Governor Pataki has always been portrayed as a big booster for Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards, but his rival in the state Assembly is apparently even more of one. Skip Carrier, Sheldon Silver’s spokesman, told us that the Assembly Speaker’s proposed budget includes $200 million for “economic development”–an unspecified portion of which would go to the Brooklyn arena and housing complex. Carrier said Pataki’s budget included no money for any sort of economic development projects. We’re waiting for confirmation from the Governor’s media people on that.
Ratner’s lobbyists recently distributed a sample letter–which opponents said grossly exaggerates the project’s benefits–for Assembly Members to send to Silver. This could not have been to get Silver, who has been cagey but never convincing in holding out on Ratner, to support the project, but rather to have him devote a full $100 million of state funds, up front, and spelled out.