Monday, November 30, 2015

Paterson promised New York State would be "scrupulous in our monitoring," but neighbors document clogged street, demolition dust

Remember then-Gov. David Paterson at the March 2010 groundbreaking for the Barclays Center?

"To those who have supported the project and to those who opposed the project," he declared, "I guarantee that we will be scrupulous in our monitoring of the contract that Forest City Ratner signed with the state to make sure that everything we were promised, we receive."

There are several ways to look at that statement, which seems tilted to monitoring the project's benefits, though of course Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing/shepherding the project, has not pointed out the less-affordable nature of the subsidized housing. Nor did it proactively make public the mold and water-infiltration problems with the B2 modular tower.

As to the regular complaints and concerns regarding construction impacts, state officials like to say incidents are "closed," though that doesn't necessarily mean much.

What might the state report to the public about two incidents captured by resident monitors?

A truck clogs Sixth Avenue

 The video below, as linked on Atlantic Yards Watch by Peter Krashes, shows a very large truck essentially closing Sixth Avenue near Dean Street for more than two minutes on Saturday, 11/28/15.



The construction workers seem wary of scrutiny. Commented Krashes:
I'm curious what specific part of the environmental monitoring team was out today? 
While I videotaped this incident, I was videotaped myself by two or three of the construction workers. Note the truck driver waving my camera away. My focus is a circumstance I think merits being captured because it is unfolding in a shared public space which has been compromised by the project temporarily and perhaps permanently.
A plume of dust

The video below, taped by resident Wayne Bailey on Friday, 11/27/15, shows the demolition of 491 Dean Street, the last of three 19th century row houses on Dean demolished for 664 Pacific Street, a 27-story luxury rental tower with space for a public school.

Note the worker using a hose to tamp down the dust, as is required by the Second Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments signed by the developer (see. p. 24). But also note that, after about 1:50, that doesn't seem to be working too well, as the dust starts escaping from the west end of the structure, closer to Dean Street.




Who official was monitoring this? What are the consequences?

Perhaps the next Community Update meeting, on Dec. 9, should not merely be a "developer meeting," in which Greenland Forest City Partners selectively discloses its plans.

Can't Empire State Development report more concretely on monitoring and sanctions (beyond, for example, toothless reports on the arena operator's regret that a street was blocked)?

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