Tuesday, June 18, 2013

With BAM South Deal, Letitia James Shows 'Em How to Do Business in the Big City

Two Trees
The big story on Monday was the approval at a City Council committee meeting of the ‘BAM South’ 32-story mixed use cultural development in Fort Greene.

The project, a lynchpin of the BAM Cultural District, will include cultural space (including a performance theater and a movie theater), affordable housing and a new public plaza with a restaurant and retail.

Because Councilwoman Letitia James bargained shrewdly, several key measures were included that make the project better for everyone. According to the Brooklyn Eagle:

* James negotiated an agreement that would maintain the Pacific Street library branch, which Brooklyn Public Library had shortsightedly planned to sell to developers.

* She negotiated an increase in the number of affordable apartments.

* She got Two Trees to agree to pay union wages or better. In an update, James said the project would include "some" union jobs.The statement by Two Trees reads in part, "We pledge to work together with the  Building and Construction Trades Council to ensure that work on the $130 million project will be bid out to multiple union firms giving them the opportunity to compete for the work. We are confident that union contracts will be employed at the site over the course of construction of this great mixed use project."

* Cultural organizations utilizing the space will reflect the diversity of this community.

* Utilization of the open space will include the input of all stakeholders.

Kudos to Ms. James for holding out, in the face of dimwitted editorials in the NY Daily News castigating her for "tinkering" with the project.

According to the News: "James has been haggling down to the wire to modify the BAM South parameters. This is no way to do business in the greatest city in the world."

Wrong, Daily News. This is EXACTLY the way to do business in the big city.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

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