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April 15, 2012

Atlantic Yards Mega-mistake Shipwrecks on the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic

Noticing New York

T.S. Eliot had some ideas about April being the cruelest month. Today, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, political cartoonist Mark Hurwitt has a befitting image (above) depicting the current state of the Atlantic Yards mega-monopoly debacle.

The Titanic sank on April 15th after it hit the iceberg on April 14th, just as Lincoln succumbed on April 15th after being shot in Ford’s Theater on the 14th. Aside from mid-April bringing us our April 15th IRS deadline it seems wont to bring us some other big events. Just days ago the New York York Appellate Division ruled unanimously that the Atlantic Yards mega-project, part of the 30+ acres of Ratner’s proposed mega-monopoly,was never legitimately approved, given deceptions by the Ratner people and the State’s Empire State Development public authority (ESDC). (See: Thursday, April 12, 2012, Appellate Court smacks down ESD, upholds decision ordering new study of long-term Atlantic Yards impact, requires new approval of Phase II; Forest City reminds us: it doesn't affect arena.)

The deceptions, which meant that Ratner and ESDC consciously avoided considering substantial negative impacts of his mega-project to the community, were practiced by Ratner and ESDC partly so that Ratner could illegitimately meet an IRS deadline (shades of April15th!) without which the Prokhorov/Ratner basketball arena would probably never have proceeded. Ratner and ESDC were falsely asserting that Ratner would fully construct his mega-monopoly with a ten-year time frame while concealing their expectation and plans for it to take multiple decades.

After hitting the iceberg the Titanic broke up. The court ruling means that the environmental impact of the Ratner’s proposed mega-monopoly must be freshly considered (as it was never actually properly considered at all) and that means that one of the prospective effects of such consideration is that what was once considered as one huge mega-project solely owned by Ratner may now be broken up into multiple parcels to be developed by multiple smaller (better) developers as, for instance, is envisioned in the community’s UNITY Plan. It’s the better way to go.

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Posted by steve at April 15, 2012 9:40 PM