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Hunt claims arena construction has started; Barclays Center web site offers "New York Post" article about the commencement of arena construction

Forest City Ratner has not held the arena groundbreaking parent company Forest City Enterprises (FCE) in December "anticipated" by January 31, in the fourth quarter of FCE's fiscal year, and title to the land needed for the arena has not been transferred, as anticipated, to the Empire State Development Corporation.

But that hasn't stopped the Indianapolis-based Hunt Construction Group, in announcing that it got the contract to build the arena, that the Barclays Center "has already commenced construction."

(Hunt's contract was cited by underwriter Goldman, Sachs at a meeting in November.)

Barclays Center web site claim based on Witt

Also, the press section of the Barclays Center web site offers a link claiming Construction on Barclays Center Commences.

It's attributed, without equivocation, to the New York Post, though it never appeared in the print newspaper and, when posted on the Post's web site, was clearly attributed not to the Post but to the Post-owned weekly Courier-Life.

As I pointed out January 15, the conceptual scoop by the Courier-Life's notorious Stephen Witt evaded everyone else in the media.

Not the Post

Also, despite the logo, it's not a Post story. As with many articles in the Post-owned Courier-Life, it appeared on the Post's web site. The article appearing there attributes it to the Courier-Life (right).

The article on the Barclays Center web site, however, ignores such details.

On NetsDaily

Not disimilarly, NetsDaily--in a post by the pseudonymous Net Income, who loves the Brooklyn project as much as does Witt--attributed the article to the Post.

Mr. Income also took what Witt attributed to "sources" and instead attributed it to a "Forest City Ratner official."

It likely was an FCR official, but we don't know who Witt's "sources" are. If Forest City Ratner wants to claim construction has begun, shouldn't its leaders say so?

Barclays Center web site article by Stephen Witt in "New York Post, Jan. 14, 2010