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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

DDDB is a volunteer-run organization. We have over 5,000 subscribers to our email newsletter, and 7,000 petition signers. Over 800 volunteers have registered with DDDB to form our various teams, task-forces and committees and we have over 150 block captains. We have a 20 person volunteer legal team of local lawyers supplementing our retained attorneys.

We are funded entirely by individual donations from the community at large and through various fundraising events we and supporters have organized.

We have the financial support of well over 3,500 individual donors.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

Atlantic Yards Is Too Costly and Too Risky for NY State & City

In August, Governor Paterson took listener questions on WCBS-radio:

WCBS: "With the state in such dire fiscal straits why are you supporting this costly project, which according to this writer may end up costing the State and New York City about 2 billion in subsidies and tax breaks?"

Governor Paterson: "There is a point that the listener correctly has addressed. That if it starts to become too costly, a lot of these projects that we were for, we might have to change our mind. To this point we don't think that we are there with the Atlantic Yards and continue to try to help them.

The enormous amount of public financial support (through cash subsidies, tax breaks, tax-exempt bonds, and below-market land sales) for the 22-acre, 8-million-square foot Atlantic Yards project has always been a risky and costly proposition, and has been overly dependent on a single developer. Now, with New York State in a fiscal crisis, the Wall Street meltdown, the global credit crisis, real estate market downturn, skyrocketing construction costs, high office vacancy rates and overall poor local, state and national economies further clouding the fiscal picture, Atlantic Yards is certinaly too costly and too risky...

Just Some of the Current Costs to New York State and New York City:
  • $200 million direct cash subsidy from the state. (It had been thought that the state's direct cash subsidy to Forest City Ratner was $100 million, but this legal brief (pages 8-9) from the Public Authorities Control Board appears to say that the state has committed $200 million in direct cash subsidy to Ratner.)

  • Forest City Ratner (FCR) will seek more subsidies: Forest City Enterprises President Chuck Ratner said, during an investment analyst conference call, “we need more” subsides for Atlantic Yards. (April 2nd, 2008)
  • The Times confirmed that Ratner is asking government officials for $100 million more in taxpayer subsidies.

  • MTA Vanderbilt Rail Yards appraised at $214.5 million in 2005, while MTA has agreed to $100 million sale to Forest City Ratner (FCR).

  • An estimated $1.4 billion worth of tax-exempt housing bonds over an undefined time period. By comparison, the state's annual allocation for all affordable housing is about $1.6 billion.

  • Average cost to construct one new affordable unit in NYC is $250,000, while the Atlantic Yards project would require an estimated $430,000 per new affordable unit.

  • $205 million direct cash subsidy from the city.

  • A blank check promised by the city for "extraordinary infrastructure costs."

  • The NY Post tallied the total cost of government-backed financing and subsidies for Atlantic Yards to be more than $2 billion. Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's analysis, based on best available information, also estimates more than $2 billion in government-backed financing.
Just Some of the Risks for New York State and New York City:
  • The state will be on the hook for the $800 million in tax-exempt bonds sought by FCR to finance its $950 million arena, by far the most expensive arena ever proposed or built:
    > 2003 Project unveiled — arena cost was $435 million;
    > 2006 Project approved by ESDC, PACB — arena cost was $637 million;
    > 2008 FCR states arena cost is $950 million; this is sure to rise;
    > Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) will have to approve financing and construction again due to increased arena costs.
    (The UDC defaulted in 1975 on more than $100 in “bond anticipation notes.” The PACB was formed to protect the state from such default. Now, the Atlantic Yards Arena cost has drastically increased—FCR is seeking more in debt then the entire cost of the arena when approved.)

  • A $950 million arena represents a substantial opportunity cost during a housing and fiscal crisis.

  • 2005 IBO Fiscal Brief on the Arena , updated with added subsidies, shows the arena would be a net loss.

  • Proposed new IRS regulations would prohibit tax-exempt bond financing FCR anticipates for arena.

  • (Congress is holding a hearing on this issue on September 18th.)
  • FCR has not closed its deal with the MTA for the Vanderbilt Yards, 8 acres of the 22-acre project site.

  • Entire 22-acre site would be under control by FCR and dependent on its fiscal health, ability to find an anchor commercial tenant, and ability to secure financing.

  • No independent study of the project's financial impact has been undertaken, and there has been no independent fiscal (cost/benefit) analysis of the project.

  • There is no evidence that FCR can secure all necessary financing to build the arena or most of the housing.

  • The ESDC has allowed FCR 12 years to build just Phase 1 (the arena and 3 or 4 towers), and has set no timeline whatsoever for the building of Phase 2, which contains 11 or 12 towers and the large majority of the proposed affordable housing units. (There is no apparent penalty if Phase 2 is not built.)

  • An arena, surrounded by parking lots for decades. (See: www.atlanticlots.com)

  • Continued community opposition and litigation of violations of the law, and resistance to eminent domain property seizures.
It appears that Forest City Ratner is speculating on the land, which is the prerogative of a private real estate development firm. But allowing and fostering FCR's speculation on 22-acres of public land, city streets and private land at the crossroads of Brooklyn is not in NY State and City's interest, or in the interest of taxpayers.

Ratner's land speculation is too costly and too risky.

It is time to start over. It is time to go with the superior and economically feasible community developed plan for the Vanderbilt Rail Yards—The UNITY Plan.

Posted: 9.15.08
DDDB.net en español.
Battle for Brooklyn
Screening Schedule

Battle Fore Brooklyn
Unity 4 Community Meeting, June 15th at 388 Atlantic Avenue

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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
Photo Simulations
Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

Click for
Screening Schedule
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters

Read a review
Atlantic Yards
would be
Click image to see why:

-No Land Grab.org

-Atlantic Yards Report
-Atlantic Yards Deathwatch
-The Footprint Gazette
-Brooklyn Matters
-Noticing New York
-NY Times "The Local" FG/CH
-Brooklyn Views
-Council of B'klyn N'hoods
-The Brooklyn Paper
-The Brooklyn Wire
-Atlantic Lots
-Who Walk in Brooklyn
-S. Oxford St. Block Assoc.
-City Limits City Blogs
-The Knickerblogger
-Anyplace, Brooklyn
-Bklyn Bridge Park Defense
-Bay Ridge Journal
-Picketing Henry Ford
-Castle Coalition Blog
-Dope on the Slope
-Gowanus Lounge
-Fans For Fair Play
-Views from the Bridge
-Old First Blog
-Brooklyn Footprints
-Freddys Bklyn Roundhouse
-Ctr for the Study of Bklyn
-Pardon Me for Asking
-Clinton Hill Blog
-Only The Blog Knows BK
-Sustainable Flatbush
-A Child Grows in Bklyn
-Williamsburg Warriors

-The Real Estate
-Rail Yards Blog (H. Yards)
-OnNYTurf-Atlantic Yards
-Manhattan User's Guide
-Streets Blog
-Urban Place & Space
-New York Games
-Field of Schemes
-News 12 Brooklyn
-Queens Crap
-Dist.35 Comm'ity Gazette
-Save Our Parks (Bronx)
-Eminent Domain Watch
-NJ Eminent Domain Law
-Big Cities Big Boxes
-Olympic Bloomdoggle