Monday, March 21, 2011

ESDC CEO Ken Adams has a Senate confirmation hearing; here are some questions about Atlantic Yards

On Tuesday at 10:30 am, the New York State Senate's Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business will hold a confirmation hearing for Kenneth Adams, Commissioner of New York State Department of Economic Development and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation.

The hearing, to be held in Albany, will be streamed on the Internet. The Chair of the Committee is Sen. James Alesi (R-Rochester), who at least knows something about Atlantic Yards after joining Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) at a January 2010 oversight hearing in Harlem on eminent domain.

Only an hour has been allotted, and surely there are many things on the minds of the Senators and of Adams, but they still should ask a few questions about the ESDC's most controversial project.

Some Atlantic Yards questions

Here are a few suggestions:
  • Does Adams support a governance entity to provide some oversight and continuity regarding the project?
  • Given that the ESDC has acknowledged that the project won't be completed in the announced decade-long timetable, shouldn't the agency conduct a cost-benefit analysis that provides multiple scenarios, including a delayed buildout, delayed office space, and modular construction?
  • Does the ESDC stand by its statement, made a year ago in reference to the Ridge Hill case, that they "remain confident in Forest City as a developer and as a good corporate citizen"?
  • Does Adams agree with ESDC President Peter Davidson's claim, in China in support of Forest City Ratner's effort to get immigrant investor funding, that Atlantic Yards would "be the largest job-creating project in New York City in the last 20 years”?

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