Wall Street Journal: Partially-built mega-projects are overhyped.

The Wall Street Journal looks into “partially-built mega-projects [that] dot U.S. cities.” Spoiler alert: they’re overhyped and deliver little—if any—economic development.

One of the largest is Atlantic Yards, a $4.9 billion real estate development, including a billion-dollar arena for one of the worst teams in the NBA. But the development firm hasn’t broken ground on any of the apartment towers and hasn’t even chosen an auditor yet. The Institute for Justice worked with property owners to try to stop government official s from abusing eminent domain for the Atlantic Yards project, but in 2009, New York’s highest state court upheld bulldozing Brooklynites’ homes and businesses and handing them all over to mega-developer Bruce Ratner.

Some of the other lowlights from the Journal article include:

  • In New Jersey, a $1.9 billion mega-mall decadently named Xanadu has been stalled for the past three years.
  • What was supposed to be a $3 billion set of skyscrapers in Los Angeles is still a swath of vacant lots.
  • “In New London, Conn., a piece of land once eyed for a sprawling waterfront development with a hotel, office space and residential, is still fallow seven years after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of eminent domain to take homes on the site. The new mayor, Daryl Finizio, says now the city is hoping to start on a residential development on a portion of the 90-acre site by mid-2013, but for now the site is without the new neighborhood and the envisioned tax revenues.”

You can read the rest here.