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September 30, 2009

Department of City Planning official said design changes to AY were "obviously quite significant," but ESDC told the public "no"

Atlantic Yards Report

Via Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, Norman Oder learns that Winston Von Engel, Deputy Director of the Brooklyn Office of the Department of City Planning (DCP), agrees with the rest of the project watchdogs that "the design changes to the project are obviously quite significant. Under the circumstances, we believe that a more detailed review of the proposed design is appropriate."

However, according to the official response, filed with the "Modified General Project Plan," to the community's concern about the design changes, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) stated:

No modifications to the Design Guidelines or overall program are proposed, and the Arena, although redesigned, does comply with the Design Guidelines as required by the GPP [General Project Plan]. The Design Guidelines, which establish the framework for the design and development of the Project Site, were developed in close consultation with ESDC and DCP staff and are attached as an exhibit to the GPP.

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NoLandGrab: It was in developer Bruce Ratner's self-interest that the modifications to the design were not deemed "significant," otherwise the Empire State Development Corporation would be forced to issue a "Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement" (SEIS), which would take months to complete and would blow past Ratner's end-of-year deadline for taking advantage of triple-tax-free bonds.

This is one of many examples of how governmental agencies have been bending over backwards to accommodate developer Bruce Ratner in every way possible.

Posted by lumi at September 30, 2009 6:59 AM