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January 13, 2009

Markowitz Calls for Paring Down Atlantic Yards Arena

City Room [NY Times blog]
by Charles V. Bagli

Huh? Are we really going to be stuck with four more years of this guy?

The indefatigable Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, weighed in on Forest City Ratner’s proposed $1 billion basketball arena near downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday, calling on the developer and state officials to review the design with an eye toward paring costs so that the long delayed project is more financially viable.

In light of the economic downturn, he said Forest City should conceive of a “sports and entertainment venue that is more economically feasible but provides the modern amenities our residents and visitors to Brooklyn demand and deserve.”

Funny, but that is pretty much what Forest City Ratner acknowledged it was doing last week.

Opponents of the project, who view it as an oversize intrusion, regarded the Forest City announcement as a death knell. Daniel Goldstein, a spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, said he found Mr. Markowitz’s statement “bewildering.”

“We’re in the midst of the most severe recession since the Great Depression and he’s discussing what a publicly subsidized arena should look like?” Mr. Goldstein said. “It is indefensible to subsidize a luxury housing project and an arena when so many other vital city services are being cut or going begging. It is long past time to start over with the process of developing the railyards in a feasible manner where we can actually achieve job creation and truly affordable housing in a timely fashion.”


NoLandGrab: What Dan Goldstein said.

We can only imagine that when Forest City abandons this ill-fated boondoggle once and for all, the Borough President will soon thereafter call upon the developer to abandon the project.

Posted by eric at January 13, 2009 3:38 PM