Tuesday, December 04, 2007

If Bruce Ratner Has Supported BUILD, Which Opposes the Mayor on Coney Island....

Among the many fascinating questions raised by the bit of political theater at the Coney Island Development Corporation's canceled meeting about Coney Island redevelopment was the provenance of the hundreds of opponents bused in for the meeting. There was the issue of who financed the Kruger-led effort (which could become more clear after the State Senator's campaign committee "Friends of Carl" files campaign spending reports). There was also the very noticeable presence of James Caldwell and other members of BUILD, a group that supports Atlantic Yards which has received significant funding from developer Bruce Ratner. There is a strong sense that multiple threads trace back from this "opposition" to developer Joe Sitt and Thor Equities who may not quite be on board with the Bloomberg-Doctoroff vision of a Sitt-Free Coney Island amusement district. This school of thought believes that all Mr. Sitt needs to do is stall and hold up the process through the next Mayoral election and, then, plant the seeds for a mayor more in turn with the Thor Vision.

Kinetic Carnival does not mince words about the curious game that is starting to play out in a post about "All the Developer's Men":
At last year's hearings on the Atlantic Yard project Kruger served the same function as BUILD, using his voice as a representative of Brooklyn community's to try to paint Ratner's project as a vehicle for helping Brooklyn residents...The Nov. 19th 'Community Information Session' on the redevelopment of Coney Island was in many ways identical to the hearing on the Atlantic Yards Development project. We have the same politician and the same sham 'community group' trying to portray the plans of millionaire developers as being in the best interest of the very neighborhoods which their development plans seek to destroy.
Is a political debt being paid to the Southern Brooklyn politician that has anointed himself as the chief opponent of the Bloomberg plan? Does BUILD's lineage mean that a major Brooklyn developer, whose plan depends on deep public subsidies, is roiling the waters for City Hall in another part of the borough? It is all likely to become much, much more interesting.



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