Atlantic Yards or Atlantic Lots?

Competing-visions-for-Atlantic-Yards.jpg
These past few days have been a big one for Atlantic Yards news. Saturday, hundreds of protesters led by three opposition groups and several politicians rallied at the Atlantic Yards footprint, calling for a halt to demolition until developer Forest City Ratner can provide details on its plans and assurances that it has the financing to see them through. They were met by a 50 percent larger group of counter-protesters, estimated Atlantic Yards Report blogger Norman Oder, who proceeded to comment on the ethnicity, neighborhood of residence and motivation of each one. On Sunday, Bruce Ratner penned an op-ed piece in the Daily News blaming construction delays on the project’s “rigorous public review” and legal challenges waged by opponents. He said “the delays have pushed us into a time when the economy has slowed, and both financing and tenant commitments are more challenging to obtain. But contrary to rumors, large deals are still getting done, and in the past year alone we have closed on the two largest construction financing in our company’s history, totaling over $1.3 billion. Atlantic Yards will be no different.” Ratner said the company’s first goal is to break ground on the Barclays Center (Nets basketball arena) this year, then the first residential building. “As for Miss Brooklyn, Frank Gehry’s signature commercial tower, a targeted marketing campaign to identify an anchor tenant is currently underway. When that tenant is confirmed, we will finalize plans and start building,” he wrote. He said the whole thing would be completed by 2018, which opponents called crazy talk.

Today, the New York Post obtained renderings commissioned by the Municipal Arts Society depicting how the project’s footprint would look as economic woes stall its construction indefinitely. They name it “Atlantic Lots” after the sea of parking lots that surround the arena and lone tower the developer said he’d work on first. Ratner spokesman Loren Riegelhaupt responded, “Frankly, this is so far from anything even remotely resembling what we are building that it’s not worth commenting on further.” For one thing, he said, the developer would mostly likely plant trees (you know, temporarily) on that big grey slab surrounding the arena. Also today, the Daily News has an article proclaiming “Miss Brooklyn is slashed more than 100 feet in a massive redo” from 620 feet to 511 feet. That of course happened before the project was approved Dec. 2006, but the new model looks substantially different, “replaced by an asymmetrical design that rises like a spiraling Lego structure.” State officials told the newspaper Miss Brooklyn would only have 650,000 square feet of office space and no condos or hotel. But a construction timetable for the project’s signature tower was not given, and an anchor tenant still needs to be secured before it can ever get financing. They also unveiled that red building to the right of Miss Brooklyn, also a revised design. Technically, the Post and Daily News models are not competing visions, they just depict different stages of construction. As usual, the Atlantic Yards Report has a meticulous dissection of everything. And a Metro columnist says the city would be better off if the Nets just went to Newark.
Ratner: AY Dead? Dream On [Daily News]
The Future is ‘Blight’ [NY Post]
Atlantic Yards’ Miss Brooklyn is Slashed [Daily News]
Opponents say Ratner’s Time Line for AY is Pie in the Sky [Daily News]
Nets to Newark Could be a Blessing [Metro]
Bruce Ratner: Put Up or Shut Up! [Daily Gotham]
Not a Done Deal: Time Out Rally Met With Counter-Protest [Daily Gotham]
Original aerial photos in Municipal Arts Society models by Jonathan Barkey

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  • All of you protesters should have started long before Ratner owned any of the properties,back when the project was just a rumor. Maybe,it would have had a better outcome for you. Now,all you have done is sealed yourselves up in some little moat of urban blight.If the project can’t continue as planned,Ratner can demolish any building that he owns without building anything in it’s place,even if just for spite. He can just write it off. Way to go protesters. Hope you all enjoy your unobstructed views of nothingness. Wow, that ought to be a great selling point when you try to re-sell your condo or brownstone. I have never before seen a group of people try so hard for thier area to look so much like a modern day version of East New York circa 1970′s.

  • all these ads are making me dizzy and making my computer go slow.

    oh, and miss brooklyn looked better.

  • OK, so here’s the question. Assuming that DDDB attracted 400 people to their protest (as they claim), does that demonstrate overwhelming community opposition to Atlantic Yards? I’m just curious…what do people think?

  • You crack heads really think the Nets are coming to brooklyn?

  • Goldstein and his crew have the most non-sensical circular logic I have ever seen. They complain that Ratner is creating urban blight by not moving forward with Atlantic Yards. Furthermore, they accuse Ratner of backing out of his promise to build affordable housing. What a sec, isn’t the reason that (a) Atlantic Yards is stalled and (b) affordable housing in the project in jeopardy because of the frivoulous lawsuits (they have lost at every juncture) and delaying tactics implemented by Goldstein in the first place?

  • That new rendering is the ugliest thing I have ever seen.

  • Hard to compare protestors vs. counterprotestors since the counter protestors are largely people being paid to show up by the developer.

    Also hard to blame protestors for blight caused by the developer. From the start, this project has been a giveawy to the developer who gets day one benefits from the city + state in exchange for promises to deliver benefits over a decade from now.

  • Yawn. Yet another protest that will amount to squat. I agree with 10:21 – the anti AY crowd seems to love vacant lots, train yards, and decrepit buildings.

    10:28, “community” opposition is infinitesimal. If as many people objected to AY as DDDB and others claim, there would have been 4000 protesters.

    Saying that union members are paid to protest is disingenuous at best. The time that they devote to these events is voluntary, but anti AY make it seems that they are paid by the hour.

    As usual, Norman Oder seems hell bent on boring his readers to tears. DDDB should hold a fundraiser to hire this guy an editor.

  • Notwithstanding these anonymous comments on Brownstoner, I think it is clear that the substantial majority of the residents of the neighborhoods surrounding Atlantic Yards — Prospect Heights, Fort Green, Park Slope and Boerum Hill — are very much against the project. Do I go out to demonstrations? Not so much (I work, I’m busy, blah blah blah). Do I talk to my friends, neighbors and other acquaintances? Absolutely. Have I ever heard anyone enthutiastic about the project? I don’t think so. Have I heard opposition? Yes — hysterical opposition and rational opposition. Have I heard qualified support? Yes, often out of a sense of the inevitable.

    This is the reality. The commenters above bear no resemblance to the views expressed in the neighborhoods most immediately affected.

  • 11:06, where do you live? I live in Prospect Heights and most of my neighbors are either for the project or are indifferent to it. At the very least, most believe that it will increase property values.

    So, your experience is different than mine, but in the end, speaking with your neighbors is about as far from concrete evidence as can be.

    That is reality.

  • Gotta agree with 11:06. I live in Prospect Heights and I was in the boat of qualified support because I thought it was inevitable. I saw the lawsuits against eminent domain not really having a good chance. I was of the view: if we are going to have it, so be it. But build it and build it quick so we don’t have to live near a construction zone for 20 years.

    These lawsuits, however, have changed the dynamic of the whole project. No f’in way do I want a stadium with 1-2 towers and parking lot city. I am now if the boat that if you aren’t going to build what you promised and build it quick, I don’t want you to start building at all.

  • Hello 11:06. This is 10:21.I do live in the area and own a brownstone.Not right in the footprint area but close enough. While I am not exactly a sports fan,and would not have chosen a sports arena, I am in favor of something new and exicting for Brooklyn.I do support the project as a whole.( Maybe the arena can be used for concerts or other events in the off season).I find it hard to believe that you have not come across ANY supporters of the project in the area,as I know quite a few. By the same token,I also know people who are against it. As for your crack about anonymous comments,I just find it quicker to sign in as guest.I have no problem standing by my statements. By the way my name is Mimi and I have signed in under my name in the past.

  • 11:06, I’m Andrew Rowe (for the sake of removing anonymity) and I have lived in Ft. Greene for my entire life. I would say that I have to agree with 11:12 in that most of my neighborhors are either (a) indifferent to the project, (b) looking forward to SOMETHING being built on those train tracks (because now it’s a whole in the ground or (c) very much looking forward to the basketball. Granted my friends are largely native Brooklynites, so our perspective may be different from those of the gentrifiers, and transplanted Manhattanites who I think comprise the vast majority of the DDDB crown

  • I live in the area and agree with 11:12.

  • I live in Prospect Heights and all of our friends and neighbors that we know are against the project.

    I’m all for the development of housing on the site – but not on the greed-driven scale proposed by Ratner.

  • 400 people is a poor showing for anyone claiming that there’s robust opposition to this. The reality is that most people know this site needs to/will be developed along with the attendant construction disruption and congestion. Aside from the fact that a handful hate it for that reason alone, most other people feel it’s inevitable and have a bad taste in their mouths because it really is a big giveaway and massive creation of excess profit for the developer. Not enough to get out there on a cold Saturday though. But times are changing and even those big excess profits are in doubt – it’s by no means a done deal. The developers have to keep insisting it’s happening until it’s too late in order to keep what they have in place. The tone of their rhetoric sounds more and more formulaic. If they figure out they need to sit on it, or break it up, they’ll drop it quick, and hopefully we’ll get something a little more balanced.

  • It’s Andrew Rowe again…Question for you 11:34 (the Anti-AY 11:34) and the others on this board who are against the arena and the larger project (and I preface this question by saying I’m NOT trying to be controversial). Are you from Brooklyn, as in a native, or a transplant from elsewhere? (Manhattan or somewhere outside of NYC) I only ask because I really don’t know any of my friends or acquiantences from the neighborhood who are against the project. The neighborhood chatter that I hear about the project (if there is any, which isn’t much) in black barber shops, local bodegas and long time neighborhood bars is that folks want to know when the baksetball is getting here. Is the divide between pro-AY and anti-AY racial and cultural? Again, I’m NOT trying to be controversial, but most of the folks who were around here when the neighborhood (Ft. Greene) was ravaged by the crack epidemic think that’s its great that folks would even be TALKING about bringing a professional sports franchise to a neighborhood that had been down for a long time. Maybe outsiders without that sense of perspective may see things differently (which for the sake of objectivity may not be a bad thing).

  • Dear 11:03 great if you are in favor of it, then give up your brownstone for affordable housing. Now, give it to me now so I can build affordable housing and arena. EVERYONE agrees something should be built. But why take to make, when you can make on an empty lot. It is just stupid. Rich or not, Ratner could easily have done his project with out plowing existing streets and houses.

    THAT is reality.

  • The majority of these anonymous posts make one thing very clear-

    The fact that Ratner’s cronies enjoy spending their free time browsing Brownstoner.

    Unless of course they’re paid shills, like the counterprotesters on Saturday.

  • Give it to the Indians, Mr. “all my friends are natives”
    Get over yourselves, if you are sitting commenting on this blog everday, chances are you have enough money that you will not have to worry about your housing every. So pointing fingers at so called manhattanites is just repetitive garble.

    Who do you think is going to live in those high rise buildings? I have asked this question a million times on here, and no one answers. Do you think it is the poor folks in the neighborhood? No, it will be wealthy white folks from…Manhattan. So really what do you think, you will be surrounded by the people you propose to despise.

  • I would say that 70% of people oppose the project and 30% support it.

    The supporters seem to be uneducated Brooklyn natives and those who are simply in it for the money and think their property values will escalate.

  • So the “uneducated Brooklyn native” (i.e. Black), will be “saved” from their ignorant selves, by the white gentrifiers…nice!

  • 12:18 – the sad part is you probably believe that – even though you have absolutely no evidence for your conclusion.

    Signed – a white, educated (advanced degree) non-native (albeit here 20 yrs) who is, was and will always be Pro-AY – and has no belief in escalating property values related to being near AY.

  • The new rendering looks like a pile of cinderblocks!

  • Kingstonlounge, your comments are about as original as a big mac with fries. Try leaving your bubble once in a while – there really are people not employed by Ratner who support AY.

    Also, what proof do you have that the counterprotesters were paid to attend the rally? This line has been parroted ad nauseam, but I have yet to see bona fide evidence of its truth. Unless you or another anti-AY drone can furnish proof, then I will assume that you are simply repeating a lie.

  • The new rendering looks like a pile of cinderblocks.

  • I’m vehemently opposed to the scale, cost, corruption and pollution that is Atlantic Yards. Why it matters I’m not sure but my family’s been in Brooklyn for more than 80 years now.

    Underwriting a $4 billion project to the tune of $2 billion would be odd if it weren’t my money that’s being stolen. Not entirely sure how 6,400 apartments down the street from my house will improve the value of my property. Guess some folks like constant gridlock outside their houses. Me, if I wanted to live opposite Madison Square Garden I would.

    We could have bought the Nets several times over for what we’re paying to move them across the river for a few years.

    And we should keep in mind that we’re not getting a sports franchise. We’re leasing one that Ratner owns. When – or before – the lease is up, he’ll renegotiate for more tax-payer subsidies. That’s what pro teams do. And at that point, we either give him more money or he relocates the team and we’re left with an unused stadium . . . that we paid $2 billion to build.

  • you protesters probably cost us the Zeppelin Reunion!!!!!!!!!

  • WOW!12:18 thinks that Brooklyn natives are uneducated and 12:01 thinks that we are all poor. You two should get together seeing as how you already seem to share a brain.Those have to be 2 of the most insulting remarks I have heard in a while,even on this site.I am a Brooklyn native and I am neither poor or uneducated.I have owned property since the age of 20,and yes I paid for it myself. I have lived in London,Senegal and Paris and I spent 10 years living on the UES. It pains me that people are moving to Brooklyn without any regard for the people who called it home long before it was fashionable. On the UES I would every so often have to let someone know that I was not a well dressed nanny, (I was one of two Black people that lived in the building) ,but I never thought that I would ever have to justify myself at home in Brooklyn.There are so many unexpected, well off native Brooklynites,you should watch yourselves. You never know where we may turn up.-Mimi

  • 11:57 – you represent a view that is erroneous. Some housing is being condemned, but only on blocks that are currently mostly industrial. The reality is the number of homes being lost is nothing compared to the urban renewal blitz that brought us public housing in the 1960s nor even the construction of Central Park.

    Oppose the scale if you want, but don’t exaggerate. It just ruins your credibility.

    12:01 – The way it has always worked in this city in the post-war era of oppressive zoning laws is the poor either live in obsolete housing or public housing. People haven’t built new housing for the poor since the depression.

    Seriously. What do you want? More public housing? The only time New Yorkers have gotten decent housing at a fair price was in the days before rent control, rent stabilization, public housing, and the 1960 zoning act. Back then, developers built as much housing as they wanted and everyone was happy.

    Your view has been public policy for almost 50 years, and a lot of the poor you claim to want to help are living in apartments that haven’t been renovated since then. What do YOU propose that is any different that what has been tried for the past half century?

  • “I would say that 70% of people oppose the project and 30% support it.”

    PLEASE LET US SEE THE DATA YOU HAVE THAT SUPPORTS THIS VIEWPOINT.

    “The supporters seem to be uneducated Brooklyn natives and those who are simply in it for the money and think their property values will escalate.”

    I’M AN EDUCATED BROOKLY NATIVE WHO OWNS A HOME IN THE AREA AND SUPPERTS THE PROJECT. I’M NOT LOOKING FOR ANY WINDFALL PROPERTY ESCALATION, BUT I DO WANT THE JOBS, HOUSING AND RETAIL THAT THIS PROJECT WILL PROVIDE TO PROCEED. YOU SIMPLY DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.

  • 12:18 is at least honest about his/her arrogance. i would venture that many anti-AY folks share the sentiment, but would never say so publicly.

  • are you more likely to respond to a customer satisfaction survey if you received crappy service or adequate service?

  • Anti-AY 11:34 here again, in answer to your question 11:52. I’ve lived in Brooklyn for 9 years. I’m sure there is a polling difference b/t born-here Brooklynites and newer arrivals, but the debate should be about intelligent urban planning, not demographics.

    I actually wouldn’t be against the Nets arena if it were just that, although the subway and car traffic would be unpleasant at best. But the Nets are the tail wagging the dog – it’s not the arena, it’s the 16 skyscrapers adding 17,000 residents! Add the game night crowds and it’s like doubling the population of Prospect Heights and Ft. Greene COMBINED. How do you think that will affect pedestrian safety, asthma rates, etc for native-born local kids?

    Folks that have been around since the crack epidemic should know that Brooklyn has been revitalized not due to mega-projects, but because of grass roots community involvement and the appeal of its livable neighborhoods. An over-scale AY is like killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.

  • “The majority of these anonymous posts make one thing very clear- The fact that Ratner’s cronies enjoy spending their free time browsing Brownstoner.”

    I’m no Ratner shill. I just have my own viewpoint and I’m not shy about expressing it. I am in favor of AY. If you’re not, that’s OK but my opinions are my own.

    Besides, what does registration have to do with my opinion? The way I see it, YOU could just as easily be described as a shill for DDDB/Goldstein. Your being a registered commenter does not change that.

    “Unless of course they’re paid shills, like the counterprotesters on Saturday.”

    Proof? Evidence? Documentation? I guess accusations equal reality in your world. Typical of inflexible, “whatever it takes” approach of anti-AY “shills.”

  • 12:45

    Pollution?

    Density on the scale of AY is 100% necessary to REDUCE pollution in this country.

    How, pray tell, does AY contribute to pollution?

  • Re pollution – how about vast seas of gridlocked cars, trucks and buses idling on Atlantic and Flatbush because of congestion?

  • Re pollution – how about vast seas of gridlocked cars, trucks and buses idling on Atlantic and Flatbush because of congestion?

  • “Folks that have been around since the crack epidemic should know that Brooklyn has been revitalized not due to mega-projects, but because of grass roots community involvement and the appeal of its livable neighborhoods. An over-scale AY is like killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.”

    Folks that have been around since the crack epidemic (and before then, like me) know that Brooklyn has waited for development at this site for GENERATIONS. Brooklyn’s improvement is as much due to long-term residents (like me and many others) who invested in our communities and worked in our own wys to make things better. We have very strong opinions on how Brookyln should go forward. The 400 or so Johnny-come-lately Anti-AYERS, had NO plan for development or improvement of the site until Ratner came along. Suddenly, they’ve annointed themselves experts on how this realtively SMALL piece of Brooklyn should develop, suggesting Brooklyn would be “destroyed” if the project went forward. Nonsense. Anti-AYers focus ignore the wishes of long-term residents who want jobs, housing and retail. Furthermore, AY is planned for a site adjacent to downtown Brooklyn, an area quite appropriate for large-scale, dense development (with several subways and LIRR on the site). Pedestrians will be as safe here as they are at the other high-traffic areas of this city of 8 million people, and asthma rates won’t be any higher here than anywhere there is development (as in all over this city).

  • 1:47/1:52

    Versus the sea of gridlocked cars and trucks on the NJ turnpike going to Net games now? and the wave of cars, trucks and busses of people who will end up living in Southern Brooklyn/SI/NJ/LI etc…. rather than above a massive mass transit hub at Atlantic and 5th?

    You can complain about gridlock and pollution all you want, but the fact remains that as it relates to a centrally located/mass transit convenient location like AY – your concerns are strictly NIMBY – as under any legitimate analysis a dense development, centrally located and convenient to mass transit results in a net REDUCTION of car trips and pollution.

  • The whole DDDB / Anti -AY crowd are losers. They have nothing to contribute to Brooklyn…they are just NIMBY’s who have nothing better to do with their time. Does Goldstein even work, or is he just a “trustafarian” living off of his corporate raider daddy. If it were up to DDDB, the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic, which has been a whole in the ground for 50 years, will be a whole in the ground for another 50 years. NIMBY’s work like this: If a developer proposed the erection of 100 brownstones for the site, they would say “why are you building brownstones, they are not affordable” If the city decided to build projects on the site, they would say “why are you building projects, they will ruin the ‘character’ of the neighborhood” That’s why you have to just ignore these NIMBY’s. It would not matter what is proposed for the site…they are haters so will hate on anything.

  • I wish there could be a referendum on this project, in the form of a Brooklyn wide public ballot to see what the TRUE public opinion is. DDDB and the AY crowd will have you believe that most people in Brooklyn are against this project, however, the pathetic turnout at the Anti-Ratner protest at the Brooklyn Museum (80 people?) and the much hyped, well organized event this past Saturday (400 people) would seem to indicate otherwise.

  • Re: paid protesters -

    Daniel Goldstein’s wife, Shabnam Merchant, is a PAID employee of DDDB. Given that married couples typically combine finances, Daniel Goldstein surely benefits from her DDDB salary, regardless of how low that figure is. So, if anyone was paid to protest at this rally, it was these two. It seems that Norman “OCD” Oder missed that detail.

  • Anyone notice that a lot of the area around AY(excluding the rail yards themselves) have been devloping nicely without government subsidies and without needing a total BS campaign

  • 2:36 – so true – so sadly true

  • Isn’t pollution by definition a NIMBY issue? I mean, my house doesn’t sit on the NJ turnpike and I do breathe the air in my backyard.

  • Does anyone know the Marino Organization’s IP address? Could Brownstoner list how many of these comments come from Ratner’s team?

  • Serious question for you pro-AYer’s out there: What in your view is the “right” density for this project? Is 6,400 apts “just right” or “too few”? Is there any point at which you would say a development is just too big?

  • The only BS campaigning i see is from DDDB and posts like yours and 3PM’s posts. ha-ha, your such morons yet you claim the residents of Brooklyn are uneducated. You people are selfish low lives who shit in wine glasses and smell it because you think it smells great. Lets be real 95% of BK wants this project built, the only people that don’t are misinformed morons such as yourself. This is an economically viable project. Brooklyn wants a sports team and needs new housing; the congestion argument is just silly. If you don’t want congestion move to upstate or Ohio. Lets check the IP addresses of hose who are against the project, I wonder how many of those comments are registered to Daniel of DDB and his shill. Done.

  • Does anyone have the DDDB IP Address? How many of these Anti -AY posts come from Goldstein and his 399 friends?

  • Someone who is paid by individual raised funds for a non profit organization that was created by citizens is absolutely an amazing thing. To point that out as the same as busing in unions is just ignorance at its finest. Go find a non profit that doesn’t raise funds to pay their employees, you dumb ass.

    And erroneous to who?
    Industrial park?

    Does anyone here know what they are talking about?

  • Yea I’m sure the wife is making a killing organizing volunteers to get off their asses and not spend all day on blogs. Yes, that is a genius comment.
    What job are you all at right now? I’m telling your boss that you troll blogs all day! Losers
    Is this second grade? Oh no second graders actually show some respect for other humans around them.

    You full time live here all your life, can’t see any good in people, blog posting hate mongers, are in fact the losers. You need serious medication and therapy, or that useless hatred will cause you a heart attack some day.

  • Still no answer…who do you think is going to live in those luxury buildings?

    Losers, that is so funny. Someone is not really calling people losers with a serious face are they?

  • your such morons yet you claim the residents of Brooklyn are uneducated. You people are selfish low lives who shit in wine glasses and smell it because you think it smells great.

    CRAP Who told you we do this the secret is out!

  • 3:14

    I think the scale of the area was defined by the Williamsburg Savings Bank. If the depression hadn’t hit, this entire area would be developed with large office towers or at least large apartment buildings like you see on Eastern Parkway or Prospect Park West.

    For the most part, I think R10 zoning regulations are ideal for the entirety of Manhattan and every part of the city within walking distance of the subway. Literally 100 projects the size of AY would have to be built for the middle class to have access to modern, affordable apartments similar to what can be found elsewhere in the country. So, it’s important to remember this project is actually incredibly small when you look at the housing needs this city faces. Compared to other thriving metropolises in the world, particularly in Asia, this is really no big deal.

    Overall, I think the scale is “just right”. The only impact the average citizen will notice is the improved retail in the area. The landed gentry will likely see their assets increase in value significantly, while us peasants restricted to units in multifamily dwellings will see rents and condo prices flat line a bit.

    I really wish the Dodgers were able to get their stadium on the site in the 1950s like they wanted, but a Nets stadium isn’t so bad. I lived by Wrigley Field in Chicago for 2 years after college – the crowds never really bothered me and the energy of the area was actually pretty inspiring at times.

  • Pedestrians will be as safe here as they are at the other high-traffic areas of this city of 8 million people, and asthma rates won’t be any higher here than anywhere there is development (as in all over this city).

    Thank you god. I guess the fact that brooklyn has one of the highest asthma death rates, is just something to ignore?

  • “Go find a non profit that doesn’t raise funds to pay their employees, you dumb ass.”

    Yes, and go find a union that does not require action by their members to solidify power and increase the chances of securing jobs for members. Whether the union represents carpenters, social workers, teachers, nurses, or electricians, it asks unions to pitch in. And it’s volunteer work, not paid labor (I’m still waiting for evidence that the counterprotesters were paid to attend).

    “Someone who is paid by individual raised funds for a non profit organization that was created by citizens is absolutely an amazing thing.”

    I agree, but that was not the original point. Counterprotesters were being criticized for being paid to attend the rally, when, in fact, Shabnam Merchant, was the one earning money for doing so (again, regardless of how low her salary is). By the way, union activity is also an amazing thing. Without unions, you and others would not have paid sick time, vacation time, lunch hours, safety rules, labor laws, holidays off, etc.

    “Still no answer…who do you think is going to live in those luxury buildings?”

    A rich mix of New Yorkers. All incomes, races, and ethnicities. Apartments will be assigned according to income, which by itself guarantees that the residents will be diverse in every way. Otherwise, Prospect Heights would continue to attract only privileged yuppies like Daniel Goldstein, Shabnam Merchant, Lumi Rolley, Eric McClure, and all of the other anti-development NIMBYs at the rally.

  • The fact that 400 gentrifiers could stand in the way of Atlantic Yards getting built is pretty mind blowing

  • Polemicist

    Just to translate your zoning technical-ese for the rest of us – “R10 is the highest density residential districting permitted in NYC. This density is found on major avenues and crosstown streets south of 96th Street in Manhattan. The permitted FAR of 10.0 can be increased to 12.0 if a large plaza, arcade or lower-income housing is provided.”

    So what you are advocating would allow the entire site to be filled with 60 story towers, every one of which taller than the Williamsburg Savings Bank.

    And – I may have missed this turn in the debate – is AY now about solving the housing problem for all of NYC?

    BTW, the tallest buildings on PPW and Eastern Prkwy are about 15 stories. I would kiss Ratner’s feet for that kind of scale.

  • By the way, union activity is also an amazing thing. Without unions, you and others would not have paid sick time, vacation time, lunch hours, safety rules, labor laws, holidays off, etc.

    DUH. But you can be damn sure the people in the small mill towns around the country who started the unions, did not give a rat’s ass about stadiums that bring profits to a bunch of rich white guys.

    Pointing out that one dddb person after 5 years might get paid, is just a ridiculous point.

    I support unions. I don’t support unions bulldozing one building, just to build another. Not when they are from Jersey.

  • A rich mix of New Yorkers. All incomes, races, and ethnicities. Apartments will be assigned according to income, which by itself guarantees that the residents will be diverse in every way.

    Really? Sounds to me like you have been smoking something good. Please to share. Based on income? Where you getting these lovely fables from? If that were the case, that would be lovely. The only income it is based on is those of rich folks. Going up?

    Correction…you will have people far “worse” than what you call a nimby or yuppie. That is what is the most hilarious about your hatred, towards people you do not know thing one about.

  • 2:57

    No pollution isnt a NIMBY issue at all – in fact it is a global issue – which I have to beleive you know.
    and BTW – cockroaches lead to ashma far more than pollution – - ever wonder why less dense Brooklyn is hit with far more ashma then manhattan?

    3:14

    I think the appropriate density next to one of the largest transit hubs (by # of lines) in the U.S. – is essentially as big as can economically be built.
    I am no fan of the architect or the designs for AY – but in terms of density – this area is a unique location that will never be available in NYC again – are you serious about a pedestrian & mass-transit oriented future or not – that is what density in this location is all about.

  • 4:27

    R10 zoning doesn’t explicitly regulate height, so I don’t know where your 60-story number comes from. There would likely be few towers of that size given sky exposure constraints.

    The Williamsburg Savings Bank, by the way, is constructed to about a 20.0 FAR – twice what I am proposing. 47 Plaza Street, the flatiron building of Park Slope, is for instance constructed with an above grade building area of 15 times the site. Is that such a terrible building? The Park West tower at PPW and President Street is 12 times the site. Again, what is so awful about it? There are dozens of buildings in Brooklyn Heights built to a density that exceeds anything that is allowed in Manhattan today.

    You’re missing the point focusing on height and not density or the sky exposure plane regulations. The zoning code as it is was written for a reason. It’s much better to have slender, narrow towers rising to 60 stories than an entire street filled with 20-story buildings. You get much less light with the latter, which was a goal of the zoning code.

    Anyway – yes, the AY development does in a small way contribute to solving the housing crisis in New York City. As I said, probably 50-100 such developments that provide a similar number of apartments would have to be built to really make a difference – but it is a step in the right direction.

    Here’s an example unrelated to real estate. If, by some stroke of luck, the price of bread suddenly increased by 10 times, and I decided to start farming wheat on 100,000 acres I keep as a nature sanctuary, wouldn’t you think that would contribute to the price of bread dropping?

    Let’s just say Ratner really was building 300,000 apartments instead 6,000 – you don’t think that would result in the price of apartments falling?

    Think about it.

  • “What job are you all at right now? I’m telling your boss that you troll blogs all day! Losers”

    At least we HAVE jobs. What’s your excuse?

  • here’s the kind of brain melting idiocy that pretty much sums up commenters here who can’t seem to unerstand why anyone would oppose Atlantic yards. someone above wrote:

    “The fact that 400 gentrifiers could stand in the way of Atlantic Yards getting built is pretty mind blowing”

    Okay. lets use your logic. There were maybe 600, or let’s say 800, people organized by Forest City Ratner out to “suppor the project.”
    So, how can we possible let a project go forward that only has the support of 600-800 people? I mean, how could we, there are over 2 million people in Brooklyn, and only 600-800 support Atlantic Yards? that’s pathetic.

    never mind the fact that so called “gentrifiers” are the ones pushing the project forward. its jus that they happen to sit on the Upper East Side or up in their country estates and were too busy to join their brethren in their absurd “counter protest.”

  • How do I know you have a job?
    If you do, you are clearly wasting your bosses time and money.
    You should be fired!

    Amen 7:30

  • Eh folks, If someone denies something, then it might be true. Ratner is waiting for the market implosion, this will be his exit strategy!

    He will use the market turmoil to back out and go to Newark NJ. After that Brownstone Brooklyn will be fucked!

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end…

  • “Still no answer…who do you think is going to live in those luxury buildings?”

    A rich mix of New Yorkers

    You got that right

  • Union “protesters” are required by their unions to put in x amount of time in political activity per year. It’s like one or two days. They receive a stipend. Not a day’s salary, but enough to make it worth their while. They are transported to the site and fed — it’s pretty painless. Can’t say about the “community groups” but FCR usually feeds them, at the very least. I wouldn’t call this grassroots. They may hand out “lunch money” — $20 each — a common “organizing” tactic.

    that comment about Goldstein’s wife raking in the money was a laugh. She can’t make more than 30K a year. We have to assume she took a pay cut to assume the post. I think I heard somewhere she was a computer programmer before, but maybe I’m wrong. Something along those lines.

  • Regarding pollution and public transportation – that is why Coney Island would be a great place for this stadium. This has been suggested before – it is has execellent subway and highway access.
    Flatbush and Atlantic is a choke point for traffic and the stadium would make it a total nightmare. I ride the trains to work everyday and you cannot squeeze another person on – no way it could handle the stadium traffic.
    BTW I live in PH and everyone on our block is against AY. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars at a time when the city is cutting education, transportation, etc. It would be a crime to give that sleaze our tax money while the people of the city suffer cutbacks.

  • While I don’t live in Brooklyn and am simply seeking TO live in Brooklyn, I think my voice must carry less weight than that of others.

    Nonetheless, I am dumbfounded by the apparent support of the AY project on Brownstoner.

    For the life of me I cannot understand how anyone who lives in these neighborhoods could be wholesale PRO AY. The scale of the project, to say nothing of the cost to taxpayers and the gall of the developer to ask for AND GET such subsidies (only to likely turn around and renig (sp) on virtually all of it with the only exception being the sports arena), is appalling. I just don’t understand it. The huge onslaught of traffic, the probable street closures – MAJOR streets – during games, so many more bodies, trash, sewage (yes, sewage… ever thought of that? whether your current infrastructure is prepared for this massive scale?) the shadows, the amount of time necessary to build the whole thing – many of us won’t even be around to see it completed – it seems so out of line with the neighborhoods that surround it.

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda been so much better. A beautiful place with green space and a small amount of living and shopping etc.

    I like basketball as much as the next person, being from Indiana and all, but I’ve also lived near MSG before, Ugh, HORRIBLE, and have been to many a sports stadium in my day. They’re not pleasant places to be once outside of said stadiums! At all.

    One of the only good things about the proposal was that the stadium at AY seemed to be sort of swallowed up or blanketed by the thoughtfully designed stuff around it. Now that the other stuff is gone baby gone, how can we cheerlead just a stadium?

    Two words: Bad. Idea.

    Another word: Blight.

    And a last word: Ugh.

  • 11:09Pm – “Regarding pollution and public transportation – that is why Coney Island would be a great place for this stadium. This has been suggested before – it is has execellent subway and highway access.”

    Highway access doesnt reduce pollution or encourage mass transit- being at the end of a subway line doesnt encourage mass transit –
    just be honest – advocating CI – is basically another way of saying – we don’t want it – “put it out with the niggers….”
    - Heck isn’t the inaccessibility of CI the reason so many projects were built there in the 1st place?

    Besides – even if you built “AY” in CI – what would you build at Atlantic and 5th? – anything less than high density would be ANTI- enviroment

  • I am a proud Brooklynite since birth and I have witnessed this area transform for the better without any help from Ratman.He has halted what would have probably been complete developmpent through free market forces. If you want basketball in brooklyn, put the nets in Coney Island like all the other two bit shows.Ratman has shown what greed and corruption has the capability of attempting with pals like Pataki and Bloomberg as well as Markowitz all selling out the general public and our money. It is time for a new plan that works for the people of Brooklyn and the surrounding area, not a Cleveland developer, an upstate political scrub and a two faced Red sox fan.

  • The train yard needs to be turned into an open air park space to accomodate a farmers market and other community related activities.What would solidify local property value (not that it is needed)would be an urban park and plaza because it would be simple to build over the yard and it can be integrated with housing and office space to foster year round business instead of the current publicly financed and privately held goliath of a disgrace. The current plan needs to be scrapped immediately and all involved with the approval process should face federal indictments.When a viable plan like the one presented by extell gets pushed out of the way for this disaster, you can bet that unbridled corruption is behind it and it is done so by our so called leaders who view the public as dispensible sheep.