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Archive for 'Atlantic Yards'

Love New York? Walk the Talk this Weekend In the Spirit of Jane Jacobs

MAS is looking forward to hosting this weekend’s Jane’s Walk in New York City, a series of free neighborhood walks and bike rides throughout all five boroughs, celebrating the legacy of Jane Jacobs. This is the first year MAS is coordinating Jane’s Walk in New York City, and we have more than 20 walks led by local residents and urban enthusiasts planned for the weekend. Continue Reading>>


Watch List Highlights, Friday, March 25, 2011

Disaster Planning: New York City’s “All Hazards Plan”
After the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, The New York Times took a look at how New York City would respond in a disaster and how it could best distribute protocols and information to other agencies and the public.

Changing Streets: Happy Birthday, NYC Grid!
Tuesday marked the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Manhattan street grid. Also known as Continue Reading>>


Watch List Highlights, Friday, February 11, 2011

Garment District - Fashion Avenue - 7 Avenue Garment District
In the midst of Fashion Week, the Garment District is in the spotlight. The New York Daily News talks to MAS Board Member Yeohlee Teng, who points out that budding designers rely on local artisans for production. “When you are in school, you can’t, from a collection of 10 pieces, leap into creating 1,000 pieces overseas.” Continue Reading>>


This Week’s Highlights: September 24, 2010

penn stationEach week we will bring you news on issues related to New York City’s livability. Feel free to comment or post a link to other interesting articles about our city.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, adviser to three presidents, a four-term United States Senator from New York and a prolific author, posthumously reveals his insights Continue Reading>>


MAS Applauds Prospect Heights Historic District Designation

191 sterling in prospect heightsToday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Prospect Heights Historic District. At 850 buildings, it is the largest historic district designated in two decades.

“MAS applauds the Landmarks Preservation Commission for moving to protect this very special neighborhood,” said Lisa Kersavage, senior director of advocacy and policy for the Municipal Art Society. “This is an important act that will protect one of Brooklyn’s finest and well-preserved historic neighborhoods. Designation will protect the neighborhood from pressure from the Atlantic Yards project and other developments.”

Prospect Heights is rich in historic architecture, with blocks of beautiful Italianate and neo-Grec rowhouses, interspersed with churches, small commercial and apartment buildings. Continue Reading>>


Investing in Infrastructure: Transportation and New York’s Future

moynihan station current frontThe White House Office of Urban Affairs offers hope of a new direction in federal urban policy, including that for transportation. Public transportation is critical to a sustainable future for our city and the metropolitan region, essential to integrating housing, economic development, and environmental practices and policies.

What is the Obama administration doing that will help or hinder the development of the transportation system we need? How can local stakeholders ensure that the smartest investments receive federal support? An outstanding panel will answer these and other questions next Wednesday as New Yorkers face fare hikes and service cuts.

Investing in Infrastructure: Transportation and New York’s Future
Wednesday, May 6, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Municipal Art Society MAP
Reception to follow.
Moderator: Kate Slevin, director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
Panelists: Susan Bass Levin, deputy executive director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Linda Bailey, federal programs advisor, New York City Department of Transportation; Jeffrey Zupan, senior fellow, transportation, Regional Plan Association; Martin Robins, founding director, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers University.
$15, $10 MAS members. Purchase tickets online or call 212 935 2075.


Show the Love at Tomorrow’s LPC Prospect Heights Hearing

prospect heights historic row houses italianate brooklyn new york architectureNow is your chance to tell the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) that you support the designation of the Prospect Heights Historic District. The LPC will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 28, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building. This hearing is the second step in protecting one of Brooklyn’s finest – and most endangered – historic neighborhoods.

Prospect Heights is threatened by the Atlantic Yards project, a proposal by the developer Forest City Ratner to build 16 towers and a sports arena on a 22-acre site that abuts the boundaries of the proposed historic district.

Encompassing roughly 870 properties, the proposed Prospect Heights Historic District is rich in historic architecture, with blocks of beautiful Italianate and neo-Grec rowhouses, interspersed with churches, small commercial and apartment buildings. Located just north of Prospect Park, the neighborhood has seen few changes since it was first developed in the late-19th Century. Click here to read more about the history.

MAS has worked in partnership with the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Corporation (PHNDC) in advocating for the designation of this neighborhood since 2006 Continue Reading>>


Treasury Dept Allows Tax-Free Bonds for Atlantic Yards

atlantic yards brooklyn new york eminent domainAccording to the Brooklyn Paper, late yesterday the US Treasury Department exempted the Atlantic Yards development from a 2006 ruling that prohibits the use of tax-free bonds to finance stadium projects. This will potentially allow developer Bruce Ratner to proceed with an estimated $800 million in tax-free financing.

The exemption came about because the project was defined as being “substantially in progress,” meaning that it received “preliminary approval of the government” and involved “significant expenditures” before Oct. 19, 2006, and because the project’s financing plan included the use of tax-free bonds. However, New York State lawmakers did not give their approval to the project until December 2006.

Still, as the Brooklyn Paper points out, this ruling may not necessarily result in a windfall for the developer: “Despite apparently winning the right to raise money through tax-free bonds, it’s still unclear whether Ratner will be able to find investors for those bonds, given the decline in the economy.”


Atlantic Yards Stalled

atlantic yards aerial 2L brooklyn urban planning new yorkThe Atlantic Yards development has been delayed again after a state appellate court did not dismiss the project opponents’ court challenge, says the New York Times.  While this derails Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner’s recent pledge to break ground on the project this December, Crain’s New York Business reports that Barclays bank, which would pay for naming rights to the stadium, remains committed to the project when it proceeds.  Read more about MAS advocacy on Atlantic Yards here

In other news, the new timetable for the World Trade Center site will be released by the Port Authority tomorrow – major delays are expected. Continue Reading>>


Atlantic Yards Opponents Will Get Their Day in Court After All

atlantic yards brooklyn new york eminent domainNews today from Task Force member organization Develop, Don’t Destroy Brooklyn: A State Appellate Court panel has rejected the Empire State Development Corporation’s (ESDC) motion to dismiss the eminent domain lawsuit filed by nine property owners and tenants with properties in the Atlantic Yards footprint earlier this year.

The lawsuit claims that Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project violates the New York State Constitution’s public use, due process and equal protection clauses, as well as low-income resident requirements. According to DDDB, the Court’s decision means that oral arguments will be heard in the case sometime in March or April, with a decision then expected between late spring and fall 2009.

This is a major setback for developer Bruce Ratner, who recently told the New York Times that he planned to break ground in December. The project cannot move forward without using eminent domain. In addition, according to the Times, Ratner has brokered a contract with Barclays Bank that would provide $20 million a year for naming rights to the arena. This contract requires FCR to close on the land and secure the financing by the end of November.


New Yorkers Get Inside View at MAS

east river waterfront park rendering new york urban designThe September 22 program Inside View: MAS Work in Progress gave a roomful of New Yorkers a behind-the-scenes look at MAS projects and programs, as well as an opportunity to ask questions and make comments. Jasper Goldman, senior policy analyst, discussed developments in Coney Island and Atlantic Yards and offered an update on the East Side Waterfront Park (the latter accompanied by a film on the park’s design charrette which vividly illustrated the planning process).

Eve Baron, Juan Camilo Osorio, Sideya Sherman, and Lacey Tauber of the MAS Planning Center, described several programs and projects, including The Livable Neighborhoods Program, CITI Youth Initiative and the Atlas of Community-Based Plans.

Judging by the program evaluations, the audience found the evening informative and worthwhile: “Great suggestions were offered to get involved in planning and to become a more informed urbanist” and “Excellent overview of MAS projects and function with good visual support. Have them more often!”

The next Inside View will be held next spring. Stay tuned.


Eminent Domain in the Spotlight

columbia university expansion renderingNew laws proposing to reform the State’s use of eminent domain may gain momentum should the Democrats achieve a majority in the Senate this fall, says the New York Sun. Eminent domain is a centerpiece of three very large development projects in New York City – Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, Willets Point in Queens, and Manhattanville in Manhattan.  MAS has testified on each of these developments, calling for an inclusive planning process in which the priorities of local residents and business owners are sought and considered.

Controversies among these projects are numerous. The New York Times interviewed the remaining business owners in Manhattanville, the site of Columbia University’s proposed expansion, on the detrimental effects the threat of eminent domain has had on their livelihood. The New York Daily News reports that the NYC Economic Development Corporation is increasing its outreach to City Council members on the proposed Willets Point rezoning, as a majority of the Council has already publicly opposed the project.

In other news, Chelsea Now reports from the first community hearing on the recently released scoping for the Hudson Yards development. Continue Reading>>


Coney Island USA, Astroland & City Discuss Future of Coney Island Tonight at MAS; Five New Landmarks Designated

coney island historic boardwalk aerialMAS will host “Coney Island at the Crossroads” tonight, a panel discussion featuring MAS president Kent Barwick, the NYC Department of City Planning, the Coney Island Development Corporation; Carol Hill Albert,  owner of Astroland; Dick Zigun, director of Coney Island USA, and Sheryl Robertson, director of South Brooklyn Youth Consortium.  Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future will moderate. Check out details of the program on Gownus Lounge.  Read more about MAS’ Coney Island Advocacy here

The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated five new landmarks yesterday, says the New York Times; MAS testified before the Commission in support of the proposed Alice and Agate Courts Historic District in Bedford-Stuyvesant

In other news, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn is bringing their last appeal to stop the Atlantic Yards project Continue Reading>>


Ground Zero Rebuild to Take Years, Linking-Up Transit Lines

ground zero construction nightMAS was one of many civic groups to lead visioning processes on rebuilding Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks reports today’s the Gotham Gazette. Now, on the seventh anniversary, progress at the site is slow and more delays are expected, and Mayor Bloomberg has called for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to dismantle and hand over their responsibilities to the city according to the Wall Street Journal.

Governor Paterson has announced his intentions to move forward with linking up transit lines that may join at Moynihan Station, as does Crain’s New York Business.

In other news, Newsday reports that Mayor Bloomberg feels Coney Island is significant for the public good not just for private land values. Continue Reading>>


Impacts of Loss of Graving Dock, Green-Collar Jobs

red hook graving dockLong a subject of MAS advocacy because of its historic and irreplaceable character, the graving dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn, is now a parking lot for the new IKEA store. In MAS comments on impacts of the loss of a graving dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn to a parking lot for IKEA, in Bric Online MAS comments on the impact of this loss on City.

In other news, MAS recently endorsed a study published by Transportation Alternatives on the City’s off-street parking policies. Click here and here for details. ! Continue Reading>>