Wednesday, May 25, 2005

New York State Accountable Development Initiative (ADI)

The ADI creates a much more detailed oversight scheme than which is utilized under the current ULURP process. The key feature is a Community Impact Report (CIR) that is independently conducted over an 8 month period. The CIR has a comprehensive list of mandate basic standards that focuses on:

1) Living and prevailing wages
2) Employment benefits
3) Job training opportunities
4) Mitigation of negative neighborhood impacts
5) Community benefits

Under the current ULURP, the economic impact analysis rarely transcends the boilerplate fill-in-the-blank style of analysis that has become acceptable to city planners. Put frankly, there has never been any real attempt to do in-depth economic impacts from the folks at EDC who, real estate-driven, simply act as cheerleaders and a conduit for developer interests. One useful study (of the Pathmark in East Harlem) found an 89% favorable rating for local supermarkets and, as a result, was just about disavowed by EDC with the author’s being pressed to adjust their findings.

Jobs with Justice is looking at the Bronx Terminal Market as a poster child for this legislation. Unlike the Brooklyn Nets project which has a major community outreach and community benefits component, the Gateway development proceeds in secrecy with Related’s typical bogarting mentality and lack of transparency. Does anyone really believe that the current ULURP process will come anywhere near answering the questions mandated under the ADI?