An article in the Daily News, headlined Atlantic Yards beginning to look like pie in Brooklyn sky for pols, states:
Five and a half years later, a state agency's recent vote to adopt a plan for a new Nets arena and 16 towers - which will take longer, cost more, and look radically different than the original - has left [Assemblyman Hakeem] Jeffries and some other officials disillusioned.
"The way in which the project was sold is dramatically different than the one in which the developer appears prepared to deliver," he said. "The promises made by this developer have disappeared like a house of cards."
...Ratner still promises 2,250 units of affordable housing, but critics doubt it will ever happen.
City Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn) said he always thought the towers were too big, but supported the arena because he was "excited about a professional basketball team in Brooklyn and an architecturally significant arena."
He soured on that as it became clear taxpayers would end up footing much of the bill.
"The MTA changing the deal just added insult to injury," he said. "This was already a bad deal for taxpayers and now it's an appallingly bad deal."
Changes long evident
Beginning? The Daily News article doesn't actually explain that the project was long promised to take ten years, a dubious assertion maintained by the Empire State Development Corporation and, most notably in the pages of the Daily News itself, by developer Bruce Ratner.
In other words, the changes in the plan have long been evident.
Now there's a 25-year timetable for Phase 2, though it's not guaranteed either.
The article quotes a defender:
The Rev. Herbert Daughtry of the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance said he still backs the project because Ratner will provide jobs, a health center and money for a community foundation.
He acknowledged it's not what it once was.
"Everybody wishes it would be what was originally planned, but given the realities the project had to face, it's a wonder that it's still there," he said. "I think it's the best we can do at this point."
But when, Rev. Daughtry, and how much? And how much does his organization get from Ratner?
Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco said all the promised jobs and affordable housing will be delivered.
If it's not legally required, and it's not, the paid flack DePlasco can say whatever he wants. Remember, he's the guy who once said, “There’s no reason to think the team is not moving to Brooklyn for the 2007 season."
Missing from the article are two elected officials who have posed more substantive questions: both Assemblyman Jim Brennan and state Senator Bill Perkins have questioned the legal authority of the MTA to renegotiate its deal with Forest City Ratner. And those questions may be answered in court.