Atlantic Yards Turns Five Today!

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Believe it or not, five years ago today, in the flush of the real-estate boom, Mayor Bloomberg, Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, and big-time developer Bruce Ratner unveiled their vision for Atlantic Yards, which would tear down a chunk of Prospect Heights to build a Brooklyn Nets arena plus a complex of residential, retail, and office towers that would loom over the small-scale hood. As many of you know, utter chaos and protest ensued, with accusations that the project's size and scale would destroy the area. And today, the protesters have won, sort of: Construction hasn't begun and the whole thing's tied up in lawsuits and has naturally slowed due to the financial meltdown. In an inverse version of showing people baby pictures, this would be like a shame-filled parent (Ratner) showing photos of a stunted little 5-year-old and everyone else (the countless Brooklynites who despise the idea of Atlantic Yards) oohing and aahing with genuine delight. "So cuuuute! Wouldn't it be great if s/he could stay that way forever? Awww!" [Curbed]