Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Couple of Thoughts About "Brooklyn Speaks"

We're waiting to see what "Brooklyn Speaks," the new group that is trying to find a seat at the Atlantic Yards tables, has to say before assessing whether they are bringing useful and serious proposals to the discussion. Our initial assessment is that a divided opposition can play into the hands of project supporters. As of 10AM this morning, the BrooklynSpeaks website was still in template form, saying only, "Make Atlantic Yards Work for Brooklyn," and inviting visitors back.

For now, we will quote what No Land Grab has to say about the fourth-quarter players coming off the bench:
What is apparent is that both voices in the debate over how to respond to the project feel that the other side is gambling on a risky strategy. The individuals of the groups that secretly developed the Brooklyn Speaks campaign felt that relying upon a legal challenge would leave the neighborhoods surrounding the project with nothing to negotiate if the legal challenges were lost. The groups that have led the fight thus far are wondering if Brooklyn Speaks does not go far enough and has already set a course for negotiating for a scaled-down project that is already in the hopper. These groups have what Forest City Ratner needs most, that's Dan Goldstein's condo, without which Phase 1 of the project cannot be built.
For now we will only say that a lifetime of experience covering development and communities around America has taught us this: the battlefield is strewn with community opponents that ended up fighting each other instead of the project to which they objected. Time will tell.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any negotiation with Bruce Ratner is nothing other than PR, he can promise the world and gain PR points if the other side accepts. (See the CBA)

The only worthwhile negotiation that might ever occur on AY is with elected officials and state agencies. Anything less than that is useless and exactly what Joe DePlasco, Jim Stuckey, and Bruce Ratner would like to see those who purport to BrooklynSpeakin'.net do.


5:55 PM  

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