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February 23, 2010

An ACORN development deal lives on

by Ben Smith

Smith follows up on his Brian Lehrer appearance, but for some reason seems incapable of crediting Atlantic Yards Report. He does, however, shed some light on how Forest City Ratner views the metamorphosis of NY ACORN into New York Communities for Change.

This morning, WNYC's Brian Lehrer asked me what would become of one of ACORN's most prominent New York projects, a "community benefits agreement" the group signed with a real estate developer [aka "Forest City Ratner"] seeking political support for a huge, subsidized project in Brooklyn [aka "Atlantic Yards"].

A blogger [aka "Norman Oder"] opposed to the project, which would include a basketball arena for the Nets, speculated today that the agreement with Forest City Ratner over the Atlantic Yards could transfer to the national group. But an official at the company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the developer continues to work with what he sees as New York's renamed, but otherwise unchanged, ACORN.

"The people that we deal with still exist," said the Forest City official, noting that Jon Kest, ACORN's top official, is now a key player at the new New York Communities for Change, and that the developer will work with that new group.

"It’s ACORN by a different name — all the players are the same," the official said.


NoLandGrab: Apparently, "New York Communities for Change" haven't really changed anything.

Additional coverage...

City Room, Restart, Acorn Edition

The Atlantic Yards Report was among the first to notice, early Monday morning, the rebranding effort. New York Acorn had been engaged in the effort to include moderately priced housing as part of the Brooklyn renovation project.

NLG: "Renovation project?" Why didn't they say so sooner? If we'd only known they were just changing the wallpaper and replacing the cabinet hardware, we wouldn't have spent the past five years opposing Atlantic Yards.

Posted by eric at February 23, 2010 4:40 PM