This watchdog blog, by journalist Norman Oder, offers analysis, commentary, and reportage about the $4.9 billion project to build the Barclays Center arena and 16 high-rise buildings at a crucial site in Brooklyn. Dubbed Atlantic Yards by developer Forest City Ratner in 2003, it was rebranded Pacific Park Brooklyn in 2014 after the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group bought a 70% stake in 15 towers. New York State still calls it Atlantic Yards. Note: archive at right.
This graphic, posted in November 2017, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.
The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.
The previous graphic, from August 2017 (without the ghost B1)
It's big news on Long Island, at least, as the cover of yesterday's Newsday (right) suggests, but it should have ripples in Brooklyn, where the New York Islanders face an uneasy future (as I wrote) at the Barclays Center.
The two respondents (after one dropped out) to the Belmont Park RFP, a group including the Islanders and another including the New York City FC soccer team, made public presentations of their polished proposals on Sunday at a nearby high school.
The renderings looked good, and the numbers impressive. For example, as Newsday's Stefanie Dazio and Jim Baumbach reported:
The Islanders’ proposal includes an 18,000-seat, year-round arena that would host 150 events annually, as well as 435,000 square feet of space for retail, a hotel with 200 to 250 rooms, and a 10,000 square-foot “innovation center” that would be developed with input from residents.
NYCFC, a professional soccer team partially owned by the Yankees, is calling for a 26,000-seat open-air stadium …
It's not certain--no lease has been signed--but the major retail tenant at 535 Carlton, at the corner of Dean Street and Carlton Avenue, could be another branch of Mekelburg's. It opened in Clinton Hill in 2014 as a "cozy," much-praised "Fine Foods & Craft Beer" store/cafe, and in May was announced as the anchor tenant for 325 Kent, the first building in the Domino Sugar complex in Williamsburg.
That much larger outlet, at 4,000 square feet, should open in 2018, while the 535 Carlton location--also significantly larger than the Clinton Hill space--wouldn't open until 2019, at the earliest, according to statements made at a recent public meeting.
No other retail tenants have surfaced for the four Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park buildings to open: 461 Dean, 550 Vanderbilt, and 38 Sixth. That may reflect lingering construction in those buildings and the longer-term commitment of a retail lease, which can be contingent on a custom buildout, as well as the h…
I wrote in January how real estate developer Bruce Ratner joined celebrities urging Congress to "vigorously oppose” (then) President-elect Donald Trump’s “racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-environmental policies.”
I credited Ratner for sticking his neck out, expressing sentiments that surely many others in his field share but are unwilling to admit publicly. However, I wrote, his firm (now Forest City New York) and parent Forest City Realty Trust must pursue value for shareholders.
So, I wrote, if that means lobbying--with Republican Al D'Amato, a Trump ally--in Washington and making deals with the Republican administration, well, don't be surprised.
Now, as the New York Times reported 12/5/17, Tax Plan Crowns a Big Winner: Trump’s Industry:
House and Senate Republicans, in their divergent bills, both offered steeply reduced rates to corporate giants, partnerships and family-owned firms across the board. But when it came time t…
Nah, it's about 550 Vanderbilt:
Downtown Brooklyn’s renaissance is well underway as new retail and residential continues to grow. In one pocket of the neighborhood, a sleek and modern condo building is leading the charge to draw in a new wave of residents. 550 Vanderbilt is the first building to open at Pacific Park Brooklyn, the 22-acre site that will ultimately have 16 buildings and 350,000 s/f of public park space once completed.
So the "south Brooklyn" of the headline is the southern "pocket" (?) of Downtown Brooklyn, which is, of course, not Downtown Brooklyn but Prospect Heights. And, of course, it's not "public park space" but rather publicly accessible open space. Which is not close to ready.
Amenities or price?
From the article:
The tower first launched sales in June 2016. This su…
From the Real Deal, 12/6/17. The Agency hires a new team to tackle sales at Greenland’s Metropolis:
Nearly two months ago, a brokerage shakeup occurred at Greenland USA’s $1 billion Metropolis development in Downtown Los Angeles. New York-based Douglas Elliman lost the project for reasons that remain unclear.
It didn’t take long for the Agency, a boutique brokerage co-founded by Mauricio Umansky and Billy Rose, to swoop in and snag the contract to sell the1,500-unit condo project, which is spread across three towers. After a few quiet months, the Agency has now revealed the development group that will tackle the 2.1 million-square-foot project at 889 Francisco Street.
You don't change brokers--see the example of 550 Vanderbilt, developed by Greenland Forest City Partners--unless sales are not going as well as expected. While the Real Deal article didn't specify month-by-month numbers, it indicated reasons for concern:
Industry observers have questioned whether there is enough …
So, this casual, and not so wise, remark by Mayor Bill de Blasio certainly caused a firestorm:
Did he mean that the team wasn't winning?
or did he mean that the affordable housing was behind schedule and not so affordable?
— Norman Oder (@AYReport) December 6, 2017
Good question but he never expanded. My sense is he was taking a cheap shot at the team playing poorly the past few years. However, he went out of his way to make comment and I've personally never heard him rip the Nets in any way. Nothing about housing-or lack of it-mentioned.
— Rich Calder (@Rich_Calder) December 6, 2017This led to an article follow-ups from the Nets and the mayor's spokesman, captured in a New York Post article.
Hello, @NYCMayor. From one Brooklynite to another, you should know that we always have each other’s backs. Like all of NYC, we're always grinding to get better. If you want to see some real grit, our doors are always open.
— Brooklyn Nets 🇲🇽 (@BrooklynNets) December 6, 2017
From the Real Deal yesterday, To the future! Experts talk tech, and how to lure companies to NYC
At Pacific Park, Forest City put modular construction to the test, an experiment that came with a few construction mishaps and litigation with the project’s contractor, Skanska. Forest City eventually sold the modular company it launched for the project. “When you are the first to try something big, there are roadblocks,” [executive Kate] Bickell said. “In terms of the technology, in terms of solving high-rise modular construction… I think we’ve cracked the code in that space.”
"Cracked the code," of course, was Bruce Ratner's phrase. So far it's meant significant losses, and a building that had such problems that units were gutted. Here's what I wrote in February 2017 about the revisionism, including the continued claim of savings.
From the article:
She added that as a public real estate investment trust, Forest City has decided that owning the business was no longer …
It's important and overdue that we're having national/local conversations and investigations regarding sexual harassment in political and media circles (while remembering that some less publicized workplaces leave workers even more vulnerable).
That said, I echo those who note there's a difference along the continuum between boorishness and sexual abuse/rape, which should--adjusted by the timing, frequency, and workplace-related consequences of the actions--result in different sanctions.
And I can't help but think that public statements, especially by elected officials, are made not merely on principle, nor solely in recognition that our standards have shifted, but also because of political calculation.
The reason: the wall of silence after Atlantic Yards- and Barclays Center-related sex harassment episodes that surfaced just two years ago, with a credible, sympathetic witness: a young black woman who'd lived near the project site all her life. Issue surfaces