Sunday, March 13, 2011

Yes, Kruger apparently helped FCR, but not on Atlantic Yards; Post focuses on the Mill Basin connection, where pol tried to delay public review

I've been so focused on the not-quite-favor on Atlantic Yards Forest City Ratner's Bruce Bender tried to negotiate with the indicted Carl Kruger that I didn't look closely at the other FCR deal, where Kruger apparently was helpful.

Rich Calder of the New York Post follows up today, in Kruger's political favor:
State Sen. Carl Kruger -- who is facing federal corruption charges in an alleged pay-to-play scheme -- used his political muscle to hold up a Bloomberg administration project in Brooklyn at least three years to benefit a favored developer also highlighted in the embattled pol’s criminal complaint, the Post has learned.
Note that the details are outside the official complaint, which focuses on the role of another developer in the Mill Basin project.

The article continues:
At issue is a 15-acre city project that includes a new retail center in Mill Basin, built by developer Forest City Ratner. The project, along Flatbush Avenue, is also supposed to hold a Cadillac car dealership. The site currently houses a Toys-R-Us store.

Kruger (D-Brooklyn) sent former Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber a scathing letter in January 2008 threatening to sue the city because it wanted to begin the mandatory public review process on the dealership’s portion of the project, without FCR’s part.

At the time, the car dealership plan was in jeopardy if the city didn’t move quickly, but FCR wasn’t ready to begin a public review – and was concerned that segmenting the project could hurt its plans, sources said.

“It is our intent, and the shared intent of the community and other elected officials, to commence legal action if necessary,” Kruger said in the letter.

The city ultimately gave in to Kruger’s demands, but luckily was able to save the dealership deal. Last month, the entire project’s public review finally began.
FCR has not been charged, but the doubts about whether it's a good corporate citizen--as the Empire State Development Corporation asserted last year--increase.

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