Press Conference Over ‘Broken Promises’ at Atlantic Yards


Yesterday state Senator Eric Adams, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Assemblyman Karim Camara held a press conference at which they criticized Atlantic Yards’ failure to produce promised jobs and housing. The three said they would try to get legislation passed that would result in the creation of a subsidiary body to oversee the development. Atlantic Yards report has an extensive post about the press conference noting that three have had “nuanced and/or supportive positions toward Atlantic Yards” until now and that their about-face likely represents the fact that two are running for office at the moment, as well as representing how many of their constituents feel about the development at this point. Hakeem Jeffries is quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying that Atlantic Yards “was presented as a field of dreams but has turned into a cemetery of broken promises.” Meanwhile,a spokesman for developer Forest City Ratner tells the Journal that the project’s promised jobs and housing have been “impacted” by lawsuits and the economy.
Adams, Jeffries, Camara Cite Lack of Atlantic Yards Jobs and Housing [AY Report]
Brooklyn Arena Criticized on Hiring [WSJ]
Photo by Tracy Collins

14 Comment

  • Not standing up for Ratner here, but WTF are they talking about with creating jobs? Are robots building the stadium? What jobs could possibly exist during a construction project other than construction jobs?

  • Not standing up for Ratner here, but WTF are they talking about with creating jobs? Are robots building the stadium? What jobs could possibly exist during a construction project other than construction jobs?

  • Art Salt

    Hakim Jeffries seems slow on the uptake. I will not be voting to send him to Congress.

  • Havelc, FCR specifically and pointedly pitched AY as a positive thing for minority communities. They held up as a prime example BUILD, a black owned construction work agency/business that was to train minority construction workers, who would then be able to work at the AY site, and further, gain entry to lucrative building trade unions. BUILD received money from FCR, both as an organization and spokespeople for AY.

    During the intitial protests for/against AY, BUILD, along with ACORN and other FCR funded minority advocacy organizations, filled meeting halls with their angry, hard-hatted members who shouted down the mostly white anti-AY protesters, turning AY into a racially divided them vs us battle. AY was for minority jobs and housing, the anti-AY people were racist NIMBY bigots who did not want to see minorities move into their neighborhoods, etc, etc. Add a few NBA ball players, Jay-Z, starstruck kids, and stir.

    Fast forward to now. FCR cannot deliver on their promises. First to go, not surprisingly, was the affordable housing component. Secondly, were the promised lucrative construction jobs. This is a union project. FCR can’t force unions to fling open their doors and allow all of these minorities into their ranks. Building trade unions are notoriously closed to large numbers of minorities. This is not right, and a valid issue for another discussion, but nonetheless, promising what you know you can’t deliver is out and out wrong, and amounts to a cynical manipulation of people to do your dirty work.

    Jeffries, et al are merely holding FCR’s feet to the fire. Jobs WERE promised, housing was promised. Perhaps their protests and legal actions will not produce either one, and they probably won’t, but at least FCR will be outed for the manipulating so and so’s they are, and in the future, because we’ve only just begun to see the changes in Brooklyn’s skyline, this will not be allowed to happen again. If nothing else, minorities will not allow themselves to be used as chess pieces, pawns at that, in the greater games of big money and real estate.

  • Havelc, FCR specifically and pointedly pitched AY as a positive thing for minority communities. They held up as a prime example BUILD, a black owned construction work agency/business that was to train minority construction workers, who would then be able to work at the AY site, and further, gain entry to lucrative building trade unions. BUILD received money from FCR, both as an organization and spokespeople for AY.

    During the intitial protests for/against AY, BUILD, along with ACORN and other FCR funded minority advocacy organizations, filled meeting halls with their angry, hard-hatted members who shouted down the mostly white anti-AY protesters, turning AY into a racially divided them vs us battle. AY was for minority jobs and housing, the anti-AY people were racist NIMBY bigots who did not want to see minorities move into their neighborhoods, etc, etc. Add a few NBA ball players, Jay-Z, starstruck kids, and stir.

    Fast forward to now. FCR cannot deliver on their promises. First to go, not surprisingly, was the affordable housing component. Secondly, were the promised lucrative construction jobs. This is a union project. FCR can’t force unions to fling open their doors and allow all of these minorities into their ranks. Building trade unions are notoriously closed to large numbers of minorities. This is not right, and a valid issue for another discussion, but nonetheless, promising what you know you can’t deliver is out and out wrong, and amounts to a cynical manipulation of people to do your dirty work.

    Jeffries, et al are merely holding FCR’s feet to the fire. Jobs WERE promised, housing was promised. Perhaps their protests and legal actions will not produce either one, and they probably won’t, but at least FCR will be outed for the manipulating so and so’s they are, and in the future, because we’ve only just begun to see the changes in Brooklyn’s skyline, this will not be allowed to happen again. If nothing else, minorities will not allow themselves to be used as chess pieces, pawns at that, in the greater games of big money and real estate.

  • Can the community please GET OVER IT ALREADY. Jesus. The place was a hell-hole. Awful, miserable. A few years ago you could barely walk around w/o being harrassed or worse, mugged. So now there is a stadium, ughly housing, and some stores and a lot of people will be around. And yes, traffic. SO WHAT??????????? Welcome to NY.

  • Can the community please GET OVER IT ALREADY. Jesus. The place was a hell-hole. Awful, miserable. A few years ago you could barely walk around w/o being harrassed or worse, mugged. So now there is a stadium, ughly housing, and some stores and a lot of people will be around. And yes, traffic. SO WHAT??????????? Welcome to NY.

  • architect66

    ehinthehood, I don’t know what area you are talking about. The area around AY hardly qualified as an awful, miserable “hellhole” a few years ago, when this development became news. Certainly it was no worse than the surrounding areas.

    I feel bad for you if everything about living in a city is a big “so what?” to you. After some really bad times in the 70′s and 80′s, a lot of us worked hard to make this place better. Many of us don’t take the posture of victims and work constantly to improve our neighborhoods.

  • The Graveyard of Broken Promises Arena has a certain ring. It would be a fitting name for this lump of a building that is getting assembled

  • If you have lived in this part of Brooklyn for a while you have seen improvements taken with tiny steps. This intersection was basically a big hole in the ground but there were people living around the edges.BAM has been there a long time, the meat markets, the LIRR bar and grill. Brownstone and loft residents paved the way for thiis blight that is getting built. Without gentrification it would not have be considered a ‘safe’ area to do a land grab.The politicians and developers were always going to get their way and it was always about the money.
    Every step of the way has been a bait and switch; the celebrity architect is ‘let go’ and replaced with a journeyman who has recyled a scheme from the mid west. The union job were jobbed out to an assembly plant. Even the ownere was switched for a Russian investor.
    There was no way that this was not going to happen but instead of a building that might have been an architectural asset. An added to Brooklyn the same way as Bilbao after the Guggenheim with are getting an ugly structure that has the charm of a Home Depot.
    I am interested in how the sidewalks and street facade is treated. Will it be wider for pedestrians? Will there be shops and businesses that are open outside of events? Or will it have the charm of the MSG neighbourhood?

  • Thanks Norm Oder for identifying that somewhat creepy guy lurking around – he was going up to people and asking them their names and their relation to the project – when he came up to me and did the same, I replied, “And who are you and what is your relation to it,” at which point he walked away.

  • @architect66

    “Certainly it was no worse than the surrounding areas.”

    Whatever you think of the project, that’s just a stupid thing to say. In this case the surrounding areas were places (Slope, Boerum Hill, Ft Greene) where people were selling brownstones for millions of dollars. The area itself (AY) was an empty rail yard surrounded by the rundown buildings of that section of Flatbush.