Sunday, December 14, 2008

Trees return (temporarily) to the perimeter of the Atlantic Yards footprint

Well, there are now some (temporary) trees around the perimeter of the Atlantic Yards footprint, as the photo I took today of the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street shows.

Last month, I wrote how, preparing to demolish 86 street trees (aftermath at bottom) around the Atlantic Yards footprint, Forest City Ratner contended last year that it did not need to pay $159,000 in partial restitution to the city because the trees in the Atlantic Yards open space eventually would “add much more value than the trees that will be removed during construction.”

That argument required chutzpah, given that no part of the Atlantic Yards open space would be constructed until the project’s Phase 2, for which there is no announced timetable and no penalties (as of yet) for delays.The city Department of Parks and Recreation, perhaps mindful of that timetable, held its ground, requiring the requested payment, and Forest City Ratner complied.

(Second photo, by Steve Soblick, taken before the Christmas tree season, shows Flatbush Avenue fence near Fifth Avenue, slightly to the northwest of the photo at top.)

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