Friday, April 17, 2009

Without upgraded railyard, would General Project Plan be violated?

(This is one in an irregular series of articles about issues that a State Senate committee might address when it holds a hearing on Atlantic Yards.)

In January, I questioned whether the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) might have written itself into a contradiction.

According to the Atlantic Yards Modified General Project Plan (GPP) (p. 22):
ESDC's acquisition of all such properties [via eminent domain] will not occur until such time as ESDC receives commitments, guaranties and other evidence satisfactory to ESDC that FCRC will (i) promptly commence construction of the Arena, the Upgraded Yard and all of the infrastructure necessary for the Arena (collectively, the "Arena Infrastructure"; together with the Arena and the Upgraded Yard, the "Initial Development"), and (ii) complete such construction within agreed-upon time periods.
(Emphasis added)

If developer Forest City Ratner does not create the upgraded railyard it intended--as the New York Times reported, citing an anonymous source--would that be violating the General Project Plan?

ESDC response

I got a response this week from the ESDC: "Based on the current economic climate, we are reviewing all GPP requirements but have not reached a decision on whether further modifications are necessary or appropriate."

Surely the ESDC does not want to modify the GPP nor the Final Environmental Impact Statement; that would only delay the project. 

But if there are major changes to the project, shouldn't they be documented and defended?

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