a rendering by the Municipal Art Society via Gothamist
I haven't always followed the whole Atlantic Yards hullaballoo as closely as I should have but I do seem to remember a WHOLE lot of talk about stuff like thousands of units of low-income housing, reciprocal ACORN love, an end to urban blight, lots of jobs...
Yeah, not so much.
In the latest twist and turn, the plan is now to bring a parking lot the size of fucking Grand Central Station to Prospect Heights: a paved paradise where according to one pithy Gothamist commenter people can live in their cars until their affordable units are ready in 15 years.
Twenty community groups led by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn filed a motion with NY State Supreme Court seeking to halt all construction pending their lawsuit. According to my shoddy research, which consists of cribbing from the real journalists at Gothamist who in turn cribbed from the gumshoes at Streetsblog, Uncle Brucie needs more time (like an extra 15 years) for all that good stuff, and until then all we get is this lousy parking lot. So, now DDDB et al wants all that extra time figured into the environmental impact: like, what this is really going to mean for traffic, noise and air quality.
A sampling of comments from the blogosphere:
J: This project is the type of top-down planning that we thought (hoped?) was dead. A developer and some politicians sat in a back room and decided everything. Then the public was informed of the project. It’s a huge slap in the face, since Ratner is getting all sorts of taxpayer subsidies. The point is, that since we’re paying for this crap, the absolute least our government could do is be honest with us about what exactly we are paying for and what we will have to live with.
Alon: Dear Bruce Ratner: please drop dead and will your property to the poor. Thank you.
Geck: How about a temporary ice skating rink while the one in Prospect Park is out of commission? (Editor's Note: Yeah, I want our skating rink back!)
Marty Barfowitz: It’s criminal that these guys used eminent domain and tore down perfectly re-usable buildings to turn an entire, massive block of Prospect Heights into arena surface parking.
MNS: Wow, props to ACORN and all those other community orgs that got behind this project. But it turns out that it was a freaking slave auction: the ACORN leadership sold the local Black community to Ratner.
SFNY Girl: Yeah, it's Forest City Ratner's typical M.O.: find a community truly in need, get in bed with some greedy politician in local gov (Marty, we're talking about you) who helps declare the area blighted, gather all the community groups behind the "sell-in" version of the development, and then step back and let the in-fighting destroy the community. While that distraction is going on, railroad through the "real" project that does nothing to benefit the community while cashing massive government-written, tax-payer funded checks.
Medic NYC: The arena is next to 400 subway lines, bus stops, LIRR, etc. Why do we need a parking lot the size of Times Square there? Only in Brooklyn would they destroy the possibility of blocks of real estate for a fucking parking lot.
Yeah, what THEY said!