Skip to main content

Featured Post

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

From City Limits: mayoral candidate Donovan praises Atlantic Yards (otherwise not discussed in campaign), but it's no model housing partnership

It's another example of what I call "Atlantic Yards down the memory hole"--people don't remember basic facts about the project. In an essay published yesterday in City Limits, Opinion: Shaun Donovan Praises Atlantic Yards, But It’s No Model Housing Partnership, I wrote, in part:
So it’s disappointing to see Donovan unwisely touting the Atlantic Yards project announced under Bloomberg as an exemplary public-private partnership. In a Real Deal interview Feb. 3, he said the next mayor should plan for “equitable growth.”

“You folks may remember that when we announced Atlantic Yards and the thousands and thousands of units of affordable housing it would create, Bertha Lewis, the legendary progressive activist from ACORN, kissed Mike Bloomberg on the lips,” Donovan stated. “Those are the kind of partnerships that I could build, bringing together progressive leaders and the public sector, the private sector, to create growth.”
It’s too bad that Donovan, whose substantial ideas on housing deserve discussion, gets this wrong—and it’s likely most of his rivals know even less about the issue. But the details matter, just as it matters that candidates know how much Brooklyn real estate costs.

Atlantic Yards was a dubious triumph as of that 2005 “kiss” and today remains a cautionary tale, given the huge gaps between promises and production at the project now known as Pacific Park Brooklyn.

That’s relevant to not just Donovan but also his better-polling rivals, since the next mayor will face tough decisions regarding whether to subsidize—and otherwise further—the yet-unfinished project.

Go to City Limits for the rest of the the essay, as well as the response by Donovan, who--as per the 
publication's policy--was given a chance to respond before publication. His response starts:

The recent op-ed piece authored by Norman Oder gives a very narrow assessment of the Atlantic Navy Yard’s shortcomings and successes.
Beyond the fact that he oddly calls the project "Atlantic Navy Yard"--an unforced error that his staff should've caught--he doesn't really rebut my points.

And it's remarkable that a project that was on the front burner during the 2013 mayoral race--my essay quotes Bill de Blasio's pledge that the housing would get done on his watch--is now not being discussed.