new Web site o’lies
There are lies, damn lies and then there’s Bruce Ratner’s new
Almost from the moment that www.atlanticyards.com
went live, critics began finding half-truths and outright dishonesty on
the site — the most glaring example, a several-year-old photo of
a gutted building labeled “existing conditions.”
That building — at 636 Pacific St.— was later renovated into
luxury condos. Ratner wants to tear it down to make room for an arena
for the Brooklyn-bound New Jersey Nets.
Critics say that Ratner’s webmaster intentionally chose a pre-renovation
shot to suggest that the area is blighted, a requirement before the state
can evoke its eminent domain powers on behalf of the developer.
But Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco said the old photo of the Atlantic Arts
building was a placeholder and that shots on the Web site “will be
updated and revised on a regular basis.”
In addition to the bait-and-click on Pacific Street, the virtual Bruce
Ratner also lists Rep. Ed Towns (D-Fort Greene) as an unqualified “supporter”
of the project.
“We were surprised we were on the Web site,” said Towns’s
chief of staff Karen Johnson. “We do support the project … but
we do share the concerns of people who could lose their homes. And we
applaud the fact that there will be a full environmental review.”
Ratner’s people were surprised by Towns’s surprise.
“We’re surprised to hear this,” DePlasco said. “We
appreciate the congressman’s ongoing support and look forward to
work[ing] with him to improve the project.”
Many activists were stunned that Ratner had also renamed “Miss Brooklyn,”
the 62-story building that would tower over the adjacent Williamsburgh
Bank Building, to “Ms. Brooklyn,” as it now appears on Forest
City Ratner documents.
“The use of ‘Ms. Brooklyn’ vs. ‘Miss Brooklyn’
is part of a larger conspiracy to find out if the editors at The Brooklyn
Papers and the opposition bloggers are actually following every little
Full disclosure: We are.
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010