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December 26, 2010

In review, Vitullo-Martin says Encyclopedia of New York City entry on Atlantic Yards is "almost laughable"

Atlantic Yards Report

In her review of the new edition of The Encyclopedia of New York City in the New York Post, Julia Vitullo-Martin mostly praises it, but finds that it runs aground in spots:

The seemingly neutral, non-judgmental tone combined with the persistent use of the passive voice can become grating, even counter-productive. To write, for example, that the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn “encountered opposition from neighborhood residents concerned about potential crowds and traffic” is almost laughable. It’s rather like saying General Custer encountered a few Indians. In this instance, the courts have consistently ruled that the deeply subsidized project can go forward, but whether or not the project will ever get built is far from clear. My own guess is that the Indians — subdued by the courts though they have been — will triumph in the end.

I don't think the Indians will triumph in the sense of blocking the arena, though it's possible a judge may require additional findings regarding the impact the associated development.

But I think the critique that the Indians have long made--a glaringly undemocratic process leads to a result that glaringly favors the developer--will sustain.

And I'd wager any amount that that the project will never get built as proposed and approved: 17 buildings, 8 million square feet, ten years.

That means that the much-touted benefits (tax revenues, open space, affordable housing) and much-minimized impacts require re-evaluation. But of course the Empire State Development Corporation has waved that away.

link

Posted by steve at December 26, 2010 10:14 AM