The three men in a room have approved Atlantic Yards, so it’s time for the post-mortem:
Bruce Ratner: He’s won the right to build his $4-billion arena, hotel, office space and residential Xanadu — and he’s gotten his pals in Albany to underwrite it with billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Nice work if you have the connections to get it.
Eliot Spitzer: The incoming governor will avoid blame when Pataki’s legacy project ends up not meeting economic projections and ties up traffic and subways even worse than state planners revealed.
Norman Oder: Call him a blogger or a journalist, but no one did better shoe-leather reporting than Oder did on his Web site, the Atlantic Yards Report. Filing one Freedom of Information Request after another, Oder constantly broke stories revealing financial shortcomings and environmental impacts of the project.
Chuck E. Cheese: The garish eatery in Ratner’s Atlantic Terminal mall will soon be across the street from a basketball arena filled with 19,000 potential customers.
Brooklyn Net fans: No longer will they have to schlep to Jersey to watch the underperforming team. Now they can get stuck in traffic closer to home.
Eliot Spitzer: He got elected claiming he’d be a new broom sweeping through filthy Albany politics, yet reportedly told Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to approve the project so that he wouldn’t have to deal with it.
Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn: They were fighting a project that will clog large swaths of Downtown and Brownstone Brooklyn; a mega-development whose finances are propped up by billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies and a sweetheart deal for development rights over the LIRR yards; and a developer whose track record includes ugly malls and dead office parks filled with public agencies — and yet they got slammed dunked.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: He blocked more-popular projects such as the Jets’ West Side Stadium and the Moynihan Station by objecting to financing, yet let Atlantic Yards go through despite a huge public cost that state planners tried to conceal.
Frank Gehry: Ratner’s starchitect will be forced to lop more than 10 stories off the project’s centerpiece, the Miss Brooklyn tower that he vowed not to alter. Hey, Frank, this is Brooklyn, not Bilbao.
©2006 Community News Group
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