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March 3, 2008

Atlantic Yards Report shorts

From Norman Oder's weekend reading list:

StreetsBlog
Before AY, the necessity of congestion relief

A posting on Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn about gridlock at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues led to some serious debate on Streetsblog on the causes, solutions, and the role of DDDB.

Suffice it to say that even Atlantic Yards proponents like Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership of New York City believe the project could work only with congestion pricing.

And even a significantly dense but smaller project like that contemplated under the UNITY plan would require, as its planners suggest, “extensive traffic calming, parking reduction, and bicycle lanes to discourage vehicle use for both local and inter-borough travel.”

Play (NYT)
Why NBA team ownership can be very lucrative

Joe Nocera's article in yesterday's Play, The New York Times Sports Magazine, headlined Big time Losers describes the "Bad Owner" who runs lousy teams:

Why does the Bad Owner seem so impervious to it all?

Actually, there is a reason, a very good one. To own a franchise in any of the three major sports — football, baseball or basketball — is to enter a club in which it is nearly impossible to come away a financial loser.

His case in point is NBA's Los Angeles Clippers; owner Donald Sterling has seen his investment skyrocket from $13.5 million to $300 million.

Nocera points out that the value of the badly-managed New York Knicks has continued to rise, given its stronghold in the nation's major media market.

He doesn't mention the New Jersey Nets, but Bruce Ratner's strategy is consonant with his observation. The Nets are losing money in the Meadowlands and team managers are trying to improve the mix of players. But the key comes in the future: the new arena at Atlantic Yards would prove quite lucrative, thanks to naming rights from Barclays, 130 luxury suites, other sponsorships, and television revenue.

NoLandGrab: In three seasons Bruce Ratner has joined the pantheon of big-time losers. Nothing could feed Brooklyn's historical chip on the shoulder more than his ruining a winning franchise and moving it to "the fourth largest city in the US."

NY Times Real Estate Section
The lottery-like chances for subsidized middle-class housing

A New York Times Real Estate section article yesterday on the chances of the middle-class getting subsidized housing in New York City was headlined Winning That One in a Million.

Atlantic Yards, with 1350 subsidized middle- and moderate-income units and 900 subsidized low-income units, would seem to improve the odds slightly. Then again, if the project takes 20 years, or 30 years--or doesn't get off the ground at all--then the odds improve less and less.

Posted by lumi at March 3, 2008 5:16 AM