Walk Don't Destroy 3 is an opportunity to help fund the DDDB legal campaign at a fun, interactive and exciting event. Join your friends and neighbors to help stop eminent domain abuse, massive over-development and the destruction of the Brooklyn we know and love.
The court battles against the 'Atlantic Yards' hinges on our ability to fund our legal team. While we have two very strong legal cases and a stellar legal team, the community can't win without your help in raising money and awareness.
The walk is about 2 miles, and starts at noon at the Freddys Bar. The event will include hundreds of walkers and a closing community party at Soda Bar.
Register for Walk Don't Destroy 3 here.
If you don't know about the travesty that is the Atlantic Yards project, you should take a moment and read about it. There are a lot of misconceptions about it being good for neighborhood jobs or privately funded or any of a hundred other points of confusion.
Find out more here:
What a Deal (for Mr. Ratner)
Bruce Ratner, the developer who wants to build this project, would lease the arena - and take all its profits - for the next 99 years at a bargain price: $1.00 (The government will throw in, for free, entire city streets and millions of square feet of development rights). Just like the Jets, he's buying the rail yards from the MTA for far less than they're worth, and for less than the competing bid, at a time that the MTA is raising fares, closing token booths and cutting service. (The MTA accepted Ratner's bid of $100 million ($30/sq. foot), despite the competing bid of $150 million from Extell and the MTA's own apppraised value of $214.5 million. THAT is a sweetheart deal.)
He will not pay taxes (property, mortgage transfer or sales tax) into the NYC treasury. Instead, he will pay Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) which will go directly into an unaccountable slush fund, robbing NYC of hundreds of millions in revenue. The government is ready to use eminent domain to take people's property and give it to Ratner.
The city and state will compel taxpayers to support his profits by giving him at least $550 million in tax-exempt bonds (loans), and close to $2 billion in taxpayer money. It is likely that the public will be on the hook if the bonds are not paid back. (New York City and State have each promised to give Ratner $100 million in cashÑbut that is only the tip of the iceberg).
"But I Heard That..."
"... it will create 10,000 permanent jobs."
This is not true. Ratner proposes to build space for 2,300 jobs. 700 might be new. None of those jobs would be guaranteed to local residents, and many jobs would be recycled from elsewhere ("retained") rather than new. Also, 11% of Brooklyn office space is currently empty.
"... The project is funded by private money."
Absolutely not. Never. Your tax dollars keep Ratner going. The public would pay nearly $2 billion for the Atlantic yards project. Taxpayers gave him $117 million to build the Atlantic Terminal Mall. We pay $1.7 million each year to rent office space at his Atlantic Center Mall and undisclosed millions more to rent 1 million square feet of space at Ratner's MetroTech. New York governmental agencies are Ratner's number one tenant.
"...This project will boost the local economy."
Ratner fills his projects with national chain stores (like Chuck E. Cheese) that send their profits out-of-state. Local small businesses are excluded from his projects, and suffer from the subsidized national chain competition. Ratner would build a tunnel from the subway directly to the arena so arena visitors will have no need to explore the neighbhorhood.
"... he will employ local unemployed minorities."
Ratner has guaranteed no such thing, and has a terrible track record on minority and local hiring. Ratner made similar promises when he built MetroTech, but broke them. He cannot be trusted.
His idea of affordable housing (check out the last few bands):
Worth noting: the median income is $35,000 per year. Only 900 units will hit that level or below.
How his idea of affordable housing compares to the current neighborhood demographics: