The road from the announcement of the Atlantic Yards project in 2003 through the possible "stall" making headlines today has not been a simple one to follow. The arena, many will recall, was originally supposed to have been finished in 2006, but along the way there have been delays, controversy, fierce opposition, lawsuits, financial revelations and everything that a New York City megaproject could be expected to have. For those who've forgotten some of the twists and turns, here's a very selective Atlantic Yards timeline touching on some of the, uh, highlights:
December 10, 2003: "Forest City Ratner officials publicly unveiled the Atlantic Yards plan—millions of square feet of office, residential and arena space to take over the Vanderbilt Rail Yards in Prospect Heights." Bruce Ratner predicts his Nets arena will open in 2006.
June 9, 2005: Check out the photo of ACORN's Bertha Lewis kissing Bruce Ratner on the lips after a Community Benefits Agreement is reached.
September 9, 2005: "All systems are go" as the MTA is ready to approve a deal with Mr. Ratner for the Atlantic Yards site. Things are "looking pretty damn good."
December 16, 2005: One of the first Atlantic Yards demolitions is readied.
May 11, 2006: Miss Brooklyn is unveiled and Frank Gehry says it tries "to emulate the body language of Brooklyn."
July 16, 2006: A fair-sized crowd turns out in blistering heat to protest the project.
August 23, 2006: Hearings held in Brooklyn about the development get a bit heated and nasty.
October 26, 2006: The eminent domain suit to stop the Atlantic Yards is filed.
December 8, 2006. The Empire State Development Corp. approves the project.
December 21, 2006. All systems are go as the Public Authorities Control Board ends weeks of speculation, approving the project before Gov. Pataki leaves office.
February 20, 2007: More demolition work on the Atlantic Yards site is set.
April 26, 2007: Atlantic Yards contributes the phrase "parapet collapse" to the Brooklyn vocabulary.
June 6, 2007: The first dismissal of the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case.
July 2, 2007: The Times implies that "Ratner & Co. may be underestimating construction costs, and overestimating future sales prices, which could make building out the entire project untenable."
November 30,. 2007: Opponents raise concerns about arena safety & security.
January 11, 2008: The lawsuit challenging the Atlantic Yards environmental review is dismissed.
January 28, 2008: Wide publicity that Forest City Ratner is citing the credit crunch and "turmoil" in the credit markets to argue that litigation needs to speed up.
February 1, 2008: The main Atlantic Yards lawsuit about the use of eminent domain is dismissed.
February 27, 2008: Atlantic Yards Report digs through some documents and finds that Miss Brooklyn and other elements of the project are experiencing shrinkage.
March 13, 2008: Frank Gehry loses his status as being born in Brooklyn.
March 21, 2008. Atlantic Yards "stalls." Mr. Ratner says Miss Brooklyn and housing are both delayed or canceled. Nicolai Ouroussoff calls it "a betrayal of the public trust" and suggests the plan be killed.