Sampson, Jeffries to Russian Billionaire, Ratner: Please Meet With Us
Eliot Brown Oct. 20, 2009, 8:25 p.m.
Senate Democratic leader John Sampson, and Assemblymen Hakeem Jeffries and Nick Perry apparently want a meeting with Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov.
The three Brooklyn elected officials have penned a letter–dated Monday–to Mr. Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire who has agreed to buy the Nets from Mr. Ratner, the developer rapidly trying to get $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project started before a financing deadline of Dec. 31.
The letter praises the development, calling it “a major economic development venture that is vital to the economy and the future of Brooklyn.”
After reminding the two men that the government is subsidizing the project, the letter goes on to ask for a meeting, saying the officials are “vitally concerned that all covenants previously executed in the ‘Community Benefits Agreement’ (CBA) for the Atlantic Yards Project – as well as all federal, state and local mandates with respect to affordable housing, job creation, minority co-developers and minority and women business programs … remain in force, and are fully implemented.”
The letter offers a clear voice of support for the project from the relatively new Democratic leader (it probably should be noted that Mr. Sampson scheduled a fundraiser at Mr. Ratner’s offices earlier this month), and from Mr. Jeffries, who has recently expressed skepticism of the project’s revised build-out schedule.