN can unite forces. Something. Anything. Just go away.

  • babs

    I think the people who support this kind of development are the ones who should move out to the suburbs, rather than trying to turn Brooklyn into one. House on LI are going for cheap, and the Nassau Coliseum is out there.

  • DDDB – please do not try to misrepresent your position, we have spoken on this in the past – your goal has ALWAYS been – NO ARENA (and no to density.)

    The rest of your diatribe is just silly…the transportation hub is not near capacity, nor are the individual lines – further even if they were (which they are not) it is irrelevant because future capacity can almost only be realistically added to the existing infrastructure.

    As for your supporters – the immediate neighborhood has over 145,000 residents (ignoring the fact that the rest of the boro, city and region certainly are impacted by what is or is not built), the fact that you may have donations for less than 4% of them (are all from the immediate area – bet not!) hardily shows you represent anything. And the relection of an incumbent City Council person, hardily tells us anything since 1. incumbents virtually always get relected and 2.. AY was highly the only issue at play. Further I note that in the last election cycle when the vast majority of local, City and State elected officals expressed SUPPORT for AY (and challengers failed to get elected in opposiion) – DDDB response was to allege that the results meant nothing, Ratner bought everyone off, and that it didnt reflect the will of the people.

    If DDDB really wanted to represent the neighborhood and have an impact on what will built there, you should come up with an alternative plan/suggestions that work WITHIN Ratner’s overall plan. Because Ratner will be the developer at AY, and arena will be started in the near future…so the goal at this point should be to get the most public transit friendly, community focused arena we can – not try to stop the inevitable and end up with the worst of all situations

  • babs – Urban settings for arenas have been around since at least Roman times, I hardly think supporting one for Brooklyn will turn us into surburban LI

  • fsrg- I think you drank ratner’s koolaid. Did you not read the subway study done last year? Did you really believe people coming in from the outer parts of brooklyn or queens- where trains are far apart and they need cars to get around, are going to hop on public transportation? I’vetaken public transportation all my life- you have no idea how bad it is the further out you go and how difficult it is to get around. You’re spoiled.

    Built by now? That was a joke, right? The AY plan was an obscenity. Over sized, overscaled, isolated from the surrounding communities and not only stealing by demapping streets, but by eminent domain.

    As to why DDDB should have come up with a plan to work within Ratners’s- again, you’re joking. They cmae up with a plan before the MTA sold the air rights to Ratner. Don’t put the blame on DDDB if the arena is a mess- it’s Ratner’s project, it’s his responsibility. But then, what can you expect when the ESDC can’t even be bothered to have an environmental impact statement and there was no transparency in the process to give taxpayers dollars to ratner.

  • i love that on my first day back there is a story abut a Russian Billionaire that is ging to bailout Brooklyn!! Bullish

  • Novgorod Nets. I like it. I’d much rather see the Nets become the first NBA franchise in the Eastern Hemisphere than have this taxpayer-subsidized travesty go forward here.

  • The reason why politicians like Ratner is that he pays them well. I am sure that Markowitz is looking forward to retiring as an employee of FCR. This was a back-room deal from the onset. More privitization of the city (those so-called “pubic” spaces that are owned by FCR and are only available to the public under its terms). A gentrifying — not blighted — area given to a single political crony on a silver platter. And when the towers — whether residential or commnercial — ever get built, the city/state will bail him out again by moving offices there or underwriting rent rolls. Yes, just like Metrotech and the Mall (with the DMV) etc.

  • FSRQ SAID

    Yet now the community needs a voice more than ever – an arena will prove to be an amazing asset to the boro, but only if done correctly – with little to no parking lots, commitments for a certain amount of public events (H.S Basketball, etc…) and coordination on scheduling to maximize public transportation usuage at the arena.

    Hey, thanks for laying out just a few of the reasons many of us genreally PRO-DEVELOPENT people are ANTI-AY! These are PRECISELY some of the issues we have been raising that have NEVER been addressed by Forest City/ESDC/mayor/governor, etc, as regards AY. THERE ARE PARKING LOTS in the AY plan. There will be NO COMMUNITY ACCESS to the stadium. There is NO EFFECTIVE PLAN to make sure people take mass transit.

    Bxgrl is exactly right — if you think people from Canarsie and Mill Basin and Forest Hills and Jackson Heights and and and are all going to take the subway if they know THERE WILL BE PARKING, you are blindingly naive.

  • DDDB,

    I have always wondered how many people were part of the Anti-AY movement, and now we know. “4500″. So basically 4500 people out of a city of 3 million + are hellbent on destroying a project that would FINALLY do something about the hole in the ground that’s been sitting at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic for over 50 years. 4500 people out of 3 million?!? Unbelievable! I wonder how many people out of that 4500 even LIVE in Brooklyn, much less are FROM Brooklyn. It’s so disingenuous for DDDB to even talk about the “Unity” plan as their “ultimate” goal: (a) It’s not as if Extell were talking about the Unity plan prior to Ratner proposing Atlantic Yards…NOBODY was even talking about doing anything at that P.O.S location before AY was proposed and (b) I guarantee if AY goes down in flames (which it just may), that’s the last we will ever hear from DDDB…Goldstein will move back to Manhattan to spend his trust fund money (if he’s not already there) and we real Brooklynites will be stuck with that eyesore for the rest of our and our childrens natural lives. Bank on that.

  • “if you think people from Canarsie and Mill Basin and Forest Hills and Jackson Heights and and and are all going to take the subway if they know THERE WILL BE PARKING, you are blindingly naive.”

    Of course I do not think ALL Queens and Brooklyn residents are going to take the subway – but with little extra incentive most will (you think their are no Knick or Rangers fans in those places??? and yet somehow MSG isnt surrounded by acres of parking) and how many people from (real) southern Brooklyn and Northern Queens do you think are going to go to each game? The area will only hold 20K at most – its not like they are all going to come from Mill Basin!

  • FtGreene Corey,

    your logic is faulty, unless you think Thompson only has the support of 2,000 people?

  • FtGreeneCorey- there are more than that- they may not be members of DDDB. Most of the neighborhood people I know who are anti AY aren’t members- doesn’t mean that they aren’t active. They are just independent. ANd there are a number of local neighborhood organizations that are working alongside DDDB – 4500 out of 8 (not 3) million sounds like very little but you try to make it sound like 7+ million give a rat’s ass about the nets or AY. They don’t. It’s mostly a Brooklyn issue.

    Re Extell- we really don’t know when they were thinking about anything but they most certainly did present a good alternative plan and offered MORE MONEY than Ratner did before the MTA gave it away. Since there is supposed to be a process for public bidding and the person offering the most money is usually supposed to be the winner, and since the MTA is a City/State entity, how was it even ethical or right that they took less money?

  • “unless you think Thompson only has the support of 2,000 people? ”

    Personally, I am sure Thompson has the support of 2000 people – but could swear to much more (maybe people who dislike Bloomberg but not really “supporters”)

    Seems like you guys really are terrible at delivering your message (thankfully) a bit of advice; you should find a more flattering analogy for your groups support than Bill Thompson

  • Bxgrl – FYI 8M minus 2.5M (brooklyn’s pop) does not equal 7+M
    and just because a RE company bids on a proposal for development, doesn’t mean that they have the where-with-all to actually get it done (see L. Silverstein & WTC)

  • Best of luck with the Russians DDDB, best of luck.

  • “So who do we represent? We represent those who support our efforts, those who oppose AY. And those numbers are far bigger than those who support Forest City.”

    Funny, but a Crain’s Business poll back in 2006 found that 60% of Brooklyn residents and 86% of citywide residents supported the project (http://www.ny1.com/Default.aspx?SecID=1000&ArID=62298). DDDB dismissed the poll as meaningless, of course, as it dismisses any news or person that doesn’t support its (his) AY view. Speaking anecdotally, which seems to be the way the anti-AY crowd prefers to bolster its arguments, I know many, many people who are pro-arena, though we may have some reservations. But we don’t have a brownstone or condo bordering the project, so I gather under DDDB rules our views are not that relevant. This very much feels like the health care debate, where the people who already have health insurance (or govt funded medicare) are screaming that any change will ruin their little world, and the hell with everyone else. I’m in agreement with FSRQ, there has been such a missed opportunity to engage on AY. And I confess, I blame moderates like myself for standing back while Brooklyn becomes just as polarized, and the process just as hijacked by extremists, as in the rest of the country.

  • fsrg- FtGreeneCOry seemed to be referring to the whole city so I wanted to correct his numbers. And I agree- jsut because a company bids it doesn’t prove anything about his ability to complete a project. The same point could be made about ratner.

    Silverstein got screwed moneywise but you’ll note his building is the one actually going up. The city can’t even get a hole in the ground memorial done yet. The hold up dor Silverstein had a lot to do with Port Authority.

  • westernnygirl- while many people may support the arena, supposedly- polls are easy to manipulate and eveyone uses them. Considering the outcry against the west side stadium, I think there was a great deal of NIMBYISM on everyone’s part.

    You promote the same AY argument they always use- if we don’t want Ratner’s AY it’s because we are anti-development. It’s untrue. We just want intelligently planned, not overscaled or overwrought development. AY is nothing if not over scales and overwrought. It is not well thought out and as someone in a neighborhood that will be affected, I think I have a right and an obligation to demand that. specially since public monies are going to be used for it. It’s called responsibility, not extremism. We don’t want a hole in the ground but we aren’t going to settle for sh*t.

  • “And I agree- jsut because a company bids it doesn’t prove anything about his ability to complete a project. The same point could be made about ratner.”

    It could be made, but you’d be hard pressed to find an example. Ratner gets his developments done (albeit it sometimes takes a very long time) Thats why Pols like Ratner – just look at Beekman Tower

  • He does- takes a long time and he gets a lot of favors. Metrotech certainly is an improvment on what was there before but he talked about a vivid night life and how much it would do for the neighborhood. In fact its a black hole after hours, and is isolated from the community. It even has checkpoints. Then take a look at his malls. The worst designed shopping malls in the country. So while you can say he gets stuff done, he doesn’t think them out well.

  • DDDB and Bxgrl – The bottom line is for every person you say is “Anti-AY”, I can come up with a person that is “Pro-Ay”. So on that level it’s a wash…you guys socialize with people who’se world view is Anti-Development (anti “The Man”), and I socialize with people who remember when Brooklyn was not a very nice place and are happy to see our city finally realizing its potential. We fundamentally come from different worlds. To be honest, the folks that I grew up with in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn are bursting with excitement about the prospect of professional basketball in Brooklyn. I fundamentally believe that this project and this arena will be great boost for Brooklyn and will raise Brooklyn’s international profile immensely. Just the prospect of it already has changed the way people outside of NYC perceive Brooklyn (in case you didn’t know, people outside of NYC still have a “Welcome Back Kotter” perception of Brooklyn) Whenever I travel across the country and around the world, I always make a point of telling people I’m from “Brooklyn” (as opposed to New York), and it’s shocking how many people respond, “we can’t wait for you guys to get your basketball team…you deserve it!” Keeping it in perspective, the pro/anti AY debate is fundamentally a local issue, but the people I have met who are even aware of the delays always ask why the arena has not yet been built, and when I explain the anti-eminent domain and anti-public subsidy viewpoint…I always get the same “deer in the headlights” response. Look, AY will most likely fail (if I were a betting man, I’d bet against it at this point), but if it does, I can’t see how anyone who is FROM Brooklyn, LOVES Brooklyn and has a VESTED INTEREST in Brooklyn’s future could possibly see that as a positive outcome. Check it, the UNITY plan ain’t happening…it’s really AY or bust. If your from New York, and know anything about New York politics, you know two things, (i) it’s virtually IMPOSSIBLE to get ANY major development projects completed (We’ve been waiting for Brooklyn Bridge Park for 30 years, the West Side Rail Yard redevelopment for 20 years and the World Trade Center site for the past 8 years) and (ii) it’s so difficult for the stars to align on major development project, that once the political will unravels, it’s a wrap on any alternative proposals….DDDB and BXGRL, you (should and probably do) know that…and if so, shame on you!

  • DDDB and BXGRL….where are you FROM and how long have you been HERE?

  • bxgrl is 100% right. If anything FCR’s Metrotech is hindering organic development and improvement in the area. There is nothing close to a decent place to eat in the complex. It shuts down at 4pm (except for Luciano’s that stays open till about 8pm). There is no ground floor retail and many floors in many of the buidlings are empty. If it had been developed with mutilple builders/owners and not demapped streets, it could be great. Instead it is a “park” where someone passing out flyers for a restaurant can be arrested.

  • FtGreenCorey- all across the country people say they can;t wiat for us to get the nets? Really…All across the country? So listen, I have this bridge….

    Your post is another perfect example of how pro-AYer act. Rather than discuss the objections or concerns you blow them off. Like the Bush adminsitration- a Real Brooklynite (Patriot, American) would support AY (Iraq War, Patriot Act). Only someone from here would have a vested interest…blah blah blah.

    I was happilty born and raised i the Bronx and I have been in Brooklyn longer than you have. (But your question was stupid in any case). The idea that I have not vested interest or don’t care about the future of Brooklyn is obviously predicated on your ignorance of anything that I am involved in regarding Brooklyn and its communities.

    Not only do I care, but I care enough to want to wait for the right developemnt to come along- not some ego driven, shortsighted, my dick is bigger than yours project that some guy from Ohio wants to build via public money and eminent domain. One that will impact the traffic and infrastructure- not in a good way. Would that you cared nearly as much.

  • Excuse my typos- when I’m pissed I type faster than I should. (administration, happily, can’t, wait, acts, development,have no, )

  • Bxgrl’s extremely hostile, over-the-top response to a reasoned post by FtGreeneCorey, whose sin seems to be that he disagrees with her, proves my point–this issue has been hijacked by fanatics. I have never had a discussion with any of the DDDB supporters (and yes I have tried) without being accused of either being on the payroll of Ratner or brainwashed by him. I respect many of the reasons why people are opposed to Atlantic Yards, I just happen to have different reasons for supporting it. But the DDDBers see no middle ground–to them, Ratner is evil incarnate, and if you don’t agree with them then you are just a worthless shill. What’s up with that?

  • “FtGreenCorey- all across the country people say they can;t wiat for us to get the nets? Really…All across the country?”

    Actually, I believe Corey said this was the response all around the world.

    If Ratner were willing to pay fair market value for land, and build without public subsidies, I really wouldn’t care if he wanted a stadium there. Traffic and subway congestion would work themselves out one way or another.

    Unfortunately, that’s not how Ratner operates. He has no interest in spending his own money when politicians are only too happy to let him spend ours.

  • westernnygirl- perhaps if he hadn’t made an issue of where I come from or how long I’ve been here. Or waxed hyperbolic on the world waiting for us to get the nets? Or maybe it was his contention that anti-AYers don’t care about Brooklyn or its future? I don’t care if he disagrees- I care how he disagrees. That hardly makes me a fanatic but as I pointed out- pro-AYers have their own fanaticism, and refuse to recognize it. I believe it is called Pot. Kettle.Black.

  • BXGRL, screw you (and believe me that’s much nicer than what I was gonna say for you to do to yourself).

    One, I never, “blew off” your concerns, or invalidated them. I just disagree with them. I’m all for the debate on public subsidies, eminent domain and responsible development, I just don’t think the number of people who share your views outnumber the number of people who share mine.

    Second, if you REALLY, HONESTLY don’t think that when I’m having a conversation in LA with a Lakers fan about basketball that they would say positive things about the Nets moving to Brooklyn, or in Paris with an NBA fan having a similar conversation, I’ve got a bridge to sell to YOU…I guess you must not be a sports fan (nothing wrong with that)

    Third, how the hell do you know that you’ve been in Brooklyn longer than I have…how old are you? If your not than 40, maybe you’re couting the years you were here in your previous life, because I’ve been here for 40 years(aka my whole life).

  • Wow- I get on a train to Montauk and I miss all the fun. Go Nets!

  • I’ve been here longer- that’s all the personal information you need.

    And yes- you did invalidate my views by saying that those against AY don’t care about brooklyn or its future.
    Look, AY will most likely fail (if I were a betting man, I’d bet against it at this point), but if it does, I can’t see how anyone who is FROM Brooklyn, LOVES Brooklyn and has a VESTED INTEREST in Brooklyn’s future could possibly see that as a positive outcome.”

    “DDDB and BXGRL, you (should and probably do) know that…and if so, shame on you!”

    “DDDB and BXGRL….where are you FROM and how long have you been HERE?”

    What was the purpose of even asking that? Would it make a difference if it were 2 years or 150 years?

    People like you put down the entire anti-AY argument as simple NIMBYISM. YOu don’t address the concerns we have. You insist we demonize ratner because we are against all development. You absolutely refuse to consider any o our objections or concerns are real. Just like westernygirl who simply dismisses us as fanatics.

    I could have said screw you too. you certainly deserved it.

  • Its seems to me that some of the same FCR operatives are out and active today on this thread. Fie on you! :-)

    Listen, BxGrl make some V-E-R-Y good points and the person logging in as DDDB wrote a well-reasoned and sane entry.

    The main problem for me all along has been the ethics behind the project. The entire “process” had been full of שאַנדע and not with צדקה

    The fact that the project is getting bankrolled on the backs of taxpayers and citizens and that it has been rammed down our throats is unacceptable.

    Happy New Year Everyone!!!
    !!!לשנה טובֿה תּכּתבֿ

  • Thanks bGreene- and a lovely New Year to you too!

  • Tne Anti-AY movement IS the very definition of NIMBY-ISM. If this project was proposed for Coney Island, or East New York, or Crown Heights, would you or Goldstein be leading the charge against it? Would it even be on your radar?

  • NeoGrec

    Oh man, I’m busting a gut over the absurdity of a Russian oligarch entering this already crazy cast of characters — that is, when I’m not sobbing that he might Ratner’s ill-conceived public-money-sucking scheme a reality. Chelsea Footbal Club is owned by one of these billionaires. They collect sports franchises the way I collect beer mats.

  • FtGreeneCorey- I am in crown heights and close enough so that AY will have a big impact on my neighborhood. More traffic, demapped streets, years of construction, disruption of bus service (and we don’t have the greatest public transportation access here as it is). I am involved with an organization in Coney Island. We want development there- but not Vegas on the Atlantic.

    I want more amenities, I want more housing and better infrastructure. I think Ratner’s getting too much and not giving enough back. His design is far too big for the area and there hasn’t been a real environmental impact study yet. I realize I am repeating this but you don’t seem to listen- and I can only speak for myself as I am not a member of DDDB- no one is against development. They are against this development because – as grand army says- its an ill-conceived, public money sucking scheme. Ill- conceived being the operative term. Even the independent studies of the arena say it will suck finances out, not pay them out. And I know the footprint- why he needed eminent domain is a mystery. He already had a big chuck of land- which, by the way, was not a wasteland until he got there and started tearing stuff down. Before that it was a community that had been pulling itself up -Goldstein’s building is a case in point. A great reno of an older building, one of severalin the area. All slated to be torn down for AY- what a waste of time and money.

  • Based on today’s thread, it sounds like Ratner is already spending some of his Russian partner’s money to get people to shill for his plan. The allegation that spoiled trust funders are blocking AY is ridiculous. If you went to any of the public hearings, you would have noticed that the pro AY participants were being paid to attend.