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December 23, 2010

The Observer's Power 150: many Atlantic Yards connections, with Prokhorov somehow well ahead of Ratner

Atlantic Yards Report

The New York Observer has issued its "purely subjective" ranking of the city's Power 150, and it's worth a look to see how many intersections there are with Atlantic Yards.

In the top 50, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is #1, while Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver ranks #9, and Kathryn Wylde, CEO, Partnership for New York City, snags the #11 spot. Wylde testified for Atlantic Yards, while Department of City Planning Director Amanda Burden, at #30, played a peripheral role.

At #38 comes Mikhail Prokhorov, pictured with a Nets logo in the background; he "embodies a new Russian elite swarming the city." Well, billionaires embody things slightly differently than the rest of the world, but it's hard to think Prokhorov has more local juice than a developer like Bruce Ratner who's built relationships over decades.

Prokhorov's billboard partner, Jay-Z, ranks #46, cited for remaining "a relevant musician while commanding a growing empire worth almost half a billion dollars."

And Bob Diamond, President of Barclays, is #47, not for the arena naming rights deal, which is unmentioned, but because next year he will run the firm.

The second 50 includes Knicks (and Cablevision) owners the Dolans at #52 (not an AY link, just a comparison).

NBA Commissioner David Stern ranks #79 and is credited for having "built 28 new arenas," which kind of scants the ability of team owners to extract local subsidies.

In the third 50, Bruce Ratner is #109:

Real estate developer; minority owner, New Jersey Nets

The saga over the Atlantic Yards, Mr. Ratner's baby, is fit for a long Russian novel, but this year he won his battle against landowners. Construction is under way at the multibillion-dollar arena and residential center. Now if he can only get the Nets to move to Brooklyn.

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Posted by eric at December 23, 2010 9:41 AM