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April 20, 2007

Credit where due

The Brooklyn Papers, Editorial

A look back at the legacy of former Borough President Howard Golden contains this observation of the rebuilding of Brooklyn:

“Homesteaders” like the Ortners also created a grassroots groundswell that began to change the very tone of urban living. By encouraging would-be suburbanites to stay in Brooklyn — and then invest in their communities — the Ortners played a huge role in saving this borough.

That’s when developers like Bruce Ratner decided that Brooklyn was a good bet for projects like Metrotech — and even then he demanded (and got) huge subsidies and handouts to build here.

It’s amazing to think that today — when Brooklyn’s real-estate values are soaring and developers are making countless millions — the pattern is still playing out.

To encourage Ratner to build Atlantic Yards — where he will walk away, even by his own estimates, with hundreds of millions of dollars in profits — the state and city are underwriting him with more than $1 billion in direct and indirect public subsidies.

He is building on the shoulders of true giants — and using your money to do it.

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Posted by lumi at April 20, 2007 8:26 AM