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April 15, 2009

ESDC predicts new AY timetable and budget; those should still be questions for the Senate oversight hearing

Atlantic Yards Report

More on issues that should be addressed in a possible NY State Senate Committee hearing on Atlantic Yards:

The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) yesterday indicated that two of the major questions swirling around the Atlantic Yards should be answered: the agency will "soon" go public with both a new construction timetable and a new project budget.

Both could be big news. For nearly two-and-a-half years, at least in court papers, the ESDC has stuck to the ten-year construction schedule announced in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. Last week, ESDC CEO Marisa Lago acknowledged that it could take "decades."

And the ESDC, which announced a $4 billion project budget in December 2006, has since asserted that information about the project budget and cost of the arena is a trade secret. That, however, sets up the possibility that developers and public agencies can announce one set of numbers to the public, then turn around and keep the actual numbers secret.

Since the Atlantic Yards project is highly subsidized, Norman Oder points out that the actual timeline "requires candor:"

The ten-year timeline was crucial to public support for the Atlantic Yards project. Within ten years, blight would be removed, 2250 units of affordable housing would be built, eight acres of publicly accessible open space would be provided, and new tax revenues would be available. Even before that, a new arena and railyard were to be built.

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Posted by lumi at April 15, 2009 5:47 AM