Group demands oversight of Atlantic Yards developer

BROOKLYN - A local group is demanding the state appoint someone to oversee work at the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in downtown Brooklyn.

The Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods argues developer Forest City Ratner is working unchecked. The group cited an April wall collapse at the old Ward Bakery, where crews were removing asbestos before demolishing the site to pave a parking lot for the project.

The Empire State Development Corporation is in charge of work at Atlantic Yards, where the developer plans to build a new Nets arena as well as residential and retail space.

The council wants the ESDC to make good on promises to appoint and ombudsperson to act as a liaison between Forest City Ratner, the ESDC and construction-weary residents. The Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods also wants more accountability at the site and improved safety.The ESDC says it is interviewing for the job, which could take a long time. In the meantime, the agency says all complaints about the work can be directed to the ESDC.

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