Skip to main content

At CB 6, new appointee claims AY ignorance; another has been an AY critic

From this week's Courier-Life chain, an article (not yet online), headlined AXE FALLS ON YARDS FOES, advances the story about the Community Board 6 purge by including some tough quotes from departing members and showing one new appointee to be profoundly ignorant about Atlantic Yards.

Marilyn Oliva, who was reappointed, said she thought Markowitz was "trying to shut people up.... Initially, I thought Marty would be really good for the borough, but then he began to sell us out to the highest bidder."

Another exiting member, Pauline Blake, said, "If you are going to appoint people to the community board who just regurgitate what you want, then you don't have a community board, you have a string of puppets."

Markowitz issued a bland statement explaining that "I just consider the benefits of continuity over time and the need for fresh perspectives to be heard."

AY ignorance

Maybe Markowitz was looking for fresh perspectives, but with one new appointee, he's getting something of a blank slate. Let's quote the passage in full:
New Markowitz appointee Vanessa Twyford said she is thrilled to begin serving on the board.
"I don't know anything about Atlantic Yards, but I am pro-development," she said.
Twyford, a third generation Brooklynite, is the granddaughter of Connie Gibbons, the first president of the First Place Tri Block Association, a Carroll Gardens civic group.
"I'm definitely intersted in the community being more built up," said Twyford, who owns a real estate company on Court Street.
"Development is good for everyone," she said.


The Twyford Real Estate web site includes this biographical information:
Vanessa keeps up with critical issues by regularly attending meetings for neighborhood organizations like Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, Gowanas Canal Community Development Corporation, Brooklyn Task Force and Community Board 6.

If Twyford has regularly attended meetings of CB 6, how could she have missed the Atlantic Yards discussion?

Lander appointed

The community board changes are not solely about Atlantic Yards; note that, as the New York Observer's blog The Real Estate reported yesterday, one new member is Brad Lander, the director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, whose organization in 2005 published a critical review of the project.

The Observer reported:
“In its current form, I consider myself in a very highly ambivalent position,” he told The Observer Friday. “I believe that the project could’ve been, and maybe still could be, modified to a place where I could support it, yet still be recognizable.”

Lander, a leading advocate for affordable housing, was nominated by City Council Member Bill de Blasio, who's made affordable housing one of his priorities. And CB 6, as de Blasio told the Brooklyn Paper, did not fight the City Planning Commission's 2003 rezoning of Park Slope, which protected side streets and allowed increased density along Fourth Avenue, but did not require affordable housing as a tradeoff.

Comments

  1. Ignorant? Yes, to the fact that the person, who conducted this “interview” was a slanderer.
    First off, doesn’t new member imply that I had not been privy to community board information prior to joining?
    Immediately upon my entry to Community Board 6 I was bombarded with multiple calls from a writer at a local paper. She began probing my appointment to the board and questioning my opinions on some key issues of the time. I mostly discussed my community, Carroll Gardens, and the development here in which I was in favor of for bringing up home values for my neighbors and creating jobs and housing. When Atlantic Yards came up, I simply stated that I had not yet formed an opinion because I felt that I did not have enough information about the project. And who did? Even the developers themselves were constantly modifying the plans.
    It’s transparent that the author took my words out of context to create a story here. She postulated then printed this defamatory information to make her writing appear interesting. I would expect this kind of sensationalism from a cheap tabloid. It’s exactly this style of journalism that undermines faith in the local papers and will eventually make them obsolete.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …

"There is no alternative": DM Glen on de Blasio's affordable housing strategy

As I've written, Mayor Bill de Blasio sure knows how to steer and spin coverage of his affordable housing initiatives.

Indeed, his latest announcement, claiming significant progress, came with a pre-press release op-ed in the New York Daily News and then a friendly photo-op press conference with an understandably grateful--and very lucky--winner of an affordable housing lottery.

To me, though, the most significant quote came from Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who, as the Wall Street Journal reported:
said public housing had been “starved” of federal support for years now, leaving the city with fewer ways of creating affordable housing. “Are we relying too heavily on the private sector?” she said. “There is no alternative.” Though Glen was using what she surely sees as a common-sense phrase, it recalls the slogan of a politician with whom I doubt de Blasio identifies: former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a Conservative who believed in free markets.

It suggests the limits to …