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The Atlantic Yards is a mixed-use commercial and residential development project of some 16 high-rise buildings, under construction in Prospect Heights, adjacent to Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene in Brooklyn, New York City. A portion of the project is part of the Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area (abbreviated as ATURA), and the rest is located in a low-rise and mid-rise brownstone neighborhood.
A major component of the project is the sports arena named Barclays Center, which opened on 21 September 2012. Of the 22-acre (89,000 m2) project, 8.4 acres (34,000 m2) would be built over a train yard that is utilized by the Long Island Rail Road.
In March 2008, principal developer Bruce Ratner acknowledged that the slowing economy may delay construction of both the office and residential components of the project for several years. The uncertain economy and vagueness of the developer's statements led then-NY City Comptroller Bill Thompson to state in May 2008 "I’m not sure what that project is any longer."
When the project was announced at the end of 2003, the basketball arena was scheduled to open in the fall of 2006. Groundbreaking did not occur until 2010; the arena was opened to the public on September 21, 2012 and held its first event (a Jay-Z concert) on September 28, 2012.
Elements of the project 
Barclays Center 
The Brooklyn Nets, an NBA basketball team now owned primarily by Russia's second richest man Mikhail Prokhorov, play at the Barclays Center arena beginning in 2012. Prokhorov is an avid basketball fan, and, with 80 percent ownership in the Nets, he has become the first Russian owner of a major U.S. professional sports franchise. The deal was necessary for Ratner, who was risking losing tax-exempt financing and the Barclays naming-rights deal if he did not break ground within three months' time. The New York Islanders of the NHL will move to the Barclays Center in 2015.
Given the uncertainty of the financial markets, it is unclear when these units would be completed, what the amount of taxpayer subsidies per unit would be, or if there will be enough tax-exempt bond financing available. The development agreement signed in December 2009 allows for delays for subsidy unavailability.
Ground was broken on the first residential building at Atlantic Yards, B2, on December 18, 2012. The building will have 363 units, 50% of those units will be affordable. At 32 stories tall, B2 will be the tallest building in the world built using modular technology.
Commercial space 
One or two buildings in the Atlantic Yards project would be used for office space, though as of 2010 there is little office market. Retail space would be built at the ground level of buildings.
The project is sited above the train yards belonging to the adjacent Atlantic Terminal, from which it gets its name. Atlantic Terminal which serves the Atlantic Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. Formerly called Flatbush Avenue, Atlantic Terminal is the westernmost stop on the Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) Atlantic Branch. It is the primary terminal for the Far Rockaway, Hempstead, and, on weekdays, West Hempstead Branches. By transferring at Jamaica, access is available to all other LIRR branches except the Port Washington Branch. The location is also served by a number of bus lines.
The development sits near the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush Avenue. It is one of the biggest, and the most congested, intersections in Brooklyn. The increase of car traffic to the area caused by extra housing and the construction of an arena has been frequently cited by critics as a major reason for their opposition to the project. According to the Environmental Impact Statement, the addition of more than 15,000 new residents would not significantly impact vehicular traffic, a claim contested by the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods. While traffic was a concern to some it has been noted that there has not been an increase in traffic associated with the arena opening while there has been a large increase in subway and Long Island Railroad use.
The Atlantic Yards project, at its western end, would be adjacent to the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station, the largest train station in Brooklyn and the third largest transit hub in New York City, serving nine different New York City Subway trains. The project features a new $76 million subway entrance near the front of Barclays Center.
Land to be used 
The proposed development is sited in an increasingly desirable neighborhood in New York City. Prospect Heights has seen remarkable explosion of real estate values, pushing out many of the less affluent residents.[original research?]
However, the justification for eminent domain was blight, with building deterioration, sidewalk cracks, and graffiti cited as examples, but no market study was conducted. Critics charge that the site was a victim of "developer's blight"—buildings bought by Forest City Ratner and then left vacant.
The bulk of the 22-acre (89,000 m2) project site was a mixture of public streets, private homes and small businesses. Forest City Ratner bought much of this private property, under the threat of eminent domain, and has benefited from the state's use of eminent domain to acquire and close the streets.
The Public Authorities Control Board, which effectively ended the West Side Stadium plan, approved the state financing of the Atlantic Yards plan in December 2006.
The area around the Atlantic Terminal has been slated for redevelopment in the past, but plans for the area emerged only piecemeal. In the mid-1950s, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley wanted to use the city to condemn a nearby site, allowing him to build a new stadium for the ballclub to replace Ebbets Field. City developer Robert Moses refused to consider an eminent domain taking for a private use in that instance, and the plan was shelved. Although O'Malley had several local options, he relocated the Dodgers to Los Angeles instead. Los Angeles offered him free land and a free hand in developing it including mineral rights, incurring the long-term hatred of Brooklynites.
In a Huffington Post blog, Daniel Goldstein called Atlantic Yards "a corrupt land grab," "a taxpayer ripoff," "a bait and switch of epic proportions," and "a complete failure of democracy." Coincidentally, Goldstein, the last holdout, accepted a $3MM buyout. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/daniel-goldstein-last-atlantic-yards-holdout-leaves-for-3-million/?hp 
The MTA appraisal valued the railyard at $214 million in 2005; Forest City Ratner offered $50 million in cash, while another bidder offered $150 million. FCR eventually boosted its bid to $100 million, and said the overall value of its bid was higher than the appraised value, which was validated by the courts.
Forest City Ratner offered the condo owners in 636 Pacific St. $850/sq. foot, the condo owners at 24 Sixth Ave (Spalding Buildings) $650/sq. foot and undisclosed amounts to renters. Sellers of condos signed a nondisclosure agreement, termed a "gag order" by opponents.
Public opinion 
The project has been endorsed by three governors during its pendency since 2003 (George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer, and David Paterson), and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who control the state agencies—Empire State Development Corporation and Metropolitan Transportation Authority—that are key to the project. The most fervent public support has come from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who sees this project as the opportunity to bring professional sports back to Brooklyn. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Congressman Edolphus Towns, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, former State Senator Carl Kruger, and former Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. have also supported the project.
The project received crucial support from affordable-housing advocates, because at least 30% of the project's units would be reserved for tenants that are low-, moderate- or middle-income. One of the more prominent members of this group has been ACORN, which signed the Affordable Housing Memorandum of Understanding with developer Forest City Ratner in 2005. In 2008, ACORN was revealed to have received a $1.5 million loan from the developer.
Construction workers have been another group of strong supporters for the project. During community meetings, they have repeatedly drowned out the project's opponents with chants of "Jobs, jobs, jobs."
The most vocal opposition group is a nonprofit named Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, which has been joined by several neighborhood and civic groups in lawsuits challenging the environmental review. Two of the four elected representatives whose districts include in the project site oppose the project, notably New York City Council member Letitia James and State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. (Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries has been closer to the fence, while U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke is a supporter.)
Other neighborhood organizations that are critical of the project are gathered under the banner of BrooklynSpeaks, which initially eschewed a litigation strategy but in 2009 finally went to court, in a case combined with one filed by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn charging that the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) failed to consider the impact of an additional fifteen years of construction on the surrounding neighborhood when it approved a renegotiated project plan in September 2009. In November 2010, New York State Supreme Court Judge Marcy Friedman ruled in favor of the petitioners, ordering the ESDC to either provide a justification for its continued use of the original ten-year construction schedule, or otherwise conduct a supplemental environmental impact study. BrooklynSpeaks and DDDB subsequently sought a stay of construction in advance of ESDC's response to the Court order.
Newark mayor Cory Booker campaigned for the New Jersey Nets to abandon plans to play at Atlantic Yards, and instead relocate permanently to the Prudential Center in downtown Newark, already home to the New Jersey Devils and Seton Hall Pirates; however, he has since embraced the team's interim move—for at least two years—to Newark, from fall 2010 to 2012.
See also 
- Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area
- Atlantic Terminal Mall
- Downtown Brooklyn
- Fort Greene, Brooklyn
- Forest City Enterprises
- MetroTech Center
- Urban renewal
- [Slow Economy Likely to Stall Atlantic Yards] By CHARLES V. BAGLI New York Times March 21, 2008
- James, Ian. "New Jersey Nets Sold to Russian Billionaire". BET-US. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
- Trefethen, Sarah (2012-12-19). "Ratner ‘knocking up’ Atlantic Yards". Real Estate Weekly. Retrieved 2013-2-20.
- Schuerman, Matthew (2006-07-18). "Prisoner of Atlantic Avenue". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
- Berger, Joesph (2013-2-19). "Neighbors Predicted Chaos. Now They’re Just Irked.". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-2-26.
- Sheftell, Jason (2012-9-13). "First look at the $76 million Barclays Center subway station". Daily News. Retrieved 2013-2-26.
- Confessore, Nicholas (2006-12-21). "State Approves Major Complex for Brooklyn". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
- Goldstein, Daniel (2010-03-12). "What Is Atlantic Yards? A Complete Failure of Democracy". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/daniel-goldstein-last-atlantic-yards-holdout-leaves-for-3-million/?hp. Missing or empty
- Gallahue, Patrick (2004-06-16). "Tout of bounds". New York Post. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Brooklyn Borough President". Brooklyn-usa.org. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Nets Helped Clear Path for Builder in Brooklyn". The New York Times. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Bagli, Charles V. (2011-03-17). "With Federal Case and Modular Building Plan, New Attention for Atlantic Yards Project". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
- Bondy, Stefan (7 August 2012). "Spike Lee WILL NOT wear that Brooklyn Nets cap". New York Daily News.
- "Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn". Dddb.net. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Atlantic Yards must work for Brooklyn". BrooklynSpeaks. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "sponsors file for stay of construction at Atlantic Yards site". BrooklynSpeaks. 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "The New Jersey Nets Are Welcomed To The Prudential Center" (Press release). City of Newark, NJ. 2010-03-05. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- Official Atlantic Yards website
- The New York Times's topic page
- Atlantic Yards Report a watchdog site, written by journalist Norman Oder
- The New York Observer's coverage
- New York Daily News coverage
- Official Barclays Center website
- Atlantic Yards photo pool
- Photographer Tracy Collins's photos of the footprint/project
- Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, the project's main opposition group
- BrooklynSpeaks, an alliance of community groups critical of the project, not allied with DDDB
- BUILD advocates for the project and partners in the Community Benefits Agreement
- noLandGrab an anti-project compendium of news/blog coverage
- The local weekly Brooklyn Paper's coverage