Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time to Get Riled: Billionaires vs. Brooklyn's Best Bar

Want to get really mad about something? This excellent video by ReasonTV will have you wanting to throw yourself in font of the bulldozers, too.

It may sound like China but this abuse of eminent domain is happening right here in Brooklyn. Thriving homes and businesses have been seized by the state on a false pretense and then immediately handed over to the billionaire boys for private gain. Meanwhile, the destruction of the "best bar in America" fast approaches.

Ratner plans to break ground on the site on March 11, if not before. Customers plan to handcuff themselves to the bar, and a state senator will lie down in front of the bulldozers.

ReasonTV: "Ratner, whose partners in the venture include rapper Jay Z and the Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, stands to pocket hundreds of millions of dollars on the deal, all thanks to the brute force of the state."

- Ratner, the Nets and the Russian Billionaire 
- Funny Crowd at Ratner's 'Brooklyn Day' Rally
- Q: What Do Anheuser-Bush, Izod, Foxwoods and Cushman & Wakefield Have to Do With Forest City Ratner?
- Brooklyn Museum Ratner Protest: Dress Formal
- Walkathon Against Atlantic Yards Oct. 14
- Atlantic Yards: Uh, Is It Too Late to Stop the Check?
- Another Erie Atlantic Yards Occurrence: 'Ratner Curse?'
- Ward Bakery Rains Down On Cars Below

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

It is completely disingenuous to not mention the thousands of jobs, the huge increase in tax revenue, and the thousands of affordable apartments.
Just disingenuous...

bj said...

- Huge increase in tax revenue? Instead of bringing economic benefit, the NYC Independent Budget Office estimates a loss to the city of $8 million over 30 years.The city and the state (taxpayers) will each contribute $100 million. (Later figures show the city may kick in closer to $236 million. ) Instead of property taxes, Forest City Ratner will repay the state with Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILOTS). Very slowly.

- Thousands of affordable apartments? In the original project, 2250 affordable housing units (of 6430) would be delivered by 2016. But that has changed. Now, there's a requirement to build, at minimum, 300 affordable units in Phase 1, for which the developer has 12 years. There's 25 years to build more, but extensions are possible. Former ESDC head Marisa Lago said it could take decades.

- The project will mainly create low-wage unskilled jobs at the arena. The office tower is no longer in the plan.

Other negatives:
The design uses an outdated "superblock" concept out of scale with the surrounding structures, predominantly low-rise Fort Greene and Prospect Heights.

- It will tear up the neighborhood with construction for years to come

- It will create a traffic nightmare.

- The ESDC railroaded through a sham environmental review, ignoring comments from thousands of citizens.