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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

New Leadership at ESDC Could Mean New Scrutiny of Atlantic Yards Project

Crain's reports that Governor Paterson, as promised, has un-restructured the Empire State Development Corporatin (ESDC) from former Governor Spitzer's apparently unwieldy restructuring of the state economic development agency which oversees Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards plan.

The Atlantic Yards project is now on its third ESDC head. Her name is Marisa Lago and she'll become the CEO. More from Crain's
Gov. appoints head of Empire State Development

Marisa Lago will become chief executive of the state's development agency, and her appointment is expected to streamline the organization's hierarchy.
Gov. David Paterson today continued the restructuring he had promised for the state’s development agency, naming a single chief executive to run day-to-day operations statewide.

Marisa Lago was introduced at a midtown press conference as president and CEO of the Empire State Development Corp. Upstate and downstate ESDC presidents will report to her, unlike in the Spitzer administration, when the agency was bifurcated with two chairmen reporting to the governor. Mr. Paterson had frowned on that arrangement, saying it diluted authority at the agency and led to confusion about who was in charge.

Ms. Lago, the former head of development for the city of Boston and a veteran of two mayoral administrations here, has spent the last seven years in international finance as global head of compliance for Citi Markets & Banking. She will be based in New York City and work under unpaid ESDC Chairman Robert Wilmers, who described his role today as “largely strategic” rather than operational. Mr. Wilmers, who was appointed by Mr. Paterson in June, runs Buffalo, N.Y.-based M&T Bank.

Dennis Mullen, a Rochester, N.Y., development official and former head of Birds Eye Foods, was also announced today as upstate president of ESDC. A search for his downstate counterpart is continuing as the acting downstate chief, Avi Schick, prepares to leave the agency next month
It is not a surprise to us, given our experience watchdogging the ESDC's handling of the Atlantic Yards project, that the state's economic development agency isn't sure how much it spends on its "economic development" mandate:
Mr. Wilmers said that when he accepted his post, “my first thought was to find out how much we spend on economic development.” More than two months later, he admitted, “I still don’t know the answer.”

The agency has also been trying to hold businesses accountable for the job creation they promise in exchange for receiving grants and tax breaks from ESDC. Spitzer administration officials complained that the rationale behind the agency’s handouts was often questionable and follow-up was virtually nonexistent.
Remember that Forest City Ratner promised 10,000 office jobs when it announced its project in 2003. Today, if the thing ever gets built, it is likely to only produce about 375 new office jobs.

Since the Atlantic Yards project is stalled, lacking in financing and has numerous contracts remaining to be signed prior to the project moving forward, now is the time when the ESDC can examine—really for the first time—its handouts to Forest City Ratner. There is no need to wait for follow-up.

Posted: 8.22.08
DDDB.net en español.
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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
Photo Simulations
Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

Click for
Screening Schedule
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters

Read a review
Atlantic Yards
would be
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-No Land Grab.org

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