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June 7, 2011

The Ratner response to Battle for Brooklyn: AY had (and has) "overwhelming support;" also, Errol Louis interview, Dennis Holt's bad math

Atlantic Yards Report

In an interview with filmmaker Michael Galinsky and Atlantic Yards opponent Daniel Goldstein on ABC-TV, Up Close with Diana Williams, we learn Forest City Ratner's response to the film Battle for Brooklyn.

"Atlantic Yards had--and continues to have--the overwhelming support of Brooklynites, community leaders and elected officials," says the statement, attributed to paid spokesman Joe DePlasco.

"A small group of opponents tried very hard, but unsuccessfully, to stop the project. Fortunately today Atlantic Yards is under construction."

Overwhelming support? Actually, initial polls showed opposition to the project if it involved eminent domain or involved public costs.

Both, of course, are part of the project, but later polls indicated support for the project when it was said to "provide" subsidized housing. It won't. City subsidies would provide it.
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Errol Louis and eminent domain

In an excerpt from an interview on NY 1, former Daily News columnist--and longtime AY booster--Errol Louis is somewhat lower key when talking to the filmmakers.

He makes the not unreasonable point that eminent domain is legal, and that those losing their property should get just compensation.

Galinsky responds that most states other than New York have reformed their laws; again, he'd have an even stronger case if citing scholars who believe New York is a real outlier.

Galinsky also challenges Louis--who has a cameo in the movie jousting with Council Member Letitia James at a press conference--for claiming that some who sold to Ratner were made instant millionaires.

"Although obviously you had a point of view, I thought you were pretty fair about trying to get everybody somewhere into the frame of it," Louis said to the filmmakers.

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Related coverage...

Inside City Hall [NY1], Weiner Gets Whacked As A Taxi Plan Falters

On Friday night’s “Inside City Hall,” the filmmakers behind the documentary “The Battle For Brooklyn” discussed the bitter eminent domain fight that played out over the Atlantic Yards site. Watch the video....

Posted by eric at June 7, 2011 1:24 PM