Saturday, November 21, 2009

In lawsuit affidavit, the "pay ACORN $500,000 to exit the CBA" myth still has legs

From Gib Veconi's affidavit in the case filed by BrooklynSpeaks and allies challenging the Empire State Development Corporation's approval of Atlantic Yards.
All organizations participating in the [Community Benefits Agreement] were to receive compensation from [developer Forest City Ratner] to provide various services as a function of the Project. In addition, FCRC could exit the agreement at any time by paying fees of $500,000 to ACORN and the other participants.
While the first statement is true--Forest City Ratner's MaryAnne Gilmartin confirmed it in July--the second is not.

Rather, it's an Atlantic Yards myth that still has legs. According to the CBA, Forest City Ratner doesn't have to pay anything if it abandons the project other than $500,000 to be used by Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD) to fund the Pre-Apprentice Training initiative.

Nor is a successor who buys the project bound to the CBA.

ACORN could go to court to enforce the housing obligation, but its unswerving support for the project--and bailout by Forest City Ratner--doesn't make it likely. After all, if Forest City Ratner can't build the housing because of lack of subsidies, it's (likely) off the hook.

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