It’s official, direct from Forest City Ratner Companies: the Atlantic Yards developer is a liar.
Forest City Ratner now admits that its claim of a tax revenue windfall — a justification for the government’s support of the $4 billion project — was actually concocted by Ratner’s paid consultant, and was not based on an analysis by state officials as the developer repeatedly claimed.
“The $4.4 billion figure is in the report of a consultant who had been retained by [Forest City Ratner Companies] and does not appear in the state’s [Final Environmental Review Statement,]” said Ratner attorney Jeffrey Braun in a legal document that surfaced this week.
Braun himself previously stated in court that the $4.4 billion number came from the state.
“[M]y statement in my prior affirmation that the ‘environmental impact statement for the project estimates that the project will create … $4.4 billion in net tax revenues for the city and the state over 30 years’ is mistaken, because ‘[t]here is simply no projection at all regarding the net tax revenues contained in the EIS.’”
The revelation appeared in a footnote to a filing in a lawsuit challenging the validity of the state’s environmental review. It was first reported on Wednesday by Atlantic Yards Report.
Prior to this latest admission, the developer had said that the 16-skyscraper-and-arena development, the largest in Brooklyn’s history, would generate a total of $5.6 billion for the city and state and that once city and state contributions were factored in, $4.4 billion in net revenue.
Ratner executives had said the jaw-dropping number came from the state’s own Final Environmental Impact Statement, written by the Empire State Development Corporation.
Critics said the news was yet another example of Ratner’s untrustworthiness.
“The whole project has been built upon lies,” said Daniel Goldstein, spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn. “It’s hard to imagine that’s the only misinformation that they publicized over the past years.”
Neither the Empire State Development Corporation nor Forest City Ratner would comment for this article.