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There's important new information turning up about Brookfield Properties, the owner of Zuccotti Park, thanks to a FOIA filing by a wonderful web site called Good Jobs New York.

Who owns subsidized the Park?  We (the taxpayers) own subsidize the Park!

For over a decade, Good Jobs New York has been  promoting transparency and accountability in the use of publicly funded economic development subsidies in NYC's economic development system.

It recently turned its attention to Brookfield and Zuccotti Park in an effort to sort out who owns what, and how much taxpayers have subsided Brookfield, the owner of record of Zuccotti Park.

The answer is, alot.

Here's the headline from Crain's New York Business, no friend of Occupy Wall Street.

Zuccotti Park's landlord is richly subsidized
Figures show that Brookfield Office Properties has received $460,000 in subsidies since Sept. 11 related to its building across the street at One Liberty Plaza, while its tenants have received $20.1 million.

The Crain's article goes on to report:

Tenants in One Liberty Plaza, the Brookfield Office Properties tower across the street from Zuccotti Park have received a total of $20.1 million in government subsidies, primarily since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to a new report by Good Jobs New York. Meanwhile, as previously reported, Brookfield itself received about $460,000 in subsidies for the building since Sept. 11.

. . .Most of the grants and tax breaks the companies received have ceased. They came largely came from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the Empire State Development Corp. However, some of the companies are still getting tax breaks from the New York City Industrial Development Agency.

Good Jobs New York got the information from Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the Empire State Development Corp. by filing Freedom of Information Act requests. It used annual reports to obtain the data from Industrial Development Agency.

A Brookfield spokesman declined comment. (Natch, nyceve's comment.)

The blog Clawback, also published by Good Jobs New York, explains the dilemma, and the history of Zuccotti Park.

The ability of Occupy Wall Street protesters to remain in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan for weeks while Occupy groups in other cities are being evicted from their encampments is, ironically, based on the fact that the park is private rather than public property.

But it’s a special category of private property. The park was created more than 40 years ago as part of a deal in which U.S. Steel, which was building an adjacent office tower now called One Liberty Plaza, was allowed to put additional floors on the structure in exchange for providing an open space for the public. The space is not subject to the same rules, including curfews, that apply to city parks.

So why does this matter?  It matters because it explains a bit about why Mayor Bloomberg might be thinking long and hard before evicting citizens from a heavily taxpayer subsidized Park.

Here's a recent article from the NY Daily News on the taxpayer subsidies Brookfield has received since 2001. Now in fairness to Brookfield, and for those not familiar with lower Manhattan, 1 Liberty and Zuccotti Park abut the World Trade Center site.  There's no doubt that in the months and years following 9/11, there was huge concern about what would happen to this large swath of Manhattan.  Taxpayer subsidies were what kept businesses open, jobs  and people returning to these offices.

But the other equally important fact is that US Steel was given a significant zoning variance and allowed to erect a bigger building  at 1 Liberty, by creating a public space next door. By law, this public space, Zuccotti Park, is open to the public 24/7.

Who owns subsidized the Park?  We (the taxpayers) own subsidize the Park!

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