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April 8, 2007

Atlantic Yards Report Double-Dose

The Atlantic Yards Report

Atlantic Yards: BANANA, or collusion?

It seems that Atlantic Yards came up as a subject of a panel discussion last Wednesday at a New York Civic meeting.

There were complaints from some on the panel that nothing can get built in New York. Henry Stern tries to invent a new sign to hang on those who want responsible development: BANANA.

Former Parks Commissioner Stern, whose mumbling, self-indulgent anecdotes were a drag on the evening discussion, went for a laugh, suggesting that "NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) has been superseded by BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone)."

Then another panelist member, Timothy Mennel, notes that the City is going is doing plenty to "accommodate private capital" and uses Atlantic Yards as his example. Norman Oder gets to jump into the exchange:

"It's the state," shouted someone from the audience, looking narrowly at the fact that Atlantic Yards is officially a state project, shepherded and approved by the Empire State Development Corporation.

"In collusion," shouted back another audience member (OK, me) in correction, mindful that both the state and city had signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the project, that the city agreed not to press for ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) over parts of the project, and the city has more than doubled its direct subsidy for the project.

"In collusion," seconded Mennel.

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Why Bruce Ratner is not like a public library

The New York Times tries to equate a dispute between Ulmer Park Branch Library and its landlord with Bruce Ratner and the Atlantic Yards.

It seems to be a waste of a good intellect, but someone needs to explain to the Times the difference between a billionaire developer and a library.

No Land Grab - One way in which they're both the same: Neither one ever seems to have the Business Plan for Atlantic Yards available for check out.

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Posted by steve at April 8, 2007 8:42 AM