Friday, March 5, 2010

Atlantic Yards and ACORN

I've heard a lot of nasty things about the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, where NJ Nets owner Bill Ratner wants to use a combinatino of eminent domain and state giveaways to build a heavily subsidized basketball stadium and 16 mixed use high-rises, but I didn't realize that ACORN was also in on it:

New York, in short, would give Ratner an unfair advantage, and he would return some of the profits reaped from that advantage by creating the “economic benefits” favored by the planning classes. Architecture critics loved Frank Gehry’s design for the arena. Race activist Al Sharpton loved the promise of thousands of minority jobs. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (Acorn) loved the prospect of administering the more than 2,000 units of “affordable” housing planned for the development, as well as the $1.5 million in loans and grants that Ratner gave it outright. When the state held public hearings in 2006 to decide whether to approve Atlantic Yards, hundreds of supplicants, hoping for a good job or a cheap apartment, easily drowned out the voices of people like Goldstein, who wanted nothing from the government except the right to keep their homes.

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