of Understanding (MOUs) between:
Forest City Ratner (Bruce Ratner),
The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC, Charles Gargano)
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC, Daniel
Doctoroff, Andrew Alper
February 18, 2005 Public
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU 1)
February 18, 2005 Private/Secret
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU 2)
Immediate Release: August 17, 2005
DDDB Reveals Secret Agreement Among
New York City and State.
Besides Private Memorandum of Understanding,
is Bruce Ratner Hiding?
NEW YORK, NY–On March 3rd, 2005, the Empire State Development
Corporation (ESDC) publicly released a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU)∆an agreement and understanding among Forest City Ratner
(FCR), the City and State of New York with respect to the
development of a sports arena and mixed-use residential, commercial
and retail development in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The
agreement was dated February 18th, 2005.
What was not released was a second, secret MOU among the same
parties, with the same agreement date.
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) spokesperson, Daniel
Goldstein, said, "The whole Ratner deal has moved forward
over the past two years in backrooms and with great secrecy.
This unreleased second MOU raises serious questions about
the developer's honesty as well as the transparency of the
public parties and officials signed on to the agreement∆the
ESDC and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC),
represented by Charles Gargano, Daniel Doctoroff and Andrew
Goldstein continued, "This second MOU lays out plans for an
even larger development, and more development rights, for
Bruce Ratner than the public MOU. It agrees to a State takeover
of this larger development plan, contingent on the approval
of the plan outlined in the public MOU. Why has the City agreed
to this? Also, if such an important document has been kept
under wraps, why should we trust any of the information the
public has seen from the developer and the public agencies?
Is there any reason to believe the job projections, the revenue
projections, the affordable housing claims or any other claims?
The answer is no." (*see correction below)
The second MOU, or "MOU 2," allows new development rights
for FCR to develop millions more square feet over their Atlantic
Center Mall and the PC Richards/Modell's mall (Site 5) at
the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues. These sites
are directly adjacent to the disclosed footprint of Ratner's
proposed Brooklyn Atlantic Yards (BAY) project outlined in
the public MOU. "MOU 2" also refers to a mysterious previous
MOU from May 2004. It also provides for a state takeover of
yet more acres in addition to the 21 acres in the public MOU.
This would add more than one million square feet to what is
already 8 million square feet of development in the BAY plan,
and what is already an overburdened traffic intersection and
public transportation hub. (*see correction
Unlike the MOU on the West Side Stadium, the MTA is not a
signatory to the Brooklyn MOU. It is not known if the MTA
is aware of "MOU 2."
Goldstein concluded, "We need some answers as to why the already
massive Ratner plan has grown in size, and done so in secret
agreements among FCR, the City and State. Clearly, much greater
scrutiny needs to be brought to the Ratner proposal, by political
officials, public interest groups, and the media. Why hasn't
this second MOU been made public? What other secret deals
have formed behind the scenes? It is this kind of misinformation
and secrecy that leads to so much public skepticism about
this developer's intentions and this development proposal."
The two documents, the public MOU (MOU 1) and the private
MOU (MOU 2) can be found here.
Mayor Bloomberg's press release about MOU 1, which makes no
mention of MOU 2, can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/crb2u
these agreements are often complicated for the layperson and
experts, there is an error in this press release regarding
the meaning of the second or secret MOU which we got only
through a Freedom of Information request. The second MOU allows
FCR to transfer 328,272 square feet of development rights
from its Atlantic Center Mall to the parcel of land, known
as Site 5, currently occupied by P.C. Richards, Modell's and
a parking lot. This reduce the air rights that FCR already
has over the Atlantic Center Mall and transfer those rights
to Site 5, increasing the density allowed at that site.
So, insteaad of about 1.6 million square feet of development
over the the Atlantic Center Mall–separate and apart
from the square footage of the "Atlantic Yards"
proposal–there will be approximately 1.25 million square
feet of residential and commercial development over the Mall,
somtime before 2010 according to FCR. The 328,272 square feet
added to Site 5 increases the size of the structure over that
parcel to 636,000 square feet of development.
The second MOU also allows for more eminent domain at Site
5, and for Site 5 and Atlantic Center Mall development to
take place whether or not "Atlantic Yards" receives
approval. One question remains: when and how did FCR get these
air rights over Site 5 and the Atlantic Center Mall?
sorry for any confusion we may have created.