Wednesday, May 04, 2011

After two delays, Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting will be May 19 at Borough Hall, 9:30 am

In the end, the next (and third) meeting of the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet will not be held two months after the previous one, as some desired, but more than three months later.

The meeting, originally scheduled for tomorrow, May 5, has been postponed to May 19 at Borough Hall, at 9:30 am. It offers a chance for the relevant city and state agencies to meet with each other and developer Forest City Ratner to discuss relevant issues.

It also generates news--information not previously available--such as the timetable for the first tower (delayed) and the number of workers at the site (limited). Such meetings have been little publicized.

Previous request for shorter time lag

At the second meeting, held 2/10/11, Community Board 2 District Manager Robert Perris suggested that such cabinet meetings should be every other month rather than quarterly. He was seconded by Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman.

“I have no objections,” responded Arana Hankin, Project Manager for the Empire State Development Corporation, but stressed she wanted the process to be as productive as possible. “Frankly ESDC and FCR do not receive an overabundance of issues/complaints regarding the site,” she said. “I don't want us to meet just to meet.”

Hammerman responded, “Frankly, I didn't get the impression that this entity was supposed to be a demand-driven entity... I think it's a good investment of all of our time.”

Two delays

Chairing the meeting, Carlo Scissura, Borough President Marty Markowit'z Chief of Staff, said that, while the next meeting had been tentatively scheduled for May 5, “why don't we shoot for mid-April?”

City Council Member Letitia James, a project opponent, said she agreed with bimonthly meetings. “Things are beginning to pick up,” she said. “A day does not go by where I do not field questions regarding Atlantic Yards.”

Not only was the April date scrapped, so too was the May 5 date.

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