Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

New Push for Atlantic Yards Legislation Gets Underway

June 16th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Atlantic Yards Redesign Crop

The Campaign to Reform Atlantic Yards, which proposes an “Atlantic Yards Trust” to oversee the project as well as other reforms, is launching this morning at 10AM at City Hall. Among the local officials back it are Assembly Members Hakeem Jeffries and James Brennan and City Council Members Letitia James and David Yassky. Here’s a bit about it:

The Campaign to Reform the Governance of Atlantic Yards will focus on passing the Atlantic Yards Governance Act (A11395), a bill that would create the “Atlantic Yards Trust” to oversee the project with a board of State and City appointed officials and a “Stakeholders Council” comprised of local residents appointed by local elected officials that would advise the Trust and provide an opportunity for meaningful community involvement. Atlantic Yards is the only State project without a structure like this – and no mechanism for community involvement in its decision-making. And like Battery Park City, Queens West and other large-scale projects, the proposal is likely to change substantially in its lifespan. In fact, market conditions and litigation have made the project’s future more uncertain than ever, making the need for public oversight and involvement in the project even greater.

More detail later.

Tags: Atlantic Yards · Prospect Heights

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Red Hook // Jun 16, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Gahhh!! Nooo!!

    I hate to say this, but don’t put a small group of local residents in charge of this. They will become just as corrupted and insane as the politicians (read: Brooklyn Bridge Park).

    Let’s just hope the project fizzles and a number of developers take on the area.

  • 2 Michael D. D. White // Jun 17, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Removing ESDC from the Atlantic Yards picture opens up a lot of possibilities but whether changing oversight over Atlantic Yards (development in the Vanderbilt Yards area) from one gubernatorially controlled entity to another gubernatorially entity will improve public input, and more importantly “fundamentally change power dynamics” is going to depend on other underlying essentials which can and need to be addressed in this process. To “fundamentally change power dynamics” ESDC’s ill-conceived notion that Ratner has some sort of theoretical monopoly on development in the area needs to be jettisoned.

    ESDC’s spokesman’s statement (AYR post June 17, 2008- http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2008/06/another-potential-snag-for-ay-arena.html) that ESDC’s goal in lobbying Washington right now is to “maximize the amount of tax-exempt bonds” for Ratner shows how ESDC sets it sites on the wrong goals when it comes to dealing with Ratner, basically supporting disequilibrium where Ratner gets the negotiating power and the benefit. For more on this and ESDC’s cockeyed and unworkable premise that its OK to award Ratner a theoretical monopoly on the development of 22 acres first and“negotiate” subsidy later see the comment at: http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2008/06/as-irs-moves-to-close-loophole-esdc.html

    Treating Ratner as having a theoretical monopoly on development in the Atlantic yards area makes it virtually impossible to negotiate with him in more ways than one. It facilitates Ratner’s recent bullying threats to leave the public with a Ratner-created-wasteland unless the public antes up more subsidy in an amounts he has not yet even specified. Further, “fundamental” “power dynamics” are also affected by such a “monopoly” because a monopoly precludes other developers becoming part of the dynamics as an economic constituency with whom the public can ally in moving toward better plans and design.

    It is of primary importance that Ratner’s theoretical monopoly on development in the area of Atlantic Yards be roundly disavowed. There is no reason to give the idea any credence or legitimacy. This is not an approved project. Subsidies, financing and a multitude of other arrangements for the Ratner vision of Atlantic Yards have never been approved and the Ratner vision also needs to go back to the PACB before it can ever move forward. The Ratner vision is also already a far different project than the Ratner vision that George Pataki tried to ram through in the final days of his administration. Plus, there are many more changes to come beyond Ms. Brooklyn’s recent conversion to the stack of discarded pizza boxes which Gehry now refers to as “Building 1.”

    Ergo- Remove ESDC from the picture and, more important, remove Ratner from the picture as the “monopoly-developer.”

    Michael D. D. White
    Noticing New York