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June 29, 2007

To get Coney job done, Sitt looks to Ratner’s playbook

The Brooklyn Paper

More pages from the "Ratner Playbook:"

Coney Island developer Joe Sitt is now hawking a “binding agreement” with local leaders to make his $1.5-billion amusement and hotel fantasyland become reality — hinting this week at an Atlantic-Yards-style solution to his ongoing problem of gaining support for the glitzy proposal.


NoLandGrab: First developer Sitt tried the deceptive-brochure page from the playbook. When that didn't work, he geared up to try the CBA strategy.

What developers like Sitt fail to realize is that Bruce Ratner's playbook is a CONCERTED strategy that works as a SCREEN for the support he had already lined up.

In reality, participants in negotiations for a Coney Island CBA may have the opportunity to follow the example of the Staples Center CBA in LA, which was the template for such community negotiated agreements before Ratner co-opted the strategy. In the Staples agreement, the pact was negotiated as a whole by community groups who agreed to stand together to represent the interests of individual groups.

Another agreement that may interest community leaders in Coney Island is the Milwaukee agreement, which used the Staples-agreement coalition as a working model and became truly legally enforceable when the City included many of the agreed-upon items in their rezoning of the project area. By not implementing the Ratner affordable-housing agreement in a rezoning of the Atlantic Yards project footprint (the zoning is being superceded by a State takeover), local and state governments have ensured that the only way to enforce the Ratner agreement is for the signatory, ACORN, to sue.

Posted by lumi at June 29, 2007 8:26 AM