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February 10, 2010

Brutally weird: Forest City's fantasy of 8000 AY jobs comes from 2006, the ESDC offers backup (despite lower 2009 figures) & the WashPost takes a pass

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder takes a fascinating look at the acrobatics involved in promulgating phony job-creation figures. We ask once more — if the Atlantic Yards project is so terrific, why not just tell the truth about it?

The estimates of permanent jobs at the Atlantic Yards project have always been fantasies.

Remember the estimate of 10,000 jobs--the one that "enervated" Sen. Charles Schumer? It was bogus from the start. There was no market for that many office jobs. Forest City Ratner overstated the number of jobs that could fit in the four office towers projected to ring the arena. And it neglected to explain that most of the jobs would not be new but transferred from Manhattan.

But the latest projection of 8000 jobs, from Forest City Ratner and parent Forest City Enterprises (press release [PDF], letter to the Washington Post), is even more outrageous.

First, it's double the current official estimate (which itself is questionable) from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC). Also, it's based on 2006 data--which even back then was doubtful--regarding two or three more office towers than the one currently contemplated.

And, to make it brutally weird, Forest City Ratner in legal papers relies on the 2009 data.

The Post punts

Dismayingly, the Washington Post, after several exchanges with me after my request for a correction, decided to let the claim from Forest City Enterprises CEO Chuck Ratner stand as his "opinion."

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NoLandGrab: Want our "opinion?" Chuck Ratner is lying.

Posted by eric at February 10, 2010 10:39 AM