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February 4, 2011

At State of the Borough, Markowitz makes theater out of bike lane flap, touts "jobs, jobs, jobs," gets tepid response to Atlantic Yards salute

Atlantic Yards Report

It was an invitation-only audience, and the response to the Atlantic Yards arena was mostly tepid (as I'll describe below), which suggests that, when Markowitz makes the area more of a focal point, either in 2012 or 2013, he'll make sure to import a pro-arena contingent.
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Markowitz said, "I also want to wish everyone a joyous Chinese New Year—'gung hay fat choy!' —happy Year of the Rabbit!" Of course, he made no mention of his shilling for Forest City Ratner's effort to recruit Chinese investors seeking green cards.

And while he kept talking about "jobs, jobs, jobs," he strained to connect that priority--“job one,” he asserted, for elected officials--to his favorite project.

His Atlantic Yards segment was brief:

Seriously, though, 2010 was the year that one of the grandest visions for Brooklyn finally became a reality. After seven years of planning and seven years of legal battles, construction on the first phase of the Atlantic Yards project finally got underway, which means, in the future, thousands of union jobs and an anchor for a rejuvenated Downtown.

That line drew no reaction, typical of past addresses. He didn't mention that jobs fall far short of expectations.

He continued:

Beginning in the fall of 2012, the Barclays Center will not only be the home of the Brooklyn Nets, who will mop up the floor with the Manhattan Knicks, it will also host the kind of events you used to have to leave Brooklyn to enjoy. But it’s not just about the arena; the affordable housing built nearby will help make sure that Brooklyn remains proud home to everyone from everywhere.

The reference to beating "the Manhattan Knicks" drew a brief burst of applause, less than for many other people and places mentioned. The other lines drew silence.

No one from Forest City Ratner or the Nets were present to take credit.

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Posted by eric at February 4, 2011 9:38 AM