Brooklyn Speaks Media Advisory: Tell Governor Hochul it’s the wrong time to give developers a pass. The developers at Atlantic Yards aren’t living up to their agreement, and the state isn’t enforcing penalties. Deadlines have come and gone, but Governor Hochul’s Empire State Development wants to forget about its agreements. If we let them get away with that today, how can we expect the ESDC to enforce deadlines for affordable housing and open space tomorrow?
Towers Before Trains & Empire Station Coalition Media Advisory: Opponents of Controversial Penn Station Mega-Towers Deal Rally to Stop Plan Ahead of Final State Vote. As State Rushes Toward Approval on Controversial Real Estate Deal at Penn Station, Coalition of Transit Activists, Community Residents, and Small Biz Owners Urge Lawmakers to Stop Massive Giveaway to Billionaire Donor Steve Roth. Rally follows letter from elected officials representing Penn Station calling for State to delay vote on plan.
CNU NYC is a coalition member in the Empire Station Coalition and BrooklynSpeaks. BrooklynSpeaks has been a neighborhood watchdog for the Atlantic Yards for almost twenty years. Three years ago, the Empire Station Coalition brought together a group of neighborhood and civic organizations to oppose New York State’s plans for the Empire Station Complex (now called the Pennsylvania Station Civic and Land Use Improvement Project, a name only a bureaucrat could love). Common to Atlantic Yards and the PSCLUIP is that both are products of the Big Real Estate bias of the Empire State Development Corporation.
Yesterday, ESDC Vice President Matt Gorton wrote in an email that, “It’s disappointing that an organization that considers itself a citizens’ watchdog would prefer Penn Station remain a junkyard, denying New Yorkers the significant affordable housing, open space and desperately needed transit improvements this plan provides.”
Does his real estate background (he was once the Director of Government Affairs for Madison Square Garden, which sits on top of Penn Station) make him disdainful of public opinion? Or dod he intentionally makie that up—perhaps to turn attention away from a scathing report by the group Reinvent Albany? The New York Post reported that, “A company headed by a big donor to Gov. Kathy Hochul is in line for up to $1.2 billion in tax breaks under her opaque plan to overhaul Penn Station — even though that plan might be billions short of the $7.5 billion to $10 billion needed to make it happen.”
Regardless, public officials shouldn’t talk about their fellow citizens like that. But in the SoHo NoHo upzoning that CNU NYC opposed, high-up officials made similar comments. The plan targeted Chinatown for high-profit luxury towers and displacement, but when Chinatown residents turned out in protest, the Executive Director accused them of racism.
Come to the rallies today. Tell our elected and appointed officials to listen more to the voters and less to Big Real Estate. Media advisories for each press conference are linked to below.
Time: Thursday, July 14, 10 AM
Location: Northwest corner of Atlantic Avenue and Fort Greene Place, across from Barclays Center (nearest subway is Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center)
Towers Before Trains & Empire Station Coalition
Time: July 14, 12 PM
Location: Pennsylvania Station, East corner of 31st Street and 8th Avenue