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Vanishing Projects
October 15th, 2008

The Bloomberg administration has seen no shortage of plans for grandiose development projects. But with credit tight and the city’s economy reeling from Wall Street’s woes, some of those projects — for better or worse — seem likely to go no further than drawing boards.

Which ones?

Vornado Realty Trust has already suspended its plans for a 23-story, $435 million headquarters for Major League Baseballs cable network in Harlem and, the Times reports today, Vornado says its effort to build a 1.3 million-square-foot office tower over the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street is also “dormant.”

At a forum on the New York City economy at Cooper Union last night, panelists offered their own predictions of likely losers. (And please send us yours!)

Julia Vitullo-Martin (whose article on Brooklyn retail appears on Gotham Gazette this week), a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, said she hopes Atlantic Yards will fall victim to economic woes. The city, she said, can no longer afford to subsidize the arena and residential complex in downtown Brooklyn.

Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future, forecast the demise of the Javits Center expansion because the city would not “get the money out of that by any stretch.” In these times, he said, we may have to give up some attractive projects that are not essential, such as Governor’ s Island.

What would they keep? Bowles thinks the city must continue to try to find way — ferries for example — to improve public transportation to outlying neighborhoods. Vitullo-Martin hopes the Second Avenue Subway will continue to move forward — but, with a shake of his head, E.J McMahon, director of the Empire Center for New York State Policy indicated he did not think that was likely.

Both McMahon and Vitullo-Martin decried the work the city did not take on when it had money. “History will look back at us and see how much money we had — and we put nothing into our infrastructure,” Vitullo-Martin said. This includes “the most obvious and inexpensive” projects, such as light rail, which she said, “we did not even think about.”

The failure to use the money from the good times to improve our infrastructure is a blown opportunity,” McMahon said. “It’s gone.”

By on October 15, 2008, 9:21 am
In category: Economy,Gotham City,Land Use,Transportation | 3 Comments »

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3 Responses to “Vanishing Projects”

  1. Larry Littlefield Says:
    October 15th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    One project that has succeeded — drastically increasing public school spending outside New York City, and allowing NYC teachers to work just 25 years and retire at age 55, spending 25 years in retirement.

    Now that these have been achieved, the PR effort to pretend the city’s children would receive a decent education can be terminated.

  2. French New Yorker Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Construction in Manhattan will always be stong even despite the woes on Wall Street and the credit crunch. Construction spending may temporarily slow but will never dry up completely. I have lived in Manhattan for 35+ years …I have seen it time and time again.

  3. Lynyall Moreward Says:
    May 1st, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Verification is anticipated late today for the foremost example of to human human carry-over of swine influenza in the UK. It is believed to be a friend of Lain and Dawn Askham, who were the inaugural confirmed victims in the United Kingdom and they contacted subsequently after their return from honeymoon in Mexico. Initially the man was discharged but after his symptoms carried on he was re tested and was detected to be suffering from Type A flu. Examinations are still in progress but are anticipated to confirm swine flu. This instantly takes the aggregate number of swine flu sufferers in GB to 8 -that is 6 in England 2 in Scotland but hitherto no deaths.

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