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Mayoral Issue Grid: Development

by Gotham Gazette Staff, Aug 15, 2005
 


Mayoral Issue Grid

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DEVELOPMENT
-Nets Arena in Brooklyn?
-New Stadium for Yankees?
-New Stadium for Mets?

For the last three years, Michael Bloomberg made the city's 2012 Olympic bid and a proposed stadium on the West Side of Manhattan a major part of his administration's agenda. All of the Democratic candidates for mayor opposed the stadium. But when leaders in Albany rejected the stadium and New York did not get the Olympic bid, the plan died.

But there are others projects that have not generated the same amount of controversy.

In downtown Brooklyn, developer Bruce Ratner has proposed a 21-acre, $3.5 billion project which will include a Frank Gehry designed basketball arena for the Brooklyn Nets. The plan also calls for housing as well as commercial and retail space. The developer recently signed a "community benefits agreement" with neighborhood representatives that promises that 50 percent of the 4,500 rental units will go to low and middle-income residents, with 10 percent of these set aside for seniors. It also sets aside 35 percent of the jobs for minority workers and another 10 percent for women.

The New York Yankees and the New York Mets have also proposed building new stadiums. Although the stadiums will be paid for by the teams, taxpayers will have to pay for various "infrastructure improvements" to make them usable.

At Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the city will provide $135 million and the state will pay $70 million for parking garages along 164th Street and for some road work.

At the Mets stadium in Queens, the city will contribute a total of $105 million to cover infrastructure and planning for the baseball stadium, and the state will pay $75 million to cover infrastructure improvements.

Fernando Ferrer

Fernando Ferrer said he supports the Atlantic Yards project that would build an arena for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, because it also includes affordable housing and a commitment to give jobs to local residents.

"I happen to like 50 percent affordable housing," Ferrer said at a recent forum. "I happen to like the idea of a "community benefits agreement" that if this mayor were serious about in this entire city, with the stroke of a pen we'd bring down unemployment."

However, Ferrer said he is troubled by the "the lack of a public process" and fears that the MTA will not get fair market value for the land.

Ferrer has not offered a clear opinion on the stadium for the Yankees. (His campaign has not responded to a request for a position.) Although Ferrer has said that the current stadium should be preserved as a historic landmark. "I've never believed they should leave that stadium," Ferrer said. "It's a perfectly fine place to watch a baseball game."

When the proposed Mets stadium was unveiled as part of a revamped Olympic plan, Ferrer said he supported it.

In a recent interview, he said he would support a Queen's stadium of the New York Jets, but not at taxpayer expense.

"I think it's a good idea. I'd commit a lot of my time persuading them to come here, but I wouldn't commit a city dollar," Ferrer told the Times Ledger. "If there are legitimate infrastructural improvements - for example, roadways - those are things that legitimately need improving. But if you want me to pay for part of a stadium, I wouldn't do it even for my beloved Yankees."

C. Virginia Fields

C. Virginia Fields says she supports the Atlantic Yards project that would build an arena for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team because it also includes affordable housing and a commitment to give jobs to local residents.

"Because so many of the benefits are related to what I believe in, and what I have fought for, and what I like to see moving forward with these large scale developments, I too have supported the project," Fields said at a recent forum.

Fields has not offered a clear statement on the stadiums for the Yankees. (Her campaign has not responded to a request for a position.)

When the proposed Mets stadium was unveiled as part of a revamped Olympic plan, Fields said he supported it.

Gifford Miller

Gifford Miller supports the Atlantic Yards project that would build an arena for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team.

"I think it would be great if we could bring the Nets here," Miller said at a recent forum.

Miller also touts the affordable housing and jobs that the plan is supposed to create and called on the MTA "to get the best price that it can" for the rail yards.

Miller also supports the new stadiums for the Yankees and the Mets.

Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner supports the Atlantic Yards project that would build an arena for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team. Like other officials, he is concerned about the process and he sent a letter to MTA Chair Peter Kalikow calling for greater transparency in the bid process that will sell the yards to developers.

"I support the Ratner plan," Weiner said. "But these steps would give all parties involved the time and information to make sure we get the absolute best deal and that all voices are heard."

Weiner has not offered a clear opinion on the Yankee stadium. (His campaign has not responded to a request for a position.)

Weiner suggested that the city make a bid for the 2016 Olympics, with the stadium in Queens as a centerpiece.

Michael Bloomberg

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been an outspoken proponent of the Atlantic Yards project that would build an arena for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team. The plan also calls for housing and new commercial and retail space.

""The $3.5 billion project will create 8,500 permanent new jobs, 4,500 mixed-income apartments, substantial new commercial, retail, open space and host the first major league sports team to play in Brooklyn since the Dodgers," said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg also supports the proposal for a new Yankee stadium in the Bronx and a new Mets stadium in Queens.

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