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

Mayor-in-waiting Adams' Inner Circle includes power lawyer Carone and Rev. Daughtry, both with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park connections

Well, now that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is the Democratic mayoral nominee and presumptive next mayor for at least four and likely eight years--mayors rarely lose re-election--we'll be hearing more about who he listens to.

And as with Bill de Blasio's "Circle of Power" (circa 2013!) there's something of an Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park connection.

From the New York Times today, Meet Eric Adams’s Inner Circle, we get:
Frank Carone, prominent lawyer and Adams confidant
Mr. Carone, a longtime counsel to the Brooklyn Democratic Party with a reputation as an old-school power broker, has been an ally of Mr. de Blasio’s. He is politically influential, though some of his dealings over the years have drawn scrutiny. He has been a key donor, adviser and friend to Mr. Adams — Mr. Adams has worked out of office space belonging to Mr. Carone’s firm, an arrangement that Mr. Adams had to account for during the campaign.
Well, the Politico article linked was a bit more piquant, since it was headlined Adams omitted use of politically connected lawyer's office on campaign records.

New York Times graphic

A closer look at Carone

Politico 7/16/21 offered Frank Carone: The well-connected lawyer who has Eric Adams' ear, which detailed Carone's role offering office space, legal advice, and fundraising--even as his law firm, Abrams Fensterman, represents clients doing business with the city:
As head of the firm’s Brooklyn office, Carone offers clients strategic advice on government relations while also helping them accelerate the grind of municipal bureaucracy. He relies on a thick Rolodex built over the years, through a keen knowledge of city agencies and control over a piece of the Brooklyn Democratic political machine.
An Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park mention

From Politico:
And he hopped on the legal team of Forest City Ratner and Greenland USA in 2015, when a planned commercial tower in their massive development project Pacific Park came under threat from P.C. Richard & Son.
I'm not sure that's accurate, though the implication--that Carone could help in a local dispute--is surely true.

As I wrote, P.C. Richard in 2019 year won the initial round; a judge ordered that original developer Forest City Ratner was required to deliver replacement space in the yet-unbuilt successor building at Site 5, catercorner to the arena block. 

That case is currently on appeal, and the state's condemnation is on hold, though Empire State Development can proceed with initial plans to transfer bulk from the unbuilt "Miss Brooklyn" across the street.

Both adversaries have expanded their legals teams with local counsel. For example, in February 2016, P.C. Richard hired former Council Member Dominic Recchia as a co-counsel, presumably with the notion that political connections might not hurt.

Forest City (owned by Brookfield) didn't add Abrams Fensterman until March 2020, when partner Matthew Didora filed a notice saying the firm was now co-counsel. In June 2020, Carone joined Didora on a brief apparently prepared by lawyers at another firm, whose names were above them. 

That brief sought an order granting a stay and temporary restraining order regarding P.C. Richard's request for a court order to deliver that replacement space. 

Given that the condemnation had been stayed pending resolution of the appeal, the parties agreed last September to stay the related proceeding until resolution of the appeal. So Carone was, more or less, successful.

Carone: pressure "when crossed"

From Politico:
He makes himself a port in a storm, sticking by friends in tough times and inviting them for a home-cooked meal at his house in Southern Brooklyn, replete with neoclassical rooflines and a waterfront pool deck. But Carone can just as quickly exert pressure when he feels he’s been crossed, according to more than a dozen interviews with politicians and operatives who have dealt with him.
Indeed. As I reported in August 2019, Carone led the legal defense of Woodland, a bar on Flatbush Avenue facing enforcement by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) after years of complaints about a joyous, raucous "Black Brunch," with sometimes unruly customers who--with long waits for the bathroom after unlimited mimosas--sometimes would puke or pee outside.

Adams, who held fundraisers at Woodland and received campaign contributions from the owner, took the bar's side, blaming complaints on racism (though some concerned neighbors were Black). The bar ultimately lost its license.

Before that, Carone fought hard. As I wrote, lawyers for Woodland aimed to disqualify SLA attorney Margarita Marsico. During an oral argument, Marsico, according to her affirmation, stated that her adversary Carone told the judge he’d been to a function at Woodland, found no problems, and thought there was “a racial animus” to the neighbors complaints.

By contrast, Marsico continued, SLA representatives had observed loud music while visiting Woodland, as had she, while walking by. “I later saw people walking down the street while holding plastic glasses and I saw a person urinating in public in the rear of the premises.” 

“I further informed the court the Petitioner owes the New York City Department of Buildings and the New York City Fire Department over $40,000 in fines and has not cleared any of the violations,” she said, adding that she thought operator Akiva Ofshtein, a lawyer, “should be held to a higher standard in complying with fire safety laws.”

After the oral argument, Marsico reported, Carone called her "a fucking liar” and continued to curse her. Carone, in response, said he called her a “liar” after she “slandered my client not as a licensee, but in his capacity as an attorney.” (He didn’t address the other alleged language.)

Another connection: Rev. Daughtry (& the DBNA)

From the Times:
Mr. Adams is close to a number of religious leaders from different backgrounds. The Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry, a prominent Black minister and longtime activist, was an early mentor of Mr. Adams’s, encouraging him to join the police force to combat misconduct from within.
Note that Daughtry founded the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance (DBNA), pretty much the last active signatory of the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement, and his daughter Sharon Daughtry long served as executive director, presiding over the distribution of free Barclays Center tickets to local nonprofits. (The DBNA's staff page says "Coming Soon.")

Daughtry also helps run the Atlantic Yards/Nets/DBNA Community Foundation, which since its inception in 2015, has awarded 68 Brooklyn based community organizations over $300,000, with Adams offering Borough Hall--and joining in--for the ceremonies.

Note that there's no evidence that the health center open at the 38 Sixth Avenue tower fulfills the Community Benefits Agreement, despite the claim in the press release, by providing health care to the needy.