Friday, April 27, 2007

ESDC/Forest City suspend all demolitions; more oversight coming

All demolition activity has been halted on the Atlantic Yards site for a period of time until city officials provide a go-ahead.

A statement from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC):
The partial collapse Thursday at the Ward Bakery building created serious disruptions. We’re thankful that no one was hurt and we recognize the need for the Atlantic Yards project to continue to progress safely, without causing disorder in the lives of residents in the surrounding neighborhoods.

To that end, the Empire State Development Corporation and developer Forest City Ratner have agreed that the developer will temporarily suspend all abatement and demolition activities until the City’s Department of Buildings concludes its preliminary investigation or the City directs us otherwise.

This incident requires a reassurance to the community of the buildings’ soundness before work can proceed at the site. We are in frequent contact with the developer and various city agencies to make sure that we have fully addressed all safety concerns before activities resume. The State remains committed to the project and to its timeline for completion.


More oversight coming

I asked ESDC spokesman Errol Cockfield whether there was more oversight coming, as requested by numerous community groups. His response indicated a yes, though the ESDC is not ready to announce specifics.

"We have an interim environmental monitor in AKRF and we are on the verge of selecting an environmental monitor," he said. Beyond that, he added, "There have been exhaustive plans under way for some time to provide increased oversight for the Atlantic Yards project."

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