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April 8, 2010

Forest City Ratner Foundation: still supporting BAM, the Brooklyn Museum, and Markowitz's concert series

Atlantic Yards Report

Forest City Ratner's "Foundation" appears to work more like a quid pro quo lobbying operation than a charitable organization.

It may be more of the same, but the latest Internal Revenue Service report from the Forest City Ratner Companies Foundation--which I called shadowy because of its lack of transparency--is still telling.

As with the return through the year ending 1/31/2008, the latest return, through the year ending 1/31/09, shows that the single largest recipient of the developer's largess, by far, was the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation (a fundraising effort led by Mayor Mike Bloomberg), gaining $1 million out of the approximately $1.5 million total dispensed.

Gifts in Brooklyn

But the foundation also plays a role in maintaining friendly relationships with some important institutions and neighbors. Thus Polytechnic University, Forest City Ratner's original partner in MetroTech, got $100,000.

The foundation also gave $100,000 to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Bruce Ratner has been a BAM Trustee since 1989 and chaired its board from 1992 until 2001. BAM has unequivocally supported the Atlantic Yards project.

It gave $165,000 to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, up from $125,000 in the previous year. In April 2008, shortly before the foundation delivered $100,000, Bruce Ratner was honored by the museum, an event that provoked a sometime bitter public protest.

For the second straight year, Borough President Marty Markowitz's Martin Luther King Jr. concert series got $100,000.

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Posted by eric at April 8, 2010 10:33 AM