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May 20, 2008

How build big in NYC? Not via the AY example, panelists suggest

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder files an in-depth report on last night's "Can NYC Build BIG Anymore" panel discussion, and offers plenty of reasons why opponents of Atlantic Yards won't miss Empire State Development Corporation President Avi Schick when he leaves at the end of the summer.

What are the right ways to build big projects in a growing city? Although panelists who spoke Monday night didn’t make the point explicitly, the answers they offered--public planning, realistic timetables, public ownership, infrastructure first, and media skepticism toward overhyped renderings--generally point to the opposite of the process behind Atlantic Yards.

The panel, titled Can NYC Build BIG Anymore?, was sponsored by Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century and held at Iguana Restaurant in Midtown. Notably, the acting head of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) also offered a hearty defense of Atlantic Yards, adopting some of developer Forest City Ratner's talking points.

The question, panelists agreed, was not “can” but “how.” “One of the problems we have to confront is that people want to build big too fast,” observed Avi Schick, acting president of the ESDC, which approved and is overseeing Atlantic Yards. “Sometimes they bit off a little too much when they tried to push an entire plan forward at once.”

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Posted by eric at May 20, 2008 9:09 AM