Who: Develop Don`t Destroy Brooklyn, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, Brown Community Development Corporation, BrooklynSpeaks, Fifth Avenue Committee, Park Defense Fund Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Park Slope Neighbors, East Pacific Block Association, Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, South Portland Block Association, Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, Fort Greene for Peace, Brooklyn Clergy, Elected Officials, Rumur Inc, Tracy Collins and more.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 at 7:00 PM
Join Brooklyn clergy, elected officials and community organizations for a vigil remembering the people and families displaced by the Atlantic Yards project’s use of eminent domain, as well as recognizing those at risk of displacement today. We plan to gather close to the arena entrance at Pacific Bears Community Garden, corner of Flatbush and Pacific.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 (arena opening day)
11AM: Press conference @ Barclays Center, in front of the Pacific Bears Community Garden, opposite the arena, at triangle tip where Flatbush and Pacific meet (details to follow).
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Popup actions all around the Barclays Center
5:00 PM: Virtual rallytweet #BarclaysCenter and @AYCrimeScene for housing and jobs now.
6:00 PM: OWS Guitarmys Teach-in in Response to Jay-Z Comments
8:00 PM: Free outdoor screening of Battle For Brooklyn (battleforbrooklyn.com)
@ Dean Playground Ball Field, just half a block from the arena
(Dean St. between 6th Ave. and Carlton Ave. MAP)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 at 4:00 PM
Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) March for Housing, Jobs and Justice.
This march to Barclays Center concludes FUREEs 10th Annual Convention at 80 Willoughby St. from 12 Noon to 4:00 PM. March starts at corner of Bridge St. and Willoughby St Join FUREE and local residents for a march through communities under attack from greedy developers and their friends in government.
6:00 to 8 PM: Photographer Tracy Collins exhibit, ATLANTIC YARDS: DECONSTRUCTED, opening reception at the Soapbox Gallery (636 Dean Street, 1.5 blocks from the arena site, MAP). The exhibit traces the on the ground impacts of the development over the past 9 years through photography, video and other media.
BROOKLYN, NY While the opening of the Barclays Center fulfills the Hoops part of the Atlantic Yards Jobs, Housing & Hoops slogan, the hype and hoopla around the opening cannot mask the fact that the jobs and housing that were once touted as the justification for the project have at best been relegated to the distant future, and at worst may never be realized as the public was led to believe.
Starting on Thursday, September 27, the sponsors of the Its a Crime weekend have organized multiple events, not to protest the arena itself, but to draw attention both to what the State of New York, the City of New York, and developer Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) promised to the people of Brooklyn, and also to what must be done now to ensure critically-needed jobs, affordable housing and other public benefits are delivered.
At the time of Atlantic Yards approval in 2006, in return for an estimated $2.1 billion in taxpayer subsidies, access to the power of eminent domain, the purchase of public land below its market value, and an override of the Citys zoning regulations as well as a bypass of its democratic land use review process, FCRC committed to provide within ten years 2,250 units of affordable housing, 10,000 permanent jobs, 8 acres of open space, and a thriving mixed-use 15-tower development.
But less than three years later, the State agreed to modify the project terms. In a move courts have ruled violated State law, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) attempted to conceal an extension of the project schedule from 10 to 25 yearsan extension which pushed the vast majority of promised jobs and housing into the distant future. Now, two and a half years after the arena groundbreaking, the gap between promise and reality is stark:
As the result of displacement through eminent domain, demolition and project construction, Atlantic Yards has caused the loss of 171 affordable apartments from the its footprint.
Not a single unit of affordable housing is under construction. Groundbreaking for the first residential tower has been repeatedly delayed, with current plans calling for only 9 apartments for low-income families.
Plans for the office building that was to provide space for the bulk of the permanent jobs have been shelved. FCRC has claimed the arena will provide 1,900 part time (and non-living wage) jobs, and 105 full-time jobs.
A one-acre interim plaza in front of the arena is likely to be the only open space available for at least a decade, and perhaps much longer.
The rest of the site, roughly 18 acres, remains a demolished wasteland of vacant land, and a blighting surface parking lot.
When it put the economic interests of a single private developer before critical promised public benefits, the State of New York failed in its obligation to the people of Brooklyn and the taxpayers of New York.
We demand that the State now:
Conduct a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS), as ordered by the State Supreme Court, that is a timely, transparent, truly impartial study of alternatives to the current Atlantic Yards plan, and which includes meaningful measures to mitigate the projects negative impacts.
Adopt a new plan that prioritizes the creation of housing affordable to working families in Brooklyn.
Bring in other developers to reduce project risk, create more living wage jobs, and accelerate delivery of public benefits.
Reform project oversight to represent the people of Brooklyn in decision-making on a continuing basis so that Atlantic Yards’ promises to the public are kept.
Change State regulations under which development projects are approved to ensure local communities are guaranteed inputand local elected officials are guaranteed a votebefore public subsidies are granted.
Good jobs and affordable housing for Brooklynites are too important to be held hostage by the whims of a single developer. If Forest City won’t deliver on its promises, it’s time to find other developers who will. A new plan must protect the publics interests by including multiple firms and a fair and transparent contracting process.