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Barclays Center Jobs Announcement a Big Win, or No Big Deal? [POLL]

Separating the good from the not-so-good in Ratner's plan to employ local residents.

At face value, an announcement Thursday that developer Forest City Ratner to be filled by public housing and local residents was good news for the borough's unemployed.

However, as the details came in, the picture got a whole lot murkier.

As Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Fort Greene, pointed out in a statement, many of the jobs to be offered at the soon-to-be-opened Barclays Center are part-time and in traditionally low paid employment sectors including janitorial, food service and ticket sales. 

Forest City Ratner later admitted that the "full-time equivalent" number of positions pegged to Thursday's announcement was actually closer to 1,240.

That seems a far cry from the scores of well paying jobs promised before the city approved plans for Atlantic Yards redevelopment and construction on Barclays Center began.

But for the single mother of two at Ingersoll Houses or the teenager at Gowanus Houses, a job created in one of the tightest employment markets in post-WWII history is still exactly that—a job.

What do you think? Is Forest City Ratner dodging its responsibilities to the neighborhoods surrounding its mega-project receiving millions in public funds at Atlantic Yards?

Or is it time to stop looking the jobs gift horse in the mouth?

Alan Leader April 27, 2012 at 08:04 PM
What is being left out of the equation, as is usually the case when big developments apply for variances, is the NET new jobs created. Prior to the construction of Barclay Center, there were jobs lost at all kinds of stores and restaurants, even some factories when they were eliminated by eminent domain. So the real question is: how many NEW jobs were created in the same area? If there were say 1,500 before, and now there will be 1,120, then all the city's taxpayer subsidies amounted to a net LOSS of 380 jobs!
Joseph Agrest April 27, 2012 at 08:37 PM
1200 plus jobs a huge boost, specifically at very bad job market! Part-time or full time is better unemployment. End of discussion! The negative part is that such a huge project should create more jobs and change the dynamics of this poor neighborhood. The only one way to get rid of HGETTO is to get education and then well paid job! Hopefully it will generate a bigger interest from small business in the area and this should create a secondary wave employment opportunities!
Alex Pacheco April 27, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Not bad for an arena. They are no longer the multiple-building project of original proportions so they can't be expected to fulfill that role. I live 3 blocks away and work 4 blocks away from the future home of the Nets and welcome not only the structure with its futuristic mixed with rustic architecture but also the 1,200+ full time jobs it will produce for the borough.
Gregory April 27, 2012 at 11:53 PM
It is ugly. A bait and switch from a Gehry design to the lead designer of Wal-mart stores.
Janice April 28, 2012 at 12:47 AM
What makes you think they will only hire people from Brooklyn? That's a ridiculous assumption. People from all over NYC will apply for jobs there, and they can't reject applications for work, just because someone is from queens. I don't get all this naive thinking that this will create 'local' jobs. It's a monstrosity, and will degrade the area over time,once all the hoopla has died down. Just look at the neighborhood around Yankee stadium. That's YOUR future, supporters of Ratner!
Janice April 28, 2012 at 12:49 AM
OMG, someone with a brain. Thank you.
Dan Bill April 28, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Great news.
Alan Leader April 28, 2012 at 03:19 AM
I don't know who you are Janice, but what I do know is that despite your obvious anger, you do see the whole picture. I have been the chairman of the zoning board in a medium size town, and it's the same everywhere. Developers with political connections and deep pockets make legal contributions to the relevant politicians, make promises they know they can't keep, get their variances from the politicians they legally paid off, create construction jobs that last only a short time, then all the old time Mom & Pop stores are gone, and the community is worse off than before. Very sad, but not much the little guy can do.
D.j. D. Vine April 28, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Dear Janice - I have a chill pill you should take. You all need to realize first that Alan's guess of 1,200 displaced workers was hypothetical. Do you honestly believe there were 1,200 jobs lost over the railyards? Second, local means city jobs. Now if you're actually saying you'd be upset if anyone from any other borough but Brooklyn were hired there then... Well I'm certain that's not what you meant. Certainly your 'brain' comment certifies you with one capable of understanding "it's all local", and it's all happening so let's learn to accept the changes for what they are - an upgrade to the desolate and unflattering Atlantic Center and Terminal. I am fortunate and blessed to have a job and anyone who gets one of the 1,500 will consider themselves equally blessed. For anyone to get upset because someone from Queens instead of Brooklyn got a job needs to honestly ask themselves what is really their issue. Dear, dear Janice it's not that it's illegal for non-locals to be hired; it's that non locals probably won't apply. But hey, if they do apply and let's say they're actually willing to commute from Long Island or NJ then at least they've found a job - horray. I promise I've never been a fan of Ratner, but this one wins in my book.
Joe Gonzalez April 28, 2012 at 07:00 AM
Bruce "I take what I want" Ratner is lying thru his teeth. This plan of his to hire locals follows the harsh critism I posted on this and other blogs and the public opposition of City Cuncilmember Tish James. Ratner is hoping that the hiring plan to employ locals will cause Councilmember James and I to keep quiet. I for one will not. Folks need to remember it was Ratner who pledged fifteen high rise buildings with thousands of jobs and hundreds of apartments. Where are they?
Norman Oder April 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM
It should be noted that most of the jobs would average 20-25 hours a week. And, if there are benefits connected, there was no mention. In other words, a "job" does not necessarily mean a living. More coverage here: http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2012/04/ratner-bloomberg-provoke-little.html
Hank April 28, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Look at the construction jobs that were promised and look at the actual workers at the site. This is more lies and double-speak. Ratner gets paid, though. Tish is the only one with guts to call it as she sees it.
Hank April 28, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Finally, someone paying attention! Thanks for the historical perspective.
Hank April 28, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Take the crumbs and be happy, eh? We would still be Brit citizens if that's how people thought in the late 18th Century. BTW, this area ceased being a "poor neighborhood" when the demographics of the areas surrounding the arena started changing.
poppy April 28, 2012 at 06:45 PM
when they sent plans in to build this junk they said 17,000thousand jobs where are they they lie to the people to build this garbage dissplaced good people for rich trash to move in
Michael April 28, 2012 at 10:34 PM
This project should have gone to East New York, where there was space and a major transportation hub. But Ratner was looking for megaprofits in "luxury" housing. What he doesn't get, is that the desirability of this area is for its historic beauty and quality of life- to which he has already done major damage!
Parksloper April 29, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Only nobody wants to go to East New York. Now they can somehow use Park Slope in their advertising.
Furtgo April 29, 2012 at 09:57 PM
I have yet to see a good Gehry design. Emperor has no clothes, nor do the princes that created the new buildings within walking distance of the stadium (ie Toren, Albee Square Mall). It's imposingly large (but that's what arenas are) but I like it. Different strokes for different folks.
Gregory April 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I cannot wait to see the traffic jams, the crowds the noise all increase on opening day. Those who wanted this so badly have been taken for a ride and those jobs will get no one ahead in life. Good job, RATner!
lois May 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Promises, promises, empty promises that fall short as soon as things are approved.
Jacqueline June 08, 2012 at 04:35 AM
There would have been jobs years ago if the New NIMBY's in the community did not file law suit after law suit resulting in the main mouth piece becoming a millionaire. Hey Patti and Shelly were's your money did Goldstein share or did he keep it all for himself? Don't bother I know the answer. And maybe we would have also gotten the Gehry rendition of the arena if these folks had just worked together with the developer to get their concerns met. But I guess it makes more sense to stand outside and throw stones than to be inside where your voice can be heard in acceptance rather than in opposition. You don't get much done that way. Will people learn from this lesson I doubt it as some people just thrive on confrontation. Oh well!!!
Candace June 08, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Jacqueline, what makes you think the developer was ever willing to work with anyone in the community? You obviously don't know much about the history of the struggle. . I suggest you see Battle for Brooklyn, which documented all sides of the seven year struggle. Ratner absolutely refused to have a conversation with anyone he already didn't own, or wasn't willing to be bought off.
Jacqueline July 09, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Candace I know more than you about the struggle do not need to watch a documentary!!!

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