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April 16, 2008

Councilman wants Atlantic Yards demolition halted - for now

NY Daily News
by Jotham Sederstrom

The News follows up on comments made to bloggers Monday evening by Brooklyn Beep candidate Bill de Blasio.


A Brooklyn councilman who has been supportive of the controversial Atlantic Yards project has called for a moratorium on the struggling basketball arena plan.

Councilman Bill de Blasio bashed developer Forest City Ratner for keeping government subsidies hidden and not telling residents about construction delays.

"I've been frustrated in general by the lack of communication by Forest City Ratner for years, and it seems to me it's only gotten worse, not better," said de Blasio, who is running for borough president.


Forest City Ratner Executive Vice President Bruce Bender argued in a statement that the project has been transparent but did not address the developer's refusal to publicly reveal aspects of public funding and security concerns involving the plan.

"Atlantic Yards has been reviewed and debated extensively for over five years, including two public hearings before the City Council, multiple other state public hearings and hundreds of public meetings," Bender said in the statement.

"As the Council member knows, all of Atlantic Yards, including all of the affordable housing, will be built, and any delays in the construction phase will result in delays in delivering the thousands of units of affordable housing and thousands of jobs that Atlantic Yards will create."


NoLandGrab: Bruce, you ignorant.... But we digress. Why is Bill de Blasio the last to know that Forest City Ratner couldn't be trusted? If politicians of his ilk had been more skeptical about Atlantic Yards from the outset, we wouldn't be in this mess now. Still, we're glad that de Blasio is speaking up.

As for Bruce Bender: "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." Is it possible that he's been faxing out the same statement for the past three years?

Posted by eric at April 16, 2008 10:35 AM