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December 21, 2011

"Developers and officials will exploit any government incentive available"--unless there's a public backlash

Atlantic Yards Report

The New York Times's front-page coverage of how New York stretches the rules to aid EB-5 projects prompts Eric Hawthorn of the Llenrock Group, a real estate advisory and investment banking firm in Philadelphia, to observe:

Commercial real estate, like any business, is rooted in practicality. Developers and officials will exploit any government incentive available if it’s in their interests. But companies are not immune to public backlash–just ask Bank of America (BAC). If the public perceives a company is cheating a struggling neighborhood out of opportunities, legally or not, it could create a P.R. nightmare that simply isn’t worth the few dollars that were saved.

In other words, press coverage--from the big boys, at least--makes a difference.

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Posted by eric at December 21, 2011 10:53 AM