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November 19, 2009

30 years, 30 stories: Our biggest news stories

The Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn's most-controversial development project ever figures in two of The Brooklyn Paper's 30 biggest news stories over its first 30 years.

Brooklyn has changed, and The Brooklyn Paper has been through it all the way. From urban renewal to the “brownstoners” to the young urban professionals, every newsmaker we covered had, in his or her small way, a role in creating “The New Brooklyn.”

Here’s our look back at some of the biggest stories of the past three decades (in no particular order!):

18. The biggest project ever: Proposed in 2003 as the biggest development in Brooklyn’s history, Bruce Ratner’s $4-billion Atlantic Yards project — including housing and commercial components and an arena for the New Jersey Nets built around a superblock in Prospect Heights — met unexpectedly strong opposition and was stalled until the current recession forced at least a temporary cutback in its scope. As 2009 winds down, final lawsuits may be resolved to permit the start of some construction, providing financing can be had.

21. Party Marty: While many people don’t know the names of their elected officials, in Brooklyn almost everyone knows Borough President Markowitz. He can walk down any street and elicit excited cries of, “Hey Marty!” and his boosterism for the borough is infectious; despite having virtually no power to do anything, he manages to get the name “Brooklyn” repeated all over the world. But the borough is split over Markowitz’s support for Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project, which required a subversion of the normal city planning process, a sweetheart land deal for the developer and large public subsidies. Whether it is ultimately great for Brooklyn or not, it’s Markowitz’s legacy.


Posted by eric at November 19, 2009 11:25 AM