Atlantic Yards Hearing Draws Overflow Crowd
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
At the MTA headquarters dozens of people have signed up to speak for or against the new deal for the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn. There are so many spectators that the MTA has opened an overflow room with a closed circuit television. The board is expected to sell a rail yard in central Brooklyn for less compensation than originally agreed to in 2005 so that developer Bruce Ratner can proceed with building a basketball arena and apartment towers at the site.
A grassroots group opposed to Atlantic Yards, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, has made a last-ditch move to avert the rail yard sale. The group's spokesman Daniel Goldstein offered $120 million dollars for the rail yard which is $20 million dollars more than Ratner has proposed.
Goldstein said afterwards that the group would form a trust that would sell off the land and development rights to developers. He said he was confident that the trust would be able to pay the full amount in 12 years, while Ratner would take 21 years.
For an update on Atlantic Yards, listen to this morning's interview with WNYC reporter Matthew Schuerman: