Pols Say They Want an Atlantic Yards ‘Trust’

ay-construction-06-2008.jpgThe Real Estate and Atlantic Yards Report have pieces about a rally held yesterday at City Hall calling for the formation of an Atlantic Yards trust that would, theoretically, allow for more community input/involvement in Forest City Ratner’s development. The trust would be comprised of 15 members, eight appointed by the governor, two each by the Assembly speaker, Senate president, and mayor, and one by the Brooklyn borough president. A non-voting member would represent the community. Councilmembers Tish James and David Yassky, and Assemblymembers Hakim Jeffries and James Brennan are all supporting the trust’s creation. “Atlantic Yards is a public project built on public land using public money overseen by a public entity for a public purpose,” said Jeffries at the rally. “It therefore deserves maximum public participation during the life of this project.” And Yassky said that AY bypassed typical land-use review mechanisms. The fundamental mistake that was made here, really the original of this project, is that it was approved in a way that went around all the usual process for approving a big project,” he said. “We never had a chance to fix all the problems… I believe there is, somewhere buried underneath all the… special treatment, very deep in there, there is a good project, but the process never had a chance to find it. AY Report notes that “while such an organization—common with other large projects and thus a glaring weakness of the AY plan—certainly might channel public input, it would be unlikely to fundamentally change power dynamics.”
Brooklyn Politicos Call for Trust to Oversee Atlantic Yards [The Real Estate]
Push for AY Development Trust Begins [AY Report]
Photo by threecee.

0 Comment

  • Politicians actually calling for common sense. Like the flea in the FIOS commercial…..wwwwooowwwww.

    Of course this still begs the question, will it happen whether or not Ratner wants it?

  • Ratner must be getting a peptic ulcer. Fine by me.

  • Why did these guys wait until only one week remains in the current legislative session?

    Tish James’s judgment continues to impress…

    Very soon we will receive word that the Supreme Court is not going to hear the eminent domain appeal.

    Then the unhinged DDDB crowd will proceed to state court, where they will fail even more miserably than they have thus far.

    It’s as predictable as watching the sun rise.

  • Not sure Ratner’s that worried. His project’s gonna get killed but the only money wasted has been the $55 mil we already gave him. But I did like Yassky’s comment –

    Indeed, Yassky noted that the developer has already gotten $55 million, “and nobody here can tell me when we’ll see the first affordable housing, $55 million when our public housing is falling apart, our schools are underfunded.” In the future, he said, the trust could say, “Not so fast.”

  • “A non-voting member would represent the community”

    How does a member without a vote represent anything?

  • as predictable as your comments about the DDDB and your pro- AY stance, 9:26.

    You’d have a lot more credibility commenting about Tish James were you capable of accomplishing as much in your pitiful life as she has in hers.

  • These autocratic boards of appointed officials historically do little to represent the community. Why is this? They aren’t elected by the people! Hello, the rent guidlines board?

    Also – Yassky is a nut. Public schools are funded by the income tax! How do you get better funding for the public schools? Have higher income residents!

    The Atlantic Yards development will allow accommodate 10,000 new upper income residents. Are they not going to fund the public schools???

    It’s just typical knee jerk posturing. Politician X doesn’t like Policy Y. How do you attack it? It doesn’t help the poor! The children! It’s racist!

    If you are going to make an argument – at least make one that isn’t totally wrong!

  • A big part of any politician’s job is creating the image of trying to do something when, in reality, you know your efforts will be fruitless. That is exactly what this rally was designed to do.

  • At least I got my job through merit, rather than because the real choice was removed by a tragic event.

  • However, 9:50, recent history would indicate that 9:26 is going to turn out to be correct.. Commenting on others’ pitiful lives aside, got anything to add??

  • GABBY…..9:58 deserves the “Quote of the Day”

  • Plenty- how about you first, since you ask?

  • More accountability is a plus. If such a “trust’ does get set up, it would be interesting to see exactly who gets appointed and why they got appointed.

    Yassky’s point is well taken. More money is not going to help matters if it means more funds are simply funneled into other projects or into projects like AY that keep sucking up more and more money. And getting more money from taxpayers to make up for wasted funds isn’t a common sense solution.

  • I’m just counting the days until Tish is up for re-election. Fortunately, the changing demographics of the neighborhood will make it easier to vote her outta here…..

  • Just because you don’t like her, 12:08, does not mean she won’t get re-elected, or that she doesn’t do a good job for her district. Yesterday, people were complaining she sides too often with the poor and disadvantaged, and not the wealthier members of her constituency. Who else is going to listen to those who do not have the connections and resources to get the ear of City Hall?

    I think she does a good job of balancing the needs of an economically and otherwise diverse bunch of people. I don’t always agree with her (Admiral’s Row, specifically), but I admire her activism. Unlike some members of the City Council, she is not sitting in her office collecting favors, she’s out in the streets representing her district. If you think you can do better, please run against her.

  • I love it when people respond to criticism with the “can you do better?” line. MM, if you think you can do a better job of providing affordable housing than Bruce Ratner, how about selling your home at a 90% discount to a single mother of two who earns $20K per year?

    I don’t admire Tish’s activism because she never seems to accomplish anything. She is forever fighting losing battles like getting developers to provide affordable housing or pressuring arts organizations to allot free space rather than addressing day-to-day issues like crime, trash, low-performing schools, and noise. And, yes, I do live in her district, so I see this firsthand. Her approach of confrontation, marching, and yelling is so outdated. She would do much better to forge relationships with power brokers than trying to battle forces that will always be stronger than she and she hasn’t a prayer of winning.

  • 2:44, with Tish I don’t think that “winning” is the point…I think she just wants to demonstrate to the people in the Ft. Greene houses that she’s “fighting the man”…it gets her reelected. As I mentioned above, now that the socio-economics of the neighborhood have changed (along with all the folks at ORO Toren, Avalon, etc.), folks in her district are going to be a lot less impressed with her approach

  • 2:44

    It’s the baby boomer mindset. They are all too old to change at this point.

    You must understand – these people have failed at EVERYTHING they have tried. The country is so much worse off since they started protesting 40 years ago, at this point it is merely about maintaining their ego.

    Every dream they have ever had has been dashed. All they have is fond memories of drugs, sex, rock and roll, and protesting. Seriously, walking around New York City is like reading a history book of failed, baby boomer inspired social programs.

    Sadly, we still have a few decades to go until the boomers are all dead and buried. Until then, we must put with their antics.

  • 2:44 – I can do a better job of providing affordable housing than Ratner. Just give me $1.9 billion not to build affordable housing and I’ve saved the city $100 million over Ratner’s affordable housing plan and generated the same number of affordable housing units – none.

  • Well then, you are a perfect example of those failures, Polemicist. You must be so not proud of your parents, I take it? And now you wish them dead? G-d- what a little preening peacock of a mentally deficient Gen Xer you are.

  • Ah, but 2:44, I never said I could provide better affordable housing than Ratner. But since he has yet to provide one single unit, if I had access to his money, I certainly could.

    Polemicist, those protestations of “failed baby boomers” have given us civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, environmental protection laws, human rights, and helped end the Viet Nam War. While none of those battles are completely won, without them, you probably would have been weaned on polluted water, your mother would not have been able to pursue a career of her choice, and your ungrateful ass would have been drafted, and you’d be posting here from your foxhole in Iraq. Count your blessings, and be grateful. We also had much better music.

  • polemicist, exactly who the f— are you anyway? you have no idea what you’re talking about, with your crude, broad strokes of idiocy.

    you are naught but a moron laden with issues and vitriol, and your tone is strident and annoying. please, please shut the f— up. thanks.

  • Removing ESDC from the Atlantic Yards picture opens up a lot of possibilities but whether changing oversight over Atlantic Yards (development in the Vanderbilt Yards area) from one gubernatorially controlled entity to another gubernatorially entity will improve public input, and more importantly “fundamentally change power dynamics” is going to depend on other underlying essentials which can and need to be addressed in this process. To “fundamentally change power dynamics” ESDC’s ill-conceived notion that Ratner has some sort of theoretical monopoly on development in the area needs to be jettisoned.

    ESDC’s spokesman’s statement (AYR post June 17, 2008- http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2008/06/another-potential-snag-for-ay-arena.html) that ESDC’s goal in lobbying Washington right now is to “maximize the amount of tax-exempt bonds” for Ratner shows how ESDC sets it sites on the wrong goals when it comes to dealing with Ratner, basically supporting disequilibrium where Ratner gets the negotiating power and the benefit. For more on this and ESDC’s cockeyed and unworkable premise that its OK to award Ratner a theoretical monopoly on the development of 22 acres first and“negotiate” subsidy later see the comment at: http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2008/06/as-irs-moves-to-close-loophole-esdc.html

    Treating Ratner as having a theoretical monopoly on development in the Atlantic Yards area makes it virtually impossible to negotiate with him in more ways than one. It facilitates Ratner’s recent bullying threats to leave the public with a Ratner-created-wasteland unless the public antes up more subsidy in an amounts he has not yet even specified. Further, “fundamental” “power dynamics” are also affected by such a “monopoly” because a monopoly precludes other developers becoming part of the dynamics as an economic constituency with whom the public can ally in moving toward better plans and design.

    It is of primary importance that Ratner’s theoretical monopoly on development in the area of Atlantic Yards be roundly disavowed. There is no reason to give the idea any credence or legitimacy. This is not an approved project. Subsidies, financing and a multitude of other arrangements for the Ratner vision of Atlantic Yards have never been approved and the Ratner vision also needs to go back to the PACB before it can ever move forward. The Ratner vision is also already a far different project than the Ratner vision that George Pataki tried to ram through in the final days of his administration. Plus, there are many more changes to come beyond Ms. Brooklyn’s recent conversion to the stack of discarded pizza boxes which Gehry now refers to as “Building 1.”

    Ergo- Remove ESDC from the picture and, more important, remove Ratner from the picture as the “monopoly-developer.”

    Without Ratner’s little boy’s hand stuck in the cookie jar things will start moving along smartly and we will get a much better project.

    Michael D. D. White
    Noticing New York

  • MDDW- and hadn’t that always been the case, even when there were other offers for the air rights? It always seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Ratner would get it.

  • this is from 2 years ago!