Monday, October 04, 2010

Show the math: How would investors seeking green cards create or retain 7696 jobs by financing the railyard Forest City Ratner is obligated to build?

Also see coverage of a very misleading website promoting the project, the abdication of government,, and video of a NYCRC official's astounding claims about the project.

Here's what the press should be asking the New York City Regional Center (NYCRC) and any public or elected official supporting Forest City Ratner's effort (via the NYCRC) to raise $249 million from 498 Chinese investors:

Show us the math.

The investment would have to create or retain 4980 direct or indirect jobs--ten jobs per investor.

The NYCRC is claiming 7696 jobs would associated with this investment, as noted (right) on this website promoting an October 12 event for potential investors.

Show us the math.

Looking more closely

Extrapolate these job figures--for an investment about 5% of the entire $4.9 billion project--and Atlantic Yards should create or retain nearly 154,000 jobs.

Wow.

Yes, EB-5 investment monies can be used as "last-mile" funding and thus be credited for a project as a whole.

But let's test that against reality.

Can this investment be piggy-backed on the investment in the arena and thus be seen as saving a construction jobs? (By my calculation, it would be 1756 construction jobs over two years, or 3070 direct, indirect, or induced jobs, a figure that's still insufficient.)

Maybe they'll try, but that's ridiculous. The arena's already funded, and its timing is driven by the naming rights agreement and other contracted funding.

Can this investment guarantee future construction jobs, or office or retail jobs? Nope.

Similarly, it's ridiculous to think that Forest City Ratner can't fulfill its obligation to build a new railyard without this money. It's simply an effort to save money on financing.

A close look at Paladino

Yesterday, the Daily News devoted its I-TEAM resources to explain how gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino created "just a handful of jobs" despite major tax breaks.

This EB-5 effort goes to the next level. No jobs need be created via this investment, an investment that would bring green cards to 498 immigrant investors and their families. (Let's estimate at least people per family, or 1500 people.)

The jobs can be indirect, and they can be retained.

It's worth a look, right?

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