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April 28, 2009

Development amid Deficits, Building amid Budget Gaps

City Hall News

Lago-CHN.jpg Atlantic Yards excerpts from online selections of the the on-the-record transcript of Empire State Development Corporation President and CEO Marisa Lago at an On/Off the Record breakfast held April 8:

Q: What is the status on Atlantic Yards?
A: Obviously a challenging project. Again, projects conceived in a different time and in a different economy. But, one, now the focus is very much on moving forward with the Nets stadium and with the housing that is on that first block, the first phase of the project. Attenuated timelines, I think, are a reality for private-sector and for public-sector projects; there’s nothing wrong with that. You look at the history of the transformational projects that have occurred in the city—earlier I was discussing with some of the folks here Roosevelt Island, the project that has grown over decades; 42nd Street, a project that has grown over the past 25 years—and the scale of the Atlantic Yards is similar in that it is remaking, re-knitting a portion of the city. So, as I said: [we are] focusing on what can get done now in the current climate, what is finance-able now, and also recognizing that it is a project that is scheduled to grow out over multi-years, decades, not months.

Q: What dates are we looking at for completion, and what does it look like when it’s done?
A: With respect to Atlantic Yards, our focus is on the first phase, on the arena and the attendant community benefits and housing that surround it, and with respect to particular dates, one doesn’t know, I think that it is a folly to say that. But, are we driving it aggressively? Absolutely.

Q: So we don’t know yet when the first basket will be scored in the Nets arena?
A: You know the history of predicting dates for it. I think the important thing is the commitment that the government has, that the city/state government has in working with Forest City to drive the project forward.

Video is available at http://www.cityhallnews.com/. Scroll through the video links on the right-hand side under "Online Exclusives."

Posted by lumi at April 28, 2009 5:01 AM