December 19, 2006
Kill Off Atlantic Yards
The Forest City/Ratner project is everything that’s wrong with the Empire State.
City Journal published the unabridged version of Nicole Gelinas's op-ed, which ran in today's NY Sun.
If [Pataki] succeeds, it will be a fitting monument to his administration, because Atlantic Yards stands for much that is wrong with New York State, which Pataki did little to change over twelve years in office.
One business owner who owns property within the footprint, Drew Tressler of Global Exhibition Services, uses his 45,000-square-foot loft to design commercial exhibits and museum displays. As Tressler wrote in a letter to state officials: “Our building is a classic loft building in very good condition. What sense does it make to knock down a commercial building located on a six-lane highway to make way for luxury condominiums, while at the same time putting in jeopardy the jobs of 28 Brooklyn employees? Global has run a successful industrial design company at this location for 29 years, during which . . . we [have paid] taxes to the city and state of New York. . . . It seems unimaginable to have to consider moving, after watching the community I work in progress so dramatically through the years.”
The supporters, by contrast, are community groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn. They support the project because FC/Ratner has pledged to make 2,250 of its apartments “affordable” for low- and middle-income families. One letter-writer from Acorn, Greg Blankinship, blithely wrote that the Atlantic Yards project “is a very good idea for those who are lucky enough to receive an apartment.” Another supporter, Gabriel McQueen, said the project was a good idea because it would put “everyone on an equal playing field, . . . [providing] affordable apartments and not luxury apartments. . . . Affordable housing is a good thing and no other developer [besides Ratner] has been willing to step up to the plate.”
Posted by lumi at December 19, 2006 9:06 PM