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March 17, 2006

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

Atlantic Yards Report

Kate Suisman, aide to Councilmember Letitia James, debunked the myth that the Vanderbilt Railyards "have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them," at yesterday's Borough Board meeting.

Excerpt from Suisman's questioning of Deputy Director of the Department of City Planning Winston Von Engel:

"Had the city been looking at making use of the land?" Suisman pressed on politely.

"Not that I can recall," Von Engel said. He noted that there were once plans decades ago for a campus for Baruch College of the City University of New York, as part of the Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area (ATURA). "This area was looked at in a very large context. What survived was the Atlantic Center mall [pictured], the Atlantic Terminal mall, the housing. So, in that sense there were plans at one point, but some of them were not realized."

Norman Oder fleshes out the details of Von Engel's statement with a must-read report on the history of the Atlantic Terminal Renewal Area (ATURA).


Posted by lumi at March 17, 2006 7:50 AM