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November 19, 2008

Ratner's sweet land deal should have NYC up in arms

NY Daily News I-Team Blog
by Michael O'Keeffe


With the MTA threatening to slash hundreds of jobs as well as bus and subway service, the people at Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn raise a good point: Why does the cash-strapped agency want to give away a valuable asset to Nets owner Bruce Ratner for a rock-bottom price?

The MTA's own appraisal valued the Vanderbilt Rail Yards at $214 million, and Extell Development offered $150 million for the site, and yet the MTA has an agreement to sell the eight acres to Nets owner Bruce Ratner for $100 million. Wouldn't $50 million or more be nice to have in times like these?

So next year, when it costs $3 to ride a filthy and crowded train (it won't be a W train, because that line will be eliminated), take comfort in the fact that Ratner got a great deal on prime real estate.

Really, the fact that our local sports teams continue to get massive public subsidies at a time when funding for essentials such as schools and transit is threatened should make New Yorkers go to their windows and shout "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"


NoLandGrab: The fact that it's the sports desk at the Daily News, on their blog, no less, that has to make this point is exactly why the Independent Film Channel is airing that December 9th segment on shoddy Atlantic Yards news coverage. Thank goodness there are a few reporters, like Michael O'Keeffe, who aren't willing to accept the party line.

Speaking of film, if you have four minutes, be sure to watch the classic scene from Network linked on the Daily News post above. Maybe it's high time we all listened to Howard Beale — and got "mad as hell."

Posted by eric at November 19, 2008 3:45 PM