The city not helped displace residents of four buildings on Dean Street, it also kicked in an extra $31 million over what it had originally committed to help Forest City Ratner close on its eminent domain-enabled purchase of four buildings on Dean Street, according to two reports. The city claims that it hasn’t increased the total amount of subsidies it’s kicking in to the project (well, not since it first increased the total amount of subsidies from $100 million to $205 million); instead, the city argues, it just moved up some of the money that was originally allocated for later-stage infrastructure to help pay for the property purchase. The Atlantic Yards Report calls the legitimacy of the move “murky,” because while it technically does not violate the letter of the 2005 non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (after all, it was non-binding!), it’s clearly a bait-and-switch on the public. Legal or not, the use of funds has left a bad taste in some other people’s mouths as well. “It’s a government Ponzi scheme,” said Council Member Letitia James. “I’m offended because they’re using public funds to seize homes and businesses.” Plus, adds AYR, there’s nothing stopping the city from simply kicking in more dough later on to cover the infrastructure. In related news, don’t be surprised if the Atlantic Yards is not complete within the ten-year time frame: AYR reports that the agreement with FCR doesn’t have a lot of teeth.
City Shells Out Another $31 million for AY [NY Daily News]
Did City Give FCR $31 Million More for Land? [AY Report]
Graphic from Atlantic Yards Report