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May 16, 2010

AY Report: Daily News Fails to Clarify Prokhorov, Prokhrov Should Move to Brooklyn, Development Follows Economic Growth

Atlantic Yards Report

Daily News profile of Prokhorov makes no attempt to clarify the Zimbabwe issue, lets Russian hoopster tell us everyone will like owner of Nets

Here is a critical look at a piece appearing in today's Daily News.

David Stern says that the firm the NBA hired to investigate Prokhorov's business background could find no reason why he shouldn't be an owner. He wouldn't name the firm because he worries that identifying it might compromise the firm's ability to conduct future investigations. Stern did say it was not a law firm, and that the league has used the group's services in the past.

"We retained a firm that has important investigative assets and contacts on a global basis," says Stern. "We made additional discrete inquiries of various agencies and departments that are not at liberty to talk to us on the record. We made a complete round of inquiries."

Well, it's a little more complicated, isn't it? Is Renaissance Capital's only presence in Zimbabwe stock research, as a spokesman for the firm, owned in significant part by Prokhorov, told the Times?

The Times whiffed, but the Zimbabwe government newspaper stated that Renaissance Capital was among several companies that "have confirmed their participation" in an investment summit in February.

Wishful op-ed from the Daily News: "Nets' owner Mikhail Prokhorov should move to Brooklyn"

The New York Daily News, fresh from a wishful editorial urging Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov should help build affordable housing, now publishes a wishful op-ed that urges Prokhorov to move to the borough:

By committing to live in Brooklyn, Prokhorov can signal that he intends for the communities around the Barclays Center to remain livable.

Um, if he moves to the area Dean Street and Carlton Avenue, where thousands of people will walk to and from a massive surface parking lot, it'll be a bit of a challenge.

...

And what to make of this, from the op-ed:

The more Prokhorov incorporates Brooklyn into his plans, the more thoroughly we will embrace him. I hope that the Barclays Center forgoes bland, corporate and instead offers the beloved Latin American cuisine sold at the Red Hook ball fields, along with sublime stromboli from the Bari Pork Store in Gravesend and, of course, hearty Russian fare from Brighton Beach. All beer should come from locals like Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint Craft Ales.

(Emphasis added)

That's not how it works. A look at the Barclays Center web site tells us:

A partnership with the Barclays Center consists of a limited list of elite, category leaders known as our Founding Partners and Sponsors. These partners form the foundation that will have a direct connection to the evolution of a community, award-winning architecture and entertainment.

They include:

Bud Light Established in 1852, Anheuser-Busch Companies is one of the world's largest brewers; best known for Budweiser and Bud Light, as well as such labels as Busch and Michelob. In addition to beer, Anheuser-Busch produces energy drinks and non-alcoholic malt beverages.

Anheuser-Busch has several operations outside of brewing as well, including its Busch Entertainment theme-park business. Anheuser-Busch has taken large strides in recent years to become an industry leader in recycling, supporting renewable energy, and environmental efficiency.

Which comes first, economic growth or real estate development?

Remember how Gov. David Paterson claimed Atlantic Yards would "have job creation the likes of which Brooklyn has never seen?"

Consider this quote: Real estate development doesn't create economic growth, it follows it.

(Italics in original)

The source is The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, by Roberta Brandes Gratz.

I'll write more about the book shortly, but suffice it to say, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with a "never-ending waiting list for production businesses wishing to get in," comes off far better than does Atlantic Yards.

As it should. Remember the $6 billion lie?

Posted by steve at May 16, 2010 8:10 AM