In addition, the question arose as to whether the registered CBA was truly representative of the community, given that the project and arena promoters (Forest City Ratner Companies, combined) negotiated a CBA with a coalition of only eight local organizations that excluded a number of local signatories from the negotiations. Nevertheless, research shows that the power and success of CFAs is largely due to strong political support from local community organizations. In other words, what is essential to the success of the CBA is not only to give local community organizations sufficient power to take advantage of their benefits, but also to ensure that all community interests are represented by the involvement of the broadest possible group of community groups in the negotiation, supervision and implementation process. A town meeting for the Atlantic Yards project. Author`s Photo (2015) The standardized land use authorization procedure in New York Is called Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The ability for developers to obtain project approvals is to enter into a community benefits agreement (CBA) with local CBOs. A CBA is a private contract between the developer and local CBOs. In particular, a CBA document is an agreement in which the developer receives community support for the project, in exchange for the promise to make certain concessions to the local community, such as access to more jobs, affordable housing and support for small businesses (For more information on the types of benefits, see the CBA`s role in THE NYC land use process). According to Sarah Mulholland for Bloomberg News, “Demand for real estate, from warehouses to skyscrapers, supported by more than six years of Federal Reserve efforts to stimulate economic growth by keeping interest rates low, and cash stocks from foreign investors seeking refuge.
In the first quarter, approximately $24 billion in foreign capital was invested in U.S. real estate, more than half of the 2014 total. Given the concentration of foreign capital flows in cities around the world and the growing number of mega-projects developing in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and New York, the importance and influence of “local” development projects in cities is highlighted globally. The Atlantic Yards CBA has demonstrated the relevance of global players and the need for a regulatory policy that communicates the interests of foreign investors abroad and community residents in their own countries. While the success of the negotiated CBA in Brooklyn is discussed, the result highlighted the importance of transparency, inclusion and oversight, and should be highlighted on the agenda of local leaders, community groups and investors. Increased control over the negotiation process may lead to more cost-effective outcomes for both local and international players. The CBA called for the creation of an on-site health centre and an intergenerational structure comprising child care, youth and elderly centres in a building with common corridors and an atrium. The arena should be made available to community groups for at least 10 events per year at a reasonable rent. Perhaps when the Atlantic Yards project is finally completed, someone will be alive to remember what was originally promised as a community benefit. The 2005 Atlantic Yards CBA of eight selected organizations made numerous promises to soften the office, residential and retail buildings promised by the CCCCs, anchored by the Barclay Sports Arena.
The CBA outlined housing, human resource development, small business development, community institutions and institutions, environmental initiatives, public housing initiatives, faith-based placement services, and educational and related services.