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May 5, 2010

Noticing New York on the Goldstein settlement: the bargain the state enabled Ratner, bad public policy on free speech, and the ongoing battle

Atlantic Yards Report

Michael D.D. White has written a must-read on his Noticing New York blog, arguing that Forest City Ratner received a huge bargain (given the enormous development rights enabled by the state) when it settled with Daniel Goldstein for $3 million, that the developer will seek continuing advantage in the Atlantic Yards fight, that the state inappropriately assited Forest City Ratner in trying to muzzle Goldstein, and that the reporting on the settlement disserved the public.

I mostly agree, with a few amendments. As I wrote 4/30/08, regarding Ratner's purchases of other apartments in Goldstein's building:

While it looks like the developer was being generous, the enormous increase in development rights made it worthwhile--even if he had to pay, which he doesn’t.

In that case, Ratner was directly reimbursed by city taxpayers for the land purchases. In Goldstein's case, there's no more money in that specific kitty--but the developer has since found new ways to gain public concessions, and surely will continue to do so.

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Posted by eric at May 5, 2010 9:25 AM