Atlantic Yards Jobs, Housing Subject of Rally

Religious and civic groups to call on government to enforce creation of jobs, affordable housing.

Atlantic Yards watchdog groups and over two dozen churches will rally Sunday afternoon to demand state and city officials guarantee the .

The coalition has organized a rally on Sunday, June 10 at 3 p.m. at the corner of Atlantic and South Portland avenues to voice their concerns. 

“The assembly will demand the promised housing and jobs from the developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, which has received over $200 million in subsidies to date without equal public benefit or investment,” said a press release from Brown Memorial Baptist Church, which organized the rally along with 25 other central Brooklyn churches and Atlantic Yards watchdog groups Brooklyn Speaks and Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn. 

“Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, zoning overrides, and the power of eminent domain were given to developer Forest City Ratner in exchange for affordable housing, permanent and construction jobs, and public benefits," said a news release from Brooklyn Speaks, a coalition of neighborhood groups.

"More than five years after the project’s approval, New Yorkers still aren’t close to getting what we were promised,” the release continued.

Area politicians, including Councilwoman Letitia James and state Senator Velmanette Montgomery,  are slated to speak.

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, and Brooklyn Speaks says there have only been a total of 837 construction jobs created so far and that only 186 of the workers are from Brooklyn. Once the arena opens, there will only be , 90 percent of which are part-time.

Forest City Ratner has responded to the construction jobs issue by saying that while arena-area residents are given preference, they often have to go outside of the borough to find union workers who have the specialized tasks needed. As for the part-time jobs at Barclays, because the arena is only open when there are events, there is little need for full-time workers.

The rally will also demand more affordable housing units large enough for families (right now only eight out of 300 are planned for the first residential tower), according to rally organizers.

Another concern is the lack of state oversight of the project. The Community Benefits Agreement signed by Ratner (available for view here, thanks to Atlantic Yards Report), included a clause for an Independent Compliance Monitor, which has never been hired.

The Empire State Development Corporation and Gov. Cuomo's press office did not respond to a request for comment on the rally. Forest City Ratner issued the following statement:

We understand fully the need for more jobs and more housing in Brooklyn and throughout the City, which is why we’ve been working very hard to make Atlantic Yards a reality.  But there’s a certain irony that people who were opposed to the project, and worked hard to stall the project, now criticize it for not delivering fast enough the benefits.

The arena is scheduled to open this September and we have started an extensive outreach initiative to fill the 2000 arena jobs, including visits with community groups, public housing and churches. We hope as well to begin the housing this year. Fifty percent of the first building will consist of affordable units.

We are hopeful that as Atlantic Yards progresses, that we can all work together to achieve the benefits that we believe Brooklyn needs and that this development will provide.

Spinx June 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM
This is where we all learn how much the "Unions" come back and bite us where it hurts most. If you know anything about these "Unions", they are merely very profitable, and well connected (the Mayors office), corporations who solicit for work through the public sector. They generally charge more than twice the amount, using double the workforce for a lesser work quality, at a much longer duration. All this in the name of the Union. Many private developers have now realized how toxic these unions are now, and begun using non-union workers who are much more efficient, with an real work ethic, and who don't require bogus certifications to work. Consider this: The Empire State Building took approx 18 months to build back in the 1930's, without today's technology and unions; the Freedom Tower (One WTC) is now taking more than a decade and going. The Pentagon (the worlds largest office building) took also approx 18 months to build back in 1944-45 with non-union workers, lesser technology, and for the generally bureaucratic military department. In contrast, every high-rise building in NYC takes at least 6 years to build with today's modern technology an using Union workers.
Spinx June 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Another fact: NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg had an approx net worth of $5 billion when he first ran for office back in 2003. He has since, supposedly, severed all ties with his creation Bloomberg Media L. P. ; however he is, somehow, now worth over $22 billion. In other words, he has more than quadrupled his personal net worth since becoming Mayor (boss) of NYC. Just keep reelecting him, and he'll just keep on moving up the ladder while these foreign owned (Saudi, Russian etc.) developers pay him off and make a mockery of the very people who continue voting for him. How many times has a real community member attempted to run for mayorship only to be shot down by the very community members to vote for a rich elitist who will never in a million years understand the effect of even a parking ticket on a medium to low-income family of eight. Just keep on voting for him an he might just own all of NYC along with the Russian mob and the Saudi oil kings and the union (mob) bosses...
Spinx June 24, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Has anyone in Brooklyn ever looked into the new owner of the Brokklyn Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov? Well, it might be worth taking a look: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Prokhorov Hopefully real Brooklynites and New Yorkers boycott the Nets as well as the shopping mall owned by this scum. He may go by the same name (Russian for Michael) as our "beloved" three term (hopefully not more, should we wake up in time) Mayor, but it's time we send a loud message to these billionaires trying to profit off our sweat and tears: "GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM"!!
Dios Thunders July 21, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Spinx is right on the dime or should we say penny with this ET RID OF BLOOMBERG the man who sold out &killedNYC & the people of NYC Hemade it legal 2stay 3 terms what a ego If he was honest hed put his name on the ticket &LET US DECIDE! how very NAZI of this little greedy creep liar he should BIN FIRED! and yea the RUSSIAN MOB & Oil kings the RUSSIANS R selling & have been doing so 4 a longtime chemicals &warfare supplies 2 the middle east PUTNIM is SATAN, they R uppling Sryia w/weaons NOW I say lets 4get the middel east and stop sending money to israel 4 milatary they have enough & a huge amount of people wanting 2 fight everyone in ISREAL has 2 go into training its the law GOOD let them nuke em & pay 4 it they R a wealthy country they treat the PALISTINAS like HELL I dont support them & I have jews in my family & ansestors who died in the Holacaust & during the Russian revoltion I think Stalin killed more people thanHITLER but right is right & I say forget about them WHAT ABOUT US? Ask the GOP that!who block OBAMS bills 2 help people then say he has done nothing People need 2 b educated how gov works its a democracy (HA!) not Commie though Bush saidhe wished it was & MITTsaid he didnt care worry about poor people as he brushed his had in a wave like getting rid of dirt It was on TV in a campain speech DID ANYONE LISTEN? alot who r poor didnt apearently! DONOT VOTE FOR MITT! U WILL B RUINED!If u think ur f*cked now pray Obama wins & vote registor & vote u MUST! or UH-O
Dios Thunders July 21, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Id say the same go back where you came from to all hipsters and Yuppie out of towners GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM take your coffee and laptops with you! Go West !!! and know you are mostly living in apartments of people who were evicted and victims of unscupulous land lords some crummyy cabinets and a floor sanding and staining and YOUR charged 4 times the former tenant that illegal they have to spend FAR MORE to up the rent get the COO of your former landlords tentant and sue them for back rent they owe for over charging you there only allowed to raise it a certian amount depending on work done money spent on it A friend fround out former longtime tenant paid 96 dollars a month after she was told the law her & another nieghborh took the landlord to court Got all the overcharge rent back and there rents lowered CONSIDERALBY then buy a ticket and go back where you came from ! take bloomberg with you


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