Tuesday, December 09, 2008

On five-year anniversary of AY announcement, CBN calls for audit

The Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods (CBN) is holding a press conference at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at Sixth Avenue and Dean Street, near the site of two recent demolitions by Forest City Ratner.

(Photo by Tracy Collins)

The announcement:
Five years since Forest City Ratner debuted its plans for an arena and skyscraper complex in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent, hundreds of residents have been displaced, historic buildings have been destroyed, businesses have been driven out, and profound blight has been created by the developer. Now the developer has announced that all work on the project has stopped and there is no timetable for future activity.

Please join the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods for an inspection of the stalled project and to learn more about the call for a complete audit of public monies directed to the Atlantic Yards Development Project.


State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and City Council Member Letitia James are expected. They may need a few more elected officials to get momentum on an audit. Still, shouldn't they be able to get some answers about the timetable to reopen the Carlton Avenue Bridge?

The five-year narrative

In December 2006, with approval of the project in the wings, I surveyed the three-year narrative.

A lot has happened--and not happened--in the last two years, and some highlights are in the left-side band of this blog. A stall in work at the Vanderbilt Yard. An IRS ruling grandfathering in tax-exempt bonds. Hearings on sports facility finance held by Rep. Dennis Kucinich. The revelation of City and State Funding Agreements. Ongoing battles in court. Brooklyn at Eye Level. Prospect Heights landmarking. Missing trees. A mysterious market study. New Gehry designs. "Brooklyn Day." The demolition of the Ward Bakery. Delays in the groundbreaking. Delays in the projected arena opening date.

It goes on and on and on.

Suffice it to say that it was unwise, in hindsight, for the New York Times to essentially declare the story over after the 2006 approval, promoting to Albany the Brooklyn-based reporter who was finally starting to understand the landscape.

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