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Coney Island site attracts 50 interested bidders; how was the Vanderbilt Yard different?

From a New York Daily News article today headlined Coney Island redevelopment plan attracts 50 amusement park companies from seven countries:
The competition to build a new amusement park at the faded seaside mecca has reached a fever pitch as a who's who of amusement operators work to put together proposals by a Dec. 18 deadline.

...It was standing room only when city officials presented their request for proposals at the Las Vegas IAAPA convention last month, after sealing a deal to buy 6.9 crucial acres from developer Thor Equities for $95.6 million.

Some 50 companies from at least seven countries showed up for the information session.
Yet when it came to a "great piece of real estate" (in the words of Forest City Enterprises CEO Chuck Ratner) like the Vanderbilt Yard, only one bidder besides Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner responded to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's July 2005 Request for Proposals.

Could that have been because city and state officials had already been backing FCR's plan for the past 18 months?