Thursday, November 03, 2005


Today's Times correction: another correction needed regarding housing, scale, location

A correction, in the print but not online version of today's New York Times, 11/3/05:
A front-page article on Monday about the first debate between Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his Democratic opponent, Fernando Ferrer, referred incompletely to a development project in Brooklyn that Mr. Ferrer said he would halt. The development, known as the Atlantic Yards project, calls for an arena for the Nets basketball team and office, residential and commercial building--not just residential.

But the correction incompletely described the project, and the original article contained errors and omissions, as noted. The 10/31/05 article, headlined (at least in the final edition) In Equal Footing of a Debate, Ferrer Gets Feisty, reported:
Mr. Ferrer said that he would... halt plans to build a Nets arena and several residential buildings in Downtown Brooklyn, a stand his campaign hopes will be popular in a politically important part of that borough.

As I wrote to the Times today:
Today's correction regarding the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn itself deserves a correction. It stated that the project "calls for an arena for the Nets basketball team and office, residential and commercial building--not just residential." While true, that is incomplete. Of the non-arena component of the project, residential units would occupy 87% of the space. And there would not be "several" residential buildings, as described on Monday; there would be 15. Thus the project would be more accurately described as "predominantly residential." Also, the project would not be located in Downtown Brooklyn," as originally described. The Times has made this error on numerous occasions, though in other cases has described the project as "near Downtown Brooklyn."

For Downtown Brooklyn, see Chapter 11 of my report, as well as this post.

To be specific, the scoping document from the Empire State Development Corporation describes the current plan, at 9.132 million gross square feet (gsf):
--7.202 million gsf of residential use
--850,000 gsf arena
--628,000 gsf of commercial office space
--256,000 gsf of retail and community facility space
--196,000 gsf of hotel use

See p. 4 of the document for the assignment of buildings.

The original plan was 7.7 million zoning square feet (not quite the same as gross square feet):
--4.4 million sf of residential space
--2.1 million sf of commercial office space
--800,000 sf arena
--300,000 sf of retail space

The ratio between housing and office space has changed significantly, from approximately 2-to-1 to 11-to-1.

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