Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards
Bruce Bender and Scott Cantone oversaw all aspects of government, community and media relations for the development of the 18,000 seat sports and entertainment arena and a 22 acre mixed-use development with 15 buildings offering more than 6,000 affordable, rental and condominium homes, new retail stores, restaurants, offices, a hotel and 8-acres of public open space. The Bender Cantone team developed and executed a comprehensive public affairs strategy to secure an array of state and city public approvals, benefits and subsidies that involved public opinion research, grassroots organizing and community and stakeholder outreach, elected and government official relations. We shepparded the overall project through EIS, SEIS, PACB, and MTA approval processes, negotiated a Community Benefits Agreement, special state legislation, and secured city, state and federal tax incentives, benefits and grants. The Barclays Center arena opened in September of 2012 and Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park remains under construction. Bender Cantone continues to represent the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets.
Charter School and Education Advocacy
As a long-term client, we have assisted Success Academy Charter Schools in developing and executing public affairs strategies that have allowed the network to obtain the government and community approvals needed for expanding its schools throughout the city. We have successfully briefed elected officials on public policy issues impacting public charter schools and have developed and maintained elected official relationships for the network while advocating for and securing pubic grants for the redevelopment of public school playgrounds.
For Hire Vehicle Driver Rights
After Uber and other for hire vehicle (FHV) companies refused to provide driver gratuity options for consumers through smartphone applications and websites, Bender Cantone was retained by the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) and the International Association of Machinists which represents 50,000 working drivers throughout the for-hire vehicle industry (Uber, Left, Via, Juno, etc). We quickly developed and implemented a public affairs and lobbying strategy that produced media coverage and support from numerous city council members, city-wide and borough-wide elected officials calling on the Mayor and the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) to promulgate regulations requiring FHV companies to provide consumers with app and web based tipping options for drivers. Not only did TLC draft such regulations, but as result of our efforts, legislation was also introduced and passed by the Council and signed into law by the Mayor. As a result, desperately needed raises in income will be provided to thousands of New York families who are struggling to make ends meet. We continue to advocate for IDG and its members on a number of regulatory and legislative issues impacting FHV drivers.
Brooklyn Nets Practice & Training Facility
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Bender Cantone provided consulting services in researching and identifying appropriate communities and buildings to locate an NBA Training Facility for the Brooklyn Nets. We also provided community outreach and government relations advocacy services in briefing elected officials, community boards and other stakeholders on selected location and advised client as to possible city and state incentives and benefits. We assisted the Nets in applying, negotiating and securing such city incentives. We also helped expedite and secure various governmental approvals, inspections and permits with regard to the construction of the facility. A 109,824 square foot facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn opened on schedule in February 2016. Bender Cantone continues to represent the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center.
Small Business Advocacy
Bender Cantone was retained by an industry trade organization representing 150 small businesses in New York City to impact legislation and public policy being made on the City and State levels of government that was unfairly targeting and would severely impact their businesses and 5,000 employees. We developed a comprehensive media and lobbying strategy for the Association of Car Wash Owners and over the last five years we have successfully impacted a number of bills in the City Council and State Legislature as well city and state regulations with the executive branches of both the city and state that would have closed businesses cost the New York City economy a substantial amount of jobs.
Protective Netting for fans at baseball stadiums
After Major League Baseball refused to require and New York’s MLB franchises refused to install additional protective netting to prevent the over 1,750 annual injuries to baseball fans, Bender Cantone was retained by a victim’s advocate who represented spectators that had been seriously injured at baseball stadiums by foul balls and bats throughout the country. We developed a public affairs and media strategy that would either pressure or require New York’s professional major and minor league baseball stadiums to install additional protective netting to protect fans. We helped draft a proposed local law, fact sheets, op-eds and briefed elected officials and the media on the issue. A bill was introduced in the City Council and the issue was substantially covered in the media. In response to the introduction of the legislation, the council sponsor’s efforts and related media reports, the New York Mets and Yankees installed additional protective netting at both their major and minor league stadiums in New York City. As result, New York has become a model for such reform in other municipalities across the country.
Trinity Place Development
77 GREENWICH STREET, LOWER MANHATTAN
Bender Cantone provided strategic consulting, media, government and community relations services in identifying business development opportunities with regard to the development at 77 Greenwich Street/42 Trinity Place, the old SYMS site and obtaining community and elected official support for the project. We successfully negotiated with the School Construction Authority (SCA) for a 476-seat K-8 public school to take the first nine floors of this of this new luxury condominium development. The presence of the landmarked 19th Dickey House, which was in disrepair, created community concerns and issues which we had to work through with the client and community. We briefed and worked with elected officials and community stakeholders with regard to the development of this 300,000 square mixed use tower and guided the project through community board, Landmarks Preservation Commission and City Council approvals.
Atlantic Terminal Mall & Atlantic Terminal Tower
Bruce Bender and Scott Cantone oversaw all government, community and media affairs for these two developments located above the LIRR and NYCTA rail lines at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn, for 370,000 square feet of retail and a 400,000 square foot office tower. The Bender Cantone team negotiated the approvals and terms for these developments with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and other city and state agencies, briefed elected officials and community board members, obtained City Council Reso-A funding for a sky-bridge connecting the Atlantic Terminal Mall to the Atlantic Center Mall, and state and federal authorization for Liberty Bond financing for the office tower. The mall and tower opened in the summer and fall of 2012.
The Gilbert, East Harlem
Bender Cantone provided SKA Marin government and community relations and strategic consulting services with regard to the redevelopment of 1918 First Avenue in Manhattan in the Council Speaker’s district. The project, known as Draper Hall, is being remade into a 14-story 202-unit subsidized senior housing project. We provided elected official, legislative and city agency relations in securing community board and City Council Land Use approvals as well as Heath and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) Board approvals in securing the 99-year lease with HHC. Bender Cantone also assisted SKA Marin with an additional phase of this development known as the Gilbert, a 153 affordable housing project, where we negotiated and obtained Community Board and City Council Land Use approvals. We also secured numerous allocations of City Council Reso-A Capital funding for these projects.
8 Spruce Street
Bruce Bender and Scott Cantone oversaw all government and community affairs for this Frank Gehry designed 76-floor luxury residential tower. Originally known as Beekman Tower or New York by Gehry, we worked with local elected officials, community board members and other community stakeholders to gain community support for the project. We successfully negotiated with the Mayor’s Office and the School Construction Authority (SCA) to place an elementary school in the five-floor base of the building. We also worked with city and state officials in obtaining incentives for the project, including tax-exempt Liberty Bonds. P.S. 397, the Spruce Street School opened in the fall of 2009 and 8 Spruce Street opened in February 2011.