A Guide to the Atlantic Yards Controversy


Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn
A coalition of civic activists, writers Jonathan Lethem, Jonathan Safran Foer), musiscians, actors (Steve Buscemi) and area residents opposed to the project. The press release they issued September 28 declared, “Atlantic Yards – It’s A Crime!
Community Organizations Join to Call for a 
New Plan at Atlantic Yards
Brooklyn Was Promised Much More Than an Arena”

Atlantic Yards Report: The most prolific opponent of Atlantic Yards is blogger/Journalist Norman Oder, author of the Atlantic Yard Report. He’s covered nearly every aspect but the closest he came to a 50,000-foot sum-up and overview was his recent piece: “Atlantic Yards and the Culture of Cheating” He reviews what he says was deception by Forest City Ratner throughout the project, including on promises related to jobs, low income housing, eminent domain and traffic:

“There’s no legal corruption. But Atlantic Yards relies upon what I’d call a “culture of cheating,” a term inspired by The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead, a book by business ethicist David Callahan.

It’s an ends-justify-the-means shamelessness and betrayal of promises that pervades the project, involving, at various times, project promoters, consultants, lawyers, and community partners. And that cheating has been too often ignored or papered over by the press.”

Brooklyn Speaks: A coalition of neighborhood groups “BrooklynSpeaks is an initiative of civic associations, community-based organizations, and advocacy groups concerned about the future of development at the Atlantic Yards site”

The Battle for Brooklyn – The makers of the critically-acclaimed documentary have set up a website that not only promotes the film but other activities related to the project.


Marty Markowitz’s statement in support:

“I believe Atlantic Yards is the right project at the right time in the right place for Brooklyn. Although my support began with the idea of bringing an arena and a national sports team back to Brooklyn, I now view Atlantic Yards as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create the center of urban life that Brooklyn has long deserved, adding important amenities to the Downtown Brooklyn area.

Atlantic Yards represents a chance to affirm our identity as the most ethnically and economically diverse urban area in America. At the same time, the project provides a national model for 21st Century development that accommodates future population increases by creating the appropriate mixed-uses every American downtown has, at a location served by an almost unprecedented number of public-transportation modes.”

Bruce Ratner, in this New York Times profile, argues, “”We’ve kept every single promise we’ve ever made,” he said. “We’ve built the arena. They said we’d never build it. And I’m going to build the affordable housing.”

Ratner elaborates in his interview with Bloomberg TV

“Barclays Center Developer Bruce Ratner Talks Brooklyn, Jay-Z, And New Arena’s Cultural Impact,” an interview with Bruce Ratner in Billboard magazine.


Various official documents – including the Barclays’ Center’s presentations in favor of the plan — can be found at the Empire State Development site.

Several years of coverage can be found at the Brooklyn Eagle, The Brooklyn Paper, The New York Times, and the New York Daily News