Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The AY template and its spawn, in Williamsburg, W. Harlem, and Coney

Atlantic Yards may seem sui generis, but themes and tactics from Forest City Ratner's megaproject have surfaced in other controversial developments. Just this week, three examples have come under discussion.

1) The recruitment of grassroots groups to support a significant chunk of affordable housing in exchange for a rezoning or override of zoning, as with the New Domino plan in Williamsburg.

2) The use of a slick flier to promise benefits and recruit support, as with the Columbia expansion in West Harlem. (The New York Observer notes that Columbia, at least, is more candid about calculating construction jobs.)

3) The support for a teenage drumline performing at public events like street fairs and parades, as with Thor Equities' entry in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, subject of a video posted on YouTube that has generated controversy.

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