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June 14, 2006

The Developer-Opponent-Media-Industrial Complex

The Real Estate Observer
By Matthew Schuerman

Forest City Ratner says it has received "approximately 20,000" responses to its Atlantic Yards mailer, the apparent majority of them saying that the affordable housing was the most important part of the proposed development, according to a press release.


UPDATE: The Observer reporter posted the full Forest City Ratner press release.

NoLandGrab: Readers will find it hard to believe that NLG isn't on Ratner's media list. [Where is the love?] But, we'll post the release when we dig one up.

We've all had a good laugh at "Liar Flier III," but let's look at the incredible claim that "approximately 20,000" responses were received.

A response rate of 2% is considered to be a big success with direct mailings. Which begs the questions, did Ratner send out 1,000,000 12-page four-color brochures, or did they actually achieve a response rate of over 6% if the brochure was sent to approx 300,000 households, as with past mailings? There's no way to know since the entire thing was a promotional campaign for a meadow-laden 22-acre project to be built on an eight-acre railyard whose purpose was to provide data for a summertime press release.

In consideration of "the data," the only offer on the return card was a check box stating, "YES! Please let me know when housing applications are available." It would stand to reason that a majority of respondents who want the inside track on housing applications are interested in "affordable housing."

CONCLUSION: Bruce Ratner spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn that Brooklynites are deeply concerned about affordable housing.

Posted by lumi at June 14, 2006 9:01 AM