Posts Tagged ‘capital trumps all’

The Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn cleared a major legal hurdle today. This is bad news all-around for anyone concerned with city planning or community development. Forest City Ratner, a major development company, will build a billion-dollar arena for the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets to move into and residential towers with 6430 units. Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn had aimed to halt construction on the grounds that the states use of eminent domain is in violation of the Constitution.

I’ve written about it before to a degree but eminent domain is only to be used when the public good will be served by the seizure of the property in question. How can anyone justify that this arena will be good for the community? It will provide temporary construction jobs, sure, but in the long run the project is ill-suited to bring anything but low-wage service industry jobs to the area while knocking out independent business in the area. Also, the infrastructural and logistical nightmare that is sure to ensue is going to make worse an already bad situation for pedestrians. Anyone who has ever walked at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues would agree that crossing from the street in that area is terrifying, there’s so much traffic coming from every direction: add in traffic from suburbanites driving in to see the Nets play a game and the situation becomes hellish.

I fail to see any real benefit to the community. Local business will be either swallowed up or choked out by construction. The jobs that the arena provides, aside from the temporary (approximately 28 months) construction jobs, will be serving peanuts or being a doorman at the luxury residences. On top of all that, the increased auto traffic will make it even more difficult to navigate these streets. While the Atlantic Ave. subway stop is right below the proposed-arena, the NYC subway is already overcrowded so assuming that the MTA will provide adequate service to arena-goers is laughable.

The Atlantic Yards project has been a mess from the beginning and the people that will pay the most for its folly is local residents.

If you’re interested in joining opposition to this project visit the Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn website


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