and Ratner: 2 heads ’a’ buttin’
Opponents of Bruce Ratner’s arena-residential-commercial mega-development
at the Atlantic Yards were crying “foul” this week after the
master builder moved forward with preliminary demolition work on six buildings
within the project’s footprint.
Ratner gave the New York Times an exclusive walking tour of the buildings
earlier this month, and his spokesmen told the Paper of Wreck-ord that
the buildings were in imminent danger of collapse and, therefore, must
Not so fast, cried City Councilmember Letitia James (D-Prospect Heights),
who demanded that Ratner let her bring in an outside expert. James contends
that Ratner is legally allowed to tear down the buildings only if they
are an immediate threat to public safety.
“We want to know what they are trying to hide by not letting us in,”
She’s now asking the city Department of Buildings to refuse to issue
still-needed demolition permits. But the point may be moot: Ratner’s
spokesman said the engineer’s report has already been provided to
“the relevant agencies,” who have been convinced that the buildings
are, indeed, falling apart.
And the spokesman, Joe DePlasco, said James and other lawmakers “were
invited to tour the structures with the licensed engineer who wrote the
reports, but they said no.”
DePlasco also pointed out that if the buildings were to collapse and injure
someone, everyone would again be screaming for the head of Bruce Ratner.
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010