A broad-based group that includes local officials supporting the Atlantic Yards development renewed their call for an independent study of security at the planned arena at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues. Citing a setback that is only 20 feet in some places, the officials said a full public airing of issues is needed. Some of the strongest criticism actually came from arena supporters. “If they start talking about street closings, they will have unyielding opposition,” said Council Member David Yassky. “They will have two choices—push the building back, or close streets.” Atlantic Yards Report picks up the Yassky narrative:
“When the security thread is pulled, it may unravel a whole ball of yarn,” Yassky said, noting that security considerations in Lower Manhattan caused “serious changes” in building designs. McClure noted that the Freedom Tower had been moved back 90 feet from the original 25 feet after a security review.
Council Member Bill de Blasio, who is a candidate for Brooklyn Borough President and was a vocal supporter of the Atlantic Yards development said, according to AYR:
“I don’t think that people want to be baited and switched…We need an independent review that says there’s no need for street closings.” He said he had some hope that the administration of Gov. Eliot Spitzer would recognize the importance of transparency.
“The ball game’s not over,” he said, noting that subsidies and other issues must be resolved for the project to move forward. If the developer doesn’t behave more transparently, “then the future of their project is in danger,” he warned.
There is full coverage of the press conference in Atlantic Yards Report and by Jotham Sederstrom in the Daily News. A document by a security consultant says the developer has considered “in detail the ability of the structures to resist progressive collapse or to otherwise fail in a manner that could compromise life or interrupt facility operations.” The press release from the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, which sponsored the event, is here.