Sunday, December 06, 2009

Yassky's waterfront lesson: make sure neighborhood commitments in development plans are done up front

From an 11/23/09 New York Observer article headlined Yassky's Bargain: A Departing Councilman in Search of a Quo for His Quid, concerning "the parks the city promised Yassky in exchange for a sweeping 2005 rezoning of the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront."

The Observer reports:
There wasn't much else to see and as we got back into the minivan, I asked Yassky about making deals with the city.

"Certainly one lesson," he said. "One lesson of that is: whatever neighborhood improvements are supposed to go with a big development plan should be done up front--should be done before it's passed. The commitment should be made enforceable in some way. And if not, then don't bank on it."
What about AY?

Of course, the same questions have long been raised about the promised "publicly accessible open space" in the Atlantic Yards project.

And we know that all of it--except for interim open space occuping land promised for towers--wouldn't come until the distant (and perhaps never) Phase 2 of the project.

By contrast, the open space came first with Battery Park City. That lesson has been long learned. It just hasn't been followed.

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