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Continuing to Fight Atlantic Yards
February 25th, 2007

It is time for opponents of the Atlantic Yards mega project in downtown Brooklyn to accept defeat, writes Errol Louis in the Daily News. The smart course of action now for community activists, he writes, would be to accept the reality of the plan and see what can be done to make it better. As an example, Louis cites the efforts of State Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries, who according to Louis, worked with project developer Bruce Ratner and got him to agree to the creation of 200 subsidized units that people would own, not rent.

Not so fast, says the Atlantic Yards Report. First it disputes Louis contention that further legal action to block the stadium and residential development is futile. And the blog, which opposes the project, questions whether the kind of negotiation Louis recommends will work, particularly as construction of Atlantic Yards drags on for years, if not decades. In other words, Atlantic Yards Report says, even as the developer negotiates, the reality of a delayed development process undermines the developer’s promises.

Whether or not their efforts are doomed, critics still see much to dislike about Atlantic Yards. And even small aspects of the plan could have big ramifications, writes Planning Livable Communities, which focuses on turning a portion of Pacific Street into a so-called superblock, an extremely long block without cross streets. The blog notes, Many planners say such superblocks end up discouraging neighborhood street life. In this case, it continues, such a change would turn land that is now totally public into semi-private open space, mainly benefiting the developer and the future residents of the project.

In an op-ed article in Saturdays Times, Jennifer Egan, who lives only blocks away from the proposed basketball arena, takes a more sweeping view. Even without Atlantic Yards, our neighborhood and others nearby are feeling the strain of poor planning for a rising population, she writes. The claim that these neighborhoods can absorb at least 15,000 new residents, not to mention 20,000 arena-goers, defies common sense.

Most residents expected the project to be scaled back, Egan writes, but instead the plan approved by the Public Authorities Control Board in December was more than 600,000 square feet larger than the one first unveiled. And while the project has grown, its benefits, according to Egan, have shrunk: The proportion of affordable housing has slipped, and much of it wont be completed until 2016; the public park on the arenas rooftop is now only for residents; the number of promised jobs has shrunk; the projected tax revenue has fallen; and the taxpayers bill is colossal.

By on February 25, 2007, 4:06 pm
In category: Environment,Gotham City,Land Use,Law | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Continuing to Fight Atlantic Yards”

  1. jane doe Says:
    June 3rd, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    how will the proposed atlantic yards project change the fabric and social interactions of this community?

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