But it has not only retreated from aggressive coverage of the Atlantic Yards issue, it has continued to roll over for the project on the editorial page.
And this time, the editorial is not signed by Ed Weintrob, the publisher who wrote the February editorial and is now publisher emeritus. So we can assume it's the corporate view. Convergence with the Courier-Life continues.
Let's take a read
The editorial, headlined Gehry or not, Brooklyn needs this arena, begins:
Bruce Ratner’s bid to save his Atlantic Yards basketball arena by simplifying its design was predictable, but for our part, we’ll stick with consistency: Whatever serious reservations we’ve had about the larger Atlantic Yards project, the plan for the arena — though no longer the grandiose one envisioned by Frank Gehry — still merits support.
The state must take back the development rights over the rail yards and put them out for bid. Doing so would not only cleanse state officials of the Original Sin of Atlantic Yards (namely selling Ratner the air rights for $100 million less than their appraised value), but it would also set right Bruce Ratner’s very wrong project.
The editorial continues:
The arena remains what we have always said it is: a fundamentally vital civic project in the right place at the right time.
Now the timing better fortifies our long-held position. In the current economic climate, it would be foolhardy to walk away from both the economic development opportunity and heightened civic identity offered up by the arena and the Nets.
One need not be a hopeless romantic to appreciate the value of a professional sports team to a city like Brooklyn — which would be the fifth-largest in the country were it not shackled to the larger Gotham. Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and even Nassau County have their own major league teams — and the vibrancy that come with them — so it is appropriate that Brooklyn gets some of the action, too.
What is this, 1957? 2003?
And there's more
The editorial assumes the Forest CIty Ratner line that the decision was purely economics. And it (!) criticizes the New York Times for being "a longtime cheerleader — and objectivity-averse supporter — of the entire Atlantic Yards project," only to "prominently" display "its architecture critic’s denunciation of the new arena design."
The editorial allows for a couple of caveats, such as the fear of interim parking lots, a "commitment to a sensible development" to the MTA, and a reconfiguration that allows pro hockey.
Except, apparently, for the part of the superblock that contains an arena.