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The Battle for Brooklyn

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The Atlantic Yards would be among the biggest real estate projects in Brooklyn history, stretching out over 22 acres of land in central Brooklyn. It would create 16 new residential and commercial buildings - including one tower rising over 60-stories - and an 18,000-seat basketball arena for the Nets.

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Rafael Pi Roman looks into the explosive political and legal battle over the plan - a fight that has been colored by racial politics and accusations of backroom deals. The show features interviews with Charles Gargano, who is the top development official in the state and a supporter of the project; Council Member Letitia James, whose opposition to the Atlantic Yards led her to split bitterly with factions of her own party; and a profile of Daniel Goldstein and Shabnam Merchant, the leaders of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, who are among the last holdouts in the footprint of the proposed project.

UPDATE: On October 18th, 2006, the Empire State Development Corporation released a seven-page document showing how it had arrived at figures predicting that the Atlantic Yards Project would yeild a tax benefit of $1.4 billion to the city and state.

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This was a reversal of its original decision not to release the documents. In his interview with Rafael Pi Roman, which was recorded on October 4th, Mr. Gargano said that requests to obtain the documents through the Freedom of Information Act had been turned down because "we are now still negotiating [with the developer, Forest City Ratner], and when you are negotiating you don't open your cards up to who you are negotiating with."

Click here to download the document released by the Empire State Development Corporation.

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The Debate: A look at the battle over the Atlantic Yards plan. View this story
View this storyInterview with Letitia James: The city council member who represents the neighborhood discusses her opposition to the project.
The Holdouts: Daniel Goldstein and Shabnam Merchant are among the last homeowners in the footprint of the proposed project who have refused to sell.View this story
View this storyInterview with Charles Gargano: The chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation on eminent domain, the environmental impact of the project, and the process going forward.
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