Skip to main content

Elusive accountability: despite claimed consultants on site, neighbors must provide "oversight of the oversight"

"We feel [the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park site is] very well monitored," Empire State Development (ESD) project manager Sam Filler said at the Community Update meeting last month, listing seven full-time consultants/staffers purportedly on-site full time, with another there part of the week.

The record then suggested accountability was elusive, and the most recent flurry of Instagram posts and YouTube videos from yesterday (directly below and further below) confirms that.



2014 warnings

It recalled for me an exchange in June 2014, upon the announcement of a settlement that produced a new 2025 timetable for the project affordable housing, the new, advisory Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC) and a general but distinctly incomplete air of agreement.

At that ESD board meeting, members of the Dean Street Block Association explained why they had left the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, a signatory of the settlement, because they felt the oversight would be insufficient.

"The history of Atlantic Yards is that the devil is in the details," declared Peter Krashes. "What is delivered is rarely more than what is spelled out in written agreements and often is less.” He noted that "neighbor after neighbor has already detailed the noncompliance with environmental commitments," but they still have oversight to themselves.

He read a statement by a neighbor, Wayne Bailey, who lamented that the agreement had specific penalties regarding delays and affordable housing but not for violations of construction protocols. he cited violations of hours of construction just in the past 12 hours.

Kenneth Adams, the ESD's CEO, pledged to do better and quipped, with both friendliness and a bit of condescension, "Peter, I expect you to provide oversight of the oversight.” 

Adams, a Brooklynite relatively familiar with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, has departed, succeeded by a Buffalo developer. Krashes and Bailey, as shown below, continue to provide oversight of the oversight, with no government or developer hotline for real-time accountability. And the lack of penalties for illegal parking, blocking traffic, and more continue.




















Comments

  1. My comments in entirety:

    Derek,
    I have been characterized as “reasonable” by the ESD and FCRC; I hope that the ESD allows Peter to read my statement on my behalf, because I AM NOT VERY REASONABLE at the moment or have been since I learned about the signed settlement in the middle of the night. I will be HIGHLY disappointed and more upset if the ESD prevents Peter from reading my statement for me! THIS IS NOT MAKING PEACE with the residents!

    Peter, please read this for me if you can. I JUST CAN’T attend I am so upset!

    I am truly at a loss that any agreement has been negotiated and signed in secret without the MOST IMPACTED residents getting any notice of the LACK of any ENFORCEMENT mechanism, remedies or fines for the continual violations from construction or environmental impacts (none cited from news articles released in the middle of the night) but has “grave specific monetary penalties” for not delivering affordable housing! The groups that negotiated and signed the agreement did so with the full knowledge that an enforcement element was required to any agreement signed on the impacted residents behalf, it matters less to them, they don’t live with construction or 24/7 Barclays arena operations! AGAIN demonstrated last night at 1am during an arena event and at 6 in the morning, FCRC contractors appear to have violated the hours of operation code!

    While an entity is formed it is just another “advisory” board!

    N Wayne BAILEY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These were comments at the June 2014 meeting, first directed to Derek Lynch, then of ESDC, who's now gone.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.


Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…