Ratner’s Gift

Norman Oder reported yesterday that Forest City Ratner had given out another $350,000 to an ally in its fight to bring the Atlantic Yards complex to Brooklyn.

Well, Forest City spokesman Joe DePlasco tells us that figure is the total amount budgeted to be given the group, the Downtown Brooklyn Educational Consortium, but that the developer has written checks for only about half of that so far.

In November, Forest City announced an $87,000 grant, and another $87,000 installment was given out since then–but never announced.

Which is funny, because the last time Forest City tried to give out money but didn’t let anybody know, it caused a big headache, and they resolved to announce future gifts in the future . This headache is admittedly smaller, but it still must smart a little.

So why didn’t they announce this one ahead of time?

“We hoped you would catch us,” DePlasco said. “What can I tell you? We’ve said repeatedly that we would support groups in the community and this is an example of doing that.”

He would not specify whether other signatories to the community benefits agreement had received grants since the last official announcement in November.

Matthew Schuerman

Ratner’s Gift