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April 26, 2007


NY Post, Op-Ed
By Craig Charney

DEMOLITION began this week to clear ground for New York's biggest urban redevelopment project in decades, Atlantic Yards. That marked not just a crucial defeat for New York's militant anti-developers - the dreaded "NIMBY" (not in my backyard) lobby - but also the emergence of a possible blueprint for future victories.

The project will transform 22 Brooklyn acres that now hold only rail yards, low-rise apartments, condos, empty lots and abandoned buildings into the home of a professional sports arena (and the Nets), as well as high-rise residential housing and offices - 17 buildings in all, with 8.7 million square feet of space and a $4.2 billion price tag.

Charney mentions the "modest" scaledown of the project, but neglects to mention that Atlantic Yards would still be the densest residential community in the nation, by a long shot, or that it is the largest single-source private project in the nation.


NoLandGrab: Name calling and omissions of simple truths are generally what happens when smart people with big opinions fear facts.

Speaking of which, here's Richard Lipsky's take:

As [Charney] goes on to point out, the FCRC was "willing to listen and make concessions-to a variety of interests that developers often ignore or outright oppose." And in addition, the developer brought in "some of New York's top political and marketing pros." The fact that FCRC brought us into this struggle, indicates the perceptiveness of people like Bruce Bender and Scott Cantone who understood that to develop grass roots support you need to have folks who understand the organizing that needs to be done at that level.

NoLandGrab: Lipsky is still kissing Bender's butt (more here, here, here, here) — maybe he's bucking for another big payday.

You didn't think that Atlantic Yards Report would let these guys have all the fun?

Norman Oder explains:

Charney's misleading analysis starts in the very first paragraph. First, demolition actually began in February; Charney's referring to demolitions challenged in court and last week permitted to proceed.

Second, the opponents are not NIMBYs--why would they be organizing the UNITY 2007 charette this weekend?--but critics of this specific plan, which would be more dense than the nation's densest census tract and is so radioactive that the city won't cite it as a blueprint in the just-released PlaNYC 2030 document.

Charney, in the second paragraph, makes another error, saying Atlantic Yards would have 8.7 million square feet of space (actually 8 million) and cost $4.2 billion (actually $4 billion.) He says that developer Forest City Ratner "did have to scale the project down modestly to get the go-ahead," but that, of course, is untrue: the size of the project, in square footage, would be just about the same as announced.

Posted by lumi at April 26, 2007 11:03 AM