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December 20, 2011

Deconstructing Marty Markowitz on Atlantic Yards blame (it's all the fault of lawsuits), residential permit parking, and his claim of being underpaid

Atlantic Yards Report

Better sit down for this one.

In a recent interview by Roberto Perez on The Perez Notes, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz gave what likely will remain his standard line on Atlantic Yards: it all would've worked out if there had been no lawsuits.

Well, that ignores the fact that developers of large, multi-phase projects must plan for up-and-down development cycles, and, as already noted by DDDB and NLG, developer Bruce Ratner admitted that his announced plan was never feasible.

The question

At 10:06, host Perez opened up the mike: "Borough President, talk a little bit about Atlantic Yards. There are both sides, of course, the people who are upset about eminent domain, people who are upset that the jobs, supposedly promised by Bruce Ratner have not materialized, and the job training, and the people that are upset over gentrification. Talk about some of the positives of the project, and what do you think of the overall so far, there's a lot of development left that's part of the final project that hasn't happened just yet."

The answer

Markowitz took to it like catnip: "Well, let me just say that, if the folks that opposed this hadn't tied the project up for seven years in litigation, Atlantic Yards, a good piece of it would have been built. The affordable housing would've been on its way. The Nets would be playing in the arena and defeating the Manhattan Knicks. I'm sure, I'm confident. And people would've been working, and it would've been the jobs that were promised. Because when this project was first proposed, the economy was strong in new York and in America. Sadly, seven years of lawsuits that sucked up time, money, and everything else and then we get into the middle of a deep recession."

Wait, the developer originally promised 10,000 office jobs in four office tower. That was bogus from the start. Now there's one office tower planned.

Damning the critics

"Listen, now the critics are complaining that there's not enough jobs," Markowitz continued. "Before, they couldn't care less about the jobs. They couldn't care less about the jobs. They couldn't care less about affordable housing."

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NoLandGrab: Sure, Marty, we couldn't care less about any of that stuff. But what we really don't care about is bringing a lousy pro basketball team to Brooklyn — especially on the taxpayers' dime.

Posted by eric at December 20, 2011 1:36 PM