with a kiss: Ratner gets a big wet one from activist Bertha Lewis
(right) after agreeing to set aside half of his 4,500 apartment units
to low-, moderate- and middle-income renters. For good measure, Lewis
also kissed Mayor Bloomberg. Photographic evidence makes it clear that
the famed ladies man Bloomberg enjoyed the kiss more.
Seizing the day: The Supreme Court rules that cities are allowed to seize privately owned property on behalf of private developers — a broad expansion of the notion of eminent domain. The cheering from Forest City Ratner headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn could be heard all the way to Bay Ridge.
Not so fast, part II: The MTA tells Ratner that his $50-million bid for the rail yards is not enough, even as the transit agency rejects a $150-million bid from a rival developer.
Picture this: Ratner
gives the New York Times a sneak peak at Frank Gehry’s design for
the entire project — but the reaction to the Vegas-style skyscrapers
and Nets-logo friezes (right) is so negative that he eventually orders
his “starchitect” back to his drafting table.
Low “Standard”: A Park Slope movie company turns down a chance to be profiled in Ratner’s supposed community newspaper, “The Brooklyn Standard” — and then publicly blasts the paper as “designed for the sole purpose of promoting [the] project.” The film company need not have worried; the Brooklyn Standard published just two issues in ’05.
Upping the ante: Ratner doubles his bid to $100 million — which is still less than half the $214-million value of the development rights, according to the MTA’s own appraiser — and wins control of the 8.5-acres train yard air rights.
Now you tell us?: A week after Ratner secures his deal with the MTA, Borough President Markowitz makes his first public request that Ratner downsize his mega-project.
Keep off!: The Papers reveals that a one-acre park on the roof of the Gehry-designed arena — which Ratner had once touted as “an exciting ... new public space [for] passive recreation and active public space for community residents” — will actually be off limits to the public. So much for the promised skating rink and hot chocolate.
Buy me love: The Papers also reveals that Ratner gave $5 million to supposed “community group” Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD). That kind of money buys a lot of friends.
Crackpot: Actress Rosie Perez doesn’t do opponents of the Ratner development any favors by saying that the mega-project would create unfriendly Manhattan-style neighborhoods. “When I lived in Manhattan, I knew the crackhead on my corner better than my neighbors,” she said. Ratner spokespeople immediately denied that 10 percent of their housing units had been set aside for crackheads.
He-a culpa: Frank Gehry tells a group of architects that his initial design for the Atlantic Yards was “horrible.” At the same meeting, he even posed for a photo with rabid opponent Patti Hagan (right). Amazingly, Gehry still has a job..