PLEASE WRITE AN IDENTICAL (BUT SEPARATE) LETTER TO BOTH SILVER AND BRUNO.
Or you can use email.
1. Please address your letter to:
| (You can copy and
paste this text, to get started. But it's always best to use your own
words and thoughts if time permits, and a shorter (even very short) letter
is just fine.)
The Hon. Sheldon Silver
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
250 Broadway Room
NYC, NY 10007
Dear Speaker Silver:
We urge you to publicly oppose a State take-over of 24 acres of public and private land in downtown Brooklyn and call for any developer to adhere to the Uniform Land Use Review procedure. ( Sign on to A 2835 of 2004). We are being told that the Empire State Development Corporation can come into New York City and take city streets and private property by eminent domain without legislative oversight by the state legislature or the City Council.
We support a community based plan and development which respects neighborhood preservation and pedestrian friendly connections among neighborhoods in an open and accountable process. We support affordable housing which can be developed by local not for profit housing development companies. Their developments are more cost effective, hire local residents and utilize local services.
We urge you to use your powers as a legislator to hold the MTA, which owns 11 acres of the site, the Borough President, Mayor, and Governor, who favor this plan, accountable. Forest City Ratner (FCRC) might become the designated developer. Mr. Ratner has a terrible record. Atlantic Center, which FCRC developed, has had trouble keeping tenants even though he received massive subsidies. The city contributed $18.5 million to the project and added a 23 year property tax abatement. Because of its disastrous design, however, store after store went broke from Caldor to Foot Locker. Few if any new jobs were created.
Similarly, Metrotech has not created new jobs. Tenants include corporations which moved their back office operations from Manhattan to Brooklyn ( SIAC and Blue Cross, Blue Shield.) The rest of Metrotech provides new quarters for city, state and federal workers from 911 and Fire Department Headquarters to the NYS DMV and the IRS.
FCRC’s latest proposal is to build an arena, and 17 huge high rises with residential and commercial units in downtown Brooklyn in an area which is much larger (24 acres) than the World Trade Center site (16 acres.) FCRC proposes to close off public streets to create a walled-in enclave, separating and overpowering neighborhoods. We have been told that the State can override the City’s Environmental Impact rules and its Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. ULURP would give local elected officials (and indirectly us) a voice in this plan. Surrounding neighborhoods should have a voice especially since neighbors are being threatened by eminent domain. Community Boards 2, 6 and 8 have called on the Governor and ESDC to support a ULURP process. We urge you to do the same
Enough is enough!! Stop Corporate Welfare! There is no blight. Our local retail strips including 7th , 5th and Atlantic Avenues, as well as Court Street are thriving without public subsidies. Real estate values of surrounding brownstone areas are at an all time high. There is no need for massive government infusions of money to “revitalize” this area.