Saturday, September 30, 2006

Is the 8% AY scaleback a "concession"?

Again, we see evidence that reporters new to the Atlantic Yards story get key details wrong. Yesterday's Times "Public Lives" profile of the Municipal Art Society's Kent Barwick stated:
Now, with the planning commission publicly on board for Atlantic Yards, based on the developer’s acceptance of the commission’s suggestion to reduce its 8.7 million square foot project by 8 percent, a concession Mr. Barwick dismisses as a nonconcession, the society has aligned itself with several community groups and declared Atlantic Yards an unfit addition to the borough.

Why does the Times characterize it as a concession rather than a tactic? After all, the Times hadn't used the term before. Also, Brooklyn beat reporter Nicholas Confessore had reported the day before--in the voice of the newspaper, rather than attributing it to a critic, the new reduction only brings the project back to the original size proposed in 2003.

Brownstoner commented (typos and all):
Regardles of whether you're for, againt or somewhere in the middle on the Atlantic Yards project, it's hard not to be disgusted by the transparent dog-and-pony show that's gone on in recent days culminating in FRC "accepting" the city planning commission's recommendation of a 8% cut in the scale of the project

Brooklyn wants an arena?

The Times profile stated:
Mr. Barwick applauds the project’s ambitions (he says the site is right for high-density development and, if Brooklyn wants it, a sports arena)...

But the issue of "if" went unexplored. As I reported in June, Barwick acknowledged that we can't assess what Brooklyn wants: “That’s the trouble with having no public process."

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