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December 12, 2008

Atlantic Yards at 5: What went wrong?

The Brooklyn Paper
by Sarah Portlock

The Brooklyn Paper takes a retrospective look at the Atlantic Yards, a five-year-old project that was supposed to take 10 years to build, but which has now been stopped before any real construction has even begun.

The report includes a handful of factual inaccuracies — we expect Atlantic Yards Report will offer a full accounting — but it gets at the essence of why this ill-conceived boondoggle has run off the rails.

It remains the question that is on every Brooklynite’s mind: What is going on at Atlantic Yards?

The answer: just about nothing.

Five years after Bruce Ratner introduced his sweeping vision for a 22-acre mini-city on and around the Long Island Railroad train yards — which would balloon into a $4.2-billion, publicly subsidized project including 16 skyscrapers, a 19,000-seat sports arena, 6,800 apartments, and top-grade office space — reality has trumped the dream.

While ongoing litigation — one of the last major cases won’t even be heard until January — may have contributed to some delays, the economy’s collapse is the biggest player right now.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn spokesperson and lead eminent domain plaintiff Daniel Goldstein gets the last word:

“No one knows how long the economy is going to stay this way, and we can’t let Ratner tread water on our land forever,” Goldstein said on Wednesday. “If it’s up to Ratner, they’ll wait as long as they can. But it’s time for the governor to rescue the community from what is turning into a disaster.”


Posted by eric at December 12, 2008 1:55 PM