What cause could bring together such diverse names as Sidney "Sonny" Hertzberg and World B. Free, not to mention make Marty Markowitz talk about crying? Bringing the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn, of course.
Bruce Ratner, New York City property mogul and president of Forest City Ratner, wants to buy the Nets and build them a stadium over the LIRR rail yards near the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn. The central Brooklyn location, along with the extensive public transit access, have beckoned to developers since at least the 1920's when the Williamsburgh Savings Bank built its headquarters there. The area has also been touted as an ideal location for a sports stadium for decades, and was supposed to be the site of the new Dodgers Stadium until O'Malley finally lost out to Bob Moses and took the team to Los Angeles. It was this event that ripped the heart out of 1950's Brooklyn and incidentally made the young Markowitz cry. For the last few years Ratner's hideously suburban Atlantic Center Mall has abused the sensibilities of Brooklynites old (or wise) enough to remember what might have been with its baseball stadium façade. Perhaps, if he can pull off bringing a new group of Bums to Brooklyn, we can finally move on.
Gothamist previously on the fight between NJ and Brooklyn over the Nets.