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Daily News: Forest City pushed, unsuccessfully, to save modular business by working on Sandy relief

From the New York Daily News's Greg Smith, in De Blasio's deputy Alicia Glen appears to lead the charge of helping donors get what they want:
As chairman of Forest City Ratner, another large development company, Bruce Ratner needs city approval for projects.
He built Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and is forging ahead with its affiliated Pacific Park development of half market rate, half subsidized affordable apartments.
Just to be clear, Ratner needs city and/or state approval; Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park was approved by New York State, but Ratner--now, as part of Greenland Forest City Partners--must negotiate with the city on levels of affordability in the promised below-market apartments. And that is negotiable, as I've written.

Note that Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park is to contain 6,430 apartments, with 1,930 condos, perhaps 200 of them below-market, and 4,500 rentals, half of them affordable.

Writes Smith:
Ratner has hosted two de Blasio campaign fund-raisers. He and his executives bundled $13,600 for the mayor’s 2013 campaign and $15,050 for his re-election effort.
Those are not insignificant numbers, but they're not huge either. It's called "keeping your hand in." Perhaps more important is Ratner's willingness to co-host those fundraisers from early in the campaign and to offer rhetorical support for de Blasio in TV interviews.

The news: the modular gambit

Writes Smith:
In between, Ratner executives met or had phone calls with Glen five times, delivering the last round of campaign checks 18 days before a Jan. 26 meeting with Glen at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where — at the time — Forest City was building modular housing.
The purpose of that meeting was to discuss Ratner’s proposal to use the firm’s modular housing in the “Build it Back” program to upgrade residences damaged by Hurricane Sandy, said Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco. The city decided not to go that route.
“We do not discuss politics or fund-raising at government meetings,” DePlasco said, noting that the deadline for campaigns to report donations was Jan. 10, “so it’s not surprising that people gave at that time.”
Well, that's interesting, because the modular housing would have been way different from the stacked apartment sections Forest City previously built for the B2 tower, now known as 461 Dean. That would have required a retooling of the factory.

And it offers further support for the supposition that Forest City unloaded the modular factory for a song to former executive Roger Krulak and his company Full Stack Modular, given that the price was unmentioned.

It also suggests that political support from Forest City and executives does not always reap results.

As to whether government meetings never ever in the tiniest, most oblique way include discussion politics or fund-raising, well, we can't be sure, can we?

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