Sunday, October 14, 2007

FCR support: Bed-Stuy Alive & Prospect Park, but what about Prospect Heights?

Forest City Ratner, as we know, supports all manner of worthy causes as part of (take your pick) either good civic citizenship or calculated public outreach. As NoLandGrab noticed, the developer is supporting Bed-Stuy Alive, which begins this weekend.

We can assume that Forest City Ratner is not supporting the Prospect Heights House Tour nor the Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn walkathon today.

Prospect Park, too

The invite to the Prospect Park Alliance's 20th Anniversary Gala shows Forest City Ratner as one of the three Corporate Vice Chairs. FCR executive Bruce Bender and his wife Amy Bender (who's on the Alliance board) are among the seven couples or individuals serving as Vice Chairs.

As noted, such corporate contributions are always a bit easier when the government offers extra benefits that ease the bottom line.

The PS 321 controversy

Questions over the developer's role were aired last May. Amy Bender, as Brooklyn Paper columnist Louise Crawford wrote, is a dedicated volunteer for the PS 321 PTA in Park Slope, and Forest City Ratner was contributing to the PTA since before the Atlantic Yards project was announced.

On the other hand, some parents--even one who thought criticism of Bender's role in the developer's donation was inappropriate--thought Forest City got a pretty big mention in the PTA auction and dance program (held at the Brooklyn Museum) for its $7500 donation, according to Crawford's account.

In other words, many of the PS 321 parents probably oppose Atlantic Yards, but that message was overshadowed. Would a poll of members of the Prospect Park Alliance produce similar sentiments?

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