Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Atlantic Yards Exacerbates Blight Problem It Claimed To Fix

Irony is a funny thing. At some level the situation it describes is both funny and tragic. In the case of the Atlantic Yards monstrosity development, it is hard to find humor when you have been forced to sell your house and/or see your neighborhood ripped up in front of you for a greedy developer. Bruce Ratner and his partners had claimed that it was necessary to clean the area up and make it Gehry-ified but now it turns out it was Ratner that blighted the area.

From The Gothamist:

Government officials and developer Bruce Ratner have for years tried to seize private property in Prospect Heights to build an arena, office towers and apartments, arguing that the neighborhood was the epitome of urban blight. Opponents, meanwhile, countered that the developer was swooping in just as Prospect Heights was experiencing its first revitalization in decades.

Now, after years of demolition but no construction, the project has brought about the very blighted conditions officials ostensibly sought to remedy. Ironic, huh? Sadly, it's not the fashionable Napoleon Dynamite-type irony; more like the old fashioned irony that led Oedipus to gouge his eyes out after he realized what the hell happened. And with the development foundering, residents fear an increasingly desolate future.

Well it may not be as bad as what happened with Oedipus, but what Ratner has done to the area is extremely tragic to say the least. It should be criminal for what they are doing to this neighborhood, but unfortunately the politicians are all too happy to be supportive of the developers in exchange for campaign contributions and not sticking up for what is best for the people of Brooklyn.