Skip to main content

An update from Jeffries: "I remain highly critical" of Atlantic Yards

Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, the subject of criticism for signing a letter with a very positive posture toward Atlantic Yards, has issued the following statement backing away from the tone of the letter:
"My colleagues in the legislature, including Sen. John Sampson, the leader of the democratic majority of the New York State Senate, requested a meeting with the principal developer of the proposed Atlantic Yards project, and invited me to participate. I remain highly critical of the project and the direction it has taken in recent years. I continue to believe that the extraordinary measure of eminent domain should not be used for the purpose of building a basketball arena."
So I'm guessing he didn't write the letter he signed along with Sampson and Assemblyman Nick Perry. The question, which I suspect will be raised at tomorrow's PHNDC meeting, is why he signed it.

Jeffries added, in response to my question, "Yes, I did not draft the letter, and to the extent there is any additional uncertainty about my views toward the project, I would of course be delighted to address the issue at tomorrow's town hall meeting."

Comments

  1. How is it that someone with a law background doesn't seem to care if he actually agrees with something that he signs his name to?

    There is a way to build trust. This is not it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am not sure how long you have been in the neighborhood, but Hakeem's record of legislative accomplishment and creativity during his relatively short time in the Assembly has earned him widespread support and trust in the community, particularly among the working families and middle class folks victimized by displacement and gentrification. And any doubt about his talents as an attorney must mean you failed to attend the Atlantic Yards hearing at Pratt earlier this year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. yes, true, his integrity and consistency are impeccable. just see here:


    http://dddb.net/php/latestnews_Linked.php?id=2402

    But the question still remains, how does an attorney and legislator sign a letter he either hasn't read or disagrees with?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a relative newcomer, having only been in the area for 29 years (3 years in Boerum Hill and 26 years in Fort Greene), so please forgive me while I catch up.

    I personally witnessed Hakeem's masterful performance at the hearing held Pratt and was heartened when he seemed to call for the MTA to exercise its fiduciary responsibility. That is what makes his signature on this letter to Ratner/Prokorhorov all the more inexplicable.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well then, fortgreenesteve, stop hiding behind the curtain of a blog post, expose yourself and ask Hakeem the question tonight directly.  And if you do not like the answer, because you are obsessed with a single issue and can care less about all of the working families that have been gentrified from Fort Greene during the "last 26 years", perhaps you should revive your 2006 candidate from the political graveyard so he can be resoundingly rejected by the community a second time, since the overwelming majority of people who live in our neighborhood think Hakeem is doing a tremendous job

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, it was really something how Hakeem won his unchallenged race in 2008. Remarkable. of course hakeem will be asked about this tonight, and then some. you may like him and that is fine, but you cannot argue that he is consistent on this one rather major issue.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …

"There is no alternative": DM Glen on de Blasio's affordable housing strategy

As I've written, Mayor Bill de Blasio sure knows how to steer and spin coverage of his affordable housing initiatives.

Indeed, his latest announcement, claiming significant progress, came with a pre-press release op-ed in the New York Daily News and then a friendly photo-op press conference with an understandably grateful--and very lucky--winner of an affordable housing lottery.

To me, though, the most significant quote came from Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who, as the Wall Street Journal reported:
said public housing had been “starved” of federal support for years now, leaving the city with fewer ways of creating affordable housing. “Are we relying too heavily on the private sector?” she said. “There is no alternative.” Though Glen was using what she surely sees as a common-sense phrase, it recalls the slogan of a politician with whom I doubt de Blasio identifies: former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a Conservative who believed in free markets.

It suggests the limits to …