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June 20, 2008

Are Downtowns in Danger of Going Downhill Again?

Business Week

The myth of the Atlantic Yards scaleback, which had been in the cards for years, makes it into an article about stalled construction in downtowns across the nation.

[S]ince the end of last year, as property values across the country continue to soften and credit markets tighten, downtown development is slowing. "There is no more 'build it and they will come' mentality. Retail development follows population growth," said Scott McIntosh, senior economist with the National Association of Realtors.

Already this year many of the more prominent development deals, such as Bruce Ratner's $4 billion Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, anchored by a new stadium for the New Jersey Nets and 8 million square feet of apartments, are being scaled back.

article

NoLandGrab: Initially the "scaleback" was announced to great fanfare, since it was a pr move to satisfy criticism that the project was too big. Politicians who support the project could point to the "scaleback" and tell voters that developer Forest City Ratner was addressing community concerns.

This pr manuever could backfire, if reporters continue to cite the economic downturn as the reason for the "scaleback."

Posted by lumi at June 20, 2008 4:17 AM