Norman Oder, ever-vigilant observer of the Atlantic Yards development, has created quite the buzz with his reports on Forest City Ratner's use of the EB-5 immigration program to raise money from Chinese investors interested in the Atlantic Yards project.
"The effort to raise $249 million tests the spirit and perhaps the letter of an obscure but newly popular federal law that grants fast-track green cards in exchange for job-creating investments," wrote Oder, prompting the New York Daily News' Sports ITeam Blog to note, "the Empire State Development Corporation doesn't expect money raised through the EB-5 program to create any new jobs beyond those already forecast for the $4.9 billion project."
New York Magazine's Daily Intel blog weighed in on Oder's report as well, saying, "a Brooklyn NBA team owned by a Russian billionaire playing in a tax-break-larded arena surrounded by Chinese-backed buildings … hey, only in America, as the great hustler Don King would say."
Meanwhile, New York Times theater critic Jason Zinoman investigated the role and ethics of investigative theater, in particular the Civilians new production, "In the Footprint."
Zinoman quotes "In the Footprint" writer and director Steve Cosson as saying, "I think more about conflict. To have a good conflict in a real-life story, the opposing perspective needs to be equally strong. I try to make that conflict as difficult to solve as it is in real life."
Zinoman responded, "Judged by these standards, the show succeeds much more often than most examples of its genre, but not as much as it could. The arguments by those opposed to the Atlantic Yards are more fleshed out than those in support of the project, partly because they are based on actual interviews, while major players on the other side, like the developer Bruce Ratner and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, did not agree to talk. Their lines were taken from public events, making them seem remote. Instead of being played by actors, they are represented by symbolic props. (Mr. Bloomberg is an empty suit.) In a show that humanizes a wide range of real people, they are figures from a morality tale."
In other news, Brownstoner, always aware of the latest happening for Prospect Heights real estate market, reported that Halmstead began marketing condos at both 870 Pacific St. and 136 St. Marks Pl.