Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Release of Atlantic Yards Financial Data Coming?

Don't look now, but all that previously private financial information about Atlantic Yards could be released soon. The Empire State Development Corporation had stonewalled requests for the release of the critical and revealing information during the Pataki Administration. That development is reported in today's New York Sun. The release of the information would come in response to a lawsuit by Assem. James Brennan and State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery. The Sun writes:
An ESDC spokeswoman told The New York Sun it now intends to release the documents to Mr. Brennan, likely this week, which include development company Forest City Ratner's business plan for the $4.2 billion project in Brooklyn. Assemblyman James Brennan, joined by state Senator Velmanette Montgomery, filed a lawsuit Monday against the Empire State Development Corporation alleging that the agency was improperly withholding documents detailing the project's finances.

Critics of the project for at least two years have been attempting to determine the amount developer Bruce Ratner stands to profit, and they say the hundreds of millions in city and state subsidies should justify its status as public information.

A spokesperson for the ESDC says that the new decision is the result of a reevaluation of the original decision by the Spitzer Administration. More analysis of the possible release of the documents is available, as always, at Atlantic Yards Report. Meanwhile, No Land Grab offers that release of the information is critical (even after the approval of the project) because "it is important to know how much taxpayer money will be committed to Atlantic Yards and what the taxpayers will get in return...It is important to understand how much Bruce Ratner stands to make...If the density issue is driven by the need for the developer to make a profit, then the public has a right to know what Ratner will earn in exchange for the public's acquiescence to an urban planning experiment of historical proportions.

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