Yesterday afternoon, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, Senator Eric Adams and Assemblyman Karim Camara, all D-Brooklyn, held a joint press conference in front of the under-construction Barclays Center, urging developer Forest City Ratner to make good on promises of job creation and affordable housing at the site.
“Less than 100 people from this community have received any meaningful employment,” Jeffries said, referring to well-paying construction jobs, and not the .
The Atlantic Yards website touts that the project would create “more than 16,000 union construction jobs plus over 8,000 permanent jobs,” but a report by Merritt & Harris said that as of November there were 645 construction workers on the job.
At the press conference, Jeffries also continued: “Over 2,000 units of affordable housing were promised. We haven’t seen a single unit of affordable housing.”
The to be built at the site, B2, won’t start construction until early next year.
Jeffries also used the conference to drum up support for the Atlantic Yards Governance Act, a bill that would require the Empire State Development Corp. to create an independent board that would negotiate with developers and better keep community interests in mind.
“From the very beginning … there was not the appropriate government structure that was put in place to make sure there was transparency, and accountability and meaningful public input,” Jeffries said.
Jeffries said that neither he nor Adams were in office when Forest City Ratner signed the Community Benefits Agreement (available for view here, thanks to Atlantic Yards Report), which included a clause for an Independent Compliance Monitor to report on the projects progress.
According to a report for The Brooklyn Bureau, AYR’s Norman Oder says that the Forest City Ratner has avoided fulfilling that clause.
“Our goal was to see jobs come to this community and housing come to this community,” said Adams, adding “as legislators, we’re saying that enough is enough.”