Atlantic Yards is all over but for the lawsuits. The Public Authorities Control Board—where the West Side Stadium died about 18 months ago—let Bruce Ratner’s vision for Brooklyn live with a vote in Albany today that approves nine-figure government subsidies to one of the largest developments in city history.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver could have blocked the deal to allow incoming governor Eliot Spitzer to make the final call (assuming he wanted to). Or Silver could have called a time-out to let the state and Forest City Ratner explain why the forecast for tax revenue dropped by nearly a third, or $456 million, between July and December. But it’s the holiday season! What’s a matter of $456 million among three men in a room?
Mayor Bloomberg called the decision “the final step towards starting work on this enormously important project, which is vital to the resurgence of downtown Brooklyn.” “Score one for the people of Brooklyn,” Bertha Lewis, whose organization anchored Forest City Ratner’s campaign for community support. But Daniel Goldstein of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn said today’s vote was a fait accompli, and that the real test will be in the courts, where the state’s plans for eminent domain are being challenged.