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September 29, 2010

Traffic-free plaza unveiled, with bollards (despite NYPD claim), but the big story concerns Ratner's timetable admissions; the Times whiffs

Atlantic Yards Report

Barred from the press conference, Norman Oder instead evaluates media coverage of Bruce Ratner's big plaza reveal.

The big news yesterday, led by the Brooklyn Paper and WNYC, was not the publication of oddly traffic-free Barclays Center plaza designs with a new subway entrance and the giant oval oculus at the center (remember, there's a meeting tonight at 6 pm), but Bruce Ratner's admission he has no timetable for the project.

As WNYC's Matthew Schuerman pointed out, "the city, state and Forest City all conducted or commissioned economic impact analyses that assumed a 10-year build out."

(I've previously pointed out that such analyses, such as the one conducted by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, depend on an over-optimistic ten-year time frame. And note the "vaportecture" in the official renderings, by SHoP Architects.)

And, Schuerman noted, "Ratner’s associates repeatedly used the 10-year time frame in talking to the press and the public." (I also pointed to Ratner's 2010 contradiction of his 2008 op-ed as well as a changing story regarding the first tower. But I wasn't allowed into the press conference.)

New York Magazine's Chris Smith also noticed that the contrast between the "unveiling" of a plaza versus the planned office tower, as well as the suspended timetable.

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Posted by eric at September 29, 2010 9:12 AM