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December 3, 2008

As work stops at the Vanderbilt Yard, ESDC blames lawsuits--but that doesn't wash

Atlantic Yards Report

Work by developer Forest City Ratner's subcontractors on the railyard has stopped.

The question is why.

"The latest I have is that they’ve done all the preliminary work they can complete until the lawsuits are taken care of," ESDC spokesman Warner Johnston said yesterday. "The work will resume when litigation is resolved." His source: "our people who work with FCR."

However, that explanation doesn't wash, leading me to speculate that Forest City Ratner might be hedging its bets on completing the work or having cash-flow difficulties.

After all, in sworn affidavits, then-FCR executive Jim Stuckey and his successor MaryAnne Gilmartin both committed to working on the railyard while litigation was continuing.
This episode puts the tensions facing the ESDC in sharper relief. Is its role to be a partner with the developer, thus in this case (apparently) colluding in a fib? Or is its role to be accountable to the public?


Posted by lumi at December 3, 2008 6:15 AM