Thursday, December 17, 2009

Daily News editorial claims "city will reap substantial benefits" from "fallow" tract

From a New York Daily News editorial today headlined Bonding with the Nets:
Because, assuming the NBA approves, the city will reap substantial benefits from the opening of a major arena in Brooklyn, along with the arrival of a sports franchise. (LeBron! LeBron! LeBron!)

Even more important, the Atlantic Yards plan calls for building 6,400 housing units, a third of them affordable, on a tract that has been fallow for half a century. Those will take time. Right now, it's enough that we end the dark half-century that began with the defection of the borough's Dodgers and enjoy all the jobs that building the arena will create.
They can claim that the city "will reap substantial benefits," but they still have to grapple with the New York City Independent Budget Office's conclusion--not rebutted by the Empire State Development Corporation--that the arena would be a net loss to the city, some $220 million.

(That was based on a somewhat larger amount of tax-exempt bonds, so the total for the city would be adjusted slightly downward. The bigger impact of the switch from projected $678 million to actual $511 million in tax-exempt bonds is on federal taxpayers.)

Housing on a "fallow" tract?

There's no guarantee that the housing would be built in the quantity and timing promised.

As for the "tract that has been fallow for half a century," no the Atlantic Yards site has not been fallow. Rather, the head-in-the-sand editorial writers are pointing to the Vanderbilt Yard, a working railyard that would make up less than 40% of the site.

It was not fiscally feasible to build there until recently. And when it was, there was not an open RFP process but a belated one, after Forest City Ratner was anointed the site.

Oh, and the Daily News didn't mention the role of BALDC, either. There would have been no tax-exempt bonds to celebrate without a curious "local development corporation."

3 comments:

  1. is this over? is there any hope of stopping it anymore?

    ReplyDelete
  2. no. yes. Call your Governor: 518-474-8390

    ReplyDelete
  3. i've called and written. i'll call again.

    ReplyDelete