Thursday, June 22, 2006

Norm Oder Accidentally Crashes an Atlantic Yards Event and Gets the Boot Again

You've got to love this one. Bruce Ratner's bête noire, Norman Oder, who continues to do yeoman's work looking into every nook and cranny of the Atlantic Yards project, went to the Atlantic Center seeking Staples and found the Atlantic Yards Information Center.
Inside...are numerous wooden models of the Atlantic Yards complex. On the walls are more images of the project than available on the Atlantic Yards web site. Nicely-produced hanging screens introduce themes of the exhibition:
--"Open space by Olin"
--"Architecture by Gehry"
--"How will we create jobs for residents of Brooklyn?"
--"What is the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement?"
--"How will we support all this growth?"
--"What do we mean when we say Affordable Housing?"
Good questions all, Mr. Oder opines.

Now, that would have been enough of a laugh, in a fox wandering into the hen house sort of way, except that Mr. Oder had stumbled upon an event sponsored by Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD), a job training group that supports Atlantic Yards and has gotten Ratner money. BUILD's CEO, James Caldwell, let Mr. Oder in. Moments later, Mr. Caldwell returned to tell him that he'd been overruled. (Another great PR move, folks.)

Mr. Oder was thrown of the meeting, anyway, and blogged about it.

Of course, we've got years of this kind of thing to look forward to unless Atlantic Yards somehow chokes on its own excess or is killed off by a new administration in Albany or by a judge's ruling. Or is done in by, my favorite, a celebrity-led public uprising and Concert to Save Brooklyn headlined by U2.

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