Sunday, November 08, 2009

Flashback, December 2006: video of the ESDC board's pro forma approval of Atlantic Yards

I long wished someone had videotaped the Empire State Development Corporation's 12/8/06 board meeting to approve Atlantic Yards and, thanks to the producers behind the Battle of Brooklyn documentary, we now get to see some video. (They're still raising money for the film.)

Yes, we know it was rubberstamped, as I wrote at the time, but it's worth watching ESDC official Ann Hulka, as I wrote, "uninflectedly read a boilerplate description of project changes."

“A blight study was prepared which documents blighted conditions on the project site. ESDC intends to exercise the power of eminent domain to remove these blighted conditions," Hulka reads.

And it's worth hearing general counsel Anita Laremont state that "we’re very confident" about the blight study, especially given that Laremont (in glasses in photo above) looks somewhat dismayed at the beginning of the tape.

And then there's board member Charles (Trip) Dorkey, who needs to know the location of Pacific Street, and is instructed carefully by ESDC official Rachel Shatz.

AY opponents Daniel Goldstein and Patti Hagan, interviewed after the event, are unsurprisingly skeptical and, as Goldstein points out, were notably well-behaved, given that they surpressed the urge to heckle or scream. (Hmm, at the ESDC re-approval, there was some cordial heckling, as I reported, with video.)

As I reported in 2006, there was a lot of interesting back-and-forth with ESDC Chairman Charles Gargano after the meeting. Still, this video from Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley is very telling.

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