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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

That's the Story: While Barclays Opens The Job Promises Go Broken

As the local, national, and international media starts ramping up Forest City Ratner's and the Nets' hoopla machine it behooves the same media to start reading the only journalist actually covering Atlantic Yards on a daily basis since 2005 — Norman Oder. This isn't in order to play any game of we-toldya-so, but rather so these journalist don't come across as foolishly getting lost in the smokescreen of the glitz and hoopla. We mean, how boring will it be to just read over and over "rah rah rah, isn't Barclays great." That doesn't make for interesting reading or historical accuracy. Because, while sure, big events and pro sports are exciting, the true story of the Barclays opening is what isn't happening.

To that end, here is the first in what we imagine will be many of Norman Oder's must-read primers for the newbie press onslaught:

Here Comes the Arena! What Happened to the Atlantic Yards Jobs? (10,000 office jobs gone; 15,000 construction jobs lag; arena jobs talked up; existing jobs used for low-cost financing)

When the Atlantic Yards mega-project was announced in December 2003, developer Forest City Ratner, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and their allies promoted “Jobs, Housing, and Hoops,” with bright blue buttons perfect for a local's lapel.

Nearly nine years later, the Barclays Center opens Sept. 28 with a string of Jay-Z concerts. The Brooklyn Nets debut in October. But there's far more hype than evidence of the “jobs” and “affordable housing,” which prompted so much public passion.

Could it be that Atlantic Yards, that 16-tower, borough-changing behemoth, is first about basketball and entertainment? Wasn't the public assistance--the subsidies, tax breaks, override of zoning, eminent domain, and more--justified because of the promises of the full project?

Yes, but for now the big winners appear to be mogul Bruce Ratner, the arena majority owner*, and his partner Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia's second-richest man and the Nets' majority owner. They get to milk a new media market for the team and arena, reap rewards from luxury suites and sponsorships, and leave the doldrums of New Jersey behind. The value of the Nets has already boomed, according to Crain's New York Business.

(*Ratner owns 55% of the arena operating company, with Prokhorov the minority partner. The arena is nominally owned by the state, to enable Forest City to get tax-exempt financing, which saves the developer perhaps $150 million.)

Meanwhile, Forest City, with the help of Markowitz and Mayor Mike Bloomberg, has done its best to promote Potemkin successes, while hoping that everyone forgets the promises about jobs and housing, or that the New York City Independent Budget Office called the arena a net loss for the city.

So, expect to hear officials soon talk up the long-delayed first affordable high-rise building, without stressing how the building would have little space for poor families.

Today, Bloomberg and Markowitz call the arena a job magnet--though nearly all the jobs are part-time. So much for the claim by then-Governor David Paterson, in a froth at the March 2010 arena groundbreaking, that Atlantic Yards would have "job creation the likes of which Brooklyn has never seen."

Well, Brooklyn hasn't seen it, not the construction jobs and certainly not the permanent jobs. And much-hyped Jay-Z, whom savvy sportswriter David Roth called the Nets' "resident Brooklyn-credibility totem," gets to blather about how "it's already created so many jobs," and the press doesn't check.

In a perversion of the promise, Forest City has even used a questionable job count to leverage more than $200 million in low-cost financing via a federal program that gives immigrant investors visas in exchange for purportedly job-creating investments.

The early promises

Forest City initially promoted 10,000 new, permanent jobs and 15,000 construction jobs, as in a flier mailed to Brooklynites in May 2004.

They were nice round numbers, easy for stenographic columnists like Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News and Andrea Peyser of the New York Post to repeat.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), in a delicious moment captured in the documentary Battle for Brooklyn, even claimed, "You know what really enervates me? 10,000 jobs." (Wouldja believe that the Harvard-educated Schumer confused "enervate," which means to weaken, with "energize"?)

Those numbers were bogus from the start, based on both unrealistic calculations and overinflated expectations.
Continue reading the sorry tale of the reality of Atlantic Yards.

Posted: 9.04.12
DDDB.net en español.
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Unity 4 Community Meeting, June 15th at 388 Atlantic Avenue

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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
Click image to see why:

-No Land Grab.org

-Atlantic Yards Report
-Atlantic Yards Deathwatch
-The Footprint Gazette
-Brooklyn Matters
-Noticing New York
-NY Times "The Local" FG/CH
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-Council of B'klyn N'hoods
-The Brooklyn Paper
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-Atlantic Lots
-Who Walk in Brooklyn
-S. Oxford St. Block Assoc.
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-Gowanus Lounge
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-Freddys Bklyn Roundhouse
-Ctr for the Study of Bklyn
-Pardon Me for Asking
-Clinton Hill Blog
-Only The Blog Knows BK
-Sustainable Flatbush
-A Child Grows in Bklyn
-Williamsburg Warriors

-The Real Estate
-Rail Yards Blog (H. Yards)
-OnNYTurf-Atlantic Yards
-Manhattan User's Guide
-Streets Blog
-Urban Place & Space
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-News 12 Brooklyn
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