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May 12, 2011

Good corporate citizen? Profile of Ratner in the Forward quotes Atlantic Yards opponents and mentions Kruger charges

Atlantic Yards Report

Here's some news unmentioned in The Real Deal's sycophantic profile of Bruce Ratner last week: as headlined in the Forward, the weekly newspaper geared to a Jewish audience, From Humble Lumber Sellers to Clout-Wielding Developers: An Immigrant Tale: Federal Indictment of a Local State Senator Shines Light on Bruce Ratner’s Brooklyn Redevelopment Project.

The piece, by Neil deMause of the book and blog Field of Schemes, recognizes Ratner's history of gaining government support and gives reasonable credence--and the last word--to Ratner's opponents, notably Candace Carponter of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn.

Still, I'd contend, the article could have been even tougher. I posted a comment:

“I think all of this stems from his sense of what it means to be a good corporate citizen,” said [Joe] DePlasco.

DePlasco is the developer's paid spokesman. Of course that's what he thinks.

I think, based on an examination of the record, that Forest City Ratner has long made compromises and pursued policies that privileged its bottom line over corporate citizenship. (That's not surprising; FCR's obligations are first to its parent company and shareholders.)

The question for readers and journalists caught in the "he said, she said" back-and-forth is whether the developer, by dint of its track record, deserves more or less credence.

I'd argue for less. Take, for example, the developer's history of deceptive promotional brochures and publications.

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NoLandGrab: Actually, we don't think DePlasco really thinks Bruce is a good corporate citizen. He's just paid to say it.

Posted by eric at May 12, 2011 12:48 PM