Civic organizations, urbanists, and housing advocates begin community engagement toward a new plan for long-delayed Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project

“Crossroads” initiative comes as looming affordable housing deadline raises questions about the future of $4B State-sponsored development in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, January 6: Members of the BrooklynSpeaks coalition today announced the community-based planning initiative Crossroads, intended to guide State and City governments toward a new plan for the long-delayed Atlantic Yards project. The Atlantic Yards project was approved by the State of New York in 2006; it was rebranded as “Pacific Park” in 2014. The same year, developers agreed to complete all of the project’s promised 2,250 affordable apartments by 2025.
“Seven years ago, our organizations won a settlement that committed the State of New York to delivering thousands of units of much-needed affordable housing for Brooklynites facing intense displacement pressure,” said Gib Veconi, Chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council. “We must now acknowledge that the State and the developers have failed to take the actions necessary to keep that promise, and the viability of the project is again in question. Our communities are not going to stand by as developers receive another bailout. It’s time for stakeholders to come together and chart a new future for Atlantic Yards.”

The initiative comes as developer Greenland Forest City Partners is expected to seek additional development rights for the block across from Barclays Center on Flatbush Avenue that contains a P.C. Richard location and a former Modell’s sporting goods store. “It would be unconscionable for the State to allow a tower the size of the Chrysler Building on that site when the developers have refused to explain how they plan to meet their existing commitments to complete the rail yard platforms necessary for the remainder of Atlantic Yards’ affordable housing,” said Howard Kolins, President of the Boerum Hill Association.

Said Regina Cahill, President of the North Flatbush Business Improvement District, “The history of Atlantic Yards has been one of developers taking ever larger risks, knowing they’d be bailed out by the State if things didn’t work out. But in the meantime, conditions on our streets and sidewalks are so congested that people are afraid to walk here. Transit-oriented development should mean the City and State work together to make the crossroads of Brooklyn safe for everyone.”

A series of four online discussions are planned in January and February:

  • January 12: Introduction and Urban Design
  • January 19: Transportation and Streets
  • January 26: Housing
  • February 2: Accountability

In addition, community members will be able to participate by sharing thoughts on their own schedules through an interactive web site. Registration is available at “Most observers would agree that the way the State has managed Atlantic Yards so far hasn’t worked,” said Veconi. “This is the beginning of a process we hope will involve thousands of members of the public, elected officials, and City and State agencies–and that will result in a vision and a plan for the area that is realistic and achievable.”

Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon said, “I commend the organizers of BrooklynSpeaks in starting a dialogue that can point a path forward for a project that  promised so much for Brooklyn, and received so much from New York State taxpayers, but has delivered so little. It’s imperative Atlantic Yards only move forward under a credible plan with public support. I encourage all stakeholders in the community to participate.”

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