Skip to main content

Where's the Independent Compliance Monitor? Chair of CBA Coalition, in 2009 campaign, understated compensation by more than $58,000

Remember the Independent Compliance Monitor that has not been hired for the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)?

Remember how a Forest City Ratner executive last week claimed that "the entire CBA monitors us on a regular basis"?

Well, if there really was monitoring, wouldn't we know us how much Forest City paid its CBA partners like Brooklyn Endeavor Experience (BEE), run by Delia Hunley-Adossa, who chairs the CBA Coalition and has been a reliable speaker at arena events and, before that, project rallies?

2009 claims

Hunley-Adossa has not exactly been forthcoming about those numbers.

A 9/2/09 Daily News article, when Hunley-Adossa was running for City Council against Letitia James,  stated:
"Hunley-Adossa said her group got about $400,000 from Forest City Ratner. Its biggest single expenditure has been her salary - $51,000 over six years, she said."
2007 IRS Form 990
As I reported 8/28/09, she was asked in an interview, “There have been some reports that BEE’s largest expenditure is on actually your compensation as opposed to program services. Is that accurate?” 

“Well, initially, it very well was,” Hunley-Adossa responded. “And that’s because--look at the length of time I’ve been involved. So it made sense. I’ve been involved in this project for almost six years. So it just built up. But you’re talking about $52,000 over six years, you figure it out. How much did I get?”
A second look

Hunley-Adossa's statements were rather... imprecise.

At the time of her statements, the only extant Form 990 report to the Internal Revenue Service from BEE concerned fiscal (and calendar) year 2007. That year, the organization received $173,000 in direct public support, of which $75,110 went to compensation, including $51,447 to Hunley-Adossa.
2008 IRS Form 990

That was the sum she used in the press.

But the funding continued. According to the 2008 Form 990, which concerned that fiscal and calendar year, BEE received $172,900 in direct public support and spent $79,713 on compensation, with $58,347 to Hunley-Adossa.

But that document was signed on 11/16/09, after the election, and after those interviews. 

So her total compensation was nearly $110,000, more than double the number she used in the press.

Following up

I contacted Hunley-Adossa for any comment and explanation, but didn't get a response.

That's OK. But that's also why there should be an Independent Compliance Monitor.

When FCR was queried

At a 7/22/09 public meeting, the moderator read a question: How much has Forest City Ratner provided to its CBA partners?

“I don’t have those numbers,” responded Forest City executive MaryAnne Gilmartin.

What about an estimate?

“Forest City has funding obligations and commitments to each of the organizations, and they’re reviewed on an annual basis,” Gilmartin replied. “We’re happy to provide an accounting, generally, of that, but I don’t have that information with me. Again, it depends on what they’re doing, presently, and what the expectations they’re going to be doing in the going-forward year, and it’s done on a very regular basis, in close consultation with each of the CBA members.”

They haven't provided that public accounting. That's another reason for an Independent Compliance Monitor.

BEE 2007 Form 990

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

So, Forest City has some property subject to the future Gowanus rezoning

Writing yesterday, MAP: Who Owns All the Property Along the Gowanus Canal, DNAinfo's Leslie Albrecht lays out the positioning of various real estate players along the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site:
As the city considers whether to rezone Gowanus and, perhaps, morph the gritty low-rise industrial area into a hot new neighborhood of residential towers (albeit at a fraction of the height of Manhattan's supertall buildings), DNAinfo reviewed property records along the canal to find out who stands to benefit most from the changes.
Investors have poured at least $440 million into buying land on the polluted waterway and more than a third of the properties have changed hands in the past decade, according to an examination of records for the nearly 130 properties along the 1.8-mile canal. While the single largest landowner is developer Property Markets Group, other landowners include Kushner Companies, Alloy Development, Two Trees, and Forest City New York.

Forest City's plans unc…

At 550 Vanderbilt, big chunk of apartments pitched to Chinese buyers as "international units"

One key to sales at the 550 Vanderbilt condo is the connection to China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holdings.

It's the parent of Greenland USA, which as part of Greenland Forest City Partners owns 70% of Pacific Park (except 461 Dean and the arena).

And sales in China may help explain how the developer was able to claim early momentum.
"Since 550 Vanderbilt launched pre-sales in June [2015], more than 80 residences have gone into contract, representing over 30% of the building’s 278 total residences," the developer said in a 9/25/15 press release announcing the opening of a sales gallery in Brooklyn. "The strong response from the marketplace indicates the high level of demand for well-designed new luxury homes in Brooklyn..."

Maybe. Or maybe it just meant a decent initial pipeline to Chinese buyers.

As lawyer Jay Neveloff, who represents Forest City, told the Real Deal in 2015, a project involving a Chinese firm "creates a huge market for…