Wednesday, November 09, 2011

AKRF contract for Supplementary EIS: up to $1.7 million (paid by FCR)

Last Thursday, at the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting, Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, Empire State Development (Corporation), reported that the agency board approved extension of its contract with environmental consultant AKRF for a “substantial amount.”

I followed up and learned the sum: up to $1.7 million. Such environmental review costs are paid by the applicant, Forest City Ratner.

AKRF is beginning the process of working on the scope for an Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) regarding the impacts of an extended project buildout, 25 years versus the studied ten years.

After the draft scope of work is finalized in-house, Hankin said, "we will be going to the public, soliciting comments.” No schedule has been set.

If the process is similar to that regarding the first round of environmental review, there will be a public hearing on the draft scope, then a SEIS, then a hearing on that document.

Forest City's tab

If Forest City Ratner is careful about money--remember the effort to get out of paying for replacement trees?--this additional cost likely makes the developer wary about spending.

So FCR, I submit, is less likely to fund an Independent Compliance Monitor, required by the Community Benefits Agreement, and is more likely to welcome the failure to fund the Community & Government Relations Manager sought by Empire State Development.

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