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September 13, 2009

Atlantic Yards Report Sunday Updates

The nearly silent Hunley-Adossa receives $75K in public campaign funds; is it all an effort at 2013 and beyond?

This entry speculates as to what mostly-missing candidate Delia Hunley-Adossa might have planned for the future. Also discussed is the role of her Potemkin organization, Brooklyn Endeavor Experience.

We learn a couple of curious things in the profile in The Local about Delia Hunley-Adossa, the main challenger to City Council Member Letitia James in the 35th Council District.

For one thing, Hunley-Adossa's run appears to be a training wheels effort for 2013 or later. “Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to beat an incumbent, but there is life after that incumbent,” her campaign manager, Musa Moore, told the Local. “I am running a race to win, but I know politics. I know no matter what, you could win now, you could win long term.”

...

Hunley-Adossa's ideas about policy are rather undeveloped; her second priority, to quote her response to a Citizens Union questionnaire: "Education: encourage the need for building knowledge." Her ability to articulate them is limited. And she wouldn't even answer written questions from The Local.

(She does take direction from Forest City Ratner staffers, as the photo indicates. Update: Btw, I've gotten emails from both AY supporters and opponents because I originally ran this photo twice. No one else covering the campaign has pointed out the role Hunley-Adossa has played in leading Forest City Ratner rallies, so that was a reminder, but I'll agree that one photo is enough. Photo by Adrian Kinloch.)

But she has raised $74,981 in matching funds from New York City Campaign Finance Board, which matches each dollar a New York City resident gives, up to $175 per contributor, with six dollars in public funds, for a maximum of $1,050 in public funds per contributor. (James has raised the full $88,550.) That buys a lot of name recognition--and negative campaigning.

(Shouldn't candidates receiving public funds be obligated to answer questions?)

Tighe, new head of REBNY (and first woman), has longstanding Ratner ties--and owns a piece of the Nets

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has long been a strong supporter of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards, and its new chairman only reaffirms that, given her longstanding ties to the company.

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As I wrote in February 2006, CBRE is the exclusive leasing agent for the office portion of Forest City's Ridge Hill Village development in Yonkers, NY.

Tighe in 2002 served as agent for Forest City Ratner on leasing of the Bank of New York tower at Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Terminal mall in Brooklyn.

In 2001, representing the New York Times Company, Tighe, according to the firm web site, "arranged a network of joint ventures enabling the construction of a new 1.5 million square foot tower at 8th Avenue and 41st Street...The transaction included a joint venture between NYTC and developer Forest City Ratner (FCR), which becomes 2 condominium interests upon construction completion..."

In 2006, "[a]s agent for the Forest City Ratner condo in the New York Times Building, completed a successful lease up of the speculatively built 600,000 sf at rents in excess of an average $80 per sf, a record for the 8th Avenue and 41st Street location."

As noted in Chapter 8 of my report, in a 1/22/04 profile of Bruce Ratner, the New York Times quoted praise of Ratner from Tighe but did not mention the real estate agent's connections to the Times or to Ratner. A 12/10/03 New York Sun profile noted: "After she helped pick Mr. Ratner [while working for the Times], she hopped over to his team, where she’s representing the company on the Times project, as well as some of its Brooklyn properties."

Also, the Brooklyn Paper reported 8/21/04 that Tighe is a member of the investment group that Ratner assembled to buy the New Jersey Nets and move them to Brooklyn.

On Thursday, an ESDC vote--and a short documentary about AY

It is apparently an unintended irony that a short documentary about Atlantic Yards and nearby residents, titled "I Remember Brooklyn," is scheduled to be screened on Thursday, September 17, at Freddy's Bar & Backroom.

Sure, many people know that Freddy's (485 Dean St. @ 6th Avenue) is scheduled to be demolished for the Atlantic Yards project. But Thursday is also the day in which the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) is expected to re-approve the project, thus increasing the likelihood of the demolition of Freddy's.

The event starts at 7 pm and the 17-minute film is expected to be shown at about 7:40 pm, allowing time for discussion afterward, according to the filmmaker, Verônica Medina.

Posted by steve at September 13, 2009 8:00 AM