Down 45 polling points eight days before the election, Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota Monday accused front-runner Bill de Blasio of being “bought” by Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yard developers.
Lhota slammed de Blasio for what he said is the Democrat’s failure as public advocate to push Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner to build more than 2,200 affordable housing units along the Barclays Center, as promised in a 2005 community-benefits agreement.
De Blasio’s “been silent, because he’s been bought,” Lhota said across the street from the arena. “The people who built the Barclays Center and who promised to build all of the affordable housing have given contributions to him over and over again.” Forest City Ratner Executive Vice President Robert Sanna has bundled $13,600 for de Blasio’s, according to Campaign Finance Board records.
Lhota also reminded voters that Ratner co-hosted de Blasio’s 50th birthday two years ago. Forest City could not immediately be reached for comment.
De Blasio, speaking to reporters in Cobble Hill Monday after a rally to protest the layoffs of 500 Long Island College Hospital workers, said: “Just a year ago, Mr. Lhota was lavishly praising the Atlantic Yards development ... And now that it’s politically expedient, he seems to be changing his tune.”
If elected, de Blasio vowed to hold “the feet of the state and of the developer to the fire to make sure that this affordable housing gets built.” Lhota said his support for the project waned because “the developer did not follow through.”
As mayor, Lhota said he would press Ratner to make good on the deal.