Skip to main content


Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

"The voodoo of the Barclays Center": transformation on Atlantic and Nostrand avenues (plus other factors)

In the recent edition of the promotional supplement Brooklyn Tomorrow, Community News Group offered "Atlantic overtures," subtitled, "Buildings from Bklyn Heights to Bed-Stuy are changing the face of the avenue."

From the article:
Two residential buildings at 927 and 1007 Atlantic Ave. in Clinton Hill, where auto repair shops still line the thoroughfare, are under construction and will add another 63 rentals to the neighborhood when finished — a sign of transformations to come, according to locals.
“You’ve got a lot buildings going up since Ratner started Barclays,” said Glen Johnson, who works at Ultimate Auto Repair and Sales, a body shop at 858 Atlantic. “Eventually all these auto shops and dealerships, they’re going to go out of business.” Those sites are between St. James Place and Grand Avenue, and between Grand Avenue and Classon Avenue. (The latter has 20% affordable units.)

Indeed, the auto shops are not long for this area, as has long been predicted. The…

Barclays Center's fifth anniversary gala suggests a circle of awardees

Well, how about that. The arena's loyal partner Billboard reports, in yesterday's Shining a Light on Brooklyn' Gala: Brooklyn's Barclays Center will celebrate its fifth anniversary with the inaugural "Shining a Light on Brooklyn" gala at the historic Liberty Warehouse on Red Hook's Pier 41 on Oct. 12. Proceeds from the event -- which will feature a performance by Leon Bridges and an after-party DJ set by Chromeo -- will benefit the venue's Barclays Center Cares foundation, which supports community programs for children and families through its work with more than 300 schools, food pantries, homeless shelters, health facilities and nonprofits. It's curious that they'll have the event in Red Hook, not at the arena. (Less expensive to keep a smaller venue open late?)

A circle of awardees

But it's even more notable how... circular the event is. Note those being honored, at the official page:

Times hypes 550 Vanderbilt green space, ignores adjacent "raw industrial site"

Ah, the (spoon-fed real-estate) press just can'tget enough of the garden at 550 Vanderbilt. See Hippie Amenities With a High-End Twist, from tomorrow's New York Times Real Estate section, posted yesterday:
Just as Birkenstocks and bee pollen have come back in style, so have crunchy lifestyle concepts, from yoga and meditation to composting and home fermentation. And with veganism, Waldorf schools, doulas and healing crystals shifting from far out to very much in fashion, a growing number of New York luxury buildings have embraced the hallmarks of 1970s hippiedom with a high-end twist. Look for amenities like rooftop gardens, kitchen composters, art and meditation studios, bike shares, infrared saunas, even an adult treehouse.
“Especially in Brooklyn, the concrete jungle is not the atmosphere people are aiming for,” said Ashley Cotton, an executive vice president of Forest City New York, whose recently opened condo in Prospect Heights, 550 Vanderbilt, developed in partnership w…

Next Quality of Life (aka update) meeting rescheduled for Sept. 19

It's not uncommon for the schedule of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park-related meetings to change, and once a previous one has been postponed, the rest get pushed back. And that's exactly what happened.

A message from Empire State Development: the next Quality of Life Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 19 instead of the previously scheduled September 6 date. This is an opportunity to raise questions about project operations and progress. Sometimes new information emerges.
Atlantic Yards / Pacific Park Quality of Life Meeting
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 6 pm
Shirley Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place
1st Floor Conference Room
Brooklyn, NY 11217

No RSVP is required, but people can send project-related questions, concerns, or suggested agenda items for the Quality of Life meeting to

From ESD: "Pacific Park is Brooklyn’s newest neighborhood" (oh)

When the lottery for units at the "100% affordable" 535 Carlton opened a year ago, a lot of people were encouraging applications.

So I guess it shouldn't have been surprising that Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards, alerted people to an upcoming information session.

But I was surprised to see the state reproduce the web page from developer Greenland Forest City Partners, including such nonsense as "Pacific Park is Brooklyn’s newest neighborhood." So I copied it.

Welcome to 535 Carlton, Brooklyn’s Latest Affordable Rentals - ESD Message by AYReport on Scribd

Atlantic Yards down the memory hole: a brief summary in a new book on gentrification

A few recent books I've been reading--including Neil deMause's The Brooklyn Wars: The Stories Behind the Remaking of New York's Most Celebrated Borough and Kay Hymowitz's The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back--say interesting (and contradictory) things about Brooklyn, and deserve a longer assessment, along with a third book, Peter Moskowitz's How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood.

Moskowitz's overall arguments are worth engaging, but for now I'd like to address one specific paragraph regarding Atlantic Yards. (deMause's book more extensively addresses Atlantic Yards, if inevitably tilted to the early part of the controversy, while Hymowitz's book goes elsewhere.)

Moskowitz's brief focus on Atlantic Yards is another example of how (inevitably?) complex things get boiled down awkwardly or incorrectly for future consumption. I've seen this in other books, as well. It's unfortunate…

Two books and some advice on "being a better gentrifier"

In an interview headlined Toward Being a Better Gentrifier, CityLab's Brentin Mock interviewed the (out of NYC) academics (two white, one black) who wrote the new book Gentrifier about their experiences. And the interview complicates some easy bromides.

"The problem isn't gentrification: It's that my neighbors are getting locked up, or they are being over-policed, or there aren't any schools, or there’s lead poisoning in the neighborhood, or there aren’t any long-term rentals anymore," says Jason Patch. Those are things to organize about. (Or, I'd suggest, any social action that leads to solidarity and more civic and communal resources.)

"Evictions can happen due to disinvestment in a neighborhood, and [they can also] happen because of over-investment," says John Joe Schlichtman. " Eviction happens because of disconnection from the rest of the city and a neighborhood’s reconnection to the rest of the city. Militarized policing can happen du…