Sunday, August 16, 2009

Atlantic Yards as paradigmatic Bloomberg failure? See DDDB in FUNY

In February, I pointed out that Mayor Mike Bloomberg, on his campaign web site, neglected to mention two new baseball stadiums and a long-stalled basketball arena, much less that subsidies for the latter might make the arena a money loser for the city.

Indeed, since then, the Independent Budget Office has estimated that the arena would be a loss for the city. In the latest issue of the free newspaper Fed Up New Yorkers (FUNY), Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's Daniel Goldstein focuses on AY, writing:
On June 24th he pressured the MTA Board into approving a new sweetheart land rights deal for Forest City Ratner. Just after the MTA had been bailed out, purportedly fiscally prudent Bloomberg pressured the Board to accept $20 million up front and $80 million over 22 years from Ratner for the rights to the valuable 9-acre rail yard portion of the Atlantic Yards site in the heart of Brooklyn. Never mind that the yards had been appraised at $214.5 million and Ratner had originally agreed to pay $100 million in cash at closing, after a non-competitive, sham of a bidding process.

Sole-source, no-bid contracts and cronyism for a money-losing, publicly funded arena do not demonstrate sound economic stewardship.


Bloomberg's Waterloo?

I don't think that "the fight against Atlantic Yards, with victory in reach for the community, may very well be Bloomberg’s Waterloo," as Goldstein suggests. After all, Bloomberg--barring much stronger campaigning by leading Democratl Bill Thompson and/or some sort of game-changing event--has the advantage of incumbency as well as extremely deep pockets.

And Thompson, unlike less-funded Democratic rival Tony Avella or the Green Party's Rev. Billy Talen, has shown no appetite for making Atlantic Yards an issue. But it deserves continued scrutiny.

1 comment:

  1. while a defeat of AY may not end Bloomberg's rule as Emperor of NY, it may force (or be) an end to his 8 year mega-development policy, and the signature failure for his legacy.

    ReplyDelete