Monday, October 19, 2009

What Bloomberg and Stuckey have in common: the Detroit dodge

From a New York Times article today headlined Stumping With Mayor, Giuliani Stirs Old Fears:
When asked later at a green jobs event in Red Hook, Brooklyn, whether he shared Mr. Giuliani’s views, Mr. Bloomberg did not answer directly. Instead, he invoked Detroit as an example of where “gains are always in danger of being turned around.”

“I think that was really because of economics as opposed to some other things,” he said. “But Detroit went from a city where it was a great city with lots of good-paying jobs to a city that’s basically holding on for dear life.”
That sounds not unlike the interview former Forest City Ratner point man Jim Stuckey gave the author of a book called In the Country of Brooklyn, published in Fall 2008:
Well, the fact is, it’s not true. Unless the city steps up, unless the people step up and do this, then this city is a goner, it’s dead. It will become the next Detroit or Pittsburgh or Buffalo or other cities where people see there is no growth and decide to leave. If companies don’t have workers who can live in the city they are going to go to cities where they can get cheap labor. This is not rocket science. You can see how strongly I feel about this.
As I responded:
Actually, New York has no chance of becoming the next Detroit, a city based on one industry, with no public transportation, and which is not exactly the country’s cultural and financial capital.

The question of where to place “workforce housing” is a pressing one, but it's a citywide challenge. Atlantic Yards remains mostly a luxury housing project.

And when Stuckey talks about whether “the city steps up,” he’s certainly not endorsing an open bidding process or ULURP, either of which might have delivered a project that gained more public support and delivered affordable housing earlier.
I'll add that the Chief Judge of the state Court of Appeals also thinks Atlantic Yards is mostly a luxury housing project, given his comments at last week's oral arguments

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