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Forest City Ratner renames its Brooklyn mega-development

Green land! Atlantic Yards rechristened ‘Pacific Park’

The Brooklyn Paper
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Atlantic Yards, meet Pacific Park.

The developers of the 16-tower mega-development at Flatbush and Atlantic avenues have changed its name to “Pacific Park,” Forest City Ratner announced to the real estate website Curbed on Monday. The name change shifts the project’s marketing focus from the Long Island Rail Road train yard along Atlantic Avenue, over which part of it is supposed to be built, to the park it is supposed to contain along a de-mapped block of Pacific Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues.

The news came packaged with new details about two of the buildings that make up the development, which is being built by Forest City with the Chinese-government-owned developer Greenland, a majority partner in the project. Construction is scheduled to begin in December on an 18-story tower at 535 Carlton Ave. between Dean and Pacific streets, which will house 298 apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, Forest City said. Shortly after that, construction will begin on the building at 550 Vanderbilt Ave. between Dean and Pacific streets. That building is slated to reach 17 stories and contain 275 units, from studios to four bedrooms, according to the developer, which finalized the sale of 70 percent of the project to Greenland on July 1. Beginning in June 2015, a third building will rise at 30 Sixth Ave. between Pacific and Dean Streets, including about 300 units, Forest City said.

The three towers are slated to be entirely made up of below-market-rate apartments. The arrangement is an effort by the development firms to honor the deal they struck in late June with activists that requires the creation 2,250 units of promised discount digs by 2025. The developers have until 2035 to complete the entire 6,430-apartment project, though Forest City originally pledged to be done in 2016. It has blamed activist lawsuits for the delays. The litigants dropped their suits in June as part of the deal to prod along construction.

An architect for the Carlton Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue buildings said his firm took pains to make the skyscrapers fit in with the surrounding townhouses.

“Our approach to this has been ‘How are these buildings going to feel from the street?’ ” said Brandon Specketer, a senior associate at Cookfox Architects, which is designing two of the three structures. “The idea that this is a building on and of Carlton Avenue is very important.”

One neighbor who has been an ardent critic of Forest City for years said he was glad to see the new renderings’ buildings, which, tall though they are, are colored with the browns and blacks typical to Brownstone Brooklyn, and which sport terraces with gardens.

“I think what the renderings represent show an improvement,” said Gib Veconi, a member of the activist coalition BrooklynSpeaks and a signatory to the June deal. “It’s a lot more attractive than what they originally released.”

A representative of Forest City Ratner and Greenland declined to comment on the motive behind changing the name of the project that has been mired in controversy and dogged by lawsuits since shortly after its inception 11 years ago.

And even with the new moniker, it may be tough to shake the Atlantic Yards name.

Blogger Norman Oder, whose Atlantic Yards Report has closely chronicled the mega-development since 2005, when for a brief period his website was called the Times Ratner Report, wrote that he doesn’t plan to change the site’s current name to match the development, but allowed that he might “tweak it at some later point.”

Updated 2:41 pm, August 6, 2014: Updated to reflect a morning blog post from Norman Oder, who declined to say whether he planned to change the name of Atlantic Yards Report but addressed the question in the post.
Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
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Reasonable discourse

Norman Oer says:
Actually, Noah Hurowitz, I told you to read my Twitter feed and look at my blog. Which would have answered your question. Do the work.

That's a sideshow question, however. You kind of missed the many ways this name change is disingenuous:
http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2014/08/orwellian-almost-forest-citygreenland.html
Aug. 5, 2014, 1:58 pm
long-time resident from Fort Greene says:
This is a lot of new housing--are there truly no new schools as part of this complex?
Aug. 5, 2014, 2:56 pm
Ed from PS says:
Norman Oder is one of the worst things to happen to Brooklyn in a long time. Nothing worse than an uptight NIMBY who spends every day nitpicking everything to death, whining and moaning about the most trivial things known to man. The name is great, I suggest you move on as you've already wasted far too many years on this. Most people (at least where I live near Barclays) think you are a nut who ruined our chances for the Gehry design.
Aug. 5, 2014, 3:47 pm
Lisa from bk says:
Does Borough Park have a park?

Does the Surfside Gardens Housing Project have actual gardens?

Is Long Island City a city at all?

Why is Jackson Heights named that when Kew Gardens is the highest point in Queens?

Is Boreum Hill on a hill?

The name means NOTHING! Move on please.
Aug. 5, 2014, 3:55 pm
ty from pps says:
aren't you glad you asked me?
Aug. 5, 2014, 4:37 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Whatever name is used, it doesn't change anything about it. All I see this is just putting lipstick on a pig, because no matter how much you dress it up, it's still a pig in the end. As for those attacking Norman Oder, his blog is well respected, and he actually bothers to show himself at anything involving this while the rest of you are just hiding behind your computers like cowards. I find it good to have those like Oder to tell us what's really going on when it comes to one of the biggest boondoggles like the Atlantic Yards otherwise now known as Pacific Park.
Aug. 5, 2014, 8:10 pm
Norman Oder says:
According to the first-name-only (real brave of you) commenters here, it would be just peachy to have our NYC public parks run by developers. Because Pacific Park is being advertised as a "public park."

To the Fort Greene resident, a school is planned in the building just east of Sixth Avenue between Dean and Pacific Streets.
Aug. 5, 2014, 9:58 pm
Sidney Meyer from Boerum Hill says:
Norman Oder has been an accurate factual reporter of Atlantic Yards from the beginning. Of course he had a bias that was different from Forrest City but that what made it an interesting read. Its not just lipstick on a pig. There has been a major change in both the design and the attitude towards the community recently. (BTW I have been a "representative" and attended most of Brooklyn Speaks meetings). The Gehry design was an outline and a way for Forrest City to get approval for the original plan. Brooklyn Speaks and Develop Don't Destroy for that matter primary complaint was that the affordable housing wasn't being built or was so far down the road as to be an illusion. Its no longer an illusion. that in of itself is a major change. In fact since the new developer has come in its moving faster and better. DDD always wanted a new developer to take over from Forrest City and said correctly that until the new developer came in, the housing wouldn't be built.
Of course it should have happened a long time ago. That is because the State was looking the other way- not the communities way. Personally I think changing the name is showing the change in attitude. Robert Moses be damned.
Aug. 6, 2014, 5:13 am
freddy from slope says:
changing the name is nothing short of a misdirection to distance "atlantic yards" from the aftermath of what "atlantic yards" has done and been called out for.

new guy doesn't want the baggage.
Aug. 6, 2014, 7:59 am
Prospect Heights Resident from Thank goodness says:
I am thrilled that we are getting new housing and park space in an area that was a dump with nothing going for it. Thank you, FCR!
Aug. 6, 2014, 8:57 am
Lisa from Parkslope says:
I will be so pleased with 8 Acres of a public space since before that it was A HOLE IN THE GROUND.

All for this project have been since the very beginning and I attend events at Barclays all the time.

I remember a time when everyone thought Flatbush Ave was going to become a Taco Bell/Mcdonalds mall and instead we have Parm coming, Shake Shack, Doughnut Plant, so many nice things coming in and the area as a whole has gone UP in value (not down as Oder and others complained) and in general I believe most people are very happy with the project in the end.

The whiners will always find something to whine about. We all know these people and have them as neighbors. They're the same ones trying to kill a hospital expansion in Park Slope. Can you imagine with the state of hospital closings people actually bringing a lawsuit to stop a hospital from improving? Yea, that's NIMBY'S for you. Only think of themselves, while the rest of us have to suffer for their poor decisions and selfish antics.
Aug. 6, 2014, 10:18 am
freddy from slope says:
umm, Lisa, quite the shill aren't we.

Any back of the envelope analysis of the Atlantic Yards development or the proposed methodist expansion would show you've been hoodwinked. But smile away at the Jay Z concerts. Subsidize everything. Know nothing. Sad.
Aug. 6, 2014, 10:41 am
Ken from Ps says:
I'm subsidizing your rug rats to attend PS. 321 and don't complain, we all subsidize each other in some form or another that's what living in a cramped city is about...the collective good for all.

The expansion of a hospital, more housing (both affordable and market rate) and an arena benefits far more people than it hurts. That's what living in a city is about. If you want to care only about yourself, go buy a farm somewhere in Kansas.

I live near Barclays and also enjoy it quite a bit. Lots more than I thought I would but mostly because the nimby's had us all scared based on a pile of lies they told to get themselves heard. I'm looking forward to the hockey games.
Aug. 6, 2014, 11:11 am
Charles from PS says:
For the record, I am a NIMBY. Don't like it? Tough. Abuse of eminent domain? NIMBY. Government favoritism of a single developer contrary to law? NIMBY. Private development using my tax dollars? NIMBY. Misrepresentation of the scope and benefits of a public funded development? NIMBY. Paying off community groups for support of a development? NIMBY. Selling to a totalitarian government controlled company? NIMBY.

So with all due respect to those who speak ill of opponents of the BRUCE RATNER (AND NOW TOTALITARIAN CHINESE GOVERNMENT) ATLANTIC YARD PUBLIC FUNDED DEVELOPMENT, you advocate against your own best interest, and that of your country, state, city, county and neighborhood. This in turn makes you a tool of the rich and corrupt, which is no a way to live. Wake up middle class. Wake up.
Aug. 6, 2014, 1:16 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
What hospital got expanded, Ken? And the "affordable" housing is unaffordable, uncomfortable facts!

Yes, we subsidize services that benefit our community as a whole: schools, firehouses, even medical. What we DON'T have to subsidize is a land grab by a private developer. And we DON'T have to trample on the rights of homeowners by using eminent domain. We displaced 900 people, and have given almost $1 billion in subsidies to this black hole. Anybody with a brain should be screaming bloody murder about it.

But as long as you're having a good time, "Ken", I guess that's all that counts. And thank you, from my rug rats.

PS: Are we returning to the days when Forest City would have their flunkies haunt these message boards trying to shape public opinion? I'd love to trace these guys to see who they all work for!
Aug. 6, 2014, 1:35 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Methodist hospital wants to expand, Mike. Not that you're on the same page as everyone else, does that become a comfortable fact?

From putting people's names in quotation marks to wanting to trace IP addresses, I'm just glad I avoided the Brooklyn Paper when the paranoid NIMBYism of people like you was at its height. I can only imagine how much worse you were back then.
Aug. 6, 2014, 1:56 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
Oh, yes, Methodist. Completely unrelated to the Atlantic Yards...oh, I'm sorry, PACIFIC PARK. Keep spinning guys, just like last time.

I knew they had rehired Bruce Bender when he didn't get indicted along with Carl Kruger, but I would have thought they had learned some new tricks since then.
Aug. 6, 2014, 2:37 pm
ty from pps says:
Mike from Park Slope does sound a little paranoid... Isn't it usually our friend Tal that says everyone that disagrees with him is on some sort of magical payroll? I guess Mike and Tal are friends.
Aug. 6, 2014, 3:49 pm
Ken from Ps says:
It's very childish to assume that because someone likes progress that we must be affiliated with the project somehow. Childish and extremely ignorant.
Aug. 6, 2014, 4:37 pm
Ken from Ps says:
Also making up names like "Bruce Bender" is about on the same maturity level as a 5-6 year old.
Aug. 6, 2014, 4:38 pm
Sid from Boerum Place says:
hey Ken that was his name.

http://dddb.net/php/latestnews_Linked.php?id=2982
Aug. 6, 2014, 4:54 pm
freddy from slope says:
Interesting trolling going on here.

Its not the subsidy, its the un-evaluated amount of subsidy for the un-evaluated return that was pushed for by anyone who could make a buck because they knew that no one would evaluate either in time to make it clear it was a boondoggle.

Add to that the general populace that is entranced with former drug dealers public rehabilitation (JayZ) and a rah-rah-rah despite all contrary evidence Boro president and you get what we have, a sad state of abuse at all levels. Makes the Public Library Trustees selling of things (libraries) they don't own look like pikers.

That anyone, AtlanticYardsReport or otherwise, still attempts to keep an eye on the ball is something those not asleep at the wheel appreciate, even if only for the future generations to see as a cautionary tale.
Aug. 6, 2014, 5:19 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
So we're supposed to be mad that after Jay Z sold drugs, he made something of himself?

Don't back a New York City soi-disant progressive into a corner! They get ugly!
Aug. 6, 2014, 5:56 pm
freddy from slope says:
Mike Misdirects ::: Miss!

No, you should be ashamed that he was front and center a tool to get approval because he sells music, not because the deal made sense.
Aug. 6, 2014, 6:03 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Why should I be ashamed of a) anything or b) that a "fomer drug dealer" made something of himself and was allowed to be part of an investment group? You brought that up--why? It SOUNDS like you don't like when the wrong kind of people get to invest in your neighborhood and no amount of current success can let Jay Z become the right kind of person.

Am I focusing on the ugliest part of your comment? Yes. I am. It was really ugly. I wouldn't call focusing on one part of your comment an attempt to misdirect. I do think the ugliness of your attitude casts doubt on your claims that you're just worried about the amount of the subsidy or the amount that the amount was evaluated.
Aug. 6, 2014, 6:17 pm
freddy from slope says:
MISDIRECT :: MISS

JayZ was a paid shill who wooed the masses.

Am all for changing ones ways but I lived near his stash location and had to deal with all that for a number of years. Not someone who an informed populace would or should follow. Reformed or not.

Public was hoodwinked. Pure and simple.

That you defend the result as worth the cost belies the fact you don't have any idea what was given away to make a playground. And this is from someone who has, in the past, had season tickets to the Knicks (blue) and wanted a team dearly in Brooklyn. But not at any cost.
Aug. 6, 2014, 8:08 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I won't be surprised if those who supporting this project probably on the payroll of FCR otherwise they wouldn't be so defensive on this. As a person who has actually met the members of DDDB in person, they are very much for development, but not this. The so-called hole in the ground is mainly the rail yards, but not the rest of the area, and nobody will argue on developing on that. More importantly, how can anyone be a NIMBY when it's being built on their property? An actual NIMBY would be living with it, which wasn't the case for those being displace. Nevertheless, their new strategy is now holding FCR accountable now that he got his way. Don't compare this to a hospital or a public school, because those actually serve the public unlike an arena that doesn't. If anyone is saying that I don't get a say on this, I do because this is done by the ESDC, which happens to be a state agency in which even my tax dollars are going to this. Again, changing the name doesn't change anything about this.
Aug. 6, 2014, 8:49 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
When someone invests his money and contributes his talents to a project, we call that investing, Freddy. At least we do if we respect a person as a person who is allowed to invest money and make profits.

I haven't specifically defended the project, but the arguments that you and Norman Oder make are so insincere and overwrought, and in your case, so distasteful, that I find myself sympathizing with the project's proponents.
Aug. 6, 2014, 9:50 pm
freddy from slope says:
Wow, your ethics starved approval of investing is telling.

He is allowed to do what he pleases (deal drugs, make music, be a shill). None of those automatically garner respect.

Abstract it a bit and watch the dollars flow out of your wallet at a rate 10 times what was necessary to get the project done. Do you respect Ratner because he has milked a billion dollars from the public through a no-bid, no review, back room deal?
Aug. 7, 2014, 6:24 am
ty from pps says:
When Tal Barzilai is one of your most outspoken supporters, it might be time to re-evaluate. Just sayin!
Aug. 7, 2014, 8:15 am
Pete from Brooklyn says:
If you're doing to criticize the project for subsidies, you might as well add just about EVERY SINGLE development in NYC to your sh*tlist. Otherwise, you are a naive fool. Hate Atlantic Yards all you want, some of us have MOVED ON. There are far more important things to worry about and fight for than a project that is already built. Do you all not realize how sad you are to be rehashing this over and over and over?
Aug. 7, 2014, 10:09 am
freddy from slope says:
MISDIRECT :: MISS

Pete: Not subsidies at this order of magnitude.

I repeat from earlier post :

That anyone, AtlanticYardsReport or otherwise, still attempts to keep an eye on the ball is something those not asleep at the wheel appreciate, even if only for the future generations to see as a cautionary tale.

And, already built? Hahahahhahahahahahha

Why don't you give Ratner et al another billion because you can't be bothered to pay attention.
Aug. 7, 2014, 11:29 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Barclays Center is not an architectural wonder that makes me feel elevated as a member of the human family, but it is marginally better than the UHaul depot and collection of vacant lots that preceded it. Having a park and well-designed residential developments instead of the holes that exist will probably be marginally better, too.
Aug. 7, 2014, 1:38 pm
Lyn from ph says:
The developer (as most do) got subsidies, and all of us who own in the area also have vastly greater home equity now as prices are up at least 25% since Barclays was built. Many townhomes in Park Slope and Prospect Heights near to the site were selling for 2 million in 2008 and are now selling for double.
Aug. 7, 2014, 1:44 pm
Lyn from ph says:
I'd say the $5 I paid in taxes to fund this in exchange for the 2 million in profit I'll make from having a home near shops, condos, entertainment and public space instead of a home near a crime infested rail dump is a pretty good trade off.
Aug. 7, 2014, 1:46 pm
freddy from slope says:
Correlation Causation.

You fail to address the probable rise in value absent the subsidy. And that rise was evident already in 2003.

But, mighty selfish of you on the whole (I'll get mine and screw the impact on everyone.). Mighty old school Brooklyn of you.
Aug. 7, 2014, 2:19 pm
Lyn from ph says:
It was rising already, but has skyrocketed since Barclays arrived. You are really going to try to argue that an area with a blighted rail dump is better than an area with condos, restaurants, green space and a school? Really?

I AM old school Brooklyn so thank you for the compliment.
Aug. 7, 2014, 2:33 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
How much are the subsidies?

see Norman Oder's report for some info

A telling episode in the Atlantic Yards saga came in a 4/2/08 earnings conference call that parent Forest City Enterprises (FCE) held with investment analysis. Then-CEO Chuck Ratner expressed satisfaction in the developer’s relationship with local government, and said he expected more support.

At the time of the call, Forest City Ratner, FCE's New York subsidiary, had gained $105 million in city subsidies--quietly added after the project was approved--on top of the initially pledged $200 million from the city and state. (City officials now say total city subsidies are $179 million or $171.5 million, not $205 million.)

Since then, FCR gained (beyond other stated subsidies and tax breaks):

a speed-up in delivery of pledged state and city subsidies
an additional $31 million for land purchase (allegedly from infrastructure funds)
a revised deal with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the Vanderbilt Yard, with only $20 million down (instead of $100 million), a smaller permanent yard, and a generous 6.5% interest rate to pay back the remaining $80 million
a Development Agreement with gentle penalties and generous deadlines (12 years for Phase 1, 25 years for Phase 2)

Besides these the Tax Free bonds used to purchase and build is a subsidy in the tens of millions if not Billions.
Its paid back using PILOTS(payment in lieu of taxes) so instead of using what would be the real estate taxes for the city, that money is used to payoff the bonds. So he is using your money to pay himself-pay the mortgage off in a way.
Aug. 7, 2014, 2:33 pm
Lyn from ph says:
The only selfish people here are the ones who kept fighting to keep this area blighted. Which it was. Anyone who says otherwise never walked along Pacific Street at night or never hung out on the corner by Atlantic Terminal at night. It was disgusting and now it's thriving, there are people out 24 hours a day, the cops actually PATROL the area now and the influx of new restaurants (and high quality ones at that) along Flatbush has been astounding.

I'm not selfish because I wanted the area improved and was willing to pay a couple bucks to make that happen. 95% of my neighbors feel the same it's just that the very small and vocal minority had louder voices and more of a nasty tone. And here we are years later and while the bulk of us have moved on and have started to enjoy some of the benefits of the new development, there are those who no matter what (Freddy, Tal, Norman) who will continue to wallow in self pity, making every person who does not agree with them into some Ratner paid shill. It's quite sad to watch on these boards and other various news outlets. Talk about grasping for straws....
Aug. 7, 2014, 2:37 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
the pilots are used to pay off the interest and principal...and the interest rate is lower since its tax free.
Aug. 7, 2014, 2:38 pm
freddy from slope says:
that area (railyards) was purposefully blighted by the city for decades.

buildings were redeveloped already in the footprint of the eminent domain. blighted only in some up is down, night is day world.

try using that trick on 96th street in manhattan to grab some south of 9th street property and watch the power players come out and defend.

no brownie points for using such self-inflicted blight to game the system. and, a couple of bucks? nice false equivalence there.
Aug. 7, 2014, 3:02 pm
freddy from slope says:
south of 96th street. sorry.
Aug. 7, 2014, 3:03 pm
Lyn from ph says:
You're really not making any sense. Give it a rest, go outside, breathe in a nice deep breath of air and find something else to rant about for a few years. This topic is played out and nothing you say here is going to change that. Ever heard the saying, you have to pick your battles? You picked one and you lost. Now dust yourself off and find something new to fight about because this one's dead for the Nimby's.
Aug. 7, 2014, 3:22 pm
freddy from slope says:
So, stating facts in "not making sense".

I think a few of us will stick around to make sure the Atlantic Yards toes at least some of the line.

And don't count your green space and schools before they hatch.

Hoodwinked is as hoodwinked does.
Aug. 7, 2014, 3:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Lyn, nobody who opposed Ratner's plan was being anti-development, they just wanted a plan that would rather go with the neighborhood than against it. Also, they opposed the idea by Ratner because it involved removing them from their homes that he could even eminent domain, which is normally for a public project only. If you had asked anyone on the opposition if they opposed developing on the rail yards, you would hear that it wasn't the case. If the rail yards were to remain undeveloped, it would be because of the MTA, not because of the opposition. Claiming that they were selfish for wanting to keep their property is downright insulting, and I'm sure you wouldn't be called should that ever happen to you. The only claim that the ESDC had to say about the area being blighted was that the area was below the maximum zoning laws. However, when they agreed to allow for Ratner to build there, they never got the city to rezone the area, they just used their own department to override them. Overall, it must be so nice to hear from another possible paid supporter from Ratner. I'm just so glad that we have those like Norman Oder that know what's really going on.
Aug. 7, 2014, 7:42 pm
Ted from Ft. Greene says:
After reading this I really do think that Lynn et al have got to be being paid to speak for Forest City. They are totally unbelievable. Those of us who have spent our lives here watched as the area was improving at a natural pace that didn't kick people out of their homes or turn neighbors against each other like Ratner did. He lied and used everyione he could, using false promises of jobs and housing, and bussing in poor people to disrupt public meetings. And I remember Bruce Bender as the communications guy who orchestrated it and almost went to jail for bribing officials. That's not living in the past, that's recognizing the snakes we're dealing with here. And if you're new in the area you really should find out what he's done in the past because he and his company are only going to keep on doing it until we stop them.
Aug. 8, 2014, 10:09 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Why not have a contest for the best name...
there has something better.

O'malley's revenge?
Moses Green?
Ratner's commons
Aug. 8, 2014, 12:19 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Dear Ted:

What part of Prospect Heights do you live in? The neighborhood was not "improving" prior to the Atlantic Yards deal being announced. While parts of Prospect Heights were always lovely, this project has spurred development in the parts that were not, including the Atlantic Yards themselves, in addition to much of Washington Avenue and other streets. Give me a break. This project is a godsend. FCR is doing what no one else put forward a serious plan to do in any recent memory (people coming through after the fact with plans that lacked substantial capital don't count). I thank FCR for, directly and indirectly, making my neighborhood a better and safer place to be!
Aug. 8, 2014, 7:59 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I just love how revisionists are trying to rewrite everything to their favor. I wonder how many actually considered the area before even thinking about that project that it was blighted or if they are just saying that now to justify that. I suggest that the paid supporters and revisionists see the documentary, "Battle for Brooklyn" to get the real story about this project. BTW, there was a recent Daily News article that said that the city isn't collecting revenues from stadiums and arenas that are subsidized which didn't come as a surprise to me, because I knew that wasn't going to happen especially when the Independent Budget Office already found them to be net money losers. On a side note, I did get a NY Times Pick for commenting why the Barcalys Center will be a bad venue for the DNC during the 2016 national election.
Aug. 9, 2014, 2:17 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Tal:

I lived in the neighborhood before the project was announced and the neighborhood started changing. Let me tell you, it was not a good time. The level of gang activity, from Underhill Ave near St. Marks to right outside of the neighborhood on Grand Ave was much worse than it is today. Several children on my block were robbed walking down Underhill to the library. Empty lots and abandoned buildings were everywhere (from the corner of Dean and Washington and Dean and Pacific to many of the side streets to the Atlantic Yards area itself)...and even Stevie Wonder could tell that the Atlantic Yards area was blighted; it was a disgraceful sight. Again, to those of us who lived in the worst parts of the area before AY project was announced and we started to see new interest/development, this project is a godsend.
Aug. 11, 2014, 7:45 am
ty from pps says:
Hey Tal -- How is Pleasantville these days?
Aug. 11, 2014, 9:31 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Prospect Heights Residents, those statements you made about claiming that the area was really blighted before Ratner came were either found to be false or overstated. Those such as Oder and others that have lived around there for a while have debunked that. The only thing that really shows blight is the rail yards itself. Then again, you either a paid supporter for Ratner or you have just been living under a rock all these years.
Aug. 11, 2014, 6:59 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Tal:

I had to live through the mess. It wasn't pretty. But just Google some old shots of the neighborhood. The massive apartment complex that sits on Washington Ave and Dean was a 12 wheeler dumping ground. The same goes for the building that replaced the dumping ground/empty lot on Pacific and Washington and the many buildings that were built along Pacific Street and Washington Ave. and down the many side streets. But, even if the Atlantic Yards itself was the only blighted part of the neighborhood (it wasn't), you must truly have no real sense of just how much space the Atlantic Yards take up and what they did to increase the sense of blight throughout the entire neighborhood. Not to mention the general quality of life improvements. Try taking it from someone who didn't live in the "landmarked" part of Prospect Heights.
Aug. 12, 2014, 9:17 am
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
*18 wheeler dumping ground.
Aug. 12, 2014, 9:18 am
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
When folks like Norman Oder and others say the neighborhood, apart from the Atlantic Yards itself (of course, they leave out that this was a significant chunk of the neighborhood and has an impact on the rest of the neighborhood), was not really blighted before this project broke ground, they generally refer to the blocks in the immediate vicinity of the arena. And they are right. Although, I'll again repeat that the fact that the yards themselves were blighted is significant in itself as a call for neighborhood revitalization. However, as I discussed above, that was not the only part of the neighborhood. The project spurred development in blighted areas of the neighborhood towards in the Crown Heights border (where yuppies who argue it wasn't blighted never lived) and, indeed, into parts of Crown Heights itself. People like you who don't have a clue what they are talking about need to shut up.
Aug. 12, 2014, 9:28 am
ty from pps says:
Tal -- How is Pleasantville? Everything good up there?
Aug. 12, 2014, 6:06 pm
Scott from Park slope says:
the area was blighted before. Nobody can seriously argue it wasn't. Atlantic terminal was an open-air pit for years. It was a no man's land thrust between 3 great neighborhoods. Now it has started to all fit together, though the intersection of atlantic and flatbush could still be improved.
Aug. 12, 2014, 7:56 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
You're exactly right, Scott. I guess I left out that area because I don't necessarily tie construction of the Atlantic Terminal Mall (and certainly not the Atlantic Center Mall) to the greater AY Project, though I guess one could. But that entire area, thanks to FCR projects like the malls and arena project with housing, is now thriving. Sure, we can groan about how unattractive Atlantic Center looks, but its much better than what it replaced!
Aug. 13, 2014, 8:02 am
Kelly from Cobble Hill says:
Ratner's Greenbucks
Sept. 5, 2014, 5:17 am

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