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September 27, 2012

Nets Helped Clear Path for Builder in Brooklyn

The New York Times
by Charles V. Bagli and Joseph Berger

Shark Synergy week continues in The New York Times!


Look at that determination and resolve!

Bruce C. Ratner did not pretend to be much of a basketball fan when he paid $300 million in 2004 for the New Jersey Nets. Before long, the team had the worst record in the National Basketball Association, and he had a reputation as one of the worst owners in professional sports.

But he also had the leverage he needed to pull off a real estate megadeal.

The purchase was the most glaring demonstration of Mr. Ratner’s single-minded dedication to a goal: building a 22-acre, $4.9 billion project in the heart of Brooklyn, the largest development project in the borough’s history. Though the Atlantic Yards plan also called for residential towers, a significant portion of which will be subsidized, he sold it to the public as a way to finally bring professional sports back to the borough.

“So, how did we get here?” Mr. Ratner asked last week, almost giddy, at the ribbon cutting of the nation’s most expensive basketball arena, the Barclays Center. “We first needed to buy a basketball team, and against all odds we did it.”

article

NoLandGrab: "Against all odds?" He must be delusional. The game was rigged in Ratner's favor from day one. "How did we get here?" You lied, cheated and connived your way, that's how.

Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report Front-page New York Times profile of Bruce Ratner buries the lead: "promising anything to get a deal, only to renegotiate relentlessly for more favorable terms"

In which we leave the dissection to Norman Oder...

A front-page New York Times profile of Bruce Ratner, headlined Nets Helped Clear Path for Builder in Brooklyn, contains enough criticism (and one new revelation about Ratner tactics) to avoid being a puff piece, but it barely touches on all the reasons for criticism.

But what if the article had proceeded from the observation lower down in the article, regarding "his reputation for promising anything to get a deal, only to renegotiate relentlessly for more favorable terms"? That might have led to the Culture of Cheating.

Ratner claims “We’ve kept every single promise we’ve ever made,” which is simply a lie.
...

His new mantra, apparently, is "they said we'd never build" the arena. No one ever counted that as a promise. Rather, he promised, "Jobs, Housing, and Hoops." He got rid of the office jobs, plans to cut down the construction jobs, fudged about the arena jobs, etc. Culture of Cheating.

Posted by eric at September 27, 2012 10:41 AM