Ratner exec: Goldstein was in it for the money!

The Brooklyn Paper
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Forest City Ratner officials abandoned their diplomatic talk on Tuesday to explicitly portray Daniel Goldstein, who ended his long holdout in the Atlantic Yards footprint for $3 million last week, as an opportunist looking to make as much money as possible.

Countering Goldstein’s own statements that the sticking point over last week’s negotiations was his refusal to sign away his right to criticize the project in the future, Forest City Ratner Executive Vice President MaryAnne Gilmartin told us that last week’s final negotiations did not bog down due to Goldstein’s refusal to sign a “gag order,” but simply over how much money he could get out of developer Bruce Ratner.

“The sticking point was how much money he wanted,” Gilmartin said.

A source close to negotiations reinforced that claim by saying that Goldstein had actually pushed for $5 million at one point during negotiations.

Goldstein and his lawyer, Michael Rikon, said that both claims were patently false.

“The money amount was settled pretty quickly,” Goldstein said. “The sticking point that led to nearly four hours of discussions was Ratner’s insistent desire to bind me to some sort of gag order.

“Apparently, taking my home and razing my neighborhood wasn’t enough for them,” he added.

The lawyer backed up his client.

“The money was never the problem!” said Rikon. “For [Gilmartin] to say that is outrageous.”

In the wake of this she-said, they-said story, Ratner is moving forward with construction of his Barclays Center arena, which he hopes to open during the 2012–13 basketball season. Meanwhile, Goldstein is hastily stowing away his belongings so he can move out of his Pacific Street condo by the May 7 deadline imposed by the settlement.

While taking a break from packing, Goldstein said he was looking forward to some time away from the spotlight.

“I’ll be moving on from this fight without losing sight of it,” Goldstein said, adding, “Though the spotlight will move away from this project, the next phase will last longer than the fight against it.”

But Goldstein hinted that he would not be vanishing from public life. He said he remained committed to advocating for reform of New York’s eminent domain laws, and said that he had casually considered running for elected office someday.

“I’ve thought about it,” Goldstein said. “But this was a six- or seven-year political campaign.”

Updated 1:43 pm, April 28, 2010: Updated to add in an additional allegation and a subsequent denial. Also makes minor changes to language.
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George Polkster from Brooklyn Heights says:
It's a shame that the Brooklyn Paper, in its headline, continues its relentless assault on Daniel Goldstein, going so far as to misrepresent Forest City Ratner's fairly tame position on its acquisition of Goldstein's apartment.

The headline can clearly be understood to mean that Forest City is alleging that Goldstein's six year long campaign against Atlantic Yards was motivated not by principle, but by the hope of a big payday.

While I believe that this is a nonsensical assertion (since if Goldstein was "in it for the money" he could have sold out early on), I accept that Ratner shills may consider it a reasonable argument. Even so, nowhere in the Brooklyn Paper story does Forest City express this sentiment. It's a total invention by the Brooklyn Paper's headline writer.

All VP Gilmartin said, in what is represented as an off-the-cuff aside, was that the "sticking point" in the final negotiation was "how much money [Goldstein] wanted" for his apartment.

Which means exactly what? Not what is inferred in the headline — only that once Goldstein realized the game was up and he'd lost his home, he was negotiating with Forest City for the best possible payout.

His wedge was no longer the prospect of stopping a Nets arena; at that point, he was simply a holdover tenant — both he and Ratner knew he'd have to leave in a few months, but Ratner stood to save tens of millions by getting him to leave early. All Ratner did was pay Goldstein for that convenience. This happens all the time with landlords big and small, and for Forest City it was no big deal.

So, yes, Goldstein and Forest City needed to settle on the money before the parties had a deal. But it's disingenuous for Forest City to suggest that its desire to muzzle Goldstein was not an issue.

Before Forest City acquired the properties and leaseholds of other Atlantic Yards opponents, those foes had to agree to take the money and bury their integrity, silencing their voices forever.

While Goldstein will no longer lead the fight against Ratner, in those closing negotiations he won something besides a fair payout — he won the right to speak.
April 28, 2010, 9:31 am
freddy from slope says:
nice crappy story brooklyn papers.

sad that there is no alternative presently.

maybe that will change.

how about this for an appropriate story headline:

"after costs last holdout nets about 100%(2-1) increase in property value that was given away to billionaire for a 5,000,000,000 profit (40-1 over out of pocket acquisition costs)."

now who is the greedy one here?
April 28, 2010, 9:46 am
Daniel, if you're reading this: Good for you ! You used our state's screwed-up legal system to make a profit. Why not ? People do it every day. From lawyers to people on welfare and medicaid, let's pay our taxes and hope for our own payday. Good luck.
April 28, 2010, 10:10 am
Sid from boerum hill says:
Well now Dan has something else to sue Ratner about. Its really ridiculous that Gilmartin said anything.
I have no doubt that it wasn't all about the money...
April 28, 2010, 10:21 am
joshua from prospect heights says:
Totally with Sid on this one.

Of course, Goldstein was in it for the money. Anyone who hasn't lost their mind at Freddy's knows that!

Since Goldstein continues to say he's committed to the fight, perhaps he will contribute his $2,500,000.00 profit to the BBBD legal aid fund.

If he wasn't in it for the money, Goldstein would do that.
April 28, 2010, 11:21 am
Daniel Goldstein from Prospect Heights says:
There is a simple explanation for what Ms. Gilmartin said.

She is 100% lying.
April 28, 2010, 11:40 am
George Polkster from Brooklyn Heights says:
To the extent that some people [wrongly, I believe] think that Goldstein got more than he deserved, why focus on Daniel to the exclusion of the REAL ripoff artist here?

And that would be … duh … Bruce Ratner!

MAYBE Goldstein clears a few hundred thousand "extra" [whatever that term means] on his sale. But, joshua, Daniel will NOT pocket a two-and-a-half-million dollar "profit").

Ratner, on the other hand, gets HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars in taxpayer subsidies (including tax breaks, interest abatements, deferred payments, arena naming rights, a huge discount on his acquisition of MTA property, and more).

April 28, 2010, 11:53 am
Daniel Goldstein from P Heights says:
Goldstein's attorney responds to Gilmartin's quote that sticking point in settlement was money: "This is an absolute untruth. "
April 28, 2010, 12:01 pm
A O from BKLYN says:
Good for him! I would be about maximizing my potential profit as well. Your up rooted a whole neighborhood to make billions of dollars; 3 mil is what he deserved for the fight he put up with! Honestly he should have gotten more!!! Screw Bratner!!!1
April 28, 2010, 12:09 pm
Paul from Park Slope says:
What kind of idiot is this Gilmartin woman??? Publicly libeling a man who has demonstrated a willingness to litigate? Put down the hairspray, Maryann, this could get expensive!
April 28, 2010, 1:34 pm
George Polkster from Brooklyn Heights says:
I'm not a Ratner fan (as evidenced by my comments above) but I'd guess there's a good chance Gilmartin did not mean to say exactly what the Brooklyn Paper attributes to her.

Gilmartin's brief quote sounds like an off-the-cuff, possibly off-the-record, aside. I'd be surprised if she meant it as a serious comment for public consumption.

What may be behind this hullabaloo is the Brooklyn Paper's obsession with concocting provocative headlines that have just a passing regard for the truth.
April 28, 2010, 2:25 pm
kelly from park slope says:
come on, they;re kidding, right?
Daniel Goldstein is the opposite of a sellout!!
April 28, 2010, 4:32 pm
Any Mouse from Any Where says:
Daniel Goldstein is a buy-in?
April 28, 2010, 4:54 pm
K from No more says:
Imagine the nerve of the man! He should have just given his home to Ratner and know his role in society as a slave unable to hold property. As you, dear readers, know all too well.

April 28, 2010, 8:30 pm
judahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
So what happens to the people & other groups & organizations that were your ally? What was their settlement?

The FCR made sure that your settlement news went hyper-vile.

You are constantly in the news now, but the news is about the new Daniel Goldstein. Who is he? Can't you just hear the "Shaft" theme song in the background?

Your settlement killed all other opposition. Not that I care because I thought you all were a bunch of jokers.

"The last holdout settled at Atlantic Yards".

Daniel Goldstein settled! You took the $$$.

You weren't just someone who opposed the arena. You was a homeowner in the footprint. You gave the other people strength, because you was fighting for your home.

You sold out! You sold them out.

Why didn't you send the Wife & son to stay with family, then get the Marshalls paddling your spot on tape. Even your stuff piled up on the sidewalk.
That's what would of resolve "le carnivale", the frenzy, that you created.
You should have taken it all the way bro. Or maybe FCR should of offered you the $$$ back in '03.

You took the $$$.
April 28, 2010, 8:40 pm
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April 28, 2010, 9:22 pm
Barbara from Park Slope says:
I will take Daniel Goldsteirn's word over Forest Hill Ratner's people anyday. The attacks on his character are shameful. He fought valiantly against all odds for years. I am sure he put many aspects of his life on hold to work with others for what he and I beleive was the greater good. He has lost his home and was given a settlement so he could move. Perhaps those who are maligning him should look in the mirror.
April 28, 2010, 9:45 pm
Publius from Bklyn Heights says:
Why is anyone suprised with the so-called Brooklyn Paper's "reporting" stance? They were shamless shills for Walentas on Dock Street (while they were office tennants to Two Trees--and violating the most basic rules of journalism by not disclosing this material fact).

This Murdoch publication is not even fit to wipe one's bum with. What a waste of trees and Internet bandwidth.
April 28, 2010, 10:49 pm
BLewis from Kensington says:
I thought it was Ratner that was in it for the money. Must have misunderstood all along.
April 29, 2010, 12:24 am
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
News Flash: Brooklyn Paper runs attack ad.

Brooklyn, NY- The Brooklyn Paper once again has shown itself worthy of it's back patting by running an attack ad against Daniel Goldstein. Forrest City Ratner declined comment on the allegation. Brooklyn Paper, in it's defense, pointed to it's award winning website and various accolades no one cares about as confirmation of it's journalistic integrity.

Meanwhile, the combination of planning construction on the Atlantic Yards project coupled with the closure of the Brooklyn Bridge is a ticking time bomb of a traffic nightmare the likes this city hasn't seen since the gas crises, which has been generally ignored by the local media.

Ask for comment on the apparent lack of credibility by the Brooklyn Paper, a staff member retorted "What we fits, we prints"
April 30, 2010, 11:05 am
Reva from Park Slope says:
I thank Dan Goldstein for fighting the good fight for seven years -- he raised awareness of the eminent domain issue, which will probably influence future real estate development cases, and AY was scaled back in size because of him. I'm sorry that politicians supporting Big Money, as well as the legal system, colluded against dddB, but I don't expect he and his family to wind up on the streets because of this. I'm glad he got some bucks out of Ratner.

I also think the story isn't over. 25 years is a long time to have a construction site around, and there are a lot of factors that could affect this project: neighborhood dissatisfaction, lack of promised jobs for the community, losing performances by The Nets, lack of attendance at the games -- and oh yes, let's not forget the economy. Where is Ratner getting all the luxury buyers for the condos? This could even become a white elephant, and ultimately taken over to become affordable housing (which is the only way Ratner's original promise of that would be fulfilled). Let's stay tuned.
May 2, 2010, 10:32 pm
Dirg from Prospect Heights says:
ATTN: Joshua - you should be committed.
Judah - you should be tied with him

Nothing was "sold" there was nothing to "sell"

After taxes, and legal fees. It is the same as the wimps who left 6 years ago.

Paul from Park Slope. LOL!
May 3, 2010, 11:42 am
Moshe Aron Kestenbaum from Williamsburg ODA says:
This story sucks, Ratner is just another greedy bastard who is screwing over everyone who stands in his way.
May 3, 2010, 8:59 pm
Steve Miller from Band says:
Go on take the money and run!
May 4, 2010, 12:50 pm
Pooter from Brooklyn heights says:
was he in it for the money, or in it for the babies?
May 5, 2010, 9:52 am
R Morgan from Park Slope says:
We all should feel so fortunate that someone took the fight forward for so long and at such a personal sacrifice. The issue of eminent domain and the very real possibility that any one of us could be booted from our own property because a government body decided in favor of a private developer is something all of us should be keenly sensitive and resistant to.

The fact that Daniel fought the good fight should be embraced as someone not thinking for the greater good. He should not be faulted or dishonored because he took the money when it became beyond inevitable. When you consider the opportunity costs of fighting as hard and as many years as he did, I don't think he made out like a sellout. How many of you could do that?!

This article and its author clearly appear to have a bias for Ratner. The real bandit here is and always has been Ratner. And any reporter who fails to inform you in some fashion that all of you have been the real victims, who are putting your own hard-earned dollars into Ratner's pockets, is clearly not fit to write the story.
July 18, 2010, 11:27 pm
R Morgan from Park Slope says:
In my prior post I meant to say that Daniel fought the good fight and should be embraced as someone thinking for the greater good. He really is thinking beyond himself.
July 18, 2010, 11:29 pm
Dorothy Goldstein from Phoenix.Az. says:
This newspaper has added my name to this site connection. My birthplace Brooklyn. I grew up and was educated in the city I love and yearn to go back often. I am an Artist. Many of my art pieces are of Brooklyn and all around. I am no way associated with this action. And I want to make sure to defend my name as well as possibly have this Daniel removed his name on the U tube vidio "Audrey in the Windows". My art and donation to the Audrey Lennon Foundation in her memory. We met in that building in the city and had been friends for 35 years. Please do not dishonor myself or Audrey with this connection. Dorothy Goldstein Artist.
Sept. 16, 2010, 8:43 pm

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