November 16, 2006

Lets Build Atlantic Yards

Which act will perform the first concert at Atlantic Yards?

Except for some in the immediate neighborhood, most Brooklynites I know are very strongly in favor of the
Atlantic Yards

This project would be built over the Long Island Rail Road tracks. It would replace a barren spot with residential, office and retail development. It would also bring a new indoor arena to the area, and an NBA team, the Nets, to play in it.

Brooklyn's a great place, but it has never had a center. The minute this place opens it will be the center of a completely revitalized Brooklyn.

I love the idea of seeing a sports event or concert at Atlantic Yards, then hopping on the train at Pacific Street for a 20-25 minute train ride home.

Having a great arena by the Flatbush Avenue transportation hub will mean more competition for the Garden, and probably more concerts and special events in the city.

Opponents are bringing suit to try to block the project. Rumors are that they may be aided and abetted by the Dolans, who would not want a brand new arena to compete with the ragged Madison Square Garden. Lets hope that they fail. Build it now!

Frank Gehry-designed building. A little bit of funk for funky, rising Bklyn.


Anonymous said...

I think the problem that people have with Atlantic Yards is the ridiculous way the project was chosen. If it was a free and open process, I don't think it would be facing this kind of opposition.

Anonymous said...

indeed. let's DO build it. in Bay Ridge on top of your home.

The Phantom said...


We don't have a large rail yard for the purpose, otherwise I'd say yes.

We did build the Bay Ridge Towers over our little rail yards, back around 1970 or so. They were good for Bay Ridge ( though there was a big scare campaign here then, as there is in Park Slope now ).

The Atlantic Yards project will be fantastic for downtown Brooklyn and Park Slope. It will be the last piece that knits Brooklyn together.

Build it now!

Karol said...

I'm not against development, just against eminent domain and insider deals on making the project happen.

The KnickerBlogger said...

a. it's not just over the yards it uses eminent domain to take people's homes and business away from them by declaring an area with 700K condo's "blighted"
b. it ignores or overides our zoning laws, and our community boards. all of whom have rejected the idea or have serious objections (to which the mayor and gov said 'tough'
c. it is completely inappropriate and out of scale with the neigborhood - which is 'brownstone'
d. did i mention that is uses BILLIONS in state dollars - the project is not about an arena - that's the excuse - its about 16 out of scale buildings of luxury condos.
I could go on and on and on.
Oh and phantom it's not in 'downtown' brooklyn it's in prospect heights.

The KnickerBlogger said...

In addition Frank Gehry is an incompetent and destructive architect - he builds 'shock' and 'novelty' architecture - fine(i guess) for a small musuem but not for a major project - talk to some of the people who live or work near his crap - ooops buildings - they HATE them.
In 10 years, Gehry's fraudlent work will be as much of an eye sore and 1960s/70s 'modern' architecture.
I am not for freezing design in the past but Gehry, in many ways represents the past of architecture, not the future.

The Phantom said...

I've lived in Brooklyn for my entire life (unlike a whole lot of the "Park Slope" opposition for this thing) and have always regarded "downtown Brooklyn" beginning at Pacific St/Atlantic Avenues. Yes, the business district is over by Borough Hall. But the busy area, that sort of begins with the Williamsburg Bank building is right there where this project is.

Anonymous said...

Phantom, the fact that you say "park slope" opposition shows just how clueless you are about what's happening at this end of Brooklyn. This project will sit squarely in the middle of 5 historic residential neighborhoods, park slope being only one of them. And for the record, most of the people opposed to this development (not just a "few in the area", but thousands) are long time brooklyites, like myself (second generation, currently raising a third) and our concerns are very serious and very real. Oh, and you don't need a large rail yard "for the purpose". Again, clueless.

The KnickerBlogger said...

"I've lived in Brooklyn for my entire life (unlike a whole lot of the "Park Slope" opposition for this thing)"

if you'd like to play the 'authenticity' game phantom, I am a descendant of the original dutch settlers. So in less you're a canarsi indian, i wouldn't go waving your pedigree in my face.
Secondly have you ever actually seen the real footprint? It's proposes to raze historic homes this is what the state says is blighed:
if that can be declared blighted then no home is safe...still support this?

The KnickerBlogger said...

more 'blighted' homes

The KnickerBlogger said...

Sorry, the link was broke here is the 'blighted' homes in Prospect Heights (not downtown brooklyn):
dean street
and here is the actual footprint -as you can see, the yards is only about 30% of it....

Anonymous said...

"I love the idea of seeing a sports event or concert at Atlantic Yards, then hopping on the train at Pacific Street for a 20-25 minute train ride home."
Would you 'love' the idea of living right next to such a arena, or having your streets clogged with traffic and drunk sports fans?

The Phantom said...

--drunk sports fans--

A lot of the opponents I have spoken with are OK with the arena, they oppose the large buildings.

So now you don't like the arena either?

I think that the huge majority of fans will go right into the subway or LIRR, as they do at the conclusion of a Knicks or Rangers game at the Garden.

And if a few people support the local pubs, that to me is not a bad thing--its a good thing for most of the bars and restaurants in the nearby neighborhoods.

I will stick to my position that much of the opposition is from transplants from outside the area--and that most Brooklyn residents, black and white and Latin, think its a very good idea.

The Phantom said...


I do sympathize with anyone who would stand to have their property seized by eminent domain. That sucks and there is no way to sugar coat it.

I feel that this project is so important to Brooklyn that it justifies the use of eminent domain. And again I do not expect to persuade anyone. I just hope that those concerned are treated with generosity by Ratner.

Anonymous said...

Phantom, I guess you would call the three community boards surrounding the proposed development, countless Brooklyn officials, most local businesses, school boards in the footprint, many churches, and dozens upon dozens of neighborhood groups -- all of which oppose this project -- "transplants from outside the area" ?

You have a sweet little vision of a few pub goers supporting the local bars after an event, while most stadium (NOT arena) goers will ride public transit (that in itself if a problem) and quietly go home. I guess you've never been up to a Yankee game.

Isn't it ironic that YOU, who live in Bay Ridge, can be so sure that this project would be "fantastic" for this area of brooklny, but you readily dismiss the opposition, (those who actually live in the downtown area) as mostly non brooklyites. They live here and will be effected by this everyday. Whether they've lived here 5 minutes or 40 years. You won't. And I'm fairy certain, guessing by how little you know of the geography of this area and your lack of facts about the development, that you spend about zero time in this part of the borough.

The Phantom said...


Do me a favor--log on to blogger in beta and choose a moniker so that I at least know who I am speaking to. Or else log on as "other" and use one name.

I understand that you disagree and you are welcome to disagree here.

As far as the transplants comment, a very large percentage of Park Slope and adjacent neighborhood residents have arrived within the past 10-15 years. Probably more new arrivals than in any other neighborhood in the city.

I attended Brooklyn Tech in the early 1970s. I remember Fort Greene when it was dangerous and Park Slope when it had burnt out buildings.

I am happy that these and other areas are now fully gentrified and yuppified--that is a good thing. But a lot of that happened when richer people from Manhattan and out of town bought in and chased the older crowd out. Don't pretend it did not happened--it did. The population of Park Slope has turned over in the past fifteen years, considerably.

These Brooklyn newbies have the rigth to a voice, but they do not speak for Brooklyn.

Borough President Marty Markowitz supports it. Senator Charles Schumer, a Brooklyn resident, supports it. Mayor Bloomberg supports it. And polls have said that 60% of Brooklynites support it.

You have every right to disagree, but you cannot pretend that this project does not have merits or that it does not enjoy a lot of support in Brooklyn.

The KnickerBlogger said...

it enjoys support because people are mis-informed about the project...for example you're original post indicated to me you thought it was to only be built over the actual rail yards...
nor are the huge subsidies and waste of tax payer dollars put into account nor the overload on traffic. if you are familiar with this area you'd know that flatbush and atlantic is just about the busiest intersection in brooklny - at 16000 residents a 20,000 seat arena AND close off existing streets - including pacific - ask any non ratner paid urban planner - this plan is insane - given ratner's horrible track record in brooklyn that's not a surprise.
and even if you agree with the project - the way our zoning laws and community boards have been shut out is criminal.
regarding eminent domain - like i said, if those homes can be declared blighted NO HOME is safe from a developer with influence. Is this how you want brooklyn - and america to be?

The KnickerBlogger said...

"This project would be built over the Long Island Rail Road tracks."
That's only about 30% of the 'footprint'
Phantom, honestly are you familiar with just how much money the state and city are giving ratner and that he doesnt' have to pay any property taxes? This is not about an arena - that's the EXCUSE for ratner's land grab and literal robbing of the public coffers.
Do you really want to live in a society that makes middle class people like myself support, as a colorful writer at the daily news put it 'Corporate welfare queens"?
have you seen renderings of the actually scale of the buildings compared to the existing neighborhood?
You yourself admit that most of the people around the project don't want it - what does that tell you? Do we not have a right to defend our way of life? I live here and love it here because it is NOT manhattan, I don't need garish Frank Gehry designs or other novelties its fine and growing and developing great without Ratner who has only destroyed Brooklyn thus far and now is seeking to do it again.
BTW, our community boards, local (non paid off by ratner) politicians and opponents do support development of the yards IN SCALE with the community and without stealing people's homes.

Anonymous said...

"These Brooklyn newbies have the right to a voice, but they do not speak for Brooklyn."
And you don't speak for Fort Greene, Prospect Heights and Park Slope.

The Phantom said...

Some Guy

No, no, no.

I did NOT think that the ONLY land would be above the rail yards. I knew about the eninent domain issue also.

I agree that the homes you show are not blighted....I take my stance because the number of buildings concerned is not great (easy for me to say) but the benefit to Brooklyn is indeed great. Including to the nearby neighborhoods.

I know the traffic problems very well--you state the condition accurately. Its counterintuitive, but I think that because the traffic is so bad, that you would have to be an idiot to drive to a Nets game and that few will do so.

I think that the huge majority will take mass transit, of which there are immense resources at that spot.



---You don't speak for Fort Greene, Prospect Heights and Park Slope.--

And neither do you!

We'll let Marty Markewitz decide.

We disagree. I think that this project would be sensational for the area and for all of Brooklyn.

The KnickerBlogger said...

"We'll let Marty Markewitz decide."
Marty, whom I have zero respect of anyway, has absolutely no say or power in this - Bloomberg abdicated responsibility.
we we disagree, but keep this mind - it represents just how dysfunctional and corrupt our state politics are - and i honestly don't see how you can support something so undemocratic that completely flouts our zoning laws and a community's basic right oversite. Your claim about recent transplants is frankly, absurd as ALL of our community boards 6, 2 8 have either outright rejected this or have raised serious objections as has every respected urban planning and civic oranization.
it goes against every know urban planning principle and actually revives all the classic robert moses era failures. You know the guy who wanted to plough the BQE through brookyn heights. his abuse of power is what we fought for YEARS to get rid of and with teh ESDC cumo bought it back. You don't seem to really err, fathom the enormous amount of public money going into Ratner's pockets that we will all pay for.

The Phantom said...

--the enormous amount of public money going into Ratner's pockets that we will all pay for.--

Please send a link to information about that. I promise I will read it.

The KnickerBlogger said...

(links to pdf)what taxpayers will give ratner

ratner's plan

Keep in mind he refuse to devulge how much profit they will make but estimates are around one billion.

Anonymous said...

Indeed let's do build it, in Bay Ridge, on the most traffic congested street we can find. You know, I don't give a good crap that "most New Yorkers support the building of Atlantic Yards". Unless you live in this neighborhood and will have to put up with 10 years of construction and spend the rest of your life in an area with the most people per square foot in the First World, with the exception of the housing projects outside of Paris, you can just keep your opinion to yourself. As for Brooklyn having a "center", who needs it? If you want to see a "center", go to Times Square and then tell me that you would like that in your backyard.

The Phantom said...


C'mon-pick a name! Otherwise, how can we tell one anonymous from another?

-- "most New Yorkers support the building of Atlantic Yards"--

I said more Brooklynites...

I don't think that Park Slope/Fort Greene area is particularly overpopulated as compared with the rest of Brooklyn and is certainly has less people per sq mile than does Manhattan or Queens or the Bronx. Look around.

Much of the area is two story of the arguments being raised against Atlantic Yards.

The construction won't be that much fun, but what construction is? Should we never build anything great again?

I think that this development will be a beautiful addition to the Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights. It will be a crown for some of our best neighborhoods.

If I were a renter, yes, I might be concerned, because I think property values will increase faster than they otherwise would.

The only other issue is traffic, but I think that this can be managed--and in the case of sports events, anyone with a brain will be taking mass transit anyway.

I would consider living in one of the apartments being built there.

It's great for Brooklyn. And yes, if you can persuade Ratner to move it to Bay Ridge, I wouldn't fight it.

This is such a terrific project, any Brooklyn neighborhood would be proud to have it.

The Phantom said...

Oh, and let me restate--the highest elected official from the area--Senator Charles Schumer, with whom I often disagree--supports the project. That should count for something.

The Phantom said...

Some Guy

You say that the yards consists of about 30% of the area for the project.

But the link says they are 40%

It actually looks like over 40% when you look at the link's image and
what I see here

Question: the arena itself: what exactly is on that site now? Thats one thing I can't exactly visualize.

The Phantom said...

I would be very proud to live next to

The KnickerBlogger said...

"what exactly is on that site now? "
Dan Goldstein's apartment, Freedies bar some beautiful old warehouses and federal style townhouses they were in a link i posted earlier eg 'blighted'
Go to dddb's site and read the link to the ny post article - both pataki and silver are openly accusing each other of corruption
as for that link you posted that is TOTAL bs -he hides the size and scale of the buildings
look here:
how big, way big
also phantam it closes off city streets and space shown is NOT public it's private- that's called 'superblocks' and its a FAILED urban planning principle (nearly all 60-70s era public housing did this and it DOES NOT WORk. read up on jane jacobs ;)

The KnickerBlogger said...

"Oh, and let me restate--the highest elected official from the area--Senator Charles Schumer, with whom I often disagree--supports the project. That should count for something."

so it only counts for something when you agree with him :)
Schumer supports the iraq war does that make it right?
He's part of the corrupt power structure in new york state - ratner has a ton of influence, to the point of being creepy, that doesn't make it right. as i have said ad nausuem, it goes agianst our zoning laws, it ignores our community boards ALL of whom have rejected it or have serious objections. I challenge you to find one non-forest city non paid off urban planner who would support a project like this - if you submitted it in urban planning 101 at pratt you'd get a D
(many pratt proffessors have donated their time to show how poorly planned this project is and how environmentally damaging)

The Phantom said...

Some Guy

Do me a favor and let me know the address of Freddie's Bar and the exact blocks I should walk through to see what you're speaking about. I will try to check them out next weekend.

I wouldn't feel that the warehouses are any great loss, but absolutely I understand the legitimate anger that anyone who lives in the footprint and/or owns a business there would feel.

I also understand the comments about "superblocks". I worked in the World Trade Center and felt that it was inhuman in its scale--and I've read about the lost Radio Row neighborhood, etc.

I've also seen La Defense in Paris, which is indeed a large and lifeless thing.

The KnickerBlogger said...

You're 100% right about superblocks funny you mention paris because proposal with have the same super-density as those projects that ring paris.
I can't emphasize enough that I know no one who opposes this plan who doesn't want something to be built over the Vanderbilt yards (the actual name, altantic yards is the branding for the ranter project) but this is a lousy plan, a lousy developer and most of all a lousy, undemocratic, corrupt process. (as shelden silver said in general about Gargano)
eg the warehouses: one of them was on the national register of historic places - they are kind of like the lofts in soho and dumbo which give it that unique character - preserving those mixed with some new design would be a better idea - simply giving the whole thing the Gehry/Gugginheim brand look will ad nothing to brooklyn's character - it will just make it look like everywhere else. Remember that architecture is in some ways our visual history - think about the cities you love to visit. Are they centrally planned megaprojects like brasilia or albany's capital project? What makes Paris nice? or Brooklyn for that matter? her brownstones and lofts or slapped together condos...anyway, stop by freddies good beer and often there's live music.

The KnickerBlogger said...

sorry here's freddies'

Beehive Hairdresser said...


My two cents...

If you were to take a view of the streets around Flatbush near the Target and Atlantic Mall weekdays, you would see the whole area is a mess of traffic. Closing down full streets from cars will only ad to the cause of worsening traffic patterns.

Also, Park Slope & Prospect Heights consist of many brownstones - only some of which are two family. If you walk around you would see that there are many many 3 to 6 family brownstones in the neighborhood and finding parking is a huge task by itself.

Your arguement that most of Park Slope contsists of newer people and that their voice isn't the voice of Brooklyn is a complete wash. If you were to use that statement most of Brooklyn & NYC has a newer population, therefore, their voices wouldn't count either. So why would we want to build huge residential towers for them?

Last item: Have you walked around the railyards yet?

A Fellow Bay Ridge Resident