(Stalled) Projects and Their (Unfulfilled) Promises

Across the U.S., cities bear the scars of giant projects stalled by the economic crisis. Too often, the public ends up with the short end of the stick.
September 14, 2012, 10am PDT | Andrew Gorden
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From Los Angeles, to Brooklyn, to New London, CT, cities await the public benefits touted by developers of mega-projects. Yet the last few years have seen many of these promises go unmet. Eliot Brown, of The Wall Street Journal delves into the details regarding the soon-to-open Barclay's Arena in Brooklyn, part of the greater Atlantic Yards development, where supposed "benefits were crucial to tempering a vocal community opposition when the project was approved in 2006."

"As one of the largest mixed-use projects under way in the country, Atlantic Yards was meant to transform a swath of Brooklyn," states Brown. "But the missing pieces of the project highlight the challenges many U.S. cities face with large-scale real-estate developments that have become stalled amid a slow economic recovery, leaving them without taxes, jobs and amenities once pledged to the public."

Promises made by Atlantic Yards' New York-based developer, Bruce Ratner, included low-to-middle income apartments and a community health-care center, among others, which have yet to materialize. Public officials and communities, alike, are calling for greater accountability of developers to ensure promises to the community are fulfilled.

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Published on Friday, September 7, 2012 in The Wall Street Journal
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