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June 10, 2010

The hidden history of Freddy's: real estate profits not for longtime bar operators but for the flippers--and the developer gaining a zoning override

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder explores the ownership history of 485 Dean Street — until recently, the home of Freddy's Bar & Backroom.

In the new documentary on the now-closed Freddy's Bar & Backroom--I'll have a review tomorrow before its second showing Friday at 6 pm--manager Donald O'Finn explains how the bar operators tried but failed to buy the building in which they had a lease.

"[Developer] Bruce Ratner owns the buildings that Freddy's is in," O'Finn says. "We had tried to buy it... the price kept going up and up and up. And then it was purchased suddenly by some real estate speculators who then sold it to Ratner."

Really? Yup.

While Forest City Ratner will gain an enormous increase in the land's value thanks to a state override of city zoning, the biggest beneficiary until that sale was not a longtime landowner but an ownership group that flipped the property.

That group made a deal in October 2003, two months before Atlantic Yards was officially announced on 12/10/03. (Word of the project had emerged in July 2003.)

In little more than 16 months, they turned an $850,000 purchase into a $2,825,000 sale.

That's a profit of nearly $2 million.


NoLandGrab: Let this put an end to any phony outrage about Daniel Goldstein's settlement with Forest City. These vultures got nearly as much almost five years earlier, for a building that Ratner could have actually built around.

Posted by eric at June 10, 2010 10:00 AM