Friday, March 18, 2011

A Ratner Bluff on the Not-So-Fab Prefab Modulars? A Second Opinion

In today’s earlier Noticing New York post about Ratner’s plan to build the tallest prefab modular building in the world and then, perhaps, to proceed to build the densest thicket of such buildings imaginable (Friday, March 18, 2011, The Real Question to Ask About the Ratner Bait-and-Switch Approach on Atlantic Yards), I dealt with the possibility that Ratner might be bluffing thus:
Is Ratner really intending to carry out this most recently proposed bait-and-switch or is it just blackmail to get the state and city to give him more money? Does it make a difference? The result is the same; the public has been gypped. And thank you very much ESDC; this comes courtesy of you.
The analysis of whether the public is being blackmailed essentially harkens back to the way that Ratner threatened Community Board 2 for additional approvals on his Beekman Tower project by saying he wouldn’t build the community’s promised school. He was already theoretically obligated to build the school in connection with the permission he had been given to erect such an immense building on the site. He got the benefit of the extra approvals from the community board.

On today’s WNYC 411, Greg David has another take on the possibility that Ratner is bluffing, this time harkening back, also to the Beekman Tower, but this time to the way that Ratner later (bluffingly?) halted the tower's construction in order to exact concessions from the construction unions. The tower DID eventually proceed and Ratner DID get concession from the unions.

The fact is we may both be right. If it is potentially a ploy Ratner may intend it do double duty and do both.

Business reporter Mr. David appears to be having a harder time saying he still supports Ratner’s Atlantic Yards mega-monopoly, but he refused to say, when questioned during his interview, that he was wrong from the start. He offered a tempered and lukewarm hedged assessment: “Sure I regret that it’s not going to be beautiful off the bat, but you know fifteen years from now it might be great, - I’m hoping.” - - Fifteen years as hoped for by Mr. David is, of course, outside the 10-year time frame for which ESDC did its environmental assessment and the project is actually now expected to take decades.

To listen go here for the WNYC site or click below: Financial 411: Weekly Business Roundup
Friday, March 18, 2011

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