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Jeffries, Montgomery call for Ratner to abandon 421-a "carve-out"

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, whose districts include the Atlantic Yards footprint, have publicly called on developer Forest City Ratner to abandon the "Atlantic Yards carve-out" in the 421-a law passed by the Legislature (but not yet signed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who has not indicated whether he'd veto it) and adhere to the law as it will apply to every other development in the city.

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The two legislators have not typically allied on Atlantic Yards issues. Jeffries has been a cautious supporter of the project, more or less, while Montgomery has stood in staunch opposition. The legislators, in their July 6 letter, note that more than $300 million has been committed by the city and state to the project and criticize the "eleventh-hour, highly secretive deal" that led to the carve-out.

The carve-out has been estimated by city officials to provide some $300 million in additional benefits. Other public costs and tax exemptions provide more of a public cushion for the project.

The letter also makes reference to the 200 units of for-sale affordable units announced by the developer when the project was approved on 12/20/06. No information has been forthcoming; the legislators ask that the developer confirm the commitment in writing by this Friday, July 13.