Monday, June 04, 2012

Atlantic Yards site "now cleared but formerly blighted"? So claims Forest City Ratner in legal papers

Sometimes something in a legal document makes your head spin. For example, consider a passage from Forest City Ratner's motion for leave to appeal the court decision ordering the Empire State Development Corporation to study the community impacts of a 25-year project buildout.

(I'll have more on the overall legal battle tomorrow.)

AY site now cleared?

On p. 7 of the document, Forest City Ratner's attorneys state that Atlantic Yards "is a major public-private undertaking that is intended to revitalize a now cleared but formerly blighted 22-acre site in Brooklyn."

(Emphasis added)

The blight's still here

It is neither "now cleared" nor "formerly blighted."

Indeed, the main "blighting" influence, the below-grade Vanderbilt Yard owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, still operates. Forest City Ratner has yet to pay for that land, nor to build a deck and then housing.

Moreover, several pieces of the 22-acre site remain privately owned/controlled, including three houses on Dean Street east of Sixth Avenue, and the P.C. Richard lease on Site 5, known as the Shops at Atlantic Center, on the block bounded by Pacific Street and Flatbush and Fourth avenues.

As to whether the site is "now cleared but formerly blighted," consider that most of Block 1129, the southeast block of 1129, will serve as a "cleared" surface parking lot.

And surface parking lots, according to the Empire State Development Corporation's Blight Study (below), are underutilized and thus blighted.

Atlantic Yards Blight Study 7/11/06

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