Saturday, September 12, 2009

In the Courier-Life, Ratner tells Witt: believe what I say about affordable housing, not any documents

Both the Brooklyn Paper and the Courier-Life chain report on the new designs for the Atlantic Yards arena, but the Brooklyn Paper had a deadline before Thursday, when the Independent Budget Office (IBO) released its tough report on AY finances, concluding it would be a money-loser for the city, and the Courier-Life treated it as a three paragraph breaking-news brief.

That means that readers of Brooklyn's main weeklies, which emerge on Friday, won't know much about the IBO report before the Empire State Development Corporation votes to re-approve the plan on Thursday, September 17.

The Courier-Life article on the arena, written by the notorious Stephen Witt, was misleadingly headlined New look for Barclays Ctr.: Sleeker design unveiled for 22-acre Atlantic Yards development.

The design, of course, applies only to the arena, with "vaportecture" around it.

Affordable housing guarantees

Showing again why he's the reporter who prefers trusting Forest City Ratner to reading any documents, Witt reports:
Ratner also briefly took off the gloves last week at opponents of his Atlantic Yards project. His remarks came in response to this paper asking him about recent reports on opponent blogs and websites alleging that Ratner is moving away from building the affordable housing component of the project.

“They [opponents] are 100 percent wrong about the affordable housing. It’s another red herring. We’re required to build affordable housing and it has been my personal commitment from the very beginning,” said Ratner.

“They [opponents] have been dead wrong about everything. What they constantly do is throw up another false statement and hope something will stick,” he added.


Well, maybe Witt could do some reading. And, perhaps, recognize that a good chunk of "affordable housing" would be above market rate.

Btw, the Daily News--not an opponent web site--did follow up on the story.

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