e_legs

Happy Thanksgiving – No thanks to Ratner

In class warfare, Economic Justice, Housing, Land rights, New York City, Urban Planning / Space on November 25, 2006 at 1:31 pm

 

For Thanksgiving Day, the folks over at NoLandGrab made up a list of things to be thankful for.  The one that caught my the most was the last on their list – Bruce Ratner being listed as the #1 most loathsome New Yorker on the New York Press’ list of the 50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers.  That most definitely is something to be thankful for!  Here is what the NYPress had to say:

1 Bruce Ratner

Nets Owner & Developer

Where’s Jackie O. when you need her? The Atlantic Yards project and the rest of the properties this comb-over-mini-Donald’s got his greenbacked mitts around aren’t exactly Grand Central Terminal, but bear with us. Think of all the upper-middle-class homeowners who will be displaced after long, hard years of work carving a viable neighborhood out of a once-desolate area of Brooklyn. Then there are the many working-class people living in Prospect Heights, and the small businesspersons in the area. Aren’t their homes and businesses worth saving? The Empire State Development Board, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz don’t think so. The centerpiece of the proposed development is a 19,000-seat arena that will house the Brooklyn (née New Jersey) Nets, in which Ratner has a major stake. Also on the table are 17 high rises, which will be as high as 55 stories, 628,000 square feet of commercial space and residences. The housing bit is a ruse to assuage the masses. The “affordable” residential buildings will, however, remain out of reach for a single mom of four surviving on a sub-poverty-line paycheck. Ratner’s attempts to evade official processes for major real estate projects and the use of Supreme Court-endorsed eminent domain have been met with challenges from underfunded groups like Develop Don’t Destroy. What really pisses us off is the imminent razing of Freddy’s Bar and Backroom, which is in the 22-acre footprint. With the Freddy’s gone, where will we get our $4 beers when that’s all we have in our wallet? Oh, and don’t look for criticism in the Newspaper of Record: Ratner’s building the Times’ gleaming new headquarters building west of Times Square.

 

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