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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

NY Times Re-Writes History in Sloppy Atlantic Yards Round Up Story.

As early as 2005, Forest City Ratner partner and the former Executive Director of ACORN, Bertha Lewis, expressed her hopes for the Atlantic Yards project:
"...we hope this project helps stem the tide of gentrification, which has gotten so bad that condos in East New York are selling for $400,000!"
She and others, expressed this sentiment as their support of and partnership with Ratner became more entrenched and strident.

This nugget of history and context is lost on the New York Times and reporter Joseph Berger today in perhaps the paper's worst (certainly one of its worst) round-up article on developer (and NY Times partner) Forest City Ratner's land of Broken Promises otherwise known as Atlantic Yards. Instead the article ("Impact of Atlantic Yards, for Good or Ill, Is Already Felt") is predominantly the celebration of new, rent raising retail clustering around the not-yet-completed arena. And in pointing out what is new, the reporter even gets that wrong, naming several area restaurants that were in place and thriving years ago.

To make matters even worse the reporter swallows the developer's decades long contention that the Atlantic Yards site was blighted and only Bruce Ratner's arena has been able to save it from itself:

"...the changes are evidence that the arena has already met its goal of transforming a dreary section of Brooklyn—the Long Island Rail Road's rail yards and surrounding industrial buildings, which the company's spokesman described as "a scar that divided the neighborhood."

"That's a sign of economic vitality, something that's good for the borough," said Joe DePlasco, the Ratner spokesman.

The company called it a "scar," so naturally the reporter has to parrot that with his "dreary." Never mind that the arena is actually under construction over what was an active rail yard, an active and critical block of Pacific Street, and a full city block of condo conversions, a coop, rent-stabilized and market rate rentals, and retail businesses—not a single "industrial" building among them. Never mind that the purported "blight" of the rail yard remains and will remain for decades (Ratner hasn't even purchased the bulk of the rail yard site). And, never mind that where once stood homes and businesses, now stands a demolition zone which will, at best, be a surface parking lot for decades. Eminent domain? This reporter apparently never heard of it.

Never mind all of this because The Times has now reported that the "changes are evidence that the arena has already met its goal of transforming a dreary stretch of Brooklyn." So...it must be so.

And while the reporter gives a sweet alley-oop to uber-flack DePlasco, the economic vitality that is clustering around the arena was clustering around the site long prior to the advent of the arena, and that kind of vitality only required the continuing development of the neighborhood and a rezoning. But that wouldn't have given developer Ratner a land monopoly.

Surely farm-to-table restaurants and pricey drinking establishments, pricing out a long time hardware shop and other daily neighborhood needs, won't help stem the tide of gentrification; neither will demolished land sitting dormant until the developer finds the financial wherewithal to construct predominantly luxury housing.

In fact, such activity is likely to be the "instant gentrification" Councilman Charles Barron warned of.

And talk about burying the lede. The big Atlantic Yards news in the past week was the precedent setting unanimous appellate court ruling requireing a new enivronmental review of the Phase 2 portion of the project. The second stinging judicial rebuke to the legitimacy of the project and its state sponsor the Empire State Development Corporation. The Times didn't see fit to dedicate a full story to that legal ruling which has state-wide impact when it comes to environmental law. Instead it shoves it into 2 (two) unenlightening sentences near the end of the article.

Oh well, maybe next time.

Posted: 4.17.12
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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?...
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Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

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Atlantic Yards
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