De Blasio Calls for Moratorium on Atlantic Yards Demolition
Last night, Mr. de Blasio said he supports "a moratorium on demolition until there is a written plan" that "confirms what will be built when and confirms affordability" and that he "can't support" an arena-only plan. He added that "We need something in writing from Forest City Ratner to tell us if there has been a change and if there's been a change we need to revisit it." (The agreement with the state gives the developer six years to build the arena, 12 years to fully build "Phase I" and an unspecified amount of time to build "Phase II.") The Council Member said he does not support the project solely as an arena with an office tower. He said that he had supported the project because of the "exceptional" amount of affordable housing, but has been deeply critical of "the lack of community involvement and the lack of transparency" in the process. "I've never seen something so fundamentally mishandled in terms of excluding the community."
There is no indication, however, that a demolition moratorium is forthcoming. The entire issue could be rendered moot as demolition work is wrapped up by the end of spring, leaving land that could remain vacant for decades if the development stalls. Mr. de Blasio said he is "worried" about a parallel to 1960s-style urban renewal, which left neighborhoods with huge tracts of cleared land for failed projects that later took decades to develop.
We will have more from our conversation with Mr. de Blasio, on non-Atlantic Yards-related topics.
Labels: Atlantic Yards