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Thread: Atlantic Yards Development - Commercial, Residential, Retail, NBA Arena

  1. #76
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    Why would this destroy the neighborhood, though? It will only enhance the neighborhood... create mixed income residences, park space, great views and amenities, more retail and street life, more jobs for the city.

    It's being so "isolated" should be viewed as a good thing to those that don't want to see the good areas around it change. Sure, they'll be more traffic, but it's not like there's none now. This is NYC.

    This is really like a continuation of the Downtown area, which needs to be developed.

    It's taking nothing, literally, and making a huge asset for the city.

  2. #77


    I was commenting on the letter in general terms, not the specifics of the project. The local community should have a forum to discuss neighborhood issues, and the bypassing of ULURP is a little disturbing.

    The neighborhood could be destroyed by gentrifying it well beyond the project location. While this may seem good for the entire city, in the long run that may not be the case. The current trend in city housing is creating a socially unhealthy situation.

  3. #78


    Couldn't those displaced be put at the top of the list for affordable housing? I would think a brand new affordable apartment would be comfort enough.

    As for ruining a neighborhood, who moves to Brooklyn--the largest borough in the largest city in the world, then moves to the busiest intersection of the two largest thoroughfares (Atlantic & Flatbush) and can claim a reasonable expectation of peace & quiet?

    Earth to grumpy NIMBY!

  4. #79


    Unfortunately, in a project of this size, there is bound to be a displacement of some sort. Like it or not, its a part of the process in NYC. The development in Brooklyn is large enough to set aside a small amount for the people who are being displaced. That would give the NIMBYS, who are using this as an issue, no legs to stand on....


    Neighborhood Activists Protest Brooklyn Arena Plan

    By Joshua Robin
    December 21, 2003

    A coalition of Brooklyn residents opposed to a proposed Nets stadium in the borough said Sunday that arena developers low-balled the number of families that would be displaced in the construction.

    Instead of 100 people being relocated, about 1,000 would see their homes razed, coalition members said in asking city officials to scrap support for the $2.5 billion complex.

    "We have done a census," said City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Fort Greene), flanked by about 100 people at a City Hall news conference. "These are the children whose lives will be drastically affected by the abuse of eminent domain."

    The rally comes as developer Bruce Ratner seeks to buy the New Jersey franchise and relocate it to a facility occupying the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, as well as residential side streets.

    "My home and our diverse and proud block will be demolished if the arena project, as currently proposed, is realized," said Karla Rothstein of Dean Street, who teaches architecture at Columbia University and is one of the affected residents.

    Bruce Bender, vice-president for government and community affairs at Ratner's firm, Forest City Ratner, said in a statement: "Brooklyn Atlantic Yards will be built with help and input from the community. In fact, the entire project has been designed to complement the surrounding communities."

    A Ratner representative could not be reached for comment on specific questions.

    Earlier this month, a Ratner spokeswoman told The Brooklyn Papers that the company's initial projection that 100 residents would be displaced has been a "guesstimate." The arena plans include a proposal for the building of 4,500 affordable residential units, covering 4.4 million square feet.

    Officials said the complex would not require public financing, but tax revenues could be pumped back into the arena.

    Critics have argued that local residents wouldn't see the proceeds.

    A growing number of elected officials are joining the battle against the arena proposal. Yesterday, the son of U.S. Rep. Major Owens (D-Brooklyn), indicated that his father also opposes the plan.

    Ratner's proposal is backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

    Councilwoman Letitia James, middle bottom, joined by Brooklyn residents, speaked at the rally protesting the plant to build a stadium on Atlantic Ave. at the City Hall steps Sunday, December 21, 2003.

  5. #80


    Quote Originally Posted by NYguy
    That's my friend from Pratt who came with me in the background.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    The Nation's Capitol (DC)

    Default I love it

    I love this development for the area. Those NIMBYs can cry over something else.

  7. #82

  8. #83
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Is this a part of the overall rezoning plan for Downtown Brooklyn?

  9. #84
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    Nope, a wonderful little bonus, I believe.

  10. #85


    Are those the "MOLE PEOPLE" protesting their displacement from the LIRR tracks?! What a bunch of lamers.

  11. #86


    NY POST...



    December 25, 2003 -- A real-estate developer who wants to move the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn has reportedly become the favorite to win the struggling franchise.

    Developer Bruce Ratner has upped his leading bid to $300 million, from $275 million, the Bergen Record said yesterday. Team executives told The Newark Star-Ledger that Ratner would likely be chosen over rival Charles Kushner, who would keep the team in New Jersey.

    Kushner and billionaire Sen. Jon Corzine have offered $267.5 million.

    Ratner's proposal for a Frank Gehry-designed arena and residential complex in Brooklyn is contingent on his winning the team.

    Ratner's group includes Brooklyn-born rap megastar Jay-Z, who told reporters at a Net game this week that he would be the NBA's "coolest" owner.

    "I've been pretty successful as a recording artist," said the rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter. "Hopefully, I can be even more successful in all of my business ventures."

    He sidestepped questions about how much cash he's putting up.

    The sale is expected to be finalized within the next couple of weeks.

  12. #87


    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
    Is this a part of the overall rezoning plan for Downtown Brooklyn?
    The triangle part of the site where the arena would be is within the Downtown Brooklyn Plan boundary.

    Map from Dept of City Planning

  13. #88
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    Was in Clevelad over the holidays. Ratner's plan is getting coverage in the Plain Dealer newspaper. Forest City got started in Cleveland. The papers savaged the whole Brooklyn plan and took apart the proposal. What he delivers with regard to "economics" never seems to match what his proposal numbers indicated. The basic message - take whatever pricetag he is quoting and double it. Where ever he says "privately funded", laugh out loud.

  14. #89


    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider
    Was in Clevelad over the holidays. Ratner's plan is getting coverage in the Plain Dealer newspaper. Forest City got started in Cleveland. The papers savaged the whole Brooklyn plan and took apart the proposal. What he delivers with regard to "economics" never seems to match what his proposal numbers indicated. The basic message - take whatever pricetag he is quoting and double it. Where ever he says "privately funded", laugh out loud.
    Well, that's Cleveland...

  15. #90



    Nets Here, Greenbacks There

    By Luis Perez
    January 3, 2004

    Before the Nets come to Brooklyn, the green would have to go to Jersey.

    The purchase of the team is one of three requirements needed to make developer Bruce Ratner's $2.5 billion Brooklyn Arena a reality.

    Twenty-two of 29 team members members must approve the sale. Ratner also must obtain air rights to build his $500 million stadium over the Long Island Rail Road yard at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

    Ratner is reportedly the front-runner in the bidding to buy the East Rutherford-based New Jersey Nets. While his bid is reported to be close to $300 million, a rival group interested in keeping the arena in New Jersey, led by developer Charles Kushner and including U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.), has bid $267.5 million.

    Prospective buyers of an NBA franchise also are subject to a background financial check, and must obtain the consent of the league's Board of Governors and three-quarters of the other 28 owners.

    Under the plan, construction of the arena would begin next year. The completed arena would welcome the 2006 basketball season, and the team's lease in New Jersey expires in three years.

    Tom Kelly, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the train yard, said Ratner has yet to submit a formal proposal outlining his intentions.

    Once that happens, Kelly said, the project would be put up for review both by the agency and by the state Economic Development Corporation, which can use eminent domain to move out tenants.

    Ratner has said that the proposal would not require public funds, but officials have said that tax revenue could be pumped back into it.

    .................................................. .................................................. .

    B'klyn Arena Plan Drawing Fire

    By Luis Perez
    January 3, 2004

    The carolers were angry.

    And the jeers that were their carols, to the tune of "The 12 days of Christmas," said it all:

    "On the first day of Christmas Bruce Ratner took from me: A home for my fa-mi-ly."

    Accompanied by accordion and guitar, the protesters wound their way up and down Dean and Pacific streets in Brooklyn, marching past Vanderbilt and Flatbush avenues around a dark train yard the site of a failed late-1950s bid to keep Ebbets Field and the Dodgers in the heart of Brooklyn.

    If developer Bruce Ratner has his way, six mixed-use blocks around this Long Island Rail Road site would be razed by right of eminent domain. Above the yard and over a few of the leveled streets would rise a $2.5-billion basketball arena complex housing the Nets. Seventeen buildings ranging from 20 to 60 stories each, with commercial, residential and shopping space, would rise from the westernmost end of the arena down to Vanderbilt Avenue.

    All 21 acres of the site would be the work of noted architect Frank Gehry.

    Gone would be what opponents insist amounts to about 1,000 homes and scores of businesses. Hence the heavy-worded caroling, which, before concluding in the warmth of Freddy's Bar, at Sixth Avenue and Dean Street and also facing certain doom, went on to cite as other losses two thoroughfares, four neighborhoods, eight unclogged subways, nine cultures mixing and DE-MO-CRA-CY!

    "The whole thing is nuts. It's insane," said Patti Hagan, the leader of the Prospect Heights Action Coalition, a band of homeowners, renters and businesses formed last year to combat the plan.

    Hagan, who purchased a brownstone a few blocks from the site 25 years ago, asked: "Where in the U.S. Constitution does it say that anyone can do that?"

    The plan has put a spotlight on a neighborhood already feeling tension between those who see more development as progress, and those who say it's merely further "Manhattanization" of Brooklyn. Other nearby Ratner projects, including Metrotech Center and the Atlantic Center Mall, though touted by the city, have left many in the area skeptical.

    Ratner and his supporters, Mayor Michael Bloomberg among them, have said his plans would pump much needed tax revenue into the city, and help to boost the economy of the Brooklyn neighborhood. Ratner initially projected that only 100 tenants would be displaced. A spokesman for the developer later said that the figure was only an estimate and that the full impact would not be known until the project is under way.

    Still, opponents are not convinced. Hagan said she has received 4,000 signatures against the plan, from residents of Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope and Prospect Heights. They would like to see more than the 4,500 units of housing Ratner has proposed, and fear that a 20,000-seat stadium will rob the area of its residential character.

    Though Ratner's plan hinges on his securing the purchase of the New Jersey Nets, Borough President Marty Markowitz has publicly praised it, and the project dovetails with several multimillion-dollar development projects in the area, including the city's Downtown Brooklyn Plan and the nearby Brooklyn Academy of Music Cultural District Plan. All are slated for completion within the next 10 years.

    By then, Ratner says his stadium will bring more than 10,000 permanent jobs, as well as 15,000 construction jobs in between.

    "Adding a professional sports team and a world class arena, in addition to the housing and all the jobs it would create, would be a tremendous economic shot in the arm to Downtown Brooklyn," said Ed Skyler, the mayor's press secretary.

    Asked about those who would lose their homes, Skyler added: "Sometimes great things require sacrifice. And it would be the government's job to make sure that everybody is made whole again."

    Among the opposition is Neil deMause, a journalist who lives in Brooklyn and is the author of "Field of Schemes" (Common Ground Press), about the impact of big stadiums in cities across the country.

    "Sports facilities are typically among the worst bang for the buck in terms of job creation," said deMause, noting that the Nets' Jason Kidd and company were the exception. "The only thing we can be sure of is that it will move 12 jobs from New Jersey."

    The plan, by all accounts, is bold. Of four towers surrounding the arena, the first to rise, on the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, would hover at 620 feet eclipsing Brooklyn's current tallest structure, the Williamsburg Savings Bank, a 1929 landmark.

    "If this happens, I'm going to lose a quarter million, easy," said Emanuel Volcy, 32, who just opened an auto-body business at the foot of the proposed 620-foot tower. "They are going to pay the owner and they are going to tell me to beat it."

    But the real pain, opponents say, is for those who will be losing homes. While gentrification has brought many upper-middle class residents to the area, many who live there say they would be hard put to move and likely pay higher rents.

    Among them is Victoria Harmon, 85, who moved into a second-floor cold flat at 810 Pacific Street in 1942 and remembers the failed bid to bring the Dodgers to the site.

    "A lot of people are going to be relocated," said Harmon, a retired school cafeteria worker whose rent is $178 monthly and whose sole income is social security. "I don't know if I can do that. My rent is stabilized. I don't know if I can pay it if it goes too high."

    "It may be good for the neighborhood and all that," she added, "but it's the people like myself. It's going to be hard."

    Like Volcy, Emily Schmitt, an art director who lives in a warehouse on Pacific Street renovated for luxury apartments, was giving in as well. A sign in the lobby read: "Don't destroy our homes."

    "We're sitting on center court right now," said Schmitt, 34, the hum of the train yard behind her.

    On Vanderbilt Avenue, where the residential buildings would go up, Atlas Auto Service owner David Sarnow also feels impending doom.

    "I'm not ready to retire yet. But if they take the building, where am I going to go?" said Sarnow, 43, who with his brother Blaise, 49, inherited the shop from his father 15 years ago.

    "Ten, fifteen years ago, this was rough stuff," said Blaise Sarnow, motioning to Vanderbilt Avenue. "We lived through that. You look now, you have all restaurants up the strip, and people moving in. It's coming back."

    Hagan, who has vowed to fight the eminent domain question in court, says the open space over the train yard is "Big Sky" and would like to see a park there.

    Traffic is another issue. Daily traffic on any one of the nearby thoroughfares is bad already, say opponents, who doubt that 13 subway lines and the LIRR running past the development will do much to alleviate that.

    Joyce Baumgarten, a spokeswoman for Forrest City Ratner, declined to comment for this article pending the sale of the Nets other than to say that Ratner has "always gone to the community" for feedback and would do so again.

    Contrary to the residents' fears, the developer also insists that the complex will have 24-hour, round-the-calendar activities for the public, from jogging to rock concerts and landscaped rooftops.

    For Peter Ighodaro, however, skepticism remains.

    "He who has the sugar, brings the ants," said Ighodaro, a city social worker of Nigerian descent who purchased a townhouse a few blocks from the train yard a few years ago.

    Ighodaro's previous home was a few blocks from Yankee Stadium, where, he said, he saw firsthand how giant arenas attract a bad element.

    "It may increase the value of my property, but can you compare that to one drop of blood from my children? The whole nature of this neighborhood now is so quiet and so nice. I can imagine what it would turn to. There's no question."

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