I think the criticism of the people who are opposed to this project or trying help shape into something that can be lived with in the future is very misguided. We are not talking about NIMBY's fighting one building. We are talking about a huge - incredibly huge - project that some people here seem to suggest should be rubber stamped without any review or input. I could understand the frustration if we were talking about one building. We are talking about a project that will build an entirely new neighborhood - about a development as big or bigger than the World Trade Center. The impact of this project is going to be tremendous and, unless it is done right and within a context of what already exists around it, the impact will largely be negative.
Ratner is currently claiming that this project will have no impact on transportation and subway lines at Atlantic Ave. None. These are the kind of blanket statements this guy is making. They are ridiculous and they invite angry responses. Ratner doesn't ride the subway and that is why he (1) has no idea what the impact will be and (2) doesn't care. If you've tried to catch any subway line that traverses Atlantic Avenue, you know that the trains are more crowded than ever. Do I think that is reason not to build something? No. Do I think this developer has built a long and consistent portfolio of statements and actions that justify people questioning his credibility? Absolutely.
The city should have created the masterplan for this development area and bid the sites out. Just like BPCA. This scheme has no competition to keep the costs and estimates honest and competitive. We are forced to listen to the developer crying about ROI, when the framework he is working within is all of his own making. This is not a Times Tower or a Beekman Tower. This is a neighborhood being designed by a man that has a track record of destroying neighborhoods. Atlantic Terminal - turns its back on pedestrians - all entrances to retail are in the horrendously designed mall. Atlantic Center - no pedestrian experience whatsoever and it actual forms a wall against the community it is supposed to serve. Metrotech - minimal retail - closed on weekends - abysmal pedestrian experience -like walking thru a suburban office park. Neither Ratner nor Gehry are qualified for a project of this scope in a city of this density.