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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

AY down the memory hole: neither Bloomberg nor de Blasio have examined job creation

In a column yesterday for City Journal headlined De Blasio’s Misrepresentations, Seth Barron's subheading was "The mayor is hardly New York's first chief executive to care about outer-borough job growth."

His argument is reasonably well-founded, pointing out, for example, how Mayor Mike Bloomberg also looked at the outer boroughs. But this line struck me as deserving much more analysis: "Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, including the Barclay’s Center, has its detractors, but is nevertheless an important Bloomberg-era development having a major impact on central Brooklyn."

As it happens, de Blasio and Bloomberg share something else regarding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park: a failure to pursue accountability. They might like the fact of the arena, or the (not-so-affordable) housing, but certainly have never assessed it regarding the promises of jobs.

My comment, as posted (relying in part on this analysis)

Well, I can't deny "important" or "major impact," but that's not because of jobs. I'd like to think that Seth Barron, with a little more reflection, would have written that more skeptically, aligned with his examination of de Blasio's sloppy rhetoric.

Well, the promises of jobs were part of the reason the project gained support, especially in and around Central Brooklyn. But accountability has been thin, from both the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations.

Let's look at some facts.

How many jobs were promised? 10,000 office jobs + 15,000 construction jobs (in job-years).

How many of those have we seen? Zero of the former and an unspecified (but far smaller) number of the latter.

Part of the lag in construction jobs is because the project has developed far more slowly than promised/projected, but the number may proportionally lag as well. We don't know because the developer--originally Forest City Ratner, now Greenland Forest City Partners--never hired the promised Independent Compliance Monitor to report back.

Same for promises of MWBE (Minority and Women's Business Enterprises) and the hiring of Brooklynites, minorities, and women. No compliance monitor, no data.

What about all the "jobs" at the arena? Many people have been hired, but the work is part-time, so the work hardly supports families or transforms lives.

What about the promised path the union construction jobs via a much-promoted Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program? That ended in a bitter lawsuit.

Finally, the great irony: the developer has raised more than $500 million using the sketchy EB-5 program, in which immigrant investors (and their families) get green cards in exchange for a low-cost loan to a purportedly job-creating project.

No new jobs were created by that EB-5 money, and the immigrant investors got job-creation credit (a multiplier attached to the sum of money spent) from not only their funds but all other funds in the "project," including public funds. That deserves skepticism and scorn.

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