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April 5, 2008

Atlantic Yards Report Digest: Saturday Edition

Norman Oder's Atlantic Yards Report features four brief posts today.

Times Style writer arches eyebrows at "obligatory chorus" of protesters

To those on one side of the museum’s new glass-walled addition, Mr. Ratner is a deep-pocketed patron and, as the museum’s director, Arnold Lehman, said, “a nice boychick from Cleveland, Ohio.” To those at curbside on Eastern Parkway, he was viewed less benignly, as Satan. Most developers are.

“Atlantic Yards is truly going to make a lot of people miserable,” said one protester, Eleanor Price, referring to Mr. Ratner’s $4 billion plan to refashion downtown Brooklyn into a commercial wonderland of shops, a basketball arena and fanciful buildings by Frank Gehry.

Let's just say that if he's calling the site "downtown Brooklyn," an error the Times has corrected in more than a dozen articles, and that this was merely an "obligatory" protest, he's not doing his reading. The Times's CityRoom blog, maybe, thought it was news. Maybe the news side should've sent a reporter.

NoLandGrab: One Times error that even Oder didn't catch was the writer's listing of "Kristen Davis" among the celebrities attending the Museum event. Were pretty sure The Times means "Kristin Davis," former star of "Sex and the City" — not the recently busted East Side Madam.

AY web site talks of suites but not stall

Anyone looking at the In The News page at the official Atlantic Yards web site is getting a rather skewed sense of the news.

At the top of the page are links to tabloid articles about the luxury suites planned for the Atlantic Yards arena. Then comes a link to a Daily News column by Errol Louis (whose last name is misspelled) decrying delays in the project.

There's no link, however, to real coverage of the Atlantic Yards stall, much less news that the developer has 6+ years to build the arena.

NoLandGrab: How clever of the FCRC webmaster to spell Errol Louis's name L-e-w-i-s, in order to confuse those who might otherwise think the Daily News columnist is doing the developer's bidding.

Stoler: Outer-borough office market in trouble

From an article headlined Office Space Glut Talk of the Industry, by Michael Stoler in Thursday's New York Sun:
At least 4 million square feet of office buildings are in the planning stages in Brooklyn and Queens, not including Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards development.

Construction has not yet commenced on Tishman Speyer's planned office development on the site of the Queens Plaza Municipal garage. The developer has announced plans to build the Gotham Center: four towers, some more than 40 stories tall, totaling 3.5 million square feet of mixed-use space on the two parcels in Queens Plaza. Real estate sources said the first phase of the project will be a 20-story, 750,000-square-foot office tower, with the city committed to leasing about half of the space.

Industry leaders are voicing skepticism about new office development in Brooklyn and Queens, however. As one real estate banking officer put it: "If these projects did not happen when the market was hot as a pistol, I don't see this going to happen over the next couple of years. Who is going to pay the rents for the new construction in these locations?"

"Brooklyn Views": the ironies of "The Moment"

From "The Moment" blog of the New York Times's "T" Magazine. under the headline Now Screening | ‘Brooklyn Views: The Home of Arnold Lehman
This Saturday, the Brooklyn Museum opens its new Takashi Murakami show, “(c) Murakami.” This morning, the museum’s director, Arnold Lehman, invites T Magazine into his Brooklyn Heights apartment to view his personal collection of contemporary art. In our film, Lehman walks through his apartment, giving his perspective on collecting, curating and the Brooklyn cityscape, of which his apartment has a 360-degree view.

Of course Brooklyn Views is also the name of a once-active blog written by architect Jonathan Cohn critiquing the Atlantic Yards project, and Lehman's museum has just been slammed for honoring Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner. And one criticism of the museum is that it has not been willing to screen the AY documentary Brooklyn Matters.

NoLandGrab: Is the prolific Oder really in need of more material? This one seems like a bit of a stretch.

Posted by eric at April 5, 2008 10:00 AM