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June 28, 2011

Rats! Atlantic Yards site is full of rodents

The Brooklyn Paper
by Kate Briquelet

Neighbors of the Atlantic Yards project say that freakish, cat-sized rats coming from the construction site are invading their homes, gnawing on their cars, eating through garbage cans, and climbing up their legs.
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Residents blamed the infestation on developer Forest City Ratner’s construction work in the Vanderbilt Yards, which will house the Barclays Center for the Brooklyn-bound Nets next fall.

Locals want developer Bruce Ratner to set bait beyond the perimeter of the construction site and buy high-neck metal garbage cans for their streets. Such cans are about $500 apiece, a minor expense for a developer of a $4.9-billion project. For instance, buying 20 of them would be a microscopic 0.0002 percent of the project’s cost.

A company spokesman would not comment on the trash receptacles, but said that the company has had a rodent control plan in place for two years that involves hiring an exterminator and setting and checking bait traps.

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NoLandGrab: And that "rodent control plan" appears to have worked as well as their "opening-the-arena-in-2006 plan" and their "world-class Frank Gehry-design plan," among others.

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Brooklyn Paper: DOH says bait applications for rat problems around arena site have jumped

The headline's a bit off, since the dispute is over whether Forest City Ratner will take control measures outside the site perimeter. But the newspaper did add some statistics that bolster the ample anecdotes:

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said that the department saw an increase in 311 complaints and increased its exterminations significantly in the ZIP codes on and near the project.

The department increased its bait applications from 190 in fiscal year 2010 to 313 in 2011 for the area directly around the arena.

To the east of the arena, bait applications jumped from 179 in 2010 to a whopping 501 in 2011.

Atlantic Yards Watch, Council Member Letitia James joins irate residents in demanding action on rat problem from State, City and Forest City Ratner

A list of of approximately 30 problem locations was assembled collectively during the meeting. Besides those already reported on this site like Dean Street, 6th Avenue and Carlton Avenue, other locations included St. Marks Avenue, Park Place, Bergen Street, Greene Avenue, Pacific Street/Bears Garden, and South Portland.

Posted by eric at June 28, 2011 11:00 AM