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Bloomberg blames AY opponents for loss of Gehry, fails to analyze 50% leap in arena cost

Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who erroneously said in 2004 that "any city monies of any meaningful size will be debt issues financed by the extra tax revenues that come from this"-rather than the $205 million the city has contributed for land purchases and infrastructure--now blames Atlantic Yards opponents for the departure of Frank Gehry from the project.

The Brooklyn Paper reports on an interview with reporters and editors from the Community Newspaper Group:
Bloomberg said the Ratner’s opponents, who have waged numerous court battles against Ratner and his government allies, were largely responsible for depriving Brooklyn of the vaunted architect’s vision.

“One of the great sins here is this small group of people stalled it so long [that] the economy is different,” Bloomberg said.

“I tried to get Ratner to go ahead and do the Gehry design. I thought it would have been an icon, but the economy is just not there.”

The cost of the Gehry arena went up from $637.2 million in December 2006 to $950 million in March 2008, well beyond the cost of inflation, and in part because of the cost of security. Did AY opponents have anything to do with that?

Now the arena would cost $772 million. Maybe Bloomberg should be asking for a cost breakdown.

Moreover, given the longstanding slowdown in Downtown Brooklyn office space--well before the economic downturn--it would've been impossible to build Building 1 (once "Miss Brooklyn") in tandem with the arena and impossible to build the four towers integrated into the arena block as Gehry planned.


  1. If he's so hot for Frank Gehry, Mayor Bloomingdales should write Bruce a personal check and reclaim the $205 million of the City's money to help the unemployed, the elderly, the infirm, and the children. Giving Bruce badly-needed public funds is the real sin, though I doubt that Mayor Bloomingdales has lost any sleep over his bad behavior.


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