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April 5, 2010

That outrageous claim from the groundbreaking: "We did not at the time appreciate that Atlantic Yards would be such an important economic engine."

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder examines one of the Atlantic Yards project's oldest and most durable flights of fancy.

An outrageous claim from the press release (below) issued with the March 11 groundbreaking deserves another look:

“When we announced Atlantic Yards in December 2003, we anticipated that this project would create buzz and excitement for the borough and the City as well as needed jobs and affordable housing,” said Mr. [Bruce] Ratner. “We did not at the time appreciate that Atlantic Yards would be such an important economic engine. The fact that we can start construction in this financial environment is testament to the lasting appeal of New York City. We are a City that continues to grow and prosper and Atlantic Yards will for many years stand as a reminder that we can build and create jobs and homes and dreams even during the most difficult of economic times.”

Oh, come now.

The fact that they can start construction in this financial environment is less "testament to the lasting appeal of New York City" than the lasting appeal of Brooklyn and New York for Barclays Capital and Mikhail Prokhorov to gain entry to the American market--and a testament to Forest City Ratner's ability to wrangle additional subsidies and sweeteners.

And Forest City Ratner was making the "economic engine" claim early on, however dubious it was then and it remains now.

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Posted by eric at April 5, 2010 6:36 AM