Does a new arena and retail complex count as infrastructure? Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz seems to think so.
The future of Atlantic Yards --Brooklyn's biggest development project -- could hinge on President Obama's $827 billion stimulus plan.
City and state officials say they expect developer Bruce Ratner to lobby hard for a piece of the federal pork to help bail out his reeling $4 billion plan to bring an NBA arena and 16 residential and office towers to Prospect Heights, which is in jeopardy because of the economic downtown.
Borough President Marty Markowitz, the project's biggest cheerleader, said yesterday that funds from the stimulus bill should go to offset arena construction, and especially aid Ratner in a revamp of Long Island Rail Road's Vanderbilt rail yard.
"This project is shovel-ready, and the jobs it would create are needed now," said Markowitz, adding Atlantic Yards would also boost businesses nearby.