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Rodent infestation is an ongoing problem near Atlantic Yards construction

A significant cluster of rodents is located in the front yards of homes along the north side of Dean Street near 6th Avenue.  These are among the homes closest to Barclays Center construction.

Rodent sightings and holes also exist along 6th Avenue near the site.  In addition, complaints have been received recently from the intersection of Bergen Street and Carlton Avenue. 

Since work began in early 2007, complaints about rodents along the perimeter of the Project footprint have been brought to the attention of local civic organizations and community groups.  Particular spikes in problems have been timed to demolition work and excavation work at the site. 

On the eastern side of the Project those problems started around the time of the initial abatement and demolition work of the Ward Bread Bakery and the excavation of block 1121 to make way for the temporary railyard.  Despite community requests, the Empire State Development Corporation, (ESDC), has never provided confirmation that rodent abatement occurred preceding excavation work inside the railyard.  There was a significant spread of infestation in the community nearby at the time that work began.

On the western end of the Project, rodent problems reached the ears of community groups around the time of the abatement and demolition work of the buildings lining Dean Street inside the arena block.  Problems with rodents continued to be reported throughout last summer and fall in the children’s play area of Dean Playground, the area near FDNY Engine 219/Ladder 105, and the homes across the street. 

So what can be done?  Community members should call 311 and forward Atlantic Yards Watch the complaint number.  The Department of Health has visited our area numerous times on the basis of the 311 calls the community has made. However, in order to succeed in eradicating the problem all stakeholders need to be involved and coordinated.  This is particularly challenging in circumstances like the area near the arena block where, along with Forest City Ratner’s contractors, there are multiple city agencies as well private property owners who need to be coordinated.

It is believed in at least in one circumstance, the infestation of the 94 family for-profit Pacific Dean Annex shelter at 603 Dean Street located immediately across the street from the excavation of the railyard in 2007, Forest City Ratner took financial responsibility for the rodent problems their construction work apparently caused.