The Future of Atlantic Yards

Thursday, March 27, 2008

We look into how the slowing economy and credit crisis could affect Forest City Ratner’s plans for Atlantic Yards. Charles V. Bagli has been reporting on the project for the New York Times.


Charles Bagli

Comments [10]

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

The opposition is not fighting this project to have the Atlantic Yards remain undeveloped, they are fighting to save their homes. It will not be the end of the world for Brooklyn if this is not built. However, they tend to give misinformation on Metrotech Center and what downtown Brooklyn was like before it. The area was not actually as blighted as it was claimed to be, and that complex gave a lot of broken promises such as giving jobs to locals and having a retail base to which it never had not to mention destroyed blocks of historic architecture that should have been preserved. The affordable housing that Ratner promises will be more of a joke in that he was using this to get those of low income and were of minority groups to back it when in fact studies taken by his own statistics prooved that they wouldn't even be part of it being on the lower brackets. His malls don't help either in that they are only allowing for corporations that only give minium wage jobs, and not local businesses like just about any other mall that comes around. Even worse, it is the state of New York that will be paying for much of this project, not Ratner himself. If the Atlantic Yards will remain undeveloped, it will be because of the MTA, not the oppisition.

Mar. 27 2008 08:30 PM
Norman Oder from Brooklyn

A couple of corrections/elaborations.

Charles Bagli said that "the land has been rezoned." No. Rezoning is a city process. In this case, the Empire State Development Corporation, a state agency, will override city zoning (regarding placement of an arena within 200 feet of residences, current density, signage, and more).

Bagli also noted that the Empire State Development Corporation approved the project in December 2006, anticipating that it would take ten years. He continued:

"Nine months later in September of '07, Ratner and the state came together on a funding agreement. And the funding agreement gives him now 12 years to build Phase 1. So I think they've sort of--they were on to the new realities here."

Whoa. As has been documented, business leader Kathryn Wylde (Dec 06), project landscape architect Laurie Olin (Feb 07) and Chuck Ratner (in March 07), an executive at parent Forest City Enterprises, estimated 15-20 years. When the project was approved, the timetable was already out of date. Also, before the credit crunch, the city and state suffered from a serious deficit in bonds for affordable housing--enough to delay the project unto itself.

It's notably that the 12 year timetable has not been mentioned in the Times. Rather, I broke the news on my blog.


Mar. 27 2008 02:49 PM

Not to worry, Dan. You make a lot of mistakes. What's one more?

Mar. 27 2008 02:28 PM
Daniel Goldstein from Prospect Heights

My bad. Lenny and Bagli did discuss eminent domain, and Gov. Paterson's call for a state-wide moratorium on its use back in 2005 as a state senator.


Mar. 27 2008 01:32 PM
Daniel Goldstein from Prospect Heights

Very strange that Lenny and Bagli never uttered the words "eminent domain" in their discussion. Not about that controversial measure for Atlantic Yards, and not during their mostly off topic discussion about the Times' new headquarters built by Forest City Ratner, and
utilizing eminent domain.

They had a whole discussion about the arena, without mentioning that a portion of the land required for the arena is currently owned or
leased by private individuals other than Forest City Ratner, including myself, and can only be acquired by eminent domain.

Bagli also said not to worry if Atlantic Yards doesn't happen, because the area has been rezoned, increasing its value and attractiveness to other developers. This is wrong in two parts. The site was not rezoned. The state undertook a zoning override,
bypassing all city zoning regulations and rezoning procedures. So if Forest City Ratner does fail or walk away, it remains to be seen if that override will remain for other developers. It probably would over the rail yards at least.

But regardless, "that area" was not "rezoned."

Mar. 27 2008 01:13 PM
Pierre Della Brioschi from Bensonhurst

Here's hoping the "anchor" is lost and the "ship" floats away, along with Jason Kidd, Jay-Z and all the other phony shills who helped sell this boondoggle.

Build affordable housing without the arena. There's a plan!

Mar. 27 2008 01:02 PM
DP from Brooklyn


Mar. 27 2008 12:59 PM
DP from Brooklyn

It is not as if Ratner didn't anticipate lawsuits in this matter. If he didn't anticipate lawsuits, what kind of plan was it really?

Mar. 27 2008 12:50 PM
DP from Brooklyn

Good post #1 - can/will the state take back the donated land? can we pot an alternate plan into action?

Mar. 27 2008 12:47 PM
Paul Heller from Brooklyn

The New York Times has consistantly shilled for this project. They are co-developers with FCR for their new HQ using eminent domain. Norman Oder has pointed out factual errors on his blog atlanticyardsreport.blogspot. They are totally unqualified to report on this project.
1. The lowest bid won out
2. 18 months went by before an RFP went out. This out of public pressure
3. Phony astro turf groups were created with a financial interest in the project
4. Crony connections between ESDC, Pataki and Bloomberg
5. Outmoded super blocks employed which failed at Metro Tech.
6. On and On

Mar. 27 2008 11:30 AM

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