Who Could Have Known?
Did anyone really think the City was going to get anything but shafted when it declared blighted whole blocks, seized properties and offered up hundreds of millions in subsidies to Bruce Ratner for his Atlantic Yards project? If you thought otherwise, you are a fool.
The deal was that Ratner would get all these things and in return the City would get a world class arena, architecturally significant towers–that would hold both commercial and residential space, the latter with a real amount of affordable housing, and thousands of jobs, both temporary and permanent. All of this would be designed by his architectural eminence Frank Gehry. Brooklyn was finally going to be put on the map.
Those opposing the plan were treated like urban Amish, rejecting anything new, anything that had a whiff of progress and growth about it. Either that, or they were deadbeat moochers and troublemakers. So, with a minimum amount of effort everything moved ahead, a lawsuit here and there is nothing to fuss about here in Gotham, not when a ginormous pot of gold is waiting for you at the end of the rainbow that is home to just about every government official in the city and state of New York.
Everything seemed golden.
Let’s check in where we are now. Frank Gehry is gone. The arena has been redesigned to look like a rusty fieldhouse. Most of the towers are severely delayed and may not be built at all. And the ones that do get built may be constructed using a new modular system. An exciting bit of progress no doubt, but the modular pieces would be built elsewhere by a smaller number of workers making significantly less than any who would have been employed were the buildings to go up in the tradition on-site manner. The $100 million dollars the developers were to pay the MTA for the their rail yards has been reduced to 20 million and a promise to pay the rest by 2031. Also, the Nets blow.
For this the City seized people’s private property? Fuck you Bloomie, fuck you David Patterson, and fuck Gov. Cuomo for not getting into office and not immediately saying “are you fucking kidding me?” followed by pulling the plug on this corrupt debacle. Marty Markowitz deserves a hardy “fuck you” too, but the less said about him the better. I can’t help myself, what a fucking pathetic hack he is.
The times has a write up with lots of details.
Nolandgrab.org has some nice coverage of the whole Atlantic Yards mess, as well as some other eminent domain fights, the City has big plans for Willets Point, that’s the area next to Citi Field. It’s mainly industrial, filled with junk yards, auto supply and repair places and other generally nasty sort of places. They’re so dirty!! Sounds like they have it coming to them, let’s grab it all while we can.