October 24, 2006
NY Sun, Op-Ed
By Edward Glaeser
This has got to be a first: in today's NY Sun a Harvard prof cites opposition to Atlantic Yards as one of the stumbling blocks to affordable housing being built by the free-market.
There are a host of regulatory barriers to construction. The brawl in Brooklyn over shortening the Atlantic Yards tower shows how effective community groups can be in limiting height and the supply of homes. As these community groups have grown since the 1970s, the heights of new residential buildings in Manhattan have plummeted.
NoLandGrab: The joke is that Glaeser is being simplistic by looking at one aspect of the Atlantic Yards fight.
Atlantic Yards will require massive public subsidies (many of which have not been publicly identified and released), which, according to Glaeser's own opinion, are "an emblem of the perversities of residential planning in New York."
Atlantic Yards Report also takes Glaeser to task for ignoring a couple key facts (link):
First, the main tower--Frank Gehry's 620-foot "Miss Brooklyn"--has not been shortened, though even Borough President Marty Markowitz, a project supporter, wants it reduced. Second, it's 16 towers, not just one. Third, and most importantly, the main reason community groups are arguing about height and density is because this project is not subject to city zoning, as it's proceeding under the auspices of the Empire State Development Corporation.
Posted by lumi at October 24, 2006 9:39 AM