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Gehry or not, Brooklyn needs this arena

The Brooklyn Paper
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Bruce Ratner’s bid to save his Atlantic Yards basketball arena by simplifying its design was predictable, but for our part, we’ll stick with consistency: Whatever serious reservations we’ve had about the larger Atlantic Yards project, the plan for the arena — though no longer the grandiose one envisioned by Frank Gehry — still merits support.

The arena remains what we have always said it is: a fundamentally vital civic project in the right place at the right time.

Now the timing better fortifies our long-held position. In the current economic climate, it would be foolhardy to walk away from both the economic development opportunity and heightened civic identity offered up by the arena and the Nets.

One need not be a hopeless romantic to appreciate the value of a professional sports team to a city like Brooklyn — which would be the fifth-largest in the country were it not shackled to the larger Gotham. Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and even Nassau County have their own major league teams — and the vibrancy that come with them — so it is appropriate that Brooklyn gets some of the action, too.

Die-hard opponents of the arena were quick to pile on this week when Ratner, buffeted like everyone else by the shattered economy, shelved Gehry’s beautiful, though impractical, designs.

Ratner allies, most notably the New York Times, proved themselves to be fair-weather friends in this regard. Though the so-called Paper of Record had been a longtime cheerleader — and objectivity-averse supporter — of the entire Atlantic Yards project, the Times prominently displayed its architecture critic’s denunciation of the new arena design. While no one is happy with the new utilitarian Ellerbe Becket blueprint, we refuse to give up on Brooklyn’s arena.

Our past support for the arena was not solely contingent on the Gehry design, which was like fine lingerie. Replacing the lingerie with cheaper pajamas doesn’t detract from what lies underneath.

Unlike the Times editorial board, we live here — and we are still drawn to the prospect of the Nets coming to Brooklyn in an arena that will energize the area around it.

Are there caveats? Of course. Ratner and his MTA allies must not allow the land around the arena site to become large parking lots. The transit agency, which is negotiating with Ratner to give the developer a break on his development rights to the Vanderbilt rail yards, must get something in return: a commitment to a sensible development that does not allow the arena to become a suburban-style black hole. Or, better still, the MTA should sub-divide Ratner’s superblock and solicit new bids on each site.

And state officials must reject Ratner’s current plan to have a basketball arena that can’t also be configured for pro hockey. That’s just foolishness.

But these are smaller issues. The debate over the larger Atlantic Yards project will continue for some time, but its future arguably rests as much on the city’s ability to reignite its economic engine as it does on that debate. Meanwhile, game time for the arena is now.

Posted 5:58 pm, June 11, 2009
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Reasonable discourse

Charles from Park Slope says:
Gehry or not, Brooklyn doesn't need this arena.

Making excuses for a flawed process, eminent domain for private gain, backroom deals, misleading promises, ridicules tax subsidized corporate welfare, and out of character development when compared to the low rise surrounding communities, is frankly pathetic.

The economic development in this part of Brooklyn was just fine before the city and Ratner became involved. Remember all the small African American businesses on Atlantic Avenue that have been lost? This is a land and power grab, not an opportunity for economic development. Please, spare us Brooklyn Paper's editorial crying.

Crying for the corrupt and powerful is no way to live.
June 11, 2009, 6:21 pm
Matteo from Prospect Park says:
It's really disheartening to acknowledge the radical shift of opinion of the Brooklyn Paper about Atlantic Yards after it was purchased by Murdoch's News Corporation.

Ratner has an abysmal record in Brooklyn for building true dysfunctional eyesores such as the Atlantic Mall and the Metrotech. The only thing that Brooklyn needs is to get rid of Forest City and avoid the degradation around the area that an arena always brings. (see Madison Sq Garden)

The claims about jobs creation are bogus, if you dig a hole and cover it you create employment, but this is not an intelligent use of taxpayer's money. There are alternative plans (e.g. the Unity), that would create a permanent benefit to Brooklyn we should go for them.
June 11, 2009, 6:37 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
We need this arena. I'm sick and tired of having to travel to the city to watch the Ice Capades.
June 11, 2009, 7:10 pm
freddy from slope says:
brooklyn has muddled along without a major league sports franchise for decades. it will do fine with or without the ratner/gehry/beckett pickpocketing.

eventually, someone who came from brooklyn and left to make their fortune in the world will return and do it privately. and they will be well rewarded. till then good riddance to the abuse of process, lack of transparency, back room deals by those who dont make the boro their home.
June 11, 2009, 8:52 pm
Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
Wishing that a basketball arena will be an engine for economic development doesn't make it so.

Since the Brooklyn Paper seems to have missed the news, allow me to point out that the City's Independent Budget Office reported two weeks ago that the arena would be a net fiscal loser. As in, it would cost the taxpayers more than it would generate in economic activity.

Toss in Bruce Ratner's reputation for untrustworthiness, which grows by the day with his snowballing baits and switches, the fact that the Rangers have veto power over the territorial incursion of another NHL team into Brooklyn, and the small problem of eminent domain for private gain, and it's clear that this ill-considered arena is wrong for Brooklyn.
June 11, 2009, 9:37 pm
mike from FG says:
Brooklyn is a dump. Before ratner built metrotech you couldnt walk in downtown brooklyn without getting shot at. the area around the vanderbilt yards is a nasty dump. its a shame you wont have gehry to work on it hopefully these new guys can do something with it.
June 11, 2009, 10:03 pm
Publius from Bklyn Heights says:
Of course, the so-called "Brooklyn Paper" has once again violated the same cardinal rule of journalism as during the Dock Street endorsement.

In case anyone missed it: During the Dock Street process, The Brooklyn Paper was renting its office space from Two Trees Management, yet would not disclose this glaring conflict of interest to their readers each time they wrote about the topic or editorialized its support.

Fast foward a few months, Sir Rupert adds this "valuable media property" to his Fox News empire, relocates it to a rented Forest City Ratner building in MetroTech, and ONCE AGAIN, the editor(s) of the "Paper" do not disclose to its readers the material business relationship with Forest City Ratner.

Unreal.

Gersh, were you absent the day in journalism school when they taught that if you report or editorialize on a topic, you must disclose a material business relationship so that your readers are aware of this conflict EACH TIME you publish?

I only wonder who the Paper's next landlord will be and how quickly that person's development blight will get a ringing endorsement from the "Paper's" editorial "board."

Another disgrace! A shame that trees have to die to carry this drivel.
June 11, 2009, 10:08 pm
actual reader from brooklyn says:
Matteo from Prospect Park says: "It's really disheartening to acknowledge the radical shift of opinion of the Brooklyn Paper about Atlantic Yards after it was purchased by Murdoch's News Corporation."

It's not a radical shift.
The editorial says the B.P. has had "serious reservations ... about the larger Atlantic Yards project," but the arena "still merits support," and is "what we have always said it is: a fundamentally vital civic project" (etc.)
And the B.P.'s archives support that position.
June 11, 2009, 10:15 pm
spidy from bay ridge says:
Brooklyn doesn't need this arena! I am a resident of Brooklyn. I do not want the arena. I feel the arena does not belong in Brooklyn. 'The Brooklyn Paper' does not represent Brooklyn well by taking this stand.
June 11, 2009, 10:26 pm
Norman Oder says:
In response to the "actual reader," let me point to the Brooklyn Paper archives of March 2008, which opined:
"The state must take back the development rights over the rail yards and put them out for bid. Doing so would not only cleanse state officials of the Original Sin of Atlantic Yards (namely selling Ratner the air rights for $100 million less than their appraised value), but it would also set right Bruce Ratner’s very wrong project."

More here:
http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2009/06/brooklyn-paper-fulfilling-predictions.html
June 11, 2009, 10:39 pm
brokeland from downtown says:
Ugh, Gersh what did Ruppey put in your water? "it would be foolhardy to walk away from both the economic development opportunity..."

Huh? what economic development opportunity.

The paper hews to this line that it has "always supported this arena." The paper may like the idea of an arena in Brooklyn, of pro sports in Brooklyn, but the paper has opposed eminent domain and the subsidies that would make THIS particular arena so.

there is no consistency there, consistency being the moral high ground this editorial (and the last similar one) attempts, and fails, to take.

things are definitely topsy turvy when the B. Paper shills for the Forest City Hangar and the NY Times condemns it.
June 11, 2009, 10:58 pm
Eazy D from Sheepshead Bay says:
If there was no doubt prior to this, there is no doubt now. Norm from atlanticyardsreport.com is the culprit who took Gersh's bike and he pawned it for Nets tickets.
BTW Steve Witt wants to give Norm a hug for taking it.
June 11, 2009, 11:25 pm
Rupert friend from Sydney says:
Even the Post thinks the new design is a piece of sh-t, so perhaps the Paper is autonomous -- tasteless but autonomous.
June 11, 2009, 11:31 pm
brokeland from downtown says:
that is a very good point Rupert.

I heard Gersh hugged Steve Witt, btw.
June 12, 2009, 12:37 am
actual reader from brooklyn says:
Norman Oder says: "In response to the "actual reader," let me point to the Brooklyn Paper archives of March 2008 (etcetera)."

Read the 6-11-09 editorial again: "the plan for the ARENA ... still merits support" and "[t]he ARENA remains what we have always said it is: a fundamentally vital civic project ..."
(And if you do a through search of BP objections/context & arena angle: the 6-11 editorial is correct.)

It's disingenuous to use an anti-Yards/BP-critical source as proof ... especially when that piece doesn't say that the BP has switched opinion about the ARENA: It says that "even if" the BP wants an arena, it's a dumb idea, and conflicts with a (noneditorial) news story.
June 12, 2009, 12:47 am
Donna from Brooklyn Heights says:
I use your paper's print edition for what it's best suited...a pee pad for my pups.
June 12, 2009, 1:32 am
Norman oder says:
Here's more from the 3/29/08 BP editorial:

"While we’ve supported the notion of a basketball arena at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, the new cost estimates require a fresh evaluation of the state’s financing formula.

More important, we are troubled by new state documents that show that Ratner could leave the rest of the 22-acre site vacant for decades, thereby creating the urban blight that state officials said he would eliminate.

• • •

The state must not let him. The state must take back the development rights over the rail yards and put them out for bid. Doing so would not only cleanse state officials of the Original Sin of Atlantic Yards (namely selling Ratner the air rights for $100 million less than their appraised value), but it would also set right Bruce Ratner’s very wrong project.

Undoubtedly, development rights are now worth even more to the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority — and will be worth more still if the publicly financed basketball arena is built.

Only by seeking new developers can the public get a reasonable price for this valuable resource — and ensure that the area is developed properly and in a timely fashion.

Winning bidders would send their proposals through the city’s rigorous land-use review procedure rather than the notoriously weak state version that allowed Ratner’s monstrosity to proceed unchecked.

Save Atlantic Yards! Take the rail yards away from Ratner now."
June 12, 2009, 7:01 am
sam from downtown says:
Actual Reader:

that seems pretty clear that the paper's editorial stance is inconsistent. because if you "take the yards away from Ratner now" there is no arena.
June 12, 2009, 9:43 am
Paul from Park Slope says:
So nobody is willing to look at your resume and you're stuck spewing what Rupert Murdoch orders, huh? Nice. Think about how far the Papers have fallen since 5 years ago when they were up for a Pulitzer for their Atlantic Yards coverage: then a new editor orders no long investigative articles, only "happy news", or at least only snarky news.

It worked so well it got sold to the NY Post and is now spewing the party line on all things developer. "The Superfund listing will destroy Gowanus businesses." "We have always supported this arena." Have you really, now? Let's look at your arguments in its favor.

1. "Bklyn needs to be as vibrant as Nassau County, and Queens." Yeah, that's persuasive...
2. "The arena is a fundamentally vital civic project"--um, want to try that again? How is throwing billions of civic dollars at a privately controlled arena (which was sold as being 100% privately financed, as the old BP repeatedly pointed out before the Kool Aid started going around), foregoing taxes for decades, underselling valuable real estate, and turning the whole thing into a billboard for a foreign bank with links to the slave trade "fundamentally civic?" And the corpse they now (and always?) intended to drop there is anything but vital.
3. "...in the right place." Far from it! Back to Robert Moses' reply to the Dodgers that placing a stadium at that intersection would cause a Great Wall of Traffic from the East River to mid-Nassau County. This thing, if it needs to exist (which it doesn't) belongs in the entertainment district the city says it's planning for Coney Island. Like the Olympics venue was planned to be before Ratner cooked this up to save his mall across the street.
4. "...at the right time." Right. At the beginning of what could be the next Great Depression we need to be subsidizing a tanking real estate developer who has done nothing but lie about his goals and methods. We have nothing better to do with shrinking public monies.

Why didn't you trot out the canard about the construction jobs and affordable housing? Oh, right, the affordable housing is GONE, the jobs that would be created by the office towers are GONE, the public space is GONE, and the construction jobs will be down from 1,500 jobs per year for 10 years to what? Maybe 200 jobs per year for 3 years, tops.

But at least you can swagger saying you're against parking lots! Until they tell you to be in favor of them.

And I thought the Old Grey Lady at the Times was pimped out!

But keep those resumes in circulation. You never know when a real paper might need somebody...else.
June 12, 2009, 9:52 am
tony from the block says:
I'm pretty sure the Brooklyn Paper used to be against eminent domain. Not anymore!
June 12, 2009, 9:56 am
michael from clinton hill says:
ouch. that was one of the more painful things i've tried to ingest in a long time. worse than a waste of paper and pixels. Can someone call FAIR
June 12, 2009, 10:15 am
chuck from boerum hill says:
wtf is going on in this paper? did aliens suck out the editor's brains or something?
June 12, 2009, 10:55 am
JK from PS says:
Just build it already. I'm commenting on this on a Friday afternoon because I'm out of work, my husband is out of work and most of our friends in the building industry are out of work. Not that all ideals, like eminent domain, should be tossed out the window just because the economy is bad, but haven't there been years of lawsuits to resolve that issue? Isn't it time to move beyond legal ideals and onto putting food on the table by creating jobs?

I'm glad the Gehry design is gone. It didn't fit in Brooklyn.

As for the Brooklyn Paper - it's representing Brooklyn from my perspective, although I'm just a working person - not a professional critic/editor as most of you seem to be. Do real working people actually track the quotes of a local newspaper over the years by going into the archives? I think some of you folks need to grow up and get jobs.
June 12, 2009, 11:03 am
Lex from Park Slope says:
"Unlike the Times editorial board, we live here — and we are still drawn to the prospect of the Nets coming to Brooklyn in an arena that will energize the area around it."

Energize? Tell me how Yankee Stadium energizes 161st St.? How does Citi Field energize Willets Point?

You get a big crowd that jams the surrounding streets and floods the subway. They go inside the arena to spend their money and then they leave, creating another traffic jam. If you're lucky, really really lucky, some of them stay around to drink in a couple of sports bars.

Oh yeah. Build one of those next to me. That sounds great.
June 12, 2009, 11:13 am
Paul from Park Slope says:
Hey, JK, the Brooklyn Paper represents RUPERT MURDOCH! And your attitude is just what they're counting on...which is kind of suspicious, come to think of it. And all of us have jobs, and work. I'm sorry you're having trouble but if you think putting your kids and grandkids into debt so Bruce Ratner can break another promise to you is smart, well...you're not a banker, stock broker, or NYS Senator, are you?
June 12, 2009, 11:36 am
actual reader from brooklyn says:
Norman Oder says: "Here's more from the 3/29/08 BP editorial" (detailing varied objections).

And the 6/11 editorial says:
"Ratner and his MTA allies must not allow the land around the arena site to become large parking lots. The transit agency, which is negotiating with Ratner to give the developer a break on his development rights to the Vanderbilt rail yards, must get something in return: a commitment to a sensible development that does not allow the arena to become a suburban-style black hole. Or, better still, the MTA should sub-divide Ratner’s superblock and solicit new bids on each site."
June 12, 2009, 12:14 pm
Publius from Bklyn Heights says:
Newspapers like this one are Dead Man Walking.

What's the difference between this corporately owned organ and a real news source such as many of the local Brooklyn blogs?

The difference is that newspapers like this one are media organs of the owners that run them and often choose to take a loss so that their "voice" can be heard and perceived influence peddled for their bigger projects.

The real local news is happening from the real people. Folks who more often than not voluntarily report on the news that affects us. No corporate conflicts of interest, no media conglomerates taking direction from their lord and master owners.

And increasingly, editorial "endorsements" from "editorial boards" of dead tree edition newspapers will carry less and less weight as everyone realizes that the real voice of the people is from the bottom up, and is not compromised by hidden conflicts of interest (such as sucking up to one's landlord).
June 12, 2009, 12:24 pm
JK from PS says:
Oh Paul.. you figured it out. I'm a US Senator, but I only sought office after retiring from my billion-dollar-a-year job as CEO of Goldman Sachs. Oh, and I'm also best friends with Rupert Murdoch, who I met during the Sydney Olympics where I won 5 gold medals (should have been 6 medals, but I didn't stick the landing on my dismount)... you know, there's medication for paranoia, Paul.

Actually, I work in the construction business and have spent years helping to refurbish the homes that are part of Brooklyn's 'gentrification'. It just cracks me up that the same yuppy/hipsters who had NO problem coming into Brooklyn and buying out the elderly and poor so they could build their dream home with Viking appliances and granite counter tops, now have a problem with Rattner doing the same thing -- just on a larger scale. No one complained when one by one, lifelong residents were displaced. But let a corporation come in and do it...well, let's all start boo hoo'ing.

Is it the fact that it's a sports stadium that's bothering everyone? Would Brooklyn's new-elite have the same reaction if it was a museum or cultural center? From where I sit, it's change and change is what Brooklyn has been about for years.
June 12, 2009, 1:40 pm
freddy from slope says:
you got it JK...

the gentrifiers used PRIVATE monies to buy out locals. they did not use PUBLIC funds.

and they didnt use the threat of back room politics eminent domain either.

this smells now and always has. the fact that a guerilla warfare fronted by a group of dedicated opposition has tripped this up is humorous.

i just hope someone is taking names so the public at large knows how to tar and feather later.
June 12, 2009, 2:09 pm
Paul from Park Slope says:
JK, you get less believable with each post. Brooklyn's about change, you say, but you've got a problem with people coming into the neighborhood, unless they're billionaires using eminent domain? And you made your living from these "yuppies" you're complaining about? And you also don't know that all those "yuppies" in the footprint moved into vacant buildings (as in, VACANT, nobody was displaced, in comparison to Ratner displacing 900 people of all income levels and ages) that they hired builders to renovate? With that consistent thinking, you say I'M the one who needs medication? HA!

You're about as believable as every other Forest City hack to hit the neighborhood blogs in the last 5 years.
June 12, 2009, 2:20 pm
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Some of you need to get some perspective. They are not putting Indian Point over there!!! It's your tax $$$ in the new Met & Yankees Stadiums (1 on park land). It's your tax $$$ on some level at just about every construction site. Exactly why the uproar because this Developer is making $$$.
From the beginning the opposition has never squared with the heated, angry & obessessive words & behavior.
I get one man (Goldstein) trying to protect his home, especially with a young family. I get that myself & probably a lot of Brookly-nites probably won't be able to afford a game ticket. So I don't care about the arena, thought Gehry's design I like. Artcheture is a hobby.
I get that the community benefit package you see as a sham. Maybe it's all presentation, like the way you presents your opposition. I don't recall reading that Ratner broke into someones house & sold the milk $$$ from under the matress.
You say that the jobs are low paying, short term. Funny that's the same phrase used by people who won't do jobs that migrant workers do. But you know what the people who will get those jobs, needs those jobs & needs direction. So call those short term, -low paying jobs starter-entry level job. Kind of like when I had my first job was as a messenger. I didn't chose to build a career as a messenger, but I will never get lost in Manhattan.
The high paying jobs are going to Skilled Union workers.I have a problem with how they dole out membership cards, but not all lives in Long Island or NJ, but so what if they do? They will send $$$ in their, yours & mine community.
Don't we really need to see people working???

What I don't get is this. A politician opposing this because the people getting those short term jobs are not as organize as vocal a anti arena crowd she dare not oppose if she wants to be elected again. She's even tap dance back to the Unions by supporting a truly out of scale project in dumbo.
Protecting the fabric of Brooklyn. Take a walk/drive from Bedford Ave towards Brooklyn Heights, look up occassionally. There's your fabric. Unless we are only protecting Pros. Heights' fabric. I remember another Fabric of Pros. Heights that was bought out by big checkbook. Here comes someone with a bigger chkbook.
Sorry that's just what it is.
If Ratner & politicians are a tenth guilty of what you accuse them of then put them in jail.
Other wise lookout, fire up those backhoes & cranes. Build, build build, jobs, jobs, jobs!!!!
June 12, 2009, 8:17 pm
Peter from Fort Greene says:
I don't see how the paper could advocate for building this arena by saying it's "the right place and right time," while comparing Brooklyn's lack of a sports franchise to the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. Have you been following the recently built stadiums in the Bronx and Queens? One is noticeably empty because of it's bloated and over-priced seating and the other is named after one of the only banks that is that is still asking for bailouts from the government. How could this lead you to the conclusion that "In the current economic climate, it would be foolhardy to walk away from both the economic development opportunity and heightened civic identity offered up by the arena and the Nets?" Why don't you advocate for a responsible design that opens the project up to multiple developers and creates more jobs than an arena, one building and a bunch of parking lots will? Why not write an editorial about an alternative plan: The Unity Plan? That would be novel. We need a plan that is really about affordable housing and putting money back into Brooklyn.

Here's the link:

http://www.unityplan.org/

And as for you Judah, what happened to your cry for affordable housing? Now it's BUILD and JOBS! Where are the people in need of affordable housing going to sleep? Maybe they can pitch a tent on one of the paved lots or maybe they can sleep in an arena chair after the game is over. Your arguments get hollower by the day.
June 12, 2009, 10:16 pm
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Thank you Peter! I don't know what I have done but state an opinion different than yours. I strongly doubt that most of you anti-arena folks falls in the far right-wing end of the political divide but most of you folks sound like a bunch of rabid-right-wing nut jobs. You are using the same tactics. If someone opposes you villify them. Ratner is not Mr. Potter, I repeat Ratner is not Mr. Potter. But you anti arena folks is the angry mob at the savings and loan. How did Rupert Murdoch get involve with this development? Did he buy part of the team or r u folks hoping that the local distain for FOXNEWS would generates some support for your POV? That's desperate.

Don't worry thou, your legacy will be that ugly barn Ratner is replacing the Gehry's design with.

Let me tell you about "affordable housing", it goes right up there with "a portion of this is going to charity".
That's what it is. Everyone pimps the disadvantage.
Notice what the Dock Street developer did, he put a school in the building.
Don't worry anti arena. Ratner is going to offer the arena as a food Co-OP on the wkend during the off seasons, who knew that's what he should have done all along.

June 12, 2009, 11:49 pm
Bill Harris from Boerum Hill says:
Whoa! Brooklyn does NOT need--or deserve--the proposed arena, an architectural slap in the face. Tricked up airplane hanger, pregnant turtle--this concept is ugly beyond belief. If built it would sting the eyes until demolished. Shame on you Brooklyn Paper for endorsing this crap. If an arena must be built, let's hold out for a better design...what's your effen hurry?
June 13, 2009, 11:12 am
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
There was or is a better design by Gehry but that rabid anti-arena crowd have seen to the death of that. But that's all they will accomplish for 6yrs of obstructionism.
Maybe they were working will Ratner to build another Metro-tech where streets morph into iron fences.
And wasted police manpower guarding those iron fences.
June 13, 2009, 11:52 am
Paul from Park Slope says:
The Atlantic Yards scheme has been the latest adventure in bait and switch that have characterized Ratner's treatment of Brooklyn. How many remember that MetroTech was supposed to be a research and development park for the biotech industry? But Ratner changed it into a suburban office park complete with useless "open space." A billion dollar annually industry went to Boston thanks to Bruce Ratner. Now this "Garden of Eden" is down to a cheesy field house/airplane hanger. The solution is simple: DON'T LET HIM BUILD ANYTHING HERE EVER AGAIN! AND STOP THE CURRENT BLIGHT HE WANTS TO BUILD, PUT THE ARENA IN CONEY ISLAND, AND TAKE BACK THE LAND.

The name of the leading opposition group (and there are many) is DEVELOP Don't Destroy Brooklyn. They have a great blueprint for developing the railyards called the UNITY Plan. Check it out at www.unityplan.org and see what is really possible without a corrupt process trying to inflict Cleveland on Brooklyn
June 13, 2009, 12:48 pm
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Give me a break with this Unity plan, that's the real bait & switch here pal. UNity-plan nice name thou, like the BAM Cultural District. The people who cobbled together this unity-plan lived for yrs looking at that empty pit without this unityplan manifesting until someone wanted to do something there.
I also hope that if this Unity-plan replaces Ratner, that not one-tenth of tax $$$ should go to it. Since that seems to be the one of the major gripes with AYs.

Truth is the horrible barn happened because of Obstructionism. It will be DDDB's legacy when history is written.
P.S. What is this virus that has infected due process? Everyone wants to change the rules in the middle of the game.
Oh yeah your Billionaire Mayor done so why should everyone else?
June 13, 2009, 1:11 pm
Paul from Park Slope says:
So you're didn't even go to look, did you. Guess bitter complaining just tastes too good, huh?

Learn a lesson from everyone working for years to defeat the billionaire's land grab: you have to WORK at it, not just roll over for empty promises, cheap bribes and pretty pictures.
June 13, 2009, 7:33 pm
Christopher Chew from Park Slope says:
I cannot believe that the paper has endorsed to the going ahead of atlantic yards project merely because of the reduced price tag! To simply see it as a cheaper alternative without frank gehry is missing the point. The point is whether the new architect has address the same urban design/impact that was arduously and publicly debated with the gehry's design. Does the paper endorses to having another Atlantic Terminal?
June 14, 2009, 12:57 pm
jerry from bheights says:
freddy from slope says" 'the gentrifiers used PRIVATE monies to buy out locals. they did not use PUBLIC funds.'

I guess THAT justifies them and makes them candidates for canonization, and arbiters of What's Good for Brooklyn?
June 14, 2009, 2:05 pm
Alan from Sheepshead Bay says:
The paper is right. Ratner, must make the arena Hockey friendly as well. Sources have it, that Mr. Wang, owner of the Islanders, is very interested in moving his team out of the out-dated Nassau Coliseum and bringing them to Brooklyn. If not, Wang, will sell the team, which is losing money every year playing in Uniondale. There is a possibility of moving the team to another city altogether.
June 14, 2009, 11:16 pm
freddy from slope says:
jerry:

the fact that they used private money instead of public money means that the commenter i was speaking to picked a bad justification. there are no parallels between ratner and 99.999% of the gentrifers.

by definition the gentrifiers are better for the boro because they live here.

no one said anyone is a saint, just that ratner is most especially not one.
June 14, 2009, 11:37 pm
Bemuseder from Slope says:
How the hell do people have the time to post long dissertations on a local newsrag site?
And why BOTHER with these ultra-detailed long posts, cross-cites, and recaps of multiple quotes?
You won't convince the diehards here; others will skim it, if they look at the comments at all; and the Paper will just run a few pithy phrases (at most, and if that) in its next issue.
It's not as if your epistles are being mass-distributed on handbills, or as if other posters haven't thought about the issues at all, or are gonna repent and say "geez, I was SO wrong!"
June 15, 2009, 7:24 am
Paul from Park Slope says:
Most people aren't too lazy to read stuff. You read them, right?

And since we can't depend on the Brooklyn Paper anymore to really report what's going on, at least the forum to correct is still here. Use it while it is.
June 15, 2009, 9:04 am
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Strange that now you Anti-arena lots have problems with this paper. Yet, I don't recall reading about your outrageous comments in any other outlet in this town. You hate them now cause they took the proper stands that's better for all of Brooklyn. Remember folks. It's your tax $$ as well as mine. Build the arena!
June 15, 2009, 11:31 am
al pankin from downtown says:
thanks to the years of useless litigation a first class design will be abandned and brooklyn will get what looks like an aircraft hanger in it's place. this newspaper encouraged every obstacle put in the way of the development. in years to come the people who held up this project will have moved away and won't even be rememberd, those of us who have lived in brooklyn all our lives will see this watered down looking arena and whatever else follows. wow...maybe it will even look like the ebbets field houses....
June 15, 2009, 11:53 am
Bemuseder from Slope says:
Paul from Park Slope says: "Most people aren't too lazy to read stuff. You read them, right?
"And since we can't depend on the Brooklyn Paper anymore to really report what's going on, at least the forum to correct is still here."

I read things because news is relevant to my job (which, ps, has nothing to do with newspapers or developers).

With this kind of issue: The people who post on a site like this (or even READ lengthy, nitpicky or vituperative posts) will be those whose minds already are made up and who want to have a spitting contest.
Or they think that they'll convert each other, or that if they keep posting, the masses will rush to the site, eager to be proselytized.
It's really NOT the most effective forum, or use of precious time & energy.
June 15, 2009, 11:55 am
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Bemuseder what on god's green earth are you yapping about. Regardless of the people I disagree/agree with I appreciate their views. It's a little something we have here called "Freedom of Expression". It's not called "Freedom of Proper Expression". It's mighty generous of you to try & bring us up to your level. You should really re-read your post. How much better are you than the people who care enuff to share their views. Maybe if you buy the internet you can control it. Otherwise go take swim in the Gowanous Canal.
June 15, 2009, 1 pm
Kid from Brooklyn from Clinton Hill says:
Having spent all my life in Brooklyn, (going to private school, but living in Crown Heights), I have noticed a serious divide in the comments and opinion.

From my experience, most of the wealthier, (usually white), residents of Brooklyn oppose the arena, while working class, (certainly less wealthy) residents tend to be indifferent, or in full support of it.

That being said, Brooklyn belongs to neither group, but the divide is worth noting, and is actually evident on this very forum (see the comments from Bed-Stuy), or see the reaction of the unions.

There are many on the internet, (Nytimes etc) that would quickly claim that the people of Brooklyn are against this project. I would say that is untrue, at best, the people of Brooklyn are bitterly divided, but there in this borough od 2.6 million, there is real support for this, and alot of it....., even despite the architectural setback.

Just saying...
June 15, 2009, 1:26 pm
Bemuseder from Slope says:
Where, exactly, did I suggest a free-speech ban?
Nor am I trying to bring anything "up to [my] level" - because my view is no more "up" than anyone else's.

If you believed the same, you (meaning the ones who've had an ongoing tit-for-tat dialogue here) wouldn't still be busting each other's chops over a now-old editorial.
It's hard to pitch something as an "appreciation" of others' views when you seem anything BUT appreciative, and are just venting at a screen.
But if that's cathartic, go for it ...
June 15, 2009, 1:36 pm
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
They haven't dug a foundation yet, Bemuseder. If you are pro/anti there is a need to keep expressing ones self. Are missing the point of forums on the Internet? Or maybe you don't understand the passion of Brooklynites.
June 15, 2009, 1:56 pm
Peter from Fort Greene says:
Excuse my french, but what a bunch of crap about the rich being for Atlantic Yards and the poor being against it. That's just a lot of hooey that is meant to create a division between people. I'm sure there are some poor people (myself included) who are against the project and some rich people (in fact some of the richest people in the world, i.e. Bloomberg) who are for the project. I don't like the project because I prefer Brooklyn somewhat small and community based. If I had wanted to move into Manhattan I would have done that. And to all you people who are born and bred Brooklyn, why are you in such a rush to change it? You like change one way but you don't like it when people who you consider "undesirable" move into your neighborhood? Hypocritical.
June 15, 2009, 6:30 pm
Que from Clinton Hill says:
Check this kid out. www.TakeBrooklynBack.com
June 16, 2009, 12:49 am
al from downtown says:
brooklyn may support an arena, though i doubt it, but when most Brooklynites have the facts of this arena, they oppose it. the problem is, most don't have the facts beyond -- pro sports are coming back to brooklyn.
June 16, 2009, 9:35 am
Bemuseder from Slope says:
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says: "If you are pro/anti there is a need to keep expressing ones self. Are missing the point of forums on the Internet?"

Again: As long as you view it as expressing oneself, and not as an other-influencing activity in itself.
In cyberville, people can too easily view typing as action, or 12.5 people on some board as The World.
June 16, 2009, 12:54 pm
Brooklyn from Brooklyn says:
Brooklyn does not need that arena in any way. Brooklyn is doing just fine, and that arena will screw up everything good about Park Slope, Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Boreum Hill, Prospect Heights, and all the other neighborhoods nearby.
June 16, 2009, 5:48 pm
Tony V from South Slope says:
This flip-flopping regarding the arena is consisten with the lack of in-depth analysis regarding real estate issues in Brooklyn.

This paper glorified the new zoning of 4th Avenue and how it would become the Park Avenue of Brooklyn with shops, retail, new life, etc. But, walk along 4th Avenue to see that these ugly new buildings abut the avenue with plain walls or car garages (even worse) and there is no retail or street presence.

Finally, just a week or two ago, the paper showed how it has become a mouthpiece for corporate interests (Rupert Murdoch) and the corrupt construction industry by publishing a puff piece feature on Robert Scarano, one of the most notorious developers in Brooklyn, whose company routinely violates the law, which has led to the death of several workers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Scarano

This paper is not serving the community.
June 21, 2009, 10:26 pm
Matt from Prospect Hts says:
Amen, brother!
June 22, 2009, 7:45 am

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