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October 31, 2006

FOIL follies III: Ratner's mysterious tower at City Tech

Atlantic Yards Report

While the controversy over the Atlantic Yards project continues to brew, Forest City Ratner was awarded the bid to develop "a huge mixed-use facility on the New York City College of Technology campus (aka City Tech), in Downtown Brooklyn."

When this project was announced, The Brooklyn Papers noted that:

Though two bidders competed for the rights, state officials would not release information about either bid, nor what Forest City Ratner agreed to pay for the right to develop the tower on the site of the Klitgord Center, where the Atlantic Yards hearings were held.

Norman Oder started poking around; armed with Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests, he got... pretty much nowhere.

The NY State Dormitory Authority sent a copy of the Request for Proposal, but other than that, Oder got nothing: no financial plans, budgets, technical proposals, nada, not even the name of the other bidder.

In a familiar refrain, the City University of New York told Oder he'll get answers, "only after the 'final agreement.'" Apparently, like the Empire State Development Corporation and Atlantic Yards, they are still "negotiating" with the developer even though Forest City Ratner has already been named.

Two things Norman "the Mad Overkiller" Oder did get for his trouble was: 1. fodder for the third installment of his series on FOIL requests (links for Part I and II) and 2. a mysterious reference to a property located in the Atlantic Yards footprint (the building where Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn spokesperson and eminent domain litigant Dan Goldstein lives).

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Some good news on the FOIL front: NY State agencies can now send documents (or decline Norman Oder's requests) by email, according to the Journal-News (see, "E-mail FOIL law request takes effect today").

Posted by lumi at October 31, 2006 7:13 AM