Friday, December 30, 2005

The Sun, 12/30/5: New York in Building Boom of Historic Scale

And what are we building? Well, according to the article:

"Mr. Doctoroff listed a series of highly touted future projects he hopes will make headway in 2006, including the westward extension of the no. 7 subway line, $9.9 billion of new construction near ground zero in Lower Manhattan, a mega-mall at the site of the Bronx Terminal Market, $5 billion to $6 billion worth of development projects in Flushing, commercial development in downtown Brooklyn, and new stadiums for the Yankees and the Mets. He said he hoped the 22-acre Atlantic Yards project slated for Brooklyn, which includes a basketball arena for the Nets and more than a dozen office and residential towers, would break ground before the end of 2006."

Then we get the money quote:

"Many of the projects cited by Mr. Doctoroff and supported publicly by Mayor Bloomberg have angered local residents, who among other complaints, feel the administration's strategy favors big developers over the desires of the local neighborhoods."

Angered local residents? The administration's strategy favors big developers? And never mind the desires of the local neighborhood?

That sound? The nail getting smacked on the head!

Click the title above to read the article for yourself.

Tiempo New York, 12/22/5: Heated Yankee Public Hearing in the Bronx

Click the title above to read the article in Tiempo New York that discusses Borough President Carrion's shut out of the community at the "public" hearing on December 12. Scroll down to "Heated Yankee Public Hearing in the Bronx."

Actually, for the 150+ community residents who were shut out in the subfreezing temperatures that night, it was anything but heated!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Meeting with Bronx Terminal Merchants and Neighborhood Retail Alliance

Save Our Parks met yesterday with representatives of the Bronx Terminal Merchants and the Neighborhood Retail Alliance.

It has become increasingly clear to all involved that these two projects--the Gateway Mall which would displace the merchants, together with a new stadium constructed in the middle of a residential community and on public park land--are in fact highly linked.

Click the title to read a posting about the meeting over at the Neighborhood Retail Alliance weblog. Scroll down to the appropriately titled "Save Our Market, Save Our Park, Save Our Community".

Planning Commission Hearing

The Yankee Stadium development project has now moved onto the City Planning Commission level and hearings have been scheduled for Wednesday, January 11.

Purpose of hearing:

This public hearing will be both a ULURP public hearing & the public hearing with regards to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). You can submit comments on both the project in general (ULURP review) and the contents of the DEIS. Please note that the time frame for both comment periods is different. The public comment period for the DEIS will close 10 days after the hearing (January 21st) However, comments on the ULURP application will be open until the Planning Commission issues its vote. This could be a minimum of 2 weeks, maybe longer.

Submit comments in writing:

Given the timeframes noted above, we suggest that everybody submit comments to the Commission in writing! The Commission will review all written comments before issuing a decision. The written testimony will be accepted – starting immediately – and going up until the dates noted above. However, you may want to get your comments in early – particularly if you plan to give oral testimony. That way you can reference it when you are called upon to speak and perhaps some of the commissioners will have read it. If you can’t prepare it beforehand, you can also submit your written testimony when you give your oral testimony.

Send your comments to:

City Planning Commission
Calendar Information Office
22 Reade Street – Room 2E
New York, NY 10007

Giving oral testimony:

You will have to register to speak. Speakers will be given 3 minutes – so try to organize what you will say to fit the timeframe. (Again, written testimony can make up for whatever you don’t have time to say). You will be asked to check a box that asks if you are for or against the project. They do this so that they can alternate speakers. However, generally the speakers will go up in the order that the registrations are received.

Please note: Unlike previous ULURP meetings, the commissioners can ask you questions if they need further clarification.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Make it permanent!

The shot above is of the temporary Yankee Stadium Metro North Station.

It should be made PERMANENT!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Lukas Herbert's letter to BP Carrion

December 13, 2005

Honorable Adolfo Carrion, Jr., President
Borough of the Bronx
851 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451

Subject: Public Hearing for Yankee Stadium Project ULURP Application

Dear Borough President Carrion:

I am writing you in regards to the public hearing that was held on December 12, 2005 for the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) review conducted by your office for the above referenced project. While I had signed up to give my testimony at the hearing orally, I was not selected to approach the podium to do so. Therefore, I wish to submit my comments on this matter to you in writing. It is my understanding that written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on December 14, 2005.

The public hearing you conducted last night was an embarrassment. It was an embarrassment to your office, which I once held in high regard. It was also an embarrassment to our community; that something like this would go on in our neighborhood. But for me, I personally felt embarrassed as an urban planner, a civil servant and a as Community Board member; that a government hearing would be used in such a shameless manner to promote a project that my community clearly does not want.

The public hearing you presided over was a circus-like sham intended to mislead everyone about this project. Was this not supposed to be a ULURP hearing? I had signed up to speak so that I could talk to you and your staff about land use issues –the things that ULURP decisions are supposed to be based on. Instead, however, the room was filled with building-trades representatives who filled most of the seats and presented a repetitive one-line mantra: “we want jobs”. While I do not dispute that jobs are an important aspect of any large-scale development project, the provision of construction jobs is just one factor of the review – and they are not the full substance of any one of the particular ULURP items you have before you to review. Instead of packing the house with building-trades representatives (most of which do not live in the neighborhood), you should have provided more time to listen to your community – particularly those who wanted to address land-use impacts that are crucial to your review of the ULURP items.

As a member of the Community Board, I spent countless numbers of hours reviewing the documents involved with the ULURP review that I was responsible for. I used my expertise as an urban planner to provide an analysis for the rest of the Board on the land-use and other impacts of the project. I analyzed the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) and other documents fully before I reached a decision. When it came time to hold our hearing, we let everyone speak. I cannot speak for everyone on my Board, but I can tell you for certain that I based my decision to reject this project on a careful review of the impacts, and by listening carefully to the testimony of all the hardworking neighborhood folks who came to our hearing. Ade Rasul, our chairman, made sure that everyone who wanted to, had the opportunity to speak. Regardless of his opinion on the project, he did the right thing by holding the meeting open until everyone was heard. Many of us on the Board sided with the public who came of their own volition that night. They spoke about the project’s impacts (land use and otherwise) and we heard them – loud and clear.

My experience with the Community Board’s ULURP review was something that I wanted to share at the public hearing as party of my testimony. But I was not given a chance to do so thanks to the way your hearing was set up. This brings me to the next topic below.


Public hearings have been used as a form of discourse in this country throughout its history. They are part of the foundation of democracy, which our government is based on. Your public hearing, however, made a mockery of this process. While I am not certain that the hearing you conducted violated any laws or regulations pertaining to public hearings, your hearing certainly went against the principles that are behind what a public hearing is intended for. You took a public hearing - that is supposed to be used to help you decide how to vote on a ULURP action - and you turned it into sham event, to minimize your opposition and create a mirage of support for a project that you may not have in reality.

When I arrived at your hearing at 5:50, ten minutes before the start time of 6 p.m., the hall was already packed with building-trades representatives who do not represent the totality of the community you serve. These people just don’t show up to hearings – they were invited by somebody. Perhaps they were even paid to be there? As a result of this strategy, no one could get into the public meeting at around 6 p.m. when the meeting started. This meant all of the hardworking people of this neighborhood who wanted to attend after they got home from work could not get in. The result was that approximately 150 people were locked out of the “public hearing”. Many of these people were infuriated and started chanting to be let in. Their pleas were ignored and many remained outside. How can you profess to be holding a “public hearing” when the room is stuffed with special interest groups (building trades representatives) while many of the working public were locked outside because they could not get to the meeting early enough to grab the seats that were available. It was clear to me – and to everyone there - that this was an intentional act.

Furthermore, it was announced that all speakers must register and that the hearing would only be held open until 8 p.m. After the presentations were made by the Yankees, that left approximately 90 minutes for public testimony. Since there were more people signed up than could be accommodated within the 90-minute timeframe, it was obvious that not everyone would be allowed to speak. Because of this, most of us assumed that the speakers would be called in the order their registrations were received, particularly because this is a standard practice used at most public hearings. However, I can safely say that there were people who signed up after me who were called up to speak. There were also people before me who were called up to speak. I was not chosen to speak. Other people I know (some of whom arrived as early as 5:15 p.m. that evening) were not chosen to speak. The one constant among us was our opposition to the project.

It is not hard to “connect the dots” in this scenario. Our names were recognized as outspoken project opponents and we were not chosen to speak. It was a thinly veiled attempt to abuse the forum of a public hearing. How can you hold a “public hearing” when certain members of the public do not have access to the venue you are holding it in and to the podium? You manipulated who got to enter the room and who got to speak – therefore, you manipulated the outcome of the hearing. That is not a public hearing – that is a corruption of democracy. You have perverted a time-honored forum of public discourse for your own end – and as a result have tarnished the reputation of the government you serve in.

As a government employee and as an urban planner, I have devoted my professional life to trying to make government work for people. It is actions like yours which destroy the public’s faith in good government and makes my professional goals harder to achieve. I care greatly about government’s ability to serve people. I want people to care about their government and take an active role in civic life. Government defines who we are as a society; it is the framework of our civilization. However, you cannot have a democratic form of government work when the citizenry is demoralized or apathetic. By holding a public hearing like this one, you have driven another nail into the coffin that you, and politicians like you, have built to bury our government in. How can you expect people to vote, to care and to be involved when you treat them with such disregard? Voter turnout is at an all-time low. People have learned to despise the government that serves them. And it is actions like yours that have done this to them.


Originally, I had hoped to discuss this on page 1 of my testimony, since this is supposed to be the focus of your ULURP review. I will use the section below to discuss these issues, which I sincerely hope you will consider as part of your decision making process for this matter.

a. Inappropriate taking of parkland. The ULURP application before you would consume several acres of neighborhood parkland for the purpose of constructing a new Yankee Stadium and three new parking garages for thousands of vehicles. The taking of parkland in any situation for vehicular parking is a disturbing proposition, which evokes images of Robert Moses era planning practices that planners today have learned to avoid. However, it is particularly disturbing when you propose an action like this in the “Asthma Capital of America”.

The urban planning profession has learned from past mistakes: you do not simply walk into a neighborhood and take parks away and use them for parking. Visioning and public involvement are necessary. So far, both of these activities have been limited.

The community has already voiced their concerns that they want the existing parkland to remain intact. The planning process should listen to those concerns. Instead, the community is being offered “replacement parks” which are to be built on top of two of the parking garages. These “parks” will be grade-separated from the surrounding neighborhood in most places, and will not feature amenities such as mature trees and grass. They are not equivalent replacements for the current parks. The community has stated this repeatedly. Other replacement parks would be located in locations that are far away from where anyone lives. Again, this is not an equivalent replacement.

While the Yankees organization showed a revised presentation at your public hearing, with some elements changed from the DEIS, the use of parkland for parking garages remained constant. If one looks carefully at the renderings that were shown as part of the presentation, the renderings showed grade separated parks that would lack most of the natural features that neighborhood residents have come to enjoy.

As a resident of this community, I can vouch for the fact that natural parkland is necessary. It is necessary as an oasis from our urban surroundings...and it is necessary because our parks are our “lungs which clean our air”. Because this is the “asthma capital of the world” we need all the help we can get. Taking natural parkland away and converting it to parking garages will only set us back.

b. Unnecessary parking. Some of the ULURP items before you involve approvals necessary for parking garage construction and operation. However, these new parking garages are unnecessary and will cause a blighting effect on the community.

The applicants claim that since the new stadium will have fewer seats, no new traffic will be generated to the stadium. If that is the case, then no new parking would be required unless the intention is to get more fans to use stadium garages. However, this is not an appropriate strategy in a modern world where energy consumption is an ever-pressing issue. Furthermore, the “Asthma Capital of America” is not the appropriate venue to carry this strategy out.

Instead of having additional parking at the stadium site, the project should be revised to include a new Metro-North station – particularly since Metro-North tracks traverse the project site. The applicants should be required to work with Metro-North to develop price incentives for people traveling to and from games. These incentives should be carried out at a new Hudson Line station at the stadium site as well as at the Melrose station on the Harlem and New Haven Lines, less than a mile away.

If transit amenities are included in the project, then there would be less of a need for parking and Parking Garages A, B, C and D could be eliminated from the project. This is the outcome that the community has advised us to pursue. If the parking lots are eliminated, natural parkland can remain.

c. Location of stadium. Most residents indicated at our Community Board hearing that they preferred the stadium to stay in its current location – and not moved into parkland across 161st Street. The proposed new location would place a hulking building mass directly across from several historically relevant (and landmarked) buildings, and would have the potential to blight them. The proposed stadium location could also potentially cut off the Highbridge neighborhood from the rest of the immediate area during game days, which would have a seriously detrimental effect on those residents.

Instead of moving the stadium, the project should consider other alternatives more thoroughly, such as rebuilding the stadium in place or simply renovating the existing stadium. While the DEIS does include an analysis of this, the analysis is not adequate to meet the concerns of the community. The DEIS is overly dismissive of alternative options, stating that they would not generate enough revenue for the Yankees. This is not a sufficient analysis given the scope and impacts of the proposed project.


Because the attendees at your public hearing used the lion’s share of the time available to talk about job creation, I would like to comment on this matter.

Job creation for the new stadium project will likely be temporary. Construction jobs will last only as long as the construction period. After that, the jobs are gone. The new stadium is not likely to have any substantial direct job creation since most of the jobs in the new stadium, will simply be the same jobs from the old stadium. It’s not like we are suddenly going to have two stadiums with two sets of jobs.

The people of the Bronx want good paying jobs; jobs they can keep for sustained periods of time; jobs that provide financial security. Jobs related to stadium activity are not those kinds of jobs. They are seasonal jobs; jobs in the infamously low-paying retail sector; jobs that do not lead to better paying jobs. To say that this project will deliver thousands of stable, well paying jobs to Bronx residents is a distortion of both truth and reality. This reasoning should not be used to decide in favor of this project. Furthermore, using the myth of extensive job creation to lure those without jobs into supporting this project, is making a promise to people that cannot be realistically kept. By pumping up job creation with this project, you are making pawns of these people to get this project built. You are taking advantage of a sense of desperation that comes with a lack of employment and you are using it to advance the aims of a project that will not necessarily deliver the jobs that many people are expecting: good, high-paying, long-term jobs. Instead they will have short-term construction jobs or seasonal jobs pouring soda and cleaning bathrooms.

Furthermore, I would like to point out that there was some discussion at the public hearing about additional project elements, such as a hotel, convention center, museum, etc, which would also create jobs. However, I must point out to you that this is not the subject or scope of your current ULURP review. The DEIS, which is the written public record of this project, does not contain these elements. If these elements are to be included in the project – and thus considered as part of this ULURP application – then a revised Supplemental DEIS must be provided with an expanded project description. Since this has not been provided, to consider these other elements as part of your review is not valid.

I sincerely regret that I had to use such a high level of criticism in this letter. However, I feel I have no other choice. I asked you to appoint me to Community Board because I wanted to serve my community. To do that properly, I must stand up for what I believe is right...and call attention to what I believe to be injustice. Serving on this Board has been a wonderful experience and has enabled me to begin to learn what makes this community so wonderful – the people who live and work here. It is through their dedication that I am proud to be a member of this community. People are working hard to make the Bronx great. It is a level of dedication that I have never seen elsewhere – and it makes me feel very wonderful whenever I think about it. I cannot turn my back on them when they have voiced their concerns to me. I have been told repeatedly by my neighbors that this project needs to be revised substantially. Because you appointed me to serve them, I did – and I voted “no” on this project. I respectfully suggest that you do the same.


Lukas Herbert, AICP
Community Board 4

Hon. Jose E. Serrano, United States House of Representatives
Hon. Elliot Spitzer, Attorney General, New York State
Bronx Delegation, New York State Senate
Bronx Delegation, New York State Assembly
Hon. Betsy Gotbaum, Public Advocate, City of New York
Bronx Delegation, New York City Council
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
New York Civil Liberties Union

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Car ownership in Community Board 4

Here are some interesting numbers. For all the talk that goes on (particularly with the Community Benefits Agreement) about the Yankees "doing the community a favor" by opening up parking, the Community Board 4 area actually has very low car ownership, compared with the rest of the city. Therefore, the Yankees don't need to build more parking just to open up parking to the community. If they just opened up one or two of the existing garages, that should do the trick. We don't need more parking...built in the parks!

Avg. vehicle ownership per housing unit:
Bronx -- 0.49 (not quite 1 car for every 2 households)
Brooklyn -- 0.54
Manhattan -- 0.24
Queens -- 0.86
Staten Island -- 1.32
Bronx CB 4 -- 0.27!
NYC-wide -- 0.58

Percent of households who don't own a vehicle:
Bronx -- 61.6%
Brooklyn -- 57%
Manhattan -- 77.5%
Queens -- 37.7%
Staten Island -- 18.4%
Bronx CB 4 -- 77%!
NYC-wide -- 55.7%

In other words, car ownership rates in the CB 4 are among the lowest in the city.

The NY Post, 12/12/05: Nets Train Hard

Why can't the Yankees do this? If they did they wouldn't have to
build those new parking garages, which means the parks wouldn't get destroyed.

This kind of stuff just makes too much sense!

Click the title to read the article at The Post's website, or continue reading below...



December 12, 2005 -- The Nets want to offer fans at their planned Brooklyn arena a real ticket to ride. Team officials hope to work with the MTA in devising either a swipeable game ticket or a game-day MetroCard to encourage fans to ride instead of drive to their new home, sources told The Post.

That's one of the ideas being bounced around by team brass and transit experts as New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner tries to quell community concern over the traffic nightmare his proposed 19,000-seat NBA arena and residential/retail complex might mean for the borough's downtown.

Ratner plans to move the team to Brooklyn for the 2008-'09 season.

The developer is considering hiring Gameday Management Group, a well-known transportation management firm that specializes in getting fans to A-list events like the Super Bowl gridlock-free.

"We want to make sure traffic flows as smoothly as possible, and they're highly respected," said Joe DePlasco, a Ratner spokesman.

Gameday was recently hired as a consultant for the proposed 80,000-seat NASCAR racetrack on Staten Island, where the company would require spectators to choose their transportation method when purchasing tickets through an easy-to-follow Internet registration system.

Fans can drive to one of 8,400 parking spots, but most would take a chartered bus or ferry from New Jersey or Manhattan. Those who don't follow the rules won't get in.

But Gameday officials told The Post that controlling how fans get to the Brooklyn arena — planned for the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues — might not be feasible since, unlike the Staten Island raceway, it would be built in the heart of a mass transit hub.

One of the ideas being floated to ease transit problems associated with the planned Brooklyn arena includes teaming with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to have season ticket holders purchase special game-day MetroCards — or having tickets embedded with MetroCard technology.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Stop making sense!

Take a look at the map above. If we're in a pinch due to the transit strike, the Yankees are willing to have a Metro-North station as part of the contingency plan.

The contingency plan calls for a temporary station to be set up at the stadium - so that people can use the parking lots and then board a shuttle train to Manhattan.

The fact that an emergency station would be set up here speaks to the fact that a station here makes sense for REGULAR service. Why not have a full-time train station instead of thousands of more parking spaces in garages that would be constructed in neighborhood parks?

Or does that make too much sense?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Field of Schemes reports on last night's "public hearing"

And if by "public" you mean "construction workers", then it was YOUR kind of "public hearing".

Click the title above to read what Neil deMause has to say!

Yankee Stadium Redevelopment Expected to Carrion

Follows is an insightful post from the Neighborhood Retail Alliance website about last night's "public hearing". As always, click the title to read it at their website with hyperlinks.

Yankee Stadium Redevelopment Expected to Carrion

Last night Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion held his Borough President hearing on the new Yankee Stadium proposal (it is assumed he will vote in favor of the project). In an unfortunate replay of what happened with the Bronx Terminal Market hearings, carloads of paid boosters, otherwise known as construction workers, packed the hall, drowning out concerned community members. Yet Yankee President Randy Levine has the audacity to remark: “As the process goes forward, it will become more and more clear that the people who speak in opposition are professional protesters.”

Levine’s statement is not only hypocritical but dead wrong. Those opposing the plan to build on top of vital greenspace in a park-deficient area of the Bronx are community residents who will be most affected by the plan. However, just like with the Bronx Terminal, real planning and community impact concerns are blithely brushed aside as the developer and certain Bronx elected officials vigorously push the Yankee stadium project forward. For more on this check out the insightful and often updated Save Our Parks blog.

As we’ve mentioned before, what this poor planning does, besides directly harming small business and destroying parkland, is to burden the community clogged roads and diminished air quality. For a borough with the worst asthma rates in the nation, one would think that elected officials would be careful especially careful to make sure the two largest developments in the Bronx’s history (which are literally side-by-side) would be planned in conjunction and would do everything possible to encourage mass transportation. Instead we get bogus, developer-funded analyses that don’t even take into account the other project! This is exactly the problem the land use review process, one that is exacerbated when politicians are receiving generous contributions from the developers whose projects they're supposedly reviewing.

Professional protesters

Randy Levine said that the audience several weeks ago at the town hall meeting (where only eight community residents were allowed to speak, all in opposition to the proposed new stadium in the parks) contained "professional protesters". The Highbridge Horizon quoted two people who absolutely refuted the charge. Why? Because it was a lie.

What about tonight? Busloads of construction goons crowded the speaker's list, and crowded out community residents, hundreds of whom had to brave the subfreezing temperatures for more than an hour for an opportunity to enter the meeting, well more than an hour after the meeting started.

One woman, who arrived 45 minutes before the meeting began, and was the first to sign up to speak, was never called and never got a chance to voice her opinion.

That smell? Democracy, burning.

Monday, December 12, 2005

New York Sun, 12/12/05: Carrion To Unveil Plan for Parkland Lost to Yankee Stadium Project

Carrion To Unveil Plan for Parkland Lost to Yankee Stadium Project

By DAVID LOMBINO - Staff Reporter of the Sun
December 12, 2005

The president of the Bronx, Adolfo Carrion, will detail his plans for replacing the parkland lost as a result of the new Yankee Stadium project at a public hearing tonight, a member of his staff, Eldin Villafane, told The New York Sun yesterday.

Mr. Carrion, who has been named as a potential Democratic mayoral candidate for 2009, has been an ardent supporter of the new stadium. Tonight, at a public hearing on the Yankees' pending land-use application for the project, Mr. Carrion may seek to appease the community opposition centered on the loss of park space and the inadequacy of the planned replacement parks. The local Community Board 4 recently rejected the stadium plan in an advisory vote.

The new ballpark complex will cover roughly 22 acres and displace about half of Macombs Dam and John Mullaly parks. In a plan made in conjunction with the city, the parkland will be replaced with a riverfront park on the site of the existing stadium, and on artificial recreation facilities on top of new parking garages.

A spokesman for Mr. Carrion, Mr. Villafane, said yesterday that five additional acres of park space would be located on the site of the existing stadium, most of which will be demolished once the new ballpark is constructed on an adjacent lot. But a city Parks Department official said that he was unaware of any new parkland being added to the existing land-use application, which calls for about 28 acres of new parkland.

The chairman of a neighborhood organization that opposes the plan, the Bronx Voices for Equal Inclusion, Gregory Bell, said yesterday that the Yankees' and the city's plan was crafted without community input. The replacement parks, he said, are farther away from their neighborhood, which already lacks open space and green grass.

"Nobody is saying no to economic development, or no to the Yankees. We are saying no to the way this project is designed, because it has no benefits for the community," Mr. Bell said.

Mr. Bell said the loss of parkland could aggravate the neighborhood's incidence of asthma. The Bronx has the highest incidence rates of asthma in the country. An official for the Yankees said yesterday that the area's already high asthma rates have nothing to do with their proposed plan, and that the Yankees will take environmental precautions during construction
to prevent further deterioration of air quality.

Yankee officials have called the project the "largest private investment in the history of the Bronx" and they say there is no other suitable location to build the new 51,800-seat stadium.

A spokesman for the Yankees, Howard Rubenstein, said yesterday that the stadium will deliver "thousands of new jobs" to the area, improved parking facilities for neighborhood use, and $120 million in new parks and waterfront facilities that include a new running track, baseball fields, handball courts, and an ice-skating rink.

Mr. Rubenstein said, "The Yankees are sensitive to the community's needs and will continue to work with all the elected officials in the Bronx and the community to satisfy reasonable concerns." The Yankees will pay about $800 million for the new stadium. The city and state will contribute about $300 million for the new parking facilities, parks, and infrastructure

Both the state Legislature and the City Council have already approved the transfer of parkland to the Yankees. The project's land-use application needs the approval of Mr. Carrion and the City Council, which is expected to review it next spring.

NY Daily News, 12/11/5: Carrion to cover his bases

Carrion to cover his bases

Public confab tonight on Stadium proposal


It'll be Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión's turn tonight to take his cuts at the city's pitch for a new Yankee Stadium. The local community board has already voted against the plan.

Carrión will be holding a public hearing from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the rotunda of the Bronx County Building to discuss the city and the New York Yankees' proposal to build a new stadium just north of the venerable House that Ruth Built.

But local community members have voiced concern over their parkland - including Macombs Dam and Mullaly parks, where the new stadium and four parking garages would go - being replaced with less convenient green space.

And the city Parks Department has already said it may just tear down the walls of the current historic - but not landmarked - stadium to open more green space.

Carrión has previously said he hoped the current stadium might remain standing and be converted into a local sports arena and baseball museum, with a hotel overlooking it on the northern end.

A spokesman said Carrión "remains committed to preserving the 'spirit and character' of the stadium, as well as seeking a sports-themed high school \[and\] a hotel-conference center. This will provide an increase of 5 acres of parkland to what has already been proposed."

As part of the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, local Community Board 4 last month voted 16 to 8, with five abstentions, to oppose the plan.

Many community members have complained that the new green space would include inconvenient locations, including down by the Harlem River, with tennis courts shifted to the roofs of the parking garages.

After Carrión's recommendation, the issue will move to the city Planning Commission and ultimately to the City Council.

Originally published on December 11, 2005

El Tiempo, 12/12/5: Yankee plan strikes out

Click the title to read the article in El Tiempo.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

BP Carrión's Dec 12 public hearing

Bronx Borough President Public Hearing on Yankee Stadium land use review (ULURP) application:

A PUBLIC HEARING IS CALLED by the President of the Borough of The Bronx, Honorable Adolfo Carrión, Jr. on Monday, December 12, 2005 commencing at 6:00 p.m.

The hearing will be held in the Rotunda of the Bronx County Building, 851 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, New York 10451 on the following items:


060056 MMX, 060057 MMX, 060058 MMX, 060059 MMX
Amendments to the City Map
C 060144 PQX Acquisition of Property
C 060145 PPX, C 060146 PPX, C 060147 PPX Disposition of City Properties
C 060148 MCX Major Concession
C 060149 ZSX, C 060150 ZSX Zoning Special Permits

All those wishing to speak may register at the public hearing.

Steinbrenner’s NIMBYism

NIMBY – "Not In My Back Yard" – is an issue that George Steinbrenner and his private company doesn’t want to discuss in their land grab to steal a NYC public park for private profit. Many people have told the Yankees that they have enough empty land to the south and west of the current “House That Ruth Built” to renovate or expand Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately Steinbrenner’s myopic lackey Randy Levine has publicly stated that this option “didn’t work for (him).”

Perhaps the proverbial “a picture is worth a thousand words” will help George Steinbrenner & Randy Levine to open their eyes and minds. Here are a few of the many photos we took: (1) from the south; (2) the south showing the ramp to the ferry; (3) from the west; and (4) the private Yankee parking lot to the west.

Just like anyone could, we took these photos. Funny thing is that all George and Randy had to do was look out of their limos to see the same thing.

Anyone got eyeglasses for these luxury box seat holders?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Last week in The Crain's Insider

The Crain's Insider (which has the tagline "A daily fax on government action of importance to business") sent out the following notice last Tuesday, November 29:

"New Yankee Stadium faces opposition"

"Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, who supports the plan for a new Yankee Stadium, will face a difficult crowd at a Dec. 12 public hearing. A growing number of Bronx residents are unhappy with the plan because it would destroy 22 acres of parkland, and the options for replacing the land are seen as unacceptable. The new Yankee Stadium is slated for construction across 161st Street from the current site, in parts of Macombs Dam and John Mullaly parks, where residents play baseball and soccer and run on a track.

"The Yankees would put a stadium and four parking garages in the parks and replace the community land with nearly 28 acres of space inside and around the old stadium, along the Harlem River and atop two of the garages. An opposition group, SaveOurParks, has collected 4,000 signatures against the plan since early October.

"The group says the garage-top idea is uninviting, and the Harlem River esplanade is more than a half a mile away. Community Board 4 voted against the plan."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Yankees' only rationale for building new stadium bites the dust

The Yankees' only argument for their land grab is that they are going to invest $800,000,000 in our neighborhood. They swagger into every meeting (all two of them) and bully community residents with their entitlement thinking, spinning their story that since they are spending that kind of money, we should just shut up and play dead.

But what if they aren't *really* spending that kind of money?

What if they only have $200 million--or $300--to spend on the stadium? What if we don't find that out until the bulldozers and chainsaws are brought in and they have started work on this new stadium?

Well, then, the city and/or state will just have to cough the cash up, won't we? Half a billion dollars, anyone?

So if they are bleeding so much red, do they or do they not have the $800 million needed to build a new stadium?

Why the new stadium is sooo important for the Yankees

Here's another very enlightening article in the Daily News (click the title above to read the whole thing).

But start with this excerpt:

"When the Yankees build their new stadium they will be able to deduct some of the building costs from their portion of the revenue-sharing pool, but when the stadium opens in 2009 they should have vast new revenue streams from concessions (up to six times the current stadium retail space) and luxury boxes (with up to three times as many as they have now)."

And all the community that surrounds the stadium has to do is give up their parks and open space to help poor little George out.

Yankees in the red

Read this informative column in the Daily News by clicking the title above. It seems our neighbor isn't doing so well financially.

This is important to know as they sell the stadium proposal as paid for by themselves. What do you bet we see an article in the news a couple months after foundation work begins on a new stadium announcing they don't have the money to finish the project? Public money to the rescue.

Money quote from the article:

"Steinbrenner still has the deepest pockets. But guess what? He doesn't just want that new stadium because he loves his fans. It doesn't matter which pocket it's coming out of, nobody wants to lose money like this."