Monday, February 26, 2007

An NYT Op-Ed and Words from Cleveland About Atlantic Yards

We neglected to link to the New York Times op-ed by Jennifer Egan on Saturday (which was, astoundingly, the paper's first such treatment of the most important development in Brooklyn history). The op-ed is absolutely worth a read (the writer is very up front about her position) and places the development in the broader context of New York City and Brooklyn and the political and planning environment that communities must confront. Ms. Egan writes in part:
Nearly everyone I’ve spoken to about the Atlantic Yards project, whether they favored or opposed it, assumed that it would be scaled back. In fact, the plan approved by the Public Authorities Control Board in December was more than 600,000 square feet larger than the one first unveiled.

That approval came despite sobering revisions by the city and the developer of his initial heady claims about the project’s benefits to Brooklyn: the proportion of affordable housing has slipped, and much of it won’t be completed until 2016; the public park on the arena’s rooftop is now only for residents; the number of promised jobs has shrunk; the projected tax revenue has fallen; and the taxpayers’ bill is colossal and apparently open-ended.

Also interesting is this item from a Cleveland blog called Save Our Land that we came across thanks to an item over at No Land Grab:
We need to take our money back, along with our cities. We in Cleveland have seen all this before, as we swirl further down the drain, and now Ratner is sucking Brooklyn into the vortex as well--the earmarks are the same--the faddish Frank Gehry buildings, the promises of jobs and tax revenue and affordable housing, the sports arenas, the doctored impact statements commissioned by the developer. Read the entire article. You'll recognize the patterns of lies, deceit, sins of omission and commission, the corruption. Dwell on the last sentence. Blog. Congregate.
All very much worth reading.

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