Even as the Bloomberg administration promotes the $3 billion development of Willets Point in Queens as one of its signature projects, state officials whose approval is needed have privately raised concerns over highway ramps crucial to the proposal and have questioned whether the development will ever get off the ground.Reading that, I wondered if the Times ever reported that Marisa Lago, then-CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) in April 2009 said publicly--not in an email extracted via (presumably) a Freedom of Information Law request--that Atlantic Yards would take "decades."
State officials have repeatedly expressed frustration with the city’s inability to provide reliable information and the pressure it was placing on them to expedite their analysis, according to a review of hundreds of e-mails involving the Willets Point project that were provided to The New York Times by an opponent of the project.
A search indicates no.
Maybe it had to be spoon-fed to the Times? Nah, the newspaper had given up by then any effort to scrutinize Atlantic Yards.
What about AKRF?
It's likely that the Willets Point opponent who fed the Times was either lobbyist Richard Lipsky or someone associated with Willets Point United who works with him.
Lipsky, on his Neighborhood Retail Alliance blog, slammed the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC):
The fact remains, however, that this entire issue-and the review process itself-is begging to be removed from the parochial clutches of EDC and its flimflam consultant AKRF. If that happens, the economic development agency and its friends may just die from exposure.But did Lipsky make a peep about AKRF's performance on Atlantic Yards, for example the market study it was hired to do but never did?
What about Ketcham?
Did he salute transportation analyst Brian Ketcham's criticism of the ESDC's traffic analysis for Atlantic Yards, surely equivalent to what Lipsky called Ketcham's "blistering critique of EDC's defective [Willets Point] traffic report"?
That's because Forest City Ratner hired Lipsky to lobby for Atlantic Yards, and neutralized him.