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August 6, 2009


Queens Ledger

The Ledger interviews mayoral challenger Bill Thompson and the incumbent himself.


On development in the city:

I'm not against large-scale development, but I will cite two of the biggest announcements over the last ten years: Hudson Yards on the west side of Manhattan and Atlantic yards in Downtown Brooklyn. How many units of housing are there? How many jobs? What has happened since the ribbon cuttings and the big announcements? You haven't seen anything that has occurred there. I'm not against large-scale development, but I'm for smart growth in conjunction with communities and not by going around them. This mega-project that you give all to one developer isn't working. There are other models that work better...like Battery Park City.

On Atlantic Yards:

It's starting to look like a basketball stadium and one building.

NoLandGrab: Thompson has a chance to really differentiate himself from Bloomberg on projects like Atlantic Yards and issues like eminent domain (the use of which, for purposes of "economic development," is opposed by about 90% of Americans), but he just can't bring himself to actually do so.


On whether the city's large-scale development projects are overly ambitious:

No, the zoning for Willets Point was started for the 1964 World's Fair and we just got it done. So for the next 10 or 15 years, I don't know how fast the economy is going to come back, but when you want to build, the zoning will have been done. That's the tough part.

NLG: In the case of Atlantic Yards, there was no rezoning — New York State has overridden local zoning. And "the tough part?" Hardly, when City Planning acts like puppets on a string and the City Council rolls over for the Mayor at every turn.


Additional coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Bloomberg (implicitly) misleads on AY: "the zoning will have been done"

In an interview in the Queens Ledger, headlined ELECTIONS 2009: THE RACE FOR MAYOR, Mayor Mike Bloomberg implicitly lumps Atlantic Yards, where he permitted a state override of city zoning, with other large-scale projects for which the City Council has approved a rezoning.

As for Thompson:

If Thompson were truly a critic of Atlantic Yards, he would've shown up--or sent a surrogate--to the public hearing last week.

Posted by eric at August 6, 2009 1:41 PM