Since its founding in 2004, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council has advocated for a greater role for the community in the Atlantic Yards project. We have fought to hold the developer and the State accountable for the commitments each has made to the public. Those commitments include not only promised benefits like affordable housing and open space, but also measures to be implemented to reduce impacts from construction on the project’s neighbors.
Today, PHNDC and other sponsors of the BrooklynSpeaks initiative announced an agreement with the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and developer Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) that will result in several important changes to the Atlantic Yards project.
- All 2,250 of the project's promised affordable apartments must now be completed by 2025. Previous agreements signed between ESDC and FCRC in 2009 allowed the developer until 2035 to complete the units.
- At least 590 affordable apartments must start construction by June 30, 2015. Previous agreements allowed FCRC to deliver only 300 affordable apartments by 2022.
- ESDC will create a subsidiary to be known as the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AYCDC), to be charged with overseeing compliance with all project commitments, including environmental commitments intended to reduce the impacts of construction on the project's neighbors. AYCDC will have a board made up of 14 members, 5 of whom will be appointed by local elected officials.
(More information on this historic agreement is available on the BrooklynSpeaks site.)
The negotiated terms represent a major step forward in accountability at Atlantic Yards, and wouldn’t have been achieved without the voices of so many of our neighborhood residents. The agreement doesn’t mean, however, the community can now sit on the sidelines as the project moves forward. Community involvement will be necessary for Prospect Heights to get the most of the new oversight platform we have won.
That is why PHNDC will continue to advocate for our residents as stakeholders in not only the outcome of the Atlantic Yards project, but also in its development. We encourage you to join with us in that effort, and thank you for your support.