Brooklyn Blight
May 5th, 2008

Every day seems to bring more stories about troubles at Atlantic Yards, Bruce Ratner’s megaproject in downtown Brooklyn. The latest, from today’s Daily News, reports that the signature “Miss Brooklyn” residential and commercial building will be scaled back, renamed and only contain commercial space. Ratner has conceded the troubled economy could delay the residential and commercial project for years, casting doubts on whether the affordable housing and other community assets will fall by the wayside. And even the basketball arena for the Nets could be in jeopardy with accounts surfacing in the Jersey Ledger last week that Newark Mayor Corey Booker is working to have the team move to Newark, instead of Atlantic and Flatbush.

The possible demise of Atlantic Yards though could be a pyrrhic victory for opponents of the project, since New York’s leader have already allowed Ratner to level much of the surrounding area. If Ratner does not build on much of it, a neighborhood that probably would have developed just fine on its own could instead be a bleak and blighted landscape of vacant lots.

As evidence, the Municipal Art Society has released a series of artists’ renderings showing just how much of this key location, close to Manhattan and atop transit and commuter train routes, could lie empty for years thanks to Ratner and his allies in the state government, Bloomberg administration and Brooklyn borough hall.

“We are concerned that the approach with Atlantic Yards is to build when the market is ready, blighting the area with parking and harming Brooklyn in the meantime,” said Kent Barwick, president of the Municipal Art Society said in a prepared statement, adding Brooklyn could “be burdened” with the parking lots for 15 to 20 years.

“The independent renderings portray a vision of urban blight: Only the planned arena near Atlantic and Flatbush avenues and a lone adjacent residential/office tower remain, surrounded by a series of large ‘temporary’ surface parking and other empty space,” said the New York Post.

Ironically, Ratner was allowed to level the area of small-scale apartments and business to remove so-called “blight.”

By on May 5, 2008, 5:49 pm
In category: Community Development,Housing,Land Use | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Brooklyn Blight”

  1. Gotham Gazette - The Wonkster » Blog Archive » More on Atlantic Yards Redesign Says:
    May 6th, 2008 at 8:30 am

    […] Dailies, Weeklies, Monthlies, etc.  » Other-Language Press NYC Blogs  » Wonkster Recent Posts More on Atlantic Yards Redesign Skipping Gym Class Spring Snarls Brooklyn Blight […]

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