Ratner’s new Web site o’lies

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There are lies, damn lies and then there’s Bruce Ratner’s new Web site.

Almost from the moment that 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 detail.”

Full disclosure: We are.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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