Atlantic Yards Groundbreaking Ceremonies – March 11th

March 9, 2010

UPDATE: See coverage of the official groundbreaking ceremony on Atlantic Yards Report.

(Un)fortunately, I won’t be there to witness the lies first hand, but all the Atlantic Yards perpetrators will be wielding their golden shovels this coming Thursday, March 11th, at 1:30pm for the ceremonial Barclays Center & Atlantic Yards groundbreaking.  I expect Develop-Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s Groundbreaking Ceremony (to bury the soul of Brooklyn) to be a much more interesting event, and I am sorry that I’ll miss that.  Read the dueling press releases below.

First up, Forest City Ratner & accomplices:

BARCLAYS CENTER AND ATLANTIC YARDS

GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2010

Ceremonial Groundbreaking to Celebrate the Next Phase of Construction

On Atlantic Yards and Sports and Entertainment Arena in Brooklyn

(BROOKLYN, NY) – March 8, 2010 – Governor David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Forest City Ratner Companies Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner, Barclays PLC President Robert E. Diamond, Jr., NETS investor and cultural icon Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment President and CEO Brett Yormark, among others, will be on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 5th and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn (12:30 PM press set up, 1:30 PM ceremony).

While work has been ongoing at the site since last fall, and with the temporary rail yard completed last December, the March 11 groundbreaking ceremony will mark the next phase of construction on the 18,000-seat world-class sports and entertainment arena. The Barclays Center will host more than 200 events annually, including professional and collegiate sports, concerts, family shows, NETS Basketball, and much more. The first phase of Atlantic Yards will also include three residential buildings, with the first starting later this year.

WHAT: Ceremonial groundbreaking for Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards.

WHO: Governor David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Forest City Ratner Companies Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner, Barclays PLC President Robert E. Diamond, Jr., NETS investor and cultural icon Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment President and CEO Brett Yormark, among others.

WHEN: Thursday, March 11, 2010. Ceremony to start at 1:30 PM.

Press setup at 12:30 PM. ONLY OFFICIAL CREDENTIALED PRESS WILL BE PROVIDED ACCESS.

WHERE: Intersection of 5th and Atlantic Avenues, Brooklyn

Next, Develop-Don’t Destroy Brooklyn:

March 11: Two Groundbreakings to Protest Ratner’s Boondoggle Ceremony
Many of us are angry, no…mad, and lots have already said, “I’ll be there.”

This is the moment to express your anger and outrage:

Take off work or take a long lunch to express all of your anger and outrage about the abusive, destructive, and corrupt Atlantic Yards project…

Thursday March 11 at 12:30pm
DDDB Joins Bloomberg, Markowitz, Pataki, Spitzer, Paterson, Schumer, Cuomo, Prokhorov and Ratner’s Groundbreaking to Bury the Soul of Brooklyn
Featuring Markowitz’s Proclamation Marking the Events of the Day

Exact location (in the project footprint, probably in front of Freddy’s Bar on Dean and 6th) yet to be determined…stay tuned.

Then…
Thursday, March 11. Reportedly 1:30pm
Join us to Protest the Barclays/Ratner Boondoggle Ceremonial Groundbreaking
Exact location (in the project footprint) yet to be determined…stay tuned.


SAY NO TO ATLANTIC YARDS – TODAY – JULY 29

July 28, 2009
SAY NO TO ATLANTIC YARDS

SAY NO TO ATLANTIC YARDS

Today, July 29th, and tomorrow, July 30th, may be the last opportunities for the public to have their opinions on the Atlantic Yards development officially heard by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the state agency that’s supposed to be looking out for the best interests of New Yorkers.

Today may also be the last official protest against the project.  Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn has details here.

UPDATE:  See photos of the protest and hearing here.


Atlantic Yards hearing: “It’s Déjà vu, all over again”

May 30, 2009
State Senator Bill Perkins, Committee Chair

State Senator Bill Perkins, Committee Chair

Unfortunately, yesterday’s New York State Senate Hearing on Atlantic Yards, chaired by Senator Bill Perkins, seemed like a replay of the hearing on the Draft EIS almost 3 years ago:

What’s more depressing for me is that most Atlantic Yards opponents and supporters, and particularly those living in and around the footprint, all really want the same things, but we stand on opposite sides of a seemingly impenetrable divide.  I believe we all want:

  • development over the MTA’s Vanderbilt Rail Yard, which only makes up 8 of the 22 acres of the proposed project site
  • development that produces, first and foremost, affordable housing and living wage jobs for area residents
  • development that does not displace residents
  • development that’s funded prudently and makes the most of our limited tax dollars (seems that Atlantic Yards would be a net loss, per the Independent Budget Office [pdf] )
  • development that enhances and encourages diverse and robust growth of local business and amenities

How we attempt to achieve these goals is where we part ways.

Supporters seem to believe that Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development is the way to go, despite the fact that the basketball arena, a structure that nobody needs, would be built first.  The touted affordable housing would be built soon thereafter, so says the developer.  Supporters point to their Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) as a guarantee that FCR is legally-bound to follow-through on its promises, although it’s not legally binding.  I doubt the penalties in the CBA would ever be enforced if (when) FCR reneges on its “guarantees,” and I know that the supporters aren’t naive enough to take FCR’s word at face value.  I suppose they figure any agreement with the developer is better than no agreement.

I won’t go into in-depth analysis of the details of the hearing, as Norman Oder’s thorough coverage at Atlantic Yards Report is far more comprehensive than anything I could put together.

You can view more of my photos from the hearing here.


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