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Old December 5th, 2006, 07:35 AM   #601
krull
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Plan for Nascar Speedway Is Scrapped on Staten Island


By ALAN FEUER
December 5, 2006

Faced with unyielding opposition from residents who complained that Staten Island’s roads were already too congested, a Florida company dropped plans for a 82,000-seat Nascar speedway on the island, officials said yesterday.

After two years, plans for the speedway — a three-quarter-mile track to have been built on an abandoned oil tank farm near the Goethals Bridge — were scuttled on Thursday by the board of directors of the International Speedway Corporation, said Wes Harris, a company spokesman.

“The reality of it is the board came to the conclusion that the politics was going to be such that we could not be successful,” Mr. Harris said.

In May 2004, officials of the company, a Nascar affiliate based in Daytona Beach, Fla., announced plans to transform 450 acres of unused industrial land on the northwest tip of Staten Island into the New York base for the country’s most popular sport.

In order to relieve the inevitable traffic, they had proposed a complex network of ferries, charter buses and park-and-ride lots that would have allowed fans to reach the site during the three race weekends that were expected to be scheduled each year.

They had also promised more than $350 million in construction wages during the two years it would have taken to build the track and said the track would have contributed $200 million to the economy annually, including ticket sales, food and beverage sales and hotel bookings. To help them navigate the shoals of city politics, they hired Guy V. Molinari, a former borough president, as a lobbyist.

But Mr. Harris acknowledged yesterday that the board finally realized that even Mr. Molinari, who did not return a telephone call seeking comment last night, could not help them overcome Staten Island’s three-man City Council team, which came out in vociferous and early opposition to the track.

One of the councilmen, James S. Oddo, the Council’s minority leader, called the company’s move “a monumental victory for the people of Staten Island” in a statement released yesterday. Another, Michael E. McMahon, called the development “a huge victory” and “delightful,” saying he had considered the project a “sow’s ear” from the start.

“I am glad that the Nascar people finally understand what I have said all along,” Mr. McMahon said in his statement, “that to put a 100,000-seat Nascar track on the west shore of Staten Island is what my mother would call a schnapps idea.”

Almost from the start, the plan was met with condemnation from a diverse crowd of skeptics, including Manhattan-based environmentalists and Staten Island homemakers.

In April, the Sierra Club issued a report saying the project would pollute the air, require filling in nearly 15 acres of fragile saltwater wetlands and harm several wildlife species.

A few days later, a public hearing on the track devolved into fisticuffs when more than 1,000 people converged on a meeting hall in Staten Island, including a union carpenter who tussled with Staten Island’s third councilman, Andrew J. Lanza.

At the time, Mr. Lanza said he was simply trying to express his views when “a guy put a bear hug on me, threatening me while guys standing in front of him were urging him, ‘Punch him in the face.’ ” After the confrontation, the police shut down the hearing, saying the auditorium’s capacity had been exceeded. There was no other hearing on the matter.

“We honestly don’t know what happened at that hearing ourselves,” said Michael P. Printup, an International Speedway official. There was support for the track early on, according to Mr. Printup, but after the hearing, “something turned.”

Mr. Harris said the company, which bought the land for $100 million, would now study other ways to use it, though he refused to say last night what those might be.

He also refused to give up on the idea of bringing Nascar racing to the nation’s largest media market, though he admitted that New York could be a tough town for business.

In Chicago, he said, it took several tries for International Speedway to settle on a site for a track, but eventually the company was successful.

“The challenge with New York is everything’s magnified 10 times over,” he said.


Sewell Chan contributed reporting.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
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Old December 5th, 2006, 11:23 PM   #602
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I was never for that racetrack to begin with, so I am glad that it got scrapped.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #603
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Quote:
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More renderings (161 Maiden Lane)...




\

It looks like a frosted glass crystal.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 02:39 AM   #604
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Quote:
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Plan for Nascar Speedway Is Scrapped on Staten Island
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Old December 6th, 2006, 03:01 AM   #605
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Yay!

NASCAR sucks im glad its attempt to infiltrate New York City has failed
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Old December 6th, 2006, 03:07 AM   #606
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Nascar = 1 most boring sport in the history of world.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 03:26 AM   #607
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I agree!! I really hate to seem close minded, but that sport is dumb and so are most the people that watch it. I have more teeth than all the people in those stadiums combined!
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Old December 6th, 2006, 04:59 AM   #608
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Quote:
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Nascar = 1 most boring sport in the history of world.
Sport? How is Nascar a sport to begin with? Where's the physical activity? Moving the wheel left and right? Gotta be careful on that pedal, and don't strain your butt from sitting too much.

Hell, I'm having more physical activity moving my fingers around this keyboard right now than a Nascar driver on the track.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 06:50 AM   #609
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Haha, not quite. It's not like football, but the cars get pretty hot and the vibrations do fatigue your body. Along with G forces when those come into play. Plus, the racing aspect does take skill. I'm pretty indifferent about having a track in NYC. I think the NYC metro will get a new track in the future though, sooner than later. It's simply too big a market and people will come to watch.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 08:41 AM   #610
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damn you london

I think that it is good for a city, epically one as big and grand as New York to have a variety of entertainment venues even if does not suit everyone. I really wish the City could have gotten the 2012 Olympics. All of those types of stadiums and venues would have added so much to the City.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #611
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only in staten island
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Old December 6th, 2006, 03:22 PM   #612
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Quote:
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161 Maiden Lane
architect: Rogers Marvel
proposed
525+ feet




this is going right next to 80 South Street.
Is 80 South Street still going to be built, I though it was cancelled because there wasn't enough interest in it?

This design looks great anyway though, will look great on the waterfront.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 02:20 AM   #613
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New York City didnt really need the Olympics and definitely doesnt need a NASCAR track. NASCAR isnt growing nearly as fast it was a few years ago.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 03:01 AM   #614
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yeah i guess it didnt "NEED" the olympics but it would have been nice...

btw what are they doing about staten island its soo akward
are they planning to build there?
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Old December 7th, 2006, 03:19 AM   #615
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I hope you guys get the Olympics one day, and soon ! Meanwhile come and see us in London.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 03:19 AM   #616
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Who's "they". If you mean Nascar, they didn't get the go ahead to build there, so they will have to try again some where else if they want nascar in NYC.

As far as other developments, who knows, but I don't imagine having a renaissance of development unless they build a resort or something large scale like that over there, but that's doubtful.

Last edited by NovaWolverine; December 7th, 2006 at 09:29 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 06:47 AM   #617
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Last-Ditch Maneuvering on Atlantic Yards Project


By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
December 7, 2006

More than two years of costly warfare over the proposed Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn has exhausted and bruised both supporters and opponents. But as the battle enters its proverbial 13th round this month, critics of the $4.2 billion project are mounting a last-ditch political outreach effort to delay final approval until a new administration is in place in Albany.

The project’s sponsors, meanwhile, are rushing to get the project approved before Gov. George E. Pataki leaves office.

The board of the Empire State Development Corporation, the state agency overseeing the project, is to vote tomorrow on whether to approve the final project plan. They will also vote on authorizing any needed condemnations on the 22-acre site where the developer Forest City Ratner hopes to build an eight-million-square-foot residential, commercial and arena complex.

The board’s approval is practically a foregone conclusion, however, and both sides are already focusing on the final stage of the political battle: a possible vote this month by the Public Authorities Control Board. The votes on that board are controlled by Mr. Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno.

Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, an umbrella organization of groups that want to stop the project, filed suit last month in federal court to challenge the likely condemnation of several properties on the site. On Tuesday, the group delivered thousands of letters from city residents to Mr. Pataki, Mr. Bruno and Mr. Silver urging them not to approve the project until the lawsuit is resolved.

The group also recently hired a lobbyist to contend with the considerable Albany firepower of Forest City Ratner and the array of New York politicians, unions and business groups allied with the company.

A second coalition, known as Brooklyn Speaks, hopes to force changes to the project, like significantly reducing its size. The coalition includes several national and local civic groups with influence, including the Municipal Arts Society and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

A spokesman for Forest City Ratner, which is also the development partner in a new Midtown headquarters for The New York Times Company, declined to comment on any efforts it has made to influence the upcoming votes.

The Public Authorities Control Board must unanimously approve Atlantic Yards for it to move forward. And though Mr. Pataki, Mr. Bruno and Mr. Silver have all expressed support for the project, it must still traverse the gantlet of Albany power politics.

Mr. Pataki, a likely Republican candidate for president, is said to be eager to establish a physical legacy of his 12 years in office, especially after other major projects, including the West Side stadium, have been killed or delayed.

More often than not, his antagonist on the board has been Mr. Silver, who last month described Charles A. Gargano, the Empire State Development Corporation chairman, as the “most corrupt member” of Mr. Pataki’s administration. Mr. Silver has often criticized Mr. Pataki as having withheld key information about state projects. Mr. Pataki, in turn, has typically rejected those charges as political posturing. Such debates have delayed a number of projects in the past, and a Pataki aide said a similar fate might await this one.

Officially, however, Mr. Silver supports the project, and the Assembly has already appropriated $33 million for it. In an interview, Mr. Silver said his staff was awaiting details of the project’s long-term financing.

“We are not looking to be negative,” Mr. Silver said. “We haven’t seen the financials. When we do, we will make a decision.”

Late last month, three Assembly members from neighborhoods near the project site — James F. Brennan, Joan L. Millman and Annette Robinson — sent a letter urging Mr. Silver to delay the project until it could be modified. Mr. Silver hinted that he would listen closely to their criticisms, describing them as “very effective members.”

Hakeem Jeffries, an assemblyman-elect whose district would include most of the project, said that he had expressed his concerns to Mr. Silver privately but that he would wait until after tomorrow’s vote to articulate them more formally.

If the project approval were delayed into next year, Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer’s representative would replace Mr. Pataki’s on the board. Aides to Mr. Spitzer have recently begun a more intensive review of the Yards project, among others, which they said was intended chiefly to bring Mr. Spitzer up to speed on the projects’ details. But a senior policy adviser to Mr. Spitzer said last week that an intervention was not out of the question.

“If we thought it were a seriously flawed proposal, we would encourage people to hold it until we had an opportunity to make further review of it,” said the adviser, who was granted anonymity so he could speak openly about Mr. Spitzer’s thinking on the matter.

Though Mr. Spitzer supports development over the railyards, critics of the Atlantic Yards plan believe that he would be more sympathetic than Mr. Pataki to the idea of modifications, should the project fall into his lap. He has spoken in the past about wanting a closer look at financial projections out of concern that the state might be forced to contribute more money than expected.

The project’s sponsors have held such information closely, rejecting numerous requests under freedom of information laws from journalists, politicians and Brooklyn residents.

Critics of the project hope that Mr. Silver and his staff will pry more information out of Forest City and the development corporation before the speaker will approve it. That information, they believe, could reframe public debate on terms more favorable to those who would like to change the project.

“Disclosure of the finances might reveal that they would make a profit even without the giant density of the project, and that there is no compelling rationale for the current size, and that a downsizing is fully achievable with the developer continuing to earn a generous rate of return,” Assemblyman Brennan said.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
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Old December 7th, 2006, 11:03 PM   #618
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I hope that Silver can be hero on the Atlantic Yds just like how he was on the Hudson Yds.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 11:23 PM   #619
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Nascar exciting when theres crashes and people die, so i propose they make it a lot more dangerous, with no seat belts, and the cars go faster, no limits on anything can do what ever you want to the car.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #620
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And you have jet engines strapped on the cars and all the cars are soaked in gasoline and lit on fire as they race.
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