Monday, June 01, 2009

Atlantic Yards Continues To Be A Debacle

This past Friday state lawmakers tried to have a discussion about the controversial Atlantic Yards development. Ratner's supporters however, decided that they'd rather create a ruckus than anything that resembled a civil discourse. However, there were a few important things to note and Atlantic Yards Report gleams the information.

From AY Report:

  • the Independent Budget Office (IBO), recalculating its 2005 cost-benefit analysis, concluded the arena would be a money-loser
  • the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is willing to compromise with Forest City Ratner on the timetable (and perhaps the total) for the $100 million owed, as well as the quality of the new Vanderbilt Yard
  • neither the state nor the city have updated their analysis of new revenue--already deeply flawed, because it excludes costs--to acknowledge current conditions
  • that the New York City Housing Development Corporation is waiting for Forest City Ratner and ACORN (which is in hock to the developer) renegotiate the configuration of the affordable housing
  • the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) likely will produce a revision of the Modified General Project Plan (GPP) in the next month or two, which will trigger a new public hearing
Basically the government agencies involved do not have their act together and that they are willing to bend as far as possible to make Ratner happy. Claims of eminent domain that would actually benefit the community and the common good was false and the degree of that falsity is still undetermined. And then there are the unanswered questions posed by Atlantic Yards Report, which only seem to reinforce the bad things we have learned above, such as:
  • how long the project might take
  • when construction might begin
  • when affordable housing might begin
  • whether there are enough bonds for affordable housing
  • how the per-unit cost of affordable housing compares to other projects
  • whether architect Frank Gehry is on the project
  • whether officials realized FCR decided to seek more subsidies well before the economic downturn
  • why the ESDC lets private companies benefit from naming rights to public buildings
The entire post is well worth your time and is a great snap shot of the current mess in and around the Atlantic Yards. It shows how our local and state government (along with certain non-profits) have failed the community so that they could appease a rich developer so that they can get their dirty hands in the cookie jar.