Monday, November 24, 2008

Even as lawsuits delay construction, demolition on Dean Street creates facts on the ground (and blight)

The picture at right, which I published last Wednesday, quickly became out of date. Photographer Tracy Collins on Saturday returned to the site and showed (below) that 487 Dean Street, at the northeast corner of Sixth Avenue, had already been chopped in half, with the only structure remaining behind some scaffolding.

Soon enough, 489 Dean Street, another structurally sound row house will be demolished. Then what? Forest City Ratner will have to wait. The owners of the building just to the east are plaintiffs in the pending eminent domain case, and the owner of the adjoining two buildings has not, as far as I know, been negotiating with the developer.

In a best-case scenario, it could take many months for the Empire State Development Corporation to prevail in court and then to pursue eminent domain, so Forest City Ratner could clear the land, destined to become a staging area for arena construction, should it ever begin, and later a tower nearly seven times taller than current structures, at 272 feet.

Why now? Why blight?

So why bother to demolish the buildings? Because they can. Surely it creates pressure on the neighbors--who likes living next to a demolition site and empty lot? And to some, at least, it creates facts on the ground, a situation that must be remediated by action.

In the short term, however, and perhaps in the long term, it's compounding blight, not--as is one of the stated goals of the Atlantic Yards project--removing blight.

2 comments:

  1. As a Marxist-Leninist, you surely know that you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mr. W. doesn't know me that well.

    ReplyDelete