April Showers Bring Rally Calling for Atlantic Yards ‘Time Out’


Opponents of Bruce Ratner’s megadevelopment hope that spring’s budding discontent will reach full bloom this weekend.

Organizers are planning what they dub “a major community rally” on Saturday, May 3, to call on Governor David Paterson to halt the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.

As the economy falters and the credit markets tumble, the initial Atlantic Yards proposal estimated at $4 billion, including much hyped affordable housing, appears to have shriveled to a $950 million arena and a few smaller residential buildings, prompting unnecessary demolitions in the Prospect Heights neighborhood.

A collaboration of community groups—Brooklyn Speaks, the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, and Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn—wants Governor Paterson to put a freeze on all Atlantic Yards activities until a more sensible solution can be determined.

The Time Out on Atlantic Yards rally is scheduled for 2 p.m. at 752 Pacific Street near Carlton Avenue, directly in the footprint of the proposed Atlantic Yards project. Sponsors report that state and local elected officials confirmed to attend are Senator Velmanette Montgomery; Assemblymembers Joan Millman, Jim Brennan, and Hakeem Jeffries; and City Councilmembers Letitia James, Bill DeBlasio, David Yassky, and Tony Avella.

Last week, DeBlasio, James and Yassky sent a letter, posted on the Atlantic Yards Report, to state officials asking that construction at the Alantic Yards site be stopped until more information is made available about the evolving timeline.

In yet another scrape on the crumbling façade of the Atlantic Yards project, Assemblymember Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) introduced legislation on Wednesday to require intensified scrutiny of the largest capital development projects overseen by the Empire State Development Corporation. Granted, the lack of transparency and public input until now makes any suggestion of scrutiny sound kind of intense. If passed, projects affected by the legislation would be behemoths including Atlantic Yards, the development of the West Side rail yards, and proposals for Penn Station and Willets Point.

For a deeper glimpse into how the other side spins, catch Atlantic Yards mega-developer Bruce Ratner one-on-one with NY1’s Bud Mishkin tonight at 8 p.m.