Elected officials, civic leaders and housing advocates call on Governor to withhold approval of new development rights at Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park pending environmental study, public benefits and plan to meet affordable housing deadline

BROOKLYN, Monday, August 12: Elected officials representing districts included in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park footprint, civic and business leaders, and housing advocates came together today to demand accountability after New York State Empire State Development (ESD) officials planned approval of a proposed 105,000 square feet of new development rights at the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project with no environmental review, and no additional public benefits.

A milestone in Brooklyn

Last Friday afternoon at four o’clock, the first meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AYCDC) took place in a conference room at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University.

In the eleven-year history of the Atlantic Yards project, no meeting like this had ever happened before. Fourteen board members appointed by the Governor, the Mayor, the Brooklyn Borough President, the New York State Senate, the New York State Assembly, and the City Council met to formally organize a new State agency charged with ensuring the public benefits for which the Atlantic Yards project was approved would in fact be delivered as promised, and that the project would comply with all commitments and regulation intended to mitigate the impact of its construction on neighboring residents and businesses.

Not only had the members of the AYCDC board each been recommended by a local elected official with a unique perspective on the challenges of accountability at Atlantic Yards, the appointees themselves represented a diverse cross-section of project stakeholders, including affordable housing advocates, signatories of the Community Benefits Agreement, and residents living at the edge of the footprint. At past Atlantic Yards meetings, members of these groups had often sharply disagreed. On Friday, for the first time, their representatives gathered at a single table, and committed to the goal of making the Atlantic Yards project work for Brooklyn.

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