December 26, 2008
WNYC's Schuerman on AY timetable oversight: "the deadlines are pretty generous"
Atlantic Yards Report
WNYC real estate reporter Matthew Schuerman was on-air with host Richard Hake on Wednesday talking about Atlantic Yards, and Norman Oder was listening in.
On Wednesday, December 24, WNYC radio's economic development reporter, Matthew Schuerman, was interviewed about Atlantic Yards at approximately 25:45 of Hour 2 of Morning Edition. While there wasn't much new for Atlantic Yards watchers, it was a decent summary of the issues and a reminder of the developer's over-optimistic plans, the government's limited leverage, and the question mark over the project's future.
Hake asked how easy it would be for the developer to restart the project even if they win the pending lawsuits. (The defendant is actually the Empire State Development Corporation.) I think that the eminent domain case is a longshot for the plaintiffs, given the rules in New York State; while the case regarding the environmental review is somewhat more up in the air, I've said that the state and the developer have to be considered favorites to prevail.
Schuerman noted that, if they win, FCR said they will have to evaluate the bond market again. He cited an interview with Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who along with other elected officials attended a meeting Monday with FCR and ESDC.
Hake asked if AY opponents are jumping for joy.
Schuerman responded: "I'm sure there's some schadenfreude there, to see Forest City Ratner on the rocks like this, struggling to get this project under way, really. But they live here--it's a devastated neighborhood, it's even more devastated now that half, three-quarters of the buildings are cleared away, and they're really worried that Forest City Ratner will sit on this land, not doing anything for five, ten years, and their neighborhood will just get worse and worse."
I think that, while perhaps half of the buildings have been demolished, many larger buildings remain, so less than half of the non-railyard site has been cleared.
People in and bordering the footprint are living near empty lots--blight as defined by the state. Most of the opponents live outside the footprint and have a more peripheral relationship to the site--forced by the closure of the Carlton Avenue bridge to detour, or to pass some eyesores--but an ongoing relationship to the policy response, or lack thereof.
Posted by eric at December 26, 2008 8:33 AM