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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Behind New York Forever, real estate (and more) and some powerful p.r. firms

Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, Billy Porter and More New Yorkers Join Campaign to Rebuild City, the Hollywood Reporter told us yesterday, presaging a parade of stars:
"New York’s comeback depends on New Yorkers," say founders Risa Heller and Jonathan Rosen in a joint statement. "We are eager to help our neighbors play a meaningful part in building New York’s future — by supporting locally owned small businesses, looking out for our unemployed restaurant workers, applauding our essential workers and caring for families battling homelessness. We are excited about this project and confident in the city’s resilience." 
...NY Forever states its mission as cheerleading for NYC, getting New Yorkers engaged and partnering with nonprofits to help New Yorkers in need. "Facing unprecedented challenges, New York City needs to turn this moment into a city-defining triumph. To do so, we wanted to build an inclusive brand to inspire all 8 million New Yorkers," says the group's marketing head Richard Mumby. "Our launch campaign will immerse all five boroughs with an exciting call-to-arms for New York City’s next chapter."
A Forbes travel writer offered, with dubious punctuation, 100 Of The Most Iconic New Yorker’s Have Banded Together In Support Of The City They Love. The campaign got support from the likes of former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff.

A positive, anodyne pledge

Who could be against a PLEDGE TO NEW YORK’S FUTURE, aiming to "build a better future, one that leaves the city stronger and more equitable than ever before," and to "organize and motivate New Yorkers from every borough and generation to participate in the city’s rebirth — wearing it on their sleeves, sharing it on social media, giving time or financial support to civic organizations."

Then again, this is the work of powerful public relations firms with corporate partners such as media (Vox, Bloomberg, and WNYC), financial firms (Goldman Sachs), tech (Squarespace and DoorDash), as well as NY Cares and Russ & Daughters.

And there's a lot of real estate, starting with the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), and major firms like Two Trees, Related, Silverstein, Rudin, RXR. After all, real estate firms have as much an interest as anyone in keeping New York growing.

Also: Brookfield (which absorbed Forest City and has a small stake in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park) and TF Cornerstone (building two towers on the project's southeast block).

Some pushback

Update: from The Real Deal

In Civic boosterism gets big backing from real estate, the Real Deal's Amy Plitt reported;

[The campaign] continued Thursday with prominent city buildings such as One World Trade Center and One Bryant Park lighting their facades in the campaign’s signature colors.
The choice of buildings was not random: The campaign’s corporate partners include a bevy of real estate developers and firms including the Durst Organization, which operates those two properties, as well as RXR Realty, TF Cornerstone, Silverstein Properties, the Real Estate Board of New York and others.
...Developers have good reason to entice people back to New York. The real estate firms that have signed on to help NY Forever own or manage millions of square feet of residential and commercial space throughout the city.
And yes, money is coming from them:

Some of that help is coming in the way of financial support; the real estate partners are helping underwrite the campaign’s operations. In addition to providing funding, those developers will also place advertising on their buildings and in digital kiosks at malls and shopping centers.

Heller and Rosen insist there’s no underlying political motivation for the nonprofit; Rosen called it “assiduously apolitical,” and Heller deemed it an “independent civic effort.”

Well, stay tuned. Surely real estate firms want favorable policies, and a halo might help.

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