Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Atlantic Yards and Community Benefits Agreements

The community benefits agreement (CBA) that Forest City Ratner hammered out with community groups ACORN and BUILD is a historic first for this city. We know that many of you who sympathize with a number of the Alliance’s campaigns are not fans of Ratner and we’ll admit that the eminent domain threat gives us some pause. Still, the recently concluded CBA does remind us a bit of Samuel Johnson’s remark about the dancing dog: “It’s not that it dances well, it’s that it dances at all.”

There are, no doubt, some imperfections in the deal but that doesn’t take away from the considerable number of benefits that Dennis Hamill highlights in his Daily News Column today. In particular, the impressive amount of affordable housing makes this deal hard to criticize. Any development deal that gets the support of Bertha Lewis and the Reverend Herbert Daughtry must have a lot of good in it for the community.

Update: In the interest of full disclosure, as we have stated previously on the blog, we are working with Forest City Ratner on the sports aspect of the project.