August 18, 2005
PRIVATE MEMO GUARANTEES RATNER SPACE
The NY Sun
by Daniel Hemel
City and state officials, in a memorandum they never released, promised the developer Forest City Ratner six months ago that they would arrange for the firm to obtain the rights to build almost 1.9 million square feet of residential and commercial space in downtown Brooklyn, even if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rejected the firm’s bid for the development rights at a nearby rail yard.
In it, the officials agreed to facilitate Mr. Ratner’s development aspirations at a pair of nearby properties along Atlantic and Flatbush avenues: a Ratner-owned mall located north of the rail yard, Atlantic Center, and a commercial block on Flatbush Avenue, which is referred to as Site 5 in the memo.That site is currently occupied by a sporting goods retailer, Modell’s, and an electronics store, P.C. Richard & Son.
The development called for in that memorandum increases by 25% the square footage that Mr. Ratner — whose previously publicized project has been attacked in some quarters as too big — would construct in the area.
NoLandGrab: Brooklynites will remember early on that local residents called for Ratner to build the arena over the Atlantic Center Mall, one of the sites designated in this secret unreleased memorandum of underhanding. Such a move would eliminate the need to use eminent domain to take people's homes. Now it turns out that Ratner really DOES want to take down his failing mall, but he'll still take people's homes too.
Posted by lumi at August 18, 2005 9:06 AM