The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) oversees many large development projects throughout the State of New York. No comparable project is managed like Atlantic Yards.
Other ESDC projects are overssen by dedicated subsidiaries or local development corporations that have outside directors appointed in conjunction with local elected officials. This not only provides transparency to local stakeholders, but ensures they are represented in decision-making as projects evolve.
ESDC has assigned only one person to the Atlantic Yards project on a full-time basis, even though at $5 billlion, it's one of the largest in the agency's history. All decisions are made by Forest City Ratner Companies. Maybe that's why courts have found the project's public disclosures "lack the candor the public was entitled to expect", or why a recent independent consultant's report found that violations of Atlantic Yards' environmental commitments were "widespread."
In June of 2011, legislation to reform Atlantic Yards governance passed the State Assembly (over FCRC's opposition), but the bill has stalled in the State Senate. It's time for Governor Cuomo to make better oversight for Atlantic Yards a priority, and use his influence to make it a reality.