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  #141  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 5:14 AM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...sV9E4UcJNJ4mmO

Construction on Barclays Arena commences

By Stephen Witt
January 13, 2010

If it looks like construction, sounds like construction and money is spent on construction, then it’s a good bet that the Barclays Center arena at the Atlantic/Flatbush avenues intersection is already under construction.

“We’re in the process of setting up a ceremonial groundbreaking, but we’ve already begun the work,” said sources.

That work has begun is particularly obvious to anyone who goes near the intersection where the arena and 22-acre Atlantic Yards project is slated.
Full speed ahead...



http://www2.newsadvance.com/lna/busi...a_arena/23011/

Banker Steel lands $50 million contract for NBA arena

By Dave Thompson
January 8, 2010


A Lynchburg steel company has scored a contract for an NBA arena that will bring 50 new jobs to Lynchburg, company officials announced Friday.

Banker Steel officials said Friday that the company was awarded a $50 million contract to provide the structural steel for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The center, a sports and entertainment complex, will serve as the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, once their move from New Jersey is complete.

Banker Steel Human Relations Director Sherry Hilder said the contract is a substantial one for the company, which was founded in 1997 from the defunct Montague-Betts steel plant.

“To increase our work force by 50 folks now is a big deal,” Hilder said, noting the company currently employs close to 200.

Most of the positions hired, she said, will be shop positions, though some will be administrative.


Hilder said the company will hold a job fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Kirkley Hotel.

Anyone with steel fabrication experience, she said, is encouraged to apply.

“We will be doing interviews on the spot,” Hilder said, adding “We are still kind of fine-tuning the positions that we are actually going to be hiring at that time.”

This project is not the first New York venture for the company.

In 2006, Banker Steel produced support columns for the 1 World Trade Center monument to the World Trade Center buildings that collapsed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

One of the columns was shipped to Ground Zero, decorated with messages and signatures from Central Virginians, who took a December day at Lynchburg’s City Stadium to show their support for the project.

Hilder said since that year, the company has taken some hits and suffered from worker turnover due to the recession, but has come through the storm a good deal stronger.

“We’ve kind of weathered that whole economic downturn, I think, in a phenomenal manner,” she said.

“It’s a banner year, I think, for Banker Steel.”
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  #142  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 1:50 PM
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http://brooklynpaper.com/stories/33/...rity_foil.html

‘State’ of security at Atlantic Yards? ESDC won’t tell us


The new Long Island Rail Road terminal on Flatbush Avenue is ringed by huge granite coffins.


…And here's what they looked like in the 2007 rendering — about half the size!


Inside, the terminal is open and airy.



By Stephen Brown
January 15, 2009


Everyone’s been talking about the drastic security measures at the new $106-million Long Island Railroad Terminal on Flatbush Avenue — but state officials still won’t talk about whether a similar security blanket will envelop the proposed Barclays Center across the street.

Current renderings of Bruce Ratner’s basketball arena near the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues show a line of thin, metal, waist-high security bollards — quite unlike the massive stone tomb-like blocks that wall off the entrance to the new LIRR terminal.

Much smaller, bench-like bollards were in earlier renderings of the terminal, but were dramatically enlarged after secret discussions among the LIRR, its architect and the NYPD, officials confirmed.

Atlantic Yards watchers think the same thing will happen if the Barclays Center is built, but the Empire State Development Corporation won’t talk.

“We are working with the developer and the NYPD on the specific security arrangements,” said spokesman Warner Johnston. “However, it is our policy to not speak on specific security measures under consideration.”

That policy violates the spirit of the Freedom of Information Law and, as such, The Brooklyn Paper has filed a FOIL request for information about the state’s security plans.

The ESDC is a public agency. And its internal machinations over security at Atlantic Yards will play a huge role in determining the final aesthetic of a building that was once proposed to be an architectural marvel.

Since Ratner fired his original starchitect Frank Gehry, the building has been “value engineered” to be less flamboyant. Manhattan-based SHoP Architects is now in charge of the less-ambitious, though still-striking, re-design.

When Gehry was still the designer-in-chief, an NYPD spokesman famously said in 2007 that bollards would not be needed.

The last time that The Brooklyn Paper sent a FOIL request to ESDC, the newspaper was foiled.
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  #143  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 1:08 AM
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Why are people so down on bollards? Even if they are large, I still think they look pretty cool. They delineate the property line and provide convenient seating. If you want seating in a setback plaza, then I'd much rather have these awesome, expressive stone blocks than some frou-frou park bench.

The ones at Atlantic Terminal look like they probably could have been designed a little better, though - I love the rough stone, but if there was a requirement to raise the height, then the architects should have raised the part facing the street and kept the inward-facing part at a low height, forming a seat and a back.

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The last time that The Brooklyn Paper sent a FOIL request to ESDC, the newspaper was foiled.
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  #144  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 5:46 AM
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They did a great job with those bollards, turning them into street furniture. I ate a sandwich on one today. They're cut into nice benches and even have tables.
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  #145  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 6:32 AM
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Oh, so they ARE benches. I couldn't tell from the photo. Well, then, what's everybody complaining about? They sound great.
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  #146  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 1:42 PM
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They did a great job with those bollards, turning them into street furniture. I ate a sandwich on one today.
LOL, you should send that to the paper.
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  #147  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 8:50 PM
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Good lord no! The Brooklyn Paper is old school, they still print in broadsheet! I'd end up in the deep end of Sheephead's Bay!
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  #148  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 9:16 PM
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I scoured the net and there isn't one photo of those bollards from the interior, only a bunch of bananas showing the street view. I'll take some myself next week, it's actually quite nice for the moms and kids to sit on and chat.

As a daily user of Atlantic/Pacific (I live on the R) it's clear why they did this. The traffic intersection where this is placed is easily the most dangerous for miles. You've got Flatbush connecting with Fourth and Atlantic at the most heavily traversed train station in Brooklyn and probably the most heavily used shopping mall in the Boro in between. Pedestrians are killed here quite often. The new rotunda (whatever you want to call it) sinks several floors underground just a few feet from the curb, off a crowded sidewalk.

Imagine one Chinese delivery truck with bad brakes swerving in the rain. Without those massive bollards tens could die and the station would be shut down for a week. I think that's why they did it. It wasn't to protect people from terrorism, it was to protect us from Jamaica Jim and his dollar van!
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  #149  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2010, 1:02 AM
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I scoured the net and there isn't one photo of those bollards from the interior, only a bunch of bananas showing the street view. I'll take some myself next week
That'll be good, and get some of the Yards site as well.
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  #150  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2010, 2:03 AM
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The bollard do work well as benches, and plenty of people were climbing on top of them for a different perspective of the intersection
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  #151  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 6:44 AM
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http://secondavenuesagas.com/2010/01...-goes-too-far/

When a security bollard goes too far



By Benjamin Kabak
January 21, 2010

When the new terminal building at Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn, critics and columnists praised the light and airy nature of the building. Featuring a seemless integration of art and architecture, the new terminal building is representative of the MTA’s current approach toward offering its customers a convenient and mostly state-of-the-art facilities when it opens new structures. Outside, though, the security bollards tell a different story, one of overreaction and blocked sidewalks to a public structure that needs to be able to handle heavy pedestrian flow.

When the new building first opened, attention was focused on the inside, but the security bollards, shown above, drew some warranted criticisms. Gersh Kuntzman in The Brooklyn Paper was particular critical of their appearance and size. He noted the bunker-like mentality of the security measures and called the giant bollards “14 mammoth concrete coffins that give the beautiful new facility the look of an outpost in the Green Zone.”

I ventured to the new terminal last week to snap some pictures and saw first hand the problem of the bollards. These things are massive. They take up the entire sidewalk and ring from one entrance to another. With little space between them, people are finding it hard to navigate, and anyone with bags or strollers will be out of luck. When trains let out and commuters come pouring out of the building to head to Fort Greene, pedestrian congestion too becomes an issue. As a security measure, these bollards are woefully in everone’s faces and serve as a stark reminder of the threat of terrorism.

This afternoon, Streetsblog took a tape measure to the bollards and found them to go well beyond the NYPD recommendations for security measures. While police handbooks recommend four feet of space in between bollards and a height no greater than 36 inches, these granite slabs are over 50 inches high and have less than 3.5 feet of space between them. As some serve as benches too — a last-gasp attempt to make them functional — their widths are tremendous as well.

So far, no one has laid claim to the design. The Empire State Development Corporation is notoriously tight-lipped with its plans, and the architects, the MTA and NYPD haven’t yet responded to Streetsblog’s request for clarification. The bollards were not, however, in the original design for the building.

The specter of terrorism and counterterrorist measures make for uncomfortable subjects. New York City’s subways are notoriously porous, and New Yorkers try not to dwell on the ways our city has become a target for America’s enemies. Still, these bollards do nothing to make a new train terminal accessible or user-friendly. They exacerbate fears about our safety while blocking the city’s sidewalks and its transit access points. There are tasteful ways to guard against terrorism, and then there are these granite blocks, seemingly dropped from a quarry onto Flatbush Ave. with no regard for purpose or appearance.




BenYankee



















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  #152  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 7:47 AM
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that "rock face" cliff edge or whatever it's suppose to be is so tacky. They couldn't afford a real looking application?
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  #153  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2010, 2:48 AM
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http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runnin...ls_plan_to.php

Locals Plan to Arrest Bruce Ratner at Noon on Wednesday, Disappointingly Eschew Violence



By Roy Edroso
Jan. 26 2010

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and other opponents of the Atlantic Yards land grab that's throwing many citizens out of their Brooklyn homes invite you, dear reader, to help them arrest developer and AY kingpin Bruce Ratner tomorrow. The citizen posse does not promise violence, but does suggest it will be good times all around. The warrant will be served at noon on Wednesday.

The charge, we are told in a DDDB post that appears to have been removed (though a press release has been disseminated), is "bribing a public official," presumably referring to the effect of Ratner's millions on public policy rather than to related crimes that are actually being prosecuted.

Once the "number of community groups, homeless advocates and political leaders" who are doing this thing have Ratner in custody, they will invite attorney general Andrew Cuomo to do his duty (and also to give back the campaign donations he has accepted from Ratner and his company).

"Nobody is going to physically abduct" Ratner, the release says, which is mildly disappointing, as they haven't a chance in hell of bringing Ratner to justice otherwise.

____________________________________________

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categor...id=26&id=33206

Ratner Escapes Arrest Attempt by Homeless
Cuomo Also Refuses To Respond to Atlantic Yards-Angry Protesters



A homeless man named Bernard (left) holds up his homeless pass as he and protest leader Steve de Seve (right)
board the B51 bus to Manhattan to try to speak with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.


by Samuel Newhouse (sam@brooklyneagle.net)
01-27-2010


Homeless people and community activists gathered in Downtown Brooklyn Tuesday to make a citizen’s arrest of developer Bruce Ratner – but the real estate mogul never showed up.

The attempted citizen’s arrest was planned by patrons of Freddy’s Bar, FUREE (Families United for Racial and Economic Equality) and homeless advocates, partly in response to the closure of a homeless shelter in the footprint of Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project that displaced dozens of people.

Protestors who gathered intended to arrest Ratner to make him stand trial for a corruption investigation in Yonkers connected to one of his projects, according to the protesters.

But Steve de Seve, the patron of Freddy’s Bar who led the arrest attempt, was informed by a representative of Ratner who came down from MetroTech that the developer would not appear.

“He told me that Mr. Ratner is not in the building. I informed him that Mr. Ratner is being a coward,” de Seve told the group of protesters afterward.

“I’d rather someone face us than duck us,” de Seve said. “They ignored the lawsuit, they ignored the rally at Freddy’s. They’re not going to like what’s next.”


A press release circulated by the activists had explained that they wouldn’t try to physically abduct Ratner, but that they wanted to help him to surrender himself to a police officer in their presence, and go with the group to the office of New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to be charged.

There are no charges pending with the attorney general against Ratner.

The closure of the Pacific Dean Homeless Shelter on Martin Luther King day was likely the main cause for the protest, however.

“They’ve closed the door to 80 families’ worth of people,” de Seve said. “We want these shelters reopened. These are our neighbors.”

An unidentified legal advisor who said he worked for the NYPD in MetroTech told the group that an arrest was not legally possible.

“If probable cause and sufficient evidence are found, then there’s an arrest. There’s not an arrest before the investigation, before probable cause, before sufficient evidence is found,” the man, identified only as Tony, told the group. Numerous requests to the NYPD for the man’s name were not answered.

After giving up on Ratner, the group took the B51 bus to Cuomo’s office in Manhattan, to demand that Cuomo return campaign contributions he allegedly received from Ratner, for Cuomo’s expected campaign for governor.

“There is a federal indictment that has all the evidence [Cuomo] needs to go after Mr. Big, who got $600 million,” de Seve said, referring to the alleged corruption in Yonkers.

However, Cuomo did not come out and did not send any representative down to talk to protesters, according to FUREE board member Beverly Corbin.

Corbin and FUREE are deeply critical of the displacement of individuals that the Atlantic Yards project is causing.

“I think it’s a shame that Barclays Bank is involved in this, given their history of destroying communities in Africa during the slave trade, and during the Holocaust,” Corbin said. “For men of color to be chained to run up and down with a ball — I think it’s a shame that the ball players don’t come out and say anything against this.”

“Here in Brooklyn, we have Prospect Park! If you want to run up and down with a ball, go to Prospect Park!” Corbin said.


Turhan White, a Picture the Homeless member who became homeless after a back operation forced him to quit his job, was at the rally to show his support for people displaced from the shelter.

“Thank god I have friends who took me in,” he said, saying he’s currently trying to obtain benefits. “I just work hard, keep fighting, keep my head up.”

De Seve also told the Eagle that an upcoming hearing in Kings County Supreme Court could be crucial to the fight to stop Atlantic Yards from being built.

There are several lawsuits pending in state court with regard to Atlantic Yards. The eminent domain case, however, is all but resolved, and it seems Ratner’s litigation problems may be nearing an end.

De Seve said that according to a source close to the Ratner family, Ratner might not intend to build the arena at all, but just wants to get 22 acres of property. Alternatively, de Seve said, the arena could be built but the rest of the project could become a parking lot.
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  #154  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2010, 3:51 AM
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ahhhh the race card. lovely
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  #155  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2010, 11:07 PM
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ahhhh the race card. lovely
It's shameful that they seek to exploit the homeless in their lost cause.
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  #156  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2010, 3:30 AM
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Nets to play in Newark for atleast 2 years


http://www.nj.com/nets/index.ssf/201..._play_two.html



Quote:
he partnership sought by the Nets and Devils is days away from being presented to the governor.

The two sides met Friday in Newark to discuss a Prudential Center lease arrangement that would be sent to Gov. Chris Christie for his review after the Devils examine the term sheet the Nets presented to them Monday.

"Obviously they’re trying to get it done as soon as possible," said one person close to the negotiation, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly. "But it’s not done yet. They’re hoping to get it done this week."

According to officials on both sides, the discussions to move the Nets to the Prudential Center for the next two seasons have been as amicable as could be expected, as Nets CEO Brett Yormark and Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek "clearly have the same goals," an official said.

The lingering issue, however, pertains to the $7.5 million penalty the Nets face for breaking their Izod Center lease.

Though his predecessor was willing to waive the fee, the sports and gaming committee of Christie’s transition team last week suggested the penalty should be upheld in a 20-page document it issued.

Since then, however, the Nets have been informed the governor won’t personally address the issue until the sides agree on a lease deal.

Both sides, of course, hope he relents, and comes to accept that it would help both buildings to maximize profits by turning Izod Center into the entertainment center of New Jersey.

Completing the lease agreement is expected to "accelerate the governor’s position," which thus far has been "close to the vest," another official said last week.

Much could be riding on it, especially if new owner Mikhail Prokhorov – who is expected to take over the team soon — is not amenable to a termination fee.

Yormark would not comment on the negotiation late Monday night, other than to confirm that he met with Vanderbeek on Friday.

The New York Daily News first reported the meeting early Monday night.

The Nets played two preseason games on Oct. 13 and 21 at "The Rock," and both were surprisingly successful, as roughly 28,000 tickets were sold with assistance from Mayor Cory Booker’s office.

The team was delighted, especially upon learning that 13 percent of its patrons used rail service to attend the games. In remarks about the Prudential Center weeks later, Yormark described the facility as "terrific," with "great new amenities. The fans seem to really enjoy it." And he was encouraged that there would be a "big concentration of fans from Essex, Middlesex and Union counties, which we don’t typically draw a lot from."

The Nets plan to move to Brooklyn in 2012.
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  #157  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2010, 3:15 AM
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According to officials on both sides, the discussions to move the Nets to the Prudential Center for the next two seasons have been as amicable as could be expected, as Nets CEO Brett Yormark and Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek "clearly have the same goals," an official said.

The Nets played two preseason games on Oct. 13 and 21 at "The Rock," and both were surprisingly successful, as roughly 28,000 tickets were sold with assistance from Mayor Cory Booker’s office.
I expect the attendance will be up the final two years in Jersey, despite however bad the team continues to be. Contrary to what some have speculated.
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  #158  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2010, 1:59 PM
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One of the streets to be closed (5th Ave)...

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  #159  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2010, 3:13 PM
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Builder of Mets’ Citi Field Also to Build Barclays Arena in Brooklyn
New Stadium Will Have 18,000 Seats for Nets Games


by Linda Collins
02-08-2010


FORT GREENE — Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) reports it has awarded Hunt Construction Group the construction contract for the Barclays Arena at Atlantic Yards.

The Indianapolis-based construction company will be working with arena designers Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects, and will be using “a structural steel superstructure frame with structural precast seating bowl and a weathered steel rain screen facade,” according to a published statement.

As frequently reported in the Eagle, Barclays will be the cornerstone and the first building of the larger Atlantic Yards development. It will be a 675,000-square-foot sports and entertainment arena, with 18,000 seats for basketball and 19,000 seats for concerts, plus 104 luxury suites, public concourses on two levels, a suite-level club restaurant, and an adjoining practice facility.

Also as previously reported, it will be home to the NBA’s Nets, Brooklyn’s first major professional sports team since the 1957 departure of the Dodgers.

“Hunt is extremely proud to be a part of this historic endeavor, and is excited about serving as the design-builder,” said Ken Johnson, executive vice president.

Commented Bruce Ratner, chairman and CEO of FCRC, “Hunt has an outstanding construction team that has built many of the best sporting venues in the country.”

In its resume of more than 100 sports and special event centers in the U.S. are Citi Field, home of the NY Mets; the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Natatorium and Ice Rink; and the Southwest Airlines renovations at LaGuardia Airport.

Elsewhere it has also completed Nationals Park (home of the Washington Nationals), Busch Stadium (home of the St. Louis Cardinals) and University of Phoenix Stadium (home of the Arizona Cardinals).

Currently under construction is the Amway Center (future home of the Orlando Magic) and Consol Energy Center (future home of the Pittsburgh Penguins).
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2010, 6:12 AM
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http://www.observer.com/2010/commerc...94it-happening

The Op-Ed: Atlantic Yards—It Is Happening



MaryAnne Gilmartin
February 10, 2010


Quote:
The recession, the credit crunch and the inherent difficulty of building in the most densely settled city in America: These are just a few of the challenges that have dogged the Atlantic Yards project since its announcement, in December 2003. Add to these general obstacles a small group of litigious opponents who vowed to sue early and often to stop the project, and the six-year project inception period makes more sense.

But the wait is over. We are building Atlantic Yards. And the project is more important than ever.

From the beginning, Atlantic Yards has been about much more than building a basketball arena. It has been about jobs and housing and an historic community-benefits agreement that ensures that the project's economic and social benefits help the folks who live here and need it most. Even during booming economic times, Brooklyn as a borough has seen unequal resources and opportunities; it is a place where good jobs and affordable housing could make a genuine difference. Now, as the economy stumbles out of the worst recession in decades, they are more necessary than ever.

The Harsh Reality

Unemployment in the borough is over 10 percent, compared to 5.7 percent just two years earlier. Each week, more than 100 people show up at the office of BUILD, a downtown Brooklyn-based job training organization, looking for jobs. Since 2004, nearly 7,000 have completed registry forms at this one organization alone. Last year, BUILD provided more than 1,200 local residents with job training or some type of employment support.

Affordable housing in the city remains scarce. Over a quarter of a million families are on waiting lists for Section 8 vouchers or public housing, a number that does not include the many cops, nurses, firemen, medical technicians and teachers who need moderate- and middle-income housing to afford to live in the city where they work.

For decades, the area surrounding and encompassing Atlantic Yards has remained a blighted part of the city. It has failed to attract the investment seen in other parts of the city and the borough. While opponents have depicted the 22-acre site as an oasis of brownstones and quaint streets, those who live or work in the area, or who have traveled to the site, know that while a few commercial businesses and residents have made the site their home, in 2006, more than 70 percent of the project area was occupied by empty lots, gas stations, underutilized or vacant manufacturing buildings and an 8-acre, below-grade LIRR rail yard, which since the early 1900s has divided the communities to the north and south of the site.

Looking to the Future

To those who wonder if the project will happen, we encourage a closer look. It is happening. Our commitment to the entire project remains as strong and fervent as the day we started. Work on Atlantic Yards has been ongoing since last summer. Nearly $90 million worth of work has already been awarded to contractors on the site thus far.

Still, it is the jobs and the housing that matter most, all the more now with double-digit unemployment and a painful affordable housing crunch. Atlantic Yards will create 17,000 construction jobs and up to 8,000 permanent jobs when completed. The first phase of the project, which starts with the Barclays Center Arena, will also provide approximately 1,500 residential units on the arena block, at least 30 percent of them affordable. Once completed, half of the 4,500 rental units will be available for low-income and working families.

Opponents' charges that we will end up building only an arena are false. No developer would sustain and ultimately agree to undertake a project like this with significant pre-development expenses, costly delays and well-defined future penalties and then build only an arena. Forest City Ratner Companies and its partners have invested upward of $500 million in the entire Atlantic Yards program since we announced the project. And millions more will be invested going forward.

While Atlantic Yards is a public-private partnership, the arena's share of public funds is a fraction of that received by other sports facilities. Direct public investments in the Atlantic Yards project, inclusive of the arena, add up to just over 5 percent of the anticipated cost.

Development requires agility, the willingness and ability to respond to a changing environment. On Atlantic Yards, we've done that. We've been appropriately nimble, making necessary adjustments in light of changing markets and demands. But we've done so without abandoning our principles or our commitment to the public good we and others expect from the project.

MaryAnne Gilmartin is executive vice president of Forest City Ratner Companies and an active member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

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