Updated Monday AM: Catching Up with the Week, #3: 'No Oversight, and No One is Holding Forest City Ratner Accountable'
- Posted at 8:33, November 18, 2013
- By Russ Bleemer
Photo by the Daily News
Less than a month after developer Forest City Ratner sold an interest in Atlantic Yards to a Chinese company, the community is saying to the new partner, "Speed it up."
The refrain is not new, and neither is the problem Ratner promised affordable housing, and it delivered the Nets' new home, the Barclays Center arena, but not much else.
In the Daily News on Friday, the company again promised to accelerate the 14 residential buildings and an office tower that are slated for Atlantic and Flatbush Aves. in downtown Brooklyn.
The latest development is that a group of 10 elected New York City officials have asked the Chinese company, Greenland Group, to work faster, according to the newspaper.
Update: Crain's New York Business expanded on the story, and says that community leaders want the state to force Ratner and Greenland to step up the affordable housing component. The article, here, says that Ratner had promised 2,250 affordable units by 2016, which was "extended to 2035 in a controversial decision by the state in 2009 that followed the market crash." So far, the developer has started work on just one of the original 15 apartments that are in the Atlantic Yards plans.
Update: The Atlantic Yards Report blog has an update this morning that discusses the absence of the new Brooklyn Borough President-elect from the group of politicians who asked the city to intervene.
The project ran aground in 2008 when the economy tanked, which led to delays, both authorized by the sate and incidental to the recession. The arena opened last year.
“Despite the overwhelming need, it’s unfortunate that there really is no oversight and no one is holding Forest City Ratner accountable,” the article quoted Public Advocate-elect Letitia James as saying, noting that she has long opposed the project as a member of City Council.
At the same time, the article quotes a community think that says that those same community groups bemoaning the delay can't complain, since they tried to halt the project via lawsuits.