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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

DDDB is a volunteer-run organization. We have over 5,000 subscribers to our email newsletter, and 7,000 petition signers. Over 800 volunteers have registered with DDDB to form our various teams, task-forces and committees and we have over 150 block captains. We have a 20 person volunteer legal team of local lawyers supplementing our retained attorneys.

We are funded entirely by individual donations from the community at large and through various fundraising events we and supporters have organized.

We have the financial support of well over 3,500 individual donors.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

Gehry, Once a Selling Point, Gone

With numerous reports on the apparent demise of the concept of a Frank Gehry designed Atlantic Yards project (obviously if Gehry is no longer working on the arena he is no longer working on any part of the 22-acre development proposal) streaming across the mainstream print media and NY1, Norman Oder steps back to take the wide view and explain how important the Frank Gehry hype was to selling politicians, cultural critics and the media on Ratner's development proposal. (Note: in these reports, scaled back arena is a reference to cost, not size.)

From Oder's Atlantic Yards Report:

As FCR scales back arena cost, Gehry's role recedes; ESDC, which once touted architect, says developer controls aesthetics

When it comes to Atlantic Yards, you must keep your eye on the ball. Remember, Forest City Enterprises CEO said last month that AY was one of the developer's few projects not on hold. Except it is--and Ratner said the market would determine the company's moves should lawsuits be cleared.

Yesterday, three newspapers reported that architect Frank Gehry was still on the project. However, his role seems to be receding, given that cash-strapped developer Forest City Ratner has brought in what a Daily News source called "value engineering" companies to scale back the cost (but not the footprint) of the arena, announced at $435 million (and already the most expensive ever), which had ballooned to $950 million. It was approved by the state at $637.2 million.
...

The Gowanus Lounge's Bob Guskind on December 31 was prescient (and I wasn't):
Our prediction: Developer Bruce Ratner will have difficulty obtaining financing for a nearly $1 billion Gehry arena and the arena will either be scraped or a new version from an off-the-rack firm for $500 million will be built.

Would the arena look more like the Atlantic Lots design produced by the Municipal Art Society (right) than Gehry's latest design (top)? Or would it just look more ordinary, like the Prudential Center in Newark, which cost under $400 million, and is increasingly being suggested as an alternative?

There's another reason behind the "value engineering," I surmise. There's just no way the land underneath the arena could be valued high enough for the foregone taxes to be sufficient to match the PILOTs, or payments in lieu of taxes, needed to pay off a $950 million arena.

Will valuations have to be "jacked up," as with Yankee Stadium, to pay off a $500 million arena? Stay tuned.

The value of the Gehry name

So why is Forest City Ratner insisting Gehry is still on the job?

Because, even if his role has diminished and his vision compromised, until Gehry walks, he's still a huge selling point for the project. After all, Barclays didn't commit a reported $400 million in naming rights for an arena designed by "just some guy" (to quote former MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow's dismissal of the agency's own appraiser).

And the big spenders who've committed to buying luxury suites in the Barclays Center, as well as the ones still considering purchases, must consider the Gehry cachet. The Barclays Center web site (right) touts Gehry as "one of the world’s most respected and celebrated architects." Other sponsors surely want to back in Gehry's glow.

It was Gehry who wowed New York Times architectural critics Herbert Muschamp (Courtside Seats to an Urban Garden) and (initially) Nicolai Ouroussoff. It was Gehry who drew praise from the Times editorial page, which told us that the buildings "would add a sense of excitement." It was Gehry who convinced New York magazine essayist Kurt Andersen that "Our long architectural snooze is over... Brooklyn should embrace him."
...

Things certainly have changed in three years. New York magazine's Andersen wrote 11/20/05:
Given Ratner’s track record, I asked Gehry if at first he mistrusted Ratner’s professed new dedication to quality and innovation. “Yeah. Yes, I did.” And how did he get over his skepticism? “I’m still getting over it,” he says, although so far, “the budget busts have not been architectural ones. He’s always voted with me on the side of the architectural. He runs into roadblocks sometimes in his company, but it has not been cataclysmic.”

Now, according to the Daily News, Ratner's in arrears with the architect. The headline: Brooklyn Nets Arena cutbacks? Bruce Ratner scales back plans; Star architect Frank Gehry may go.
...

Andersen understood the politics behind Gehry's choice:
Ratner isn’t spending 15 percent extra on these new buildings simply because he wants to underwrite cool design. He understands that in Brooklyn, just as his quotas of apartments for poor people and construction jobs for women and minorities were ways of winning over key constituencies, hiring Gehry was politics by other means, sure to please the city’s BAM-loving chattering class. “The spirit of what you say,” Ratner agrees when I posit this theory, “is accurate.”




Posted: 1.09.09
DDDB.net en español.
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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals
Ruling

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

2/26/09
Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
Photo Simulations
Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

Click for
Screening Schedule
of
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters


Read a review
-----------------------
Atlantic Yards
would be
Instant
Gentrification
Click image to see why:


-No Land Grab.org

-Atlantic Yards Report
-Atlantic Yards Deathwatch
-The Footprint Gazette
-Brooklyn Matters
-Noticing New York
-NY Times "The Local" FG/CH
-Brooklyn Views
-Council of B'klyn N'hoods
-The Brooklyn Paper
-The Brooklyn Wire
-Atlantic Lots
-Who Walk in Brooklyn
-S. Oxford St. Block Assoc.
-City Limits City Blogs
-The Knickerblogger
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-Bay Ridge Journal
-Clawback
-Picketing Henry Ford
-Castle Coalition Blog
-Dope on the Slope
-Gowanus Lounge
-Fans For Fair Play
-Views from the Bridge
-Old First Blog
-DailyHeights.com
-Brooklyn Footprints
-Freddys Bklyn Roundhouse
-Ctr for the Study of Bklyn
-Pardon Me for Asking
-Clinton Hill Blog
-Only The Blog Knows BK
-Brownstoner
-Sustainable Flatbush
-A Child Grows in Bklyn
-Williamsburg Warriors

-The Real Estate
-Rail Yards Blog (H. Yards)
-OnNYTurf-Atlantic Yards
-Manhattan User's Guide
-Naparstek
-Streets Blog
-Urban Place & Space
-New York Games
-Field of Schemes
-News 12 Brooklyn
-Queens Crap
-Dist.35 Comm'ity Gazette
-Save Our Parks (Bronx)
-Eminent Domain Watch
-NJ Eminent Domain Law
-PLANYC
-Big Cities Big Boxes
-www.DANDOCTOROFF.com
-Olympic Bloomdoggle
-TenantServices.com
-Tenant.net