Thursday, November 29, 2007

A community group set up to be bought out by Ratner?

At a panel last night held at the Museum of the City of New York, Modernism and the Public Realm, Fred Siegel, a historian and urbanist, offered a tantalizing Atlantic Yards anecdote.

Siegel, a Brooklynite, was highly critical of Atlantic Yards. (More on the panel Monday.) At one point, he said, "I know a local politician who began a community group with the express purpose of being bought out by Bruce Ratner."

I caught up with him afterward to ask him to elaborate, but he begged off. But what politician and group could he have been talking about?

The most obvious candidate is Roger Green, who as Assemblyman had a role in founding BUILD (Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development) and the Downtown Brooklyn Educational Consortium (DBEC), both signatories of the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement. (The New York Observer in December 2005 offered details.)

BUILD actually was formed shortly before Atlantic Yards was announced, while the DBEC came later. But until and unless more information surfaces, we don't know if Siegel was pointing to Green or the abovementioned groups.

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