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Challenging development, when you can afford a full-page ad in the Times

"Why, now, is the government planning to pay for the construction of an overly expensive design to be occupied by government agencies at overly expensive rents, all at the expense of taxpayers' money which could be put to better uses?"

So asks the Continuing Committee for a Reasonable World Trade Center, in a full-page ad on p. B10 of yesterday's New York Times. That committee, run by "the developer Douglas Durst and the real estate investor Anthony E. Malkin" (in the words of the 2/13/07 New York Times), clearly reflects some self-interest.

It makes you wonder: what if some other developers felt threatened by the Atlantic Yards project? Might they be reflecting both self-interest and the public interest?

If so, the battle would have been more like that over the West Side Stadium, where deep-pocketed Cablevision, parent of Madison Square Garden, backed "grassroots" efforts to fight the development.

There has been no such expensive media counter-campaign in Brooklyn. Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn is quick with a press release. But that can't buy an ad in the Times. (Update: The ad also appeared in several other newspapers.)

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