The press in other places have
discovered the Mayor’s pet Atlantic Yards project, with a scathing AP piece on the human cost of eminent domain and a firebreathing George Will column on how much the Founding Fathers would have disapproved. Neither mentions the mayor, but both make it far more difficult for Bloomberg to frame the project as one of the triumphs of his last term, as he did as recently as last week.
Newsweek, however, was a bit more pointed about it: as an economic engine, the city’s investment in building His Honor’s “luxury” city is a loser
During the Bloomberg years the big subsidies have gone to luxury condo megadevelopments, sports stadiums, or huge office complexes. Consider the 22-acre Atlantic Yards project in downtown Brooklyn, which will include luxury housing and a new arena for the NBA’s Nets; one recent report by the city’s Independent Budget Office put the total subsidies provided by the city, New York state, and the transit authority at $726 million and estimated the project will hurt, not help, the city’s economy over time.
(Note: Our real-time coverage of the IBO report is here)
The author, a fellow of the Center for an Urban Future, makes the case that the financial services and media industries which support His Honor’s vision of New York as a premium “luxury product” are waning, and that the city must make itself more friendly to the middle class to survive. He makes the same case today in an article for Forbes, although that one blames the problem on the self-conscious liberalism of baby lawyers, B-school graduates and “trust[a]farians,” and I have no idea what to do with that.
Suffice it to say the national roll-out of the New Bloomberg doesn’t appear to be going well.