1. Did Daniel sell his apartment?
No, it was taken from him via eminent domain by the State of New York, on behalf of developer Forest City Ratner. After a multi-year legal battle, it was officially taken, title transferred by the court to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), on March 1, 2010, by order of NY State Supreme Court, Kings County, Judge Abraham Gerges. At that moment, ESDC became the owner of the apartment and Daniel became their tenant. Over the years Forest City Ratner made multiple attempts to buy Daniel out and he refused their offers.
2. Was Atlantic Yards the product of a rezoning? Did the project receive public approval by the city?
No, the project was enacted via a state override of zoning. New York State, via the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), took control of the project. This means instead of changing the zoning regulations for the project site by going through the City’s democratic Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) ending in a vote by the City Planning Commission and the City Council, the site’s zoning regulations were overridden by New York State. Not one single elected city or state official had a vote on this override or the eventual approval of the project. The override granted a massive increase in allowed scale and density, as well as a radical change in use.
3. Would the project include 15,000 construction jobs, as asserted by the developer?
No, it would be 15,000 job-years or 1500 jobs per year for a decade (or, obviously, some other reduced configuration.) This has proven to be far from the reality to date. As of March 2011, there were 114 construction jobs - less than 10% of the projected amount.
4. Would the project be “almost exclusively privately financed,” with all public money coming from incremental revenues so that Atlantic Yards, in Bruce Ratner’s words, would “not touch the existing tax base”?
No, the public support consists of direct public subsidies, tax breaks, government-backed financing, free and below-market value land as well as other special benefits amounting to a total pegged somewhere between 1 and 2 billion dollars.
5. Did Forest City Ratner pay for generous buyouts that condo owners in the footprint took?
No, the City’s taxpayers reimbursed Forest City Ratner for the condo buyouts.
*source: Atlantic Yards Report