Bruce Ratner was called generous when he bought out tenants in the footprint of his proposed basketball arena in 2004 — but he could afford to be because he was paying with taxpayer money.
According to the just-released funding agreement between the city and Forest City Ratner, the $100 million for “land acquisition” that the city set aside in 2006 will reimburse the developer for the private land he bought to assemble the project’s superblock.
That includes deals that made millionaires out of condo owners who agreed to sell to Ratner while the threat of eminent domain loomed.
The funding agreement was obtained by the Atlantic Yards Report, a Web site, which acquired it through a Freedom of Information Act request.
“It is unconscionable and indefensible that the city is giving $100 million of taxpayers’ money to pay for Ratner’s strong-arm real-estate deals,” said Daniel Goldstein, the spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (who was the one resident of 636 Pacific St. who did not take Ratner’s buyout).
When the city announced its $100-million deal-sweetener in 2006, it was listed on budget documents as “land acquisition.”