Greatest Hits

…from this morning’s MTA meeting , when board members voted overwhelmingly (one “no” vote) to sell the 8-acre rail yard in Brooklyn to Forest City Ratner for the Atlantic Yards project:

“This looks like a sweetheart deal to me. If you eat a Sweetart candy, it leaves a tart taste in your mouth. This leaves a tart taste in the mouth of subway riders…. Don’t buy Sweetarts. Buy Smarties. Be smart. The smart thing to do is to recognize the interests of riders.”
–Michael A. Harris, campaign coordinator of the Disabled Riders Coalition, who held up packets of Sweetarts and Smarties as visual aids

“If we look at the World Trade Center, where African-American firms have zero money out of that project, no labor, no contracts. That’s a disgrace. Here we have an opportunity where for once in the city of New York, the minority and disadvantaged community can participate in an equity position as well as get jobs.”
–James Heyliger, president Association of Minority Enterprises of New York

“I am usually testifying in opposition to retail developments in the city. This is quite an exception because the project before you is exceptional.”
–Richard Lipsky, the lobbyist who fought Wal-Mart and won

“I believe the scale of the project as currently proposed is simply too large for the surrounding neighborhoods and I fear that if you lock in the price at the level that is currently proposed the developer will have no choice but to proceed at that undue scale.”
–City Councilmember David Yassky, representing neighborhoods north of project location

“No longer will Brooklyn be one of the outer boroughs. It will be the center of New York City.”
–State Senator Carl Kruger, representing southeastern Brooklyn

“Yesterday I won by a mandate, 85 percent. This project, it was a referendum on this project, and the community stood solidly behind me. You will not destroy my community without a great fight.”
–City Councilmember Letitia James, representing neighborhoods in and around project location

“If you won’t play pretend that these hearings are part of the democratic process where you weigh what we have to say in your decision-making, then I won’t play pretend either. And so I’ll take the rest of my time standing here without speaking.”
–Shabnam Merchant, Brooklyn resident, who stood in silence for almost two minutes

Another tidbit: Corcoran and Sunshine are among the brokerages selected to sell and rent the 3,750 or so market-rate apartments.

–Matthew Schuerman Greatest Hits