Vanderbilt Yards: An Alternative

UNITY 2007 -  Community Planning WorkshopContact: Rebecca Ferguson (917)348-3741

Community to Develop Alternative to Atlantic Yards Plan

UNITY 2007 Saturday, April 28 10 am – 4 pm Registration opens at 9:30 (free & open to the public) Hanson Place United Methodist Church 144 Saint Felix Place Brooklyn, NY

Looking to the future, community members create UNITY 2007, a Community Development Plan.

Brooklyn, NY – As developer Forest City Ratner (FCR) makes plans to start demolition and clear the way for a planned sports arena and multiple high rise towers in Brooklyn, and as two law-suits that could stop or radically alter the project hang in the balance, an alternative development plan for the neighborhood is gaining steam.  Local residents, politicians, neighborhood organizations, churches, architects and planners will gather on Saturday April 28th for a one day community workshop and design charrette to create the UNITY 2007 Community Development Plan.

Started in 2004 with the support of Council Member Letitia James, and under the leadership of local architect, Marshall Brown, the original UNITY Plan (UNITY stands for Understanding, Imagining and Transforming the Yards), endeavored to bring community stakeholders and professionals together to plan for the development of the 8.5 acre Vanderbilt Rail Yards–a key piece of public land within the Ratner proposal–and promote affordable housing, small businesses and open space without the excessive density of the FCR Plan.  The UNITY 2007 Workshop will revive and expand the original UNITY plan.

Project watchdogs, critics, and opponents are convinced the project will not happen as proposed and want to be prepared with an alternative plan under anticipated scenarios. Participants in the day long planning meeting will discuss housing, jobs, design, open space and transportation.  They will talk about options for the neighborhood if some, all or none of the FCR project is completed.  The result will be an updated set of plans for the future of the Vanderbilt Yards.

"The Forest City Ratner project is definitely not a done deal.  New York development history shows that mega projects like this often die in the final stages.  The UNITY Plan will show New York some real and exciting options for development of the site." Tom Angotti, Director, Center for Community Planning and Development

"Given the Mayor's release of his PlaNYC 2030 environmental sustainability strategy and the failure of the FCR plan to address environmental, traffic and fundamental community needs the UNITY charrette will address how we can properly plan and develop the "yards" to meet our city's present and future needs." Ron Shiffman, Former New York City Planning Commissioner

The UNITY 2007 effort is sponsored by the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development, and the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods.