It's been a really long time since I wrote anything about the stadium business, and I've been wanting to. It's mostly because my grasp of the Ratner Brooklyn deal is less clear than what I knew about the West Side plan. I knew from a friend that Andrew Zimbalist bizarrely gave the stamp of approval to the plan.
A recent story on NY1's webpage mentions a new bid for the Brooklyn railyards. Don't you think it's interesting that in discussing local reaction to the Ratner plan that the story doesn't even mention the organized groups who oppose Ratner, especially since "Develop Don't Destroy" seems to have hunted down the competitive bidder, Extell, in the first place.
Someone commenting on Neil De Maus's page hinted at dark secrets about Extell...but they aren't so secret. Extell appears to be one of the developers behind the 60-story Orion Condo in Times Square, and seems to have a parternship with the infamous Carlyle Group. Inez Dickens, who's running for city council, and is herself the owner of a real-estate firm, has sponsored a petition opposing Extell's high-rise plans in Harlem/Upper West Side, her district.
With their ambitious purchase of Trump land and now their bid for the Brooklyn Railyards, Extell clearly is not generally friendly to the worlds of small-scale housing. However, their alternative bid comes much closer to what the neighborhood activists are looking for than Ratner's. For those of you who live near Park Slope, or who travel there, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn announces a film showing at neighborhood bar, Barbes on Saturday July 9th:
Saturday, July 9, 6pm. Screening: MADE IN BROOKLYN, a documentary. BARBES, 376 9th Street (corner of 6th avenue). GLASS EYE presents: MADE IN BROOKLYN.
A documentary about the importance of manufacturing and the urban consequences of investing in a service-sector based economy. The film exposes the use of re-zoning to squeeze out community-based production and mixed-use neighborhoods in favor of back-office and luxury high-rise developments, as advocated by the Cityâ€™s planning department.
This sounds worth doing, and Barbes is a nice place to catch a flick.