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December 5, 2011

You See, the Mayor Sees, We All See ICSC

NY Observer
by Daniel Edward Rosen

OK, we changed our minds. But we can't wait to see Roger Green at the opera.

We were inside the West Ballroom at The Hilton New York, on the hunt for available seats when a large and friendly man sitting dead center in the front row waved us over and asked us to sit with him.

That friendly man was Bruce Ratner, head of Forest City Ratner Companies, who had no idea that he had just invited two reporters from The Commercial Observer to join him.

When we—colleague and fellow “Dan” Daniel Geiger is here as well—introduced ourselves to Mr. Ratner, he politely asked that we not ask him anything on the record. So we did not, and instead shared a nice conversation about growing up in New York City—he is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and I grew up blocks away from where he lives now on the Upper East Side—and on the imminent return of the NBA.

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NoLandGrab: The Observer can be so droll that we can't quite tell if they're playing this straight or with a wink. "Humble, winsome," anyone?

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Atlantic Yards down the memory hole; Observer reporter describes project as "thriving"

In New York Observer coverage of Mayor Mike Bloomberg's appearance at a shopping center convention, the reporter (and a colleague) sit down with "friendly man" Bruce Ratner, who asks not to be asked anything on the record:

In person, Mr. Ratner is a delightful and forthcoming chap—nevermind that his vision for a basketball arena in Brooklyn has also included the removal of homeowners living in Prospect Heights through the use of eminent domain.

Perhaps that good feeling leads the reporter to reference the Atlantic Yards project as "the controversial – and thriving – development headed by my esteemed new seat mate."

Thriving?

Bruce Ratner just acknowledged that he could never keep his promises, given for the last eight years, to build high-rise affordable housing with union labor.

He also acknowledged last year that, after promising for years that the project would be built in a decade, that was "never supposed to be the time we were supposed to build them in."

Posted by eric at December 5, 2011 9:21 PM