When it comes to Wal-Mart plans, Lewis (ex-ACORN) decries linkage between store and affordable housing; what about the arena linkage?
In a letter addressed to Related Companies CEO Stephen Ross, Wal-Mart critics accused the real estate developer and their allies of knowingly spreading falsehoods about the benefit of siting the big box store. Related is the organization widely believed to be in negotiations to bring Wal-Mart to East New York in Brooklyn.Well, a not dissimilar kind of conflation occurred 3/11/10, when Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Forest City Ratner/Barclays issued press releases touting the ceremonial arena groundbreaking, promising it would bring affordable housing in its wake.
The charge stems from a recent Housing Preservation and Development hearing, which dealt with the transfer of city-owned Gateway Commercial land to Related. According to Bertha Lewis, former head of the now-defunct ACORN who co-authored the letter, a lawyer representing Related conflated the transfer of land for mall construction with affordable housing.
...“Good people can disagree, but be transparent and honest,” said Ms. Lewis in reference to Related. “If you are negotiating to bring a Wal-Mart to Gateway II, say that. Don’t say that it’s about housing.”
It hasn't. It's been delayed, as Forest City Ratner considers the radical, cost-cutting step of modular construction.