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October 20, 2008

DDDB’s fourth walkathon raises $45K; slight decline from last year, but organizers buoyed

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder has the definitive report (as usual) on Saturday's Walk Don't Destroy 4 candlelight walkathon fundraiser.


Despite significantly changed circumstances regarding the Atlantic Yards project, Walk Don't Destroy 4, the fourth annual walkathon Saturday from Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, in many ways was similar to previous versions.

(Marchers on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope; photo by Jonathan Barkey.)

While yesterday’s event was a candlelight walk rather than an afternoon one, it raised $45,000 for the legal fight against Atlantic Yards, a sum only slightly less than the $50,000 raised last year. DDDB reported 175 walkers (I counted at least 160) and just over 500 donors, while at last year’s event, DDDB reported 200 walkers and 600 donors.

“Even though we're in the midst of a very difficult economy, and a presidential campaign competing for funds, our donor base continues to grow.” said Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein. "Fundraising for the two lawsuits is an ongoing, daily effort, and the response consistently reminds us of the support we have, which is now well over 4,000 individual donors.”

[Goldstein] listed the potential roadblocks. DDDB has organized and funded two major lawsuits now in state court. The eminent domain case, as I’ve written, is a longshot; it will be heard likely next spring. The challenge to the project’s environmental review, while dismissed at the trial court level, gained some traction in an appellate court hearing last month.

Goldstein also noted that the Internal Revenue Service is expected to decide in the next few months whether the Atlantic Yards arena will be eligible for tax-exempt bonds under the same ruling--which the IRS chief counsel called a “loophole”--that allowed such bonds for Yankee Stadium.

Barclays Capital, which bought naming rights to the arena under a contract which mandated that financing be in place by November, “will have to make a decision, whether they want to stick with this sinking ship,” Goldstein said. (Barclays has said it’s committed to the project, but hasn’t said whether it would negotiate.)


Posted by eric at October 20, 2008 11:03 AM