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March 31, 2009

As foreclosures increase, real blight (unlike AY 'blight') creates "real-estate panic"

Atlantic Yards Report

While municipalities are struggling to contain real blight, resulting from the housing boom and bust, Bruce Ratner's own blight study hardly passes the smell test, especially where evidence of blight was of the developer's own making:

BlightBogusEvidence.jpg

In the case of Atlantic Yards, there were some vacant buildings and empty lots, but there was and remains enormous demand for the land in and around the AY footprint.

That's why the failure by consultant AKRF to conduct the market study called for in its Blight Study contract with the Empire State Development Corporation looms large in the effort to appeal the dismissal of the case challenging the AY environmental review.

Instead, we saw AKRF straining to find blight, for example at the Mobil Station at Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street, contending that, "as shown in Photographs C and D, portions of the lot’s asphalt surface are pot holed (Photograph C shows a drainage grate near the lot’s entrance that has sunk below grade) and areas of the sidewalk surrounding the lot are cracked and uneven."

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn responded that the "so-called potholes are in fact asphalt patches applied to holes drilled by Roux Associates in the course of making soil sample borings for AKRF when FCR was purchasing the property. It is not evident as asserted in Photo 1127-1-D that the entry drainage grate has sunk below grade. Likewise, the concrete sidewalk has cracks so very modest and so easily fixed, they do not merit 'blight characteristic' status."

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Posted by lumi at March 31, 2009 5:55 AM