Saturday, May 3, 2008
Today's rally calling on Gov. Paterson to give a "Time Out" to the Atlantic Yards development was a passionately charged event. As I made my way over to Pacific street where the rally was scheduled to be held, a large vocal group appeared unexpectedly, chanting in unison and giving support to the development.
The Pro-Atlantic Yards group was chanting for affordable housing which is tragic, because in this case "affordable" means people who can pay $100,000.
Basically the project which even if it was for the people, is entirely to large for the area it's aimed for) is a bait and switch. The developer is using issues like affordable housing to mask the fact that a major stadium is the goal of the project.
Tax payer dollars, and eminent domain are being used to put money in rich people's pockets. Don't believe me? Ask how anyone who's for this how much affordable housing in this development will cost.
Just a bit about the buildings being demolished for this planned development:
Many of the people against Atlantic Yards have differing concepts of what should happen. Some want total preservation of the area, that includes leaving the railyard exposed, and leaving the (now semi-demolished) *Pechter's Bakery building in place.
Personally I am for the rail-yards being developed over, i've done some research and it seems there has never been anything above it. However the scale of the Atlantic Yards plan is too big, costs too much tax dollars and offers too little in return. That's where I am on the issue. Plus the community has never had a say in the shape of this. Which is a major reason for all the rallies and protests, because the process that started this went through without being fully scrutinized. The developer has made token gestures to get the support in constructing a monster.
In the meantime, large areas of land in the neighborhood are being destroyed, and will set as empty lots. Not being used for any purpose while the developer stalls for time.
(*the new locals call Pechter's Bakery, "Ward's Bakery" which was the original builder and name of the structure dating back almost 100 years.)