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February 19, 2009

Flashback, 2005: Roger Green says AY area “not blighted;” academic says AY a far cry from Times Square blight

Atlantic Yards Report

There's much attention now on whether the proposed Atlantic Yards project will receive Federal stimulus funds, despite the widely acknowledged lack of benefits the project will return to the City and State. One way to have avoided this mess would have been for the State to acknowledge that there's no need to threaten use of eminent domain for a neighborhood that was already developing well economically without any special intervention. All involved would have done well to note former Assemblyman Roger Green who, despite being a project proponent, said that the project area is not blighted.

Anyone wishing to catch up on all the issues relating to eminent domain would do well to read as Norman Oder uses a look back at a 2005 public hearing to examine the issue of eminent domain and Atlantic Yards. It will be particularly useful as the Atlantic yards eminent domain case will have a hearing in State appellate court this Monday.

The blog entry ends with a quote from Develop Don't Destroy spokesman, Daniel Goldstein, who testified at the 2005 hearing.

Goldstein brought up the malleable definition of blight: “What’s troubling is if you call that area blighted a lot of Roger’s district could be called blighted.

Green responded with the money quote: “The area, for the record, the area is not blighted. For the record.”

“And I appreciate that, “ Goldstein continued. “And Roger is correct. Just this week, in the Real Deal real estate magazine there’s a glowing article about how booming that area is. One of the buildings… that was mentioned in that article was my building, which is a converted warehouse which six months after it opened and people moved in, this project came along. Within a year and a half, the building has emptied out. I’m glad to hear Roger say that. If blight can be used for this neighborhood, as you go eastward in Brooklyn you better watch out because it will just continue.”


Posted by steve at February 19, 2009 6:39 AM