October 29, 2007

Hon. Eliot Spitzer
Governor of the State of New York
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Hon. Michael R. Bloomberg
Mayor of the City of New York
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Dear Governor Spitzer and Mayor Bloomberg,

As elected officials representing Brooklyn, we are writing to formally request a study of the security planning for the Atlantic Yards project and, in particular, the proposed Barclay’s Center Arena. It is important to note that there have been requests for a full-scale security review of the Atlantic Yards plans in the past. Please see enclosed letter of 12/19/05 to Police Commissioner Kelly.

Our concern has been heightened by recent developments in Newark, New Jersey. There, as you probably know, the Prudential Center Arena was completed and on the verge of opening when, in the interests of security, the Newark Police Department made an eleventh-hour determination that streets around the Arena would have to be closed to mitigate the risk of an attack.

We do not want to face a similar failure of planning in relation to Atlantic Yards, a project at least as susceptible to attack as the Newark arena. Specifically, we are concerned whether the streets around the Atlantic Yards project might have to be closed and to what extent the situation in Brooklyn differs from that in Newark. The Barclay’s Center Arena will sit directly above the City’s third largest transportation hub, the Atlantic Avenue Station, at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, two major Brooklyn thoroughfares. The entire project is designed as a magnet of attention: it will include a glass-walled arena seating 18,000, an eye-catching all-glass 60-foot-high "urban room", surrounded by sixteen high-rise buildings, many of them glass-walled, containing retail and commercial space and over 6,400 units of residential housing. The project’s singular density, scale, design and location all raise critical security concerns.

In the public interest, we urge you to commission an independent study of the security issues and project design of the Atlantic Yards project. Ideally, this study should be conducted by the State and City police in conjunction with the office of Homeland Security, and it should be strictly independent of the project sponsor and Empire State Development Corporation to avoid any semblance of conflict of interest. And it needs to be undertaken as soon as possible, so that any necessary changes can be incorporated into the project’s design before significant construction begins.

Very truly yours,
Eric Adams
NYS Senate
20th S.D.
signature
James F. Brennan
NYS Assembly
44th A.D.
signature
Bill de Blasio
NYC Council
39th C.D.
signature
Letitia James
NYC Council
35th C.D
signature
Hakeem Jeffries
NYS Assembly
57th A.D.
signature
Joan Millman
.NYS Assembly
52nd A.D.
Velmanette Montgomery
NYS Senate
18th S.D.
signature
David Yassky
NYC Council
33rd C.D.
Enclosure
Cc: Avi Schick, President and CEO, ESDC
Michael Balboni, NYS Deputy Secretary for Public Safety
Hon. Joseph Bruno
Hon. Sheldon Silver
Hon. Richard L. Brodsky
Hon. Marty Markowitz
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly
Shirley McRae, Chair, Community Board 2
Richard Bashner, Chair, Community Board 6
Robert Matthews, Chair, Community Board 8


Back