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March 28, 2010

Sunday AYR: Blight Patrol, Lupica On Goldstein

Atlantic Yards Report

Lupica: DDDB's Goldstein is "another guy who went up against the machine in this city and lost"

Two weeks ago, Daily News columnist Mike Lupica called Atlantic Yards "a hustle in broad daylight by Caring Bruce Ratner from the start."

Today he writes:

Daniel Goldstein of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn was the hero of the whole Atlantic Yards story from the start.

It just turned out he was another guy who went up against the machine in this city and lost.

And when you had some of the biggest politicians around, starting with our imperial mayor, obsessed with not looking bad, it was like trying to stop the ocean.

The worst of it?

They didn't just throw in with a hustler like Bruce Ratner, they rolled over for Ratner and did tricks.

Go back and look at what Ratner promised once they trampled eminent domain laws for him and basically handed him that land.

And look at what he delivered.

And then try to tell yourself ground-breaking was a great day for the borough of Brooklyn and for New York.

Well, Goldstein actually wasn't there at the start (hint: Patti Hagan) and he's had a good deal of help.

But the gist of Lupica's observation was encapsulated by New York Magazine's Chris Smith, writing in August 2006:

Every time I begin to buy into the lyrical people-have-the-power rhetoric of the opposition, to fantasize that Goldstein’s impending eminent-domain lawsuit has a prayer of succeeding, or to get revved up about the density trivia, someone smacks me back into reality. Most recently, it was a prominent Democrat. "In some cases, an army of Davids could take down Goliath," he said. "But not this one. It’s a fait accompli."

Well, it's certainly lasted longer than most.

Blight patrol: new eateries thrive on Vanderbilt and Sixth avenues

According to the ESDC, the tool of developer Bruce Ratner, the purpose of the Atlantic Yards project is to remove blight. Only very lax New York State law allows any part of Prospect Heights to defined as "blighted."

From the New York Post: Vanderbilt Avenue: Prospect Heights' destination for foodies and booze hounds:

Indeed, at least eight new bars and restaurants have popped up on the Brooklyn boulevard in the last two years alone.

(NY Post map adapted by No Land Grab)

Obviously the "blight" on the AY site above Dean Street west of Vanderbilt is not deterring development.

And on Sixth Avenue

From the Brooklyn Paper:

In a town full of mediocre burgers, the discovery of a new favorite is somewhat akin to waiting less than an eternity for the G train — a rare occasion. Enter the Agoulou, the West Indian-style burger at three-week-old French-Guadeloupian eatery Kaz An Nou in Prospect Heights and a very possible new favorite.

The restaurant is at 53 Sixth Avenue, just below Dean Street, the border of the Atlantic Yards footprint.

Again, the "blight" doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent.

Posted by steve at March 28, 2010 8:42 AM