Following the groundbreaking for the first residential tower at its Atlantic Yards project, community organizations expressed outrage over Forest City Ratner Companies’ (FCRC) intention to use New York City Housing Development Corporation bonds to subsidize apartments too small for working families, and too expensive for the majority of Brooklynites. .
The plans for B2, as the first residential building is known, include 363 apartments, approximately half of which are described as “affordable.” However, of the “affordable” apartments, only 35 are two-bedroom units suitable for families, and only 9 of those are intended to be affordable to families earning the median income for Brooklyn which is just over $43,000 for a family of four. More than half of the two-bedroom “affordable” apartments are intended to be marketed to families earning more than $100,000 annually.
BROOKLYN, August 29, 2012: Today, the Board of the New York State Liquor Authority voted to impose a 1:00 AM cut off of liquor sales at the Barclays Center arena. Forest City Ratner Companies and Levy Premium Foodservice had applied for a license with a request to be allowed to serve liquor until 2:00 AM. In stipulating the earlier cut off, SLA Chairman Denis Rosen acknowledged concerns from local residents that late night drinking at the arena would negatively impact quality of life in the mostly residential neighborhoods surrounding Barclays Center, and that the potential of the arena being used for private events could result in more late night drinking than has been described by Barclays Center. The decision by the SLA gives the Barclays Center applicants the ability to request a later cut off time in the future after experience with arena patron drinking has been established. Chairman Rosen made clear that such a future application by Barclays Center should be accompanied by community support.
In Chicago, Wrigley Field is allowed to host only 30 evening events a year. Liquor sales must end no later than 9:30PM. And any changes to that policy have to be approved by the Chicago City Council.
You’d think that the people of Brooklyn deserve no less respect.
Not according to Barclays Center, which has applied for a license that would allow it to keep serving alcohol up to the 4AM State limit in an 18,000-seat arena. Sure, the NBA has a policy that requires liquor sales to end after the third quarter. But basketball only accounts for 40 of the expected 220 events to be held at the arena each year. And Barclays’ application isn’t even limited to serving drinks at arena events. (Arena plans include four club/lounge areas.)
We all know that the history of Atlantic Yards has been one blanket approval by government after another, with little oversight afterward. But isn’t this getting ridiculous?
Click here to tell the New York State Liquor Authority and Governor Cuomo that Barlcays’ liquor license must be appropriate for the residential neighborhoods in which it is situated, and through which patrons will travel on their way home. Require drink sales to end after half time at a NBA game, 45 minutes before the end of an event, or 10PM, whichever comes first. And only permit alcohol to be sold during ticketed arena events.