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March 19, 2011

Ratner Gets Press, More To Come?

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

In the aftermath of the major New York Times piece revealing Forest City Ratner's plans to minimize union labor by using modular construction for the first residential tower, the media have started to take a second look at the deception and corruption that are the hallmarks of Atlantic Yards.

Patch takes a look at the outraged union reaction in Brooklyn who sound all but ready to break out the inflatable rat for the corner of Dean and Flatbush. And then the Times itself followed up with a broader look at the Atlantic Yards bait-and-switch.

But as Norman Oder points out, there's still another really big story here that the major media has yet to nail: FCR's borderline-fraudulent sales of green cards to Asian investors in return for investment dollars. The EB-5 program is meant to create new jobs in the U.S., but as the Times reports:

MaryAnne Gilmartin, executive vice president of Forest City Ratner, said that when it received final approval from the federal government, the $249 million would be used to pay down a land loan for the project and additional work on the railyard.

How many new jobs does paying off a loan create? And wasn't the railyard work already required under the master plan? Oder, ever generous to his colleagues, actually sets out a complete roadmap for coverage of this scandal-in-the-making, in the comments section of the Times' follow-up article. It's a story about a well-intentioned Federal program that Ratner has turned into yet another form of corporate welfare, based on hawking U.S. green cards like memberships in a time-share resort. Journalists, please start your engines.

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Posted by steve at March 19, 2011 10:25 PM