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|A model shown to potential immigrant investors in China in 2014,|
though not shown publicly in Brooklyn.
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 in 2014 after the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group bought a 70% stake in 15 towers. New York State still calls it Atlantic Yards. Contact: AtlanticYardsReport[at]hotmail.com
|A model shown to potential immigrant investors in China in 2014,|
though not shown publicly in Brooklyn.
Barclays Center affiliate Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment has formed an alliance with Long Island University, in which BS&E will bring entertainment back to the historic Brooklyn Paramount Theatre.It's a heck of a space, and a well-located directly over the Manhattan Bridge at the DeKalb Avenue subway station. The former movie theater hosted jazz and rock shows, and was used as a gym by LIU from 1960-2005.
"This collaboration will bring the LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre back to life," says LIU president Kimberly R. Cline, "creating endless opportunities for LIU and our neighbors."
Adds Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, "We felt that this would be the next step in the evolution of our partnership with LIU, that we should work collaboratively and start bringing some great content there, not only for the student body, but also for the public."
The move will resurrect the 1,500-capacity venue, which opened in 1928, as an active entertainment venue for the first time in more than half a century, with the BS&E team focusing on booking emerging talent in a variety of areas, including music, comedy, and boxing. Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark tells Billboard that the Paramount represents an opportunity in the growing BS&E portfolio, and will begin hosting shows as soon as this quarter.
Barclays Center has formed a three-year partnership with local country station Nash FM 94.7 to bring at least two concerts a year to the Brooklyn arena. The deal comes after the arena's first country-music show—a Luke Bryan concert in September—sold out.Then again, Yormark is no longer apparently spewing nonsense like, "We have to educate [country artists] about the fact that there are 385 country bars in the borough."
In order to allow for the appointment of a full complement of Directors, the initial meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation is being postponed from Friday, January 30th to Friday, February 6th with the details to be confirmed.
Sincerely,Is it remotely possible the meeting could be moved to Brooklyn?
ESD Atlantic Yards Team
The odds of winning the New York Lotto jackpot are, of course, worse (one in 22 million on a $1 play), but the housing lotteries have daunting odds of their own.Given the frequent use of the term "affordable," the article does not make sufficient distinction between subsidized income-linked housing geared to low-income households and that geared to middle-income ones.
Last year, a new building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn drew 58,832 lottery applications for 105 affordable units. Not far behind was the Sugar Hill development in Upper Manhattan, which drew more than 48,000 applicants for 98 apartments.
Developers said they had learned to start marketing the apartments early, sometimes years ahead.First, Burch has already left Forest City. It's far more difficult to find certain, better-off households to apply. And, of course, Forest City is not preparing for a lottery for all 2,250 units. The project will take another ten years, so it will be one building at a time.
“It’s somewhat like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Melissa R. Burch, executive vice president for development at Forest City Ratner Companies, which is preparing for the lottery of 2,250 affordable units at Pacific Park Brooklyn, formerly known as Atlantic Yards.
BARCLAYS CENTER (PIX11)– As NBA All-Star Weekend in February nears, PIX11 will be your home for exclusive coverage of the festivities in heart of Brooklyn.It did acknowledge, at least, that "Barclays Center is a marketing partner of PIX11."
Scott Stanford caught up with Ally Love, the Nets Arena MC, who showed him a couple of hot spots around Barclays.
To the Editor:co-chair of the DBP is MaryAnne Gilmartin, the CEO of Forest City Ratner, which runs the Barclays Center (owning 55% of the operating company), is selling the arena, and is quite interested in luring the convention to highlight its property.
Re “Holding the Democratic Convention in Brooklyn? Fuhgeddaboudit” (Op-Ed, nytimes.com, Jan. 21):
I take issue with Norman Oder’s views about Downtown Brooklyn’s readiness to host a successful Democratic National Convention in 2016.
Downtown Brooklyn is one of the East Coast’s greatest urban economic success stories, with new night life, cultural offerings and accommodations, making it an ideal location for Democrats to discuss the future of their party and our country.
Eleven subway lines and 11 different buses stop within blocks of Barclays Center, easing any concerns about unbearable traffic congestion.
Regarding the “extensive use” of EB-5 visas, a program that allows foreign investors to receive visas in exchange for a short-term, $500,000 investment, by the China-based co-owner of Barclays Center:
As the borough of immigrants, we should welcome immigrants, not demonize them, even if we disagree with their home country’s government or America’s broken immigration system. After all, when did we begin to tolerate xenophobia in Brooklyn?
Finally, while area businesses and residents deserve top-notch planning, I have no doubt that City Hall can and will deliver.
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Brooklyn, Jan. 22, 2015
Perhaps the diciest symbolism regards Greenland and Forest City Ratner’s extensive use of a federal program called EB-5, which allows foreign investors to get visas in exchange for a short-term $500,000 investment (an amount that, on paper, is purported to create 10 jobs).
Greenland and Forest City Ratner have already reportedly raised some $250 million through the program; put differently, a Chinese government is making a profit by marketing American residency to its own nationals — a bizarre, if legal, twist on the law’s intent.
One of the oddities about the EB-5 program is that the U.S. government is giving out the green cards, but the entrepreneur who puts together the investment gets the money. This scheme seems inefficient and open to corruption. If our government really believes that it is a good idea to sell green cards, maybe we should drop the pretense that this is a job creation program. It might be more efficient to have the money go directly to the U.S. Treasury and reduce the deficit by billions of dollars a year. In fact, the U.S. government could auction off these green cards and perhaps raise even more money.
To the Editor:
You could kick a soccer ball from our pub in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, to what we hope is the future home of the 2016 Democratic Convention.
Our small business is thankful to share a neighborhood and patrons with Barclays Center and the big events it attracts to Brooklyn.
At the same time, we have been impressed by and thankful for the terrific work of the New York Police Department in keeping our neighborhood safe and our traffic flowing. Every high-profile event that Brooklyn hosts is an opportunity to show off our community, our diversity, our families and our businesses.
A national stage like the Democratic Convention is a wonderful opportunity for the world to learn what we already know: Brooklyn is the world’s greatest stage. Our hope is that the Democrats will come to Brooklyn in 2016, pick their nominee and then stay and experience all that Brooklyn has to offer.
Brooklyn, Jan. 21, 2015
The writer is the chef and owner of WoodWork Brooklyn, a soccer bar.
To the Editor:
The businesses along Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, would welcome the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Barclays Center.
We understand the concerns raised by Norman Oder, but ultimately believe that the influx of thousands of delegates, members of the news media and even protesters would be good for the small businesses ringing the arena, including the more than 500 businesses in the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District.
We look forward to working with Mayor Bill de Blasio to make the event a big success for everyone involved.
Exec. Dir., Park Slope Fifth Avenue
Business Improvement District
Brooklyn, Jan. 21, 2015
Moving to exile one of New York’s most powerful and long-serving leaders, Democrats in the State Assembly agreed late on Monday to ask Sheldon Silver to step down as speaker in the wake of his arrest last week on federal corruption charges.City and State reported:
The Democrats reached the decision in a closed-door meeting that stretched for hours, rebuffing a bid by Mr. Silver to keep his post by relinquishing some of his responsibilities while he defended himself against the charges.
...Leaving the Capitol just before midnight, Mr. Silver told reporters that he had not told anyone that he was resigning, and that he would meet with his Democratic colleagues on Tuesday.
“I am the speaker,” he said, adding, “I’m standing. And I’m going to be standing for a long time.”
Multiple Assembly members also said the suggestion of a five-member leadership appointed by Silver was officially off the table and that the Assembly would follow house rules in replacing the speaker. According to those rules, if Silver resigns from his post, the Assembly majority leader, Joe Morelle, will become the acting speaker until a new one is voted on during an Assembly floor meeting.But no one has agreed on a new speaker.
Albany is reeling, but fighting the kind of corruption that plagues not only New York State but the whole nation isn’t just about getting cuffs on the right guy. As with the recent conviction of the former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell for receiving improper gifts and loans, a fixation on plain graft misses the more pernicious poison that has entered our system.
Corruption exists when institutions and officials charged with serving the public serve their own ends. Under current law, campaign contributions are illegal if there is an explicit quid pro quo, and legal if there isn’t. But legal campaign contributions can be as bad as bribes in creating obligations. The corruption that hides in plain sight is the real threat to our democracy.
|Details on the AY CDC|
What: The Directors of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development.
When: Friday, January 30, 2015, at 2:00 p.m.
Where: Empire State Development
633 Third Avenue – 37th Floor Conference Room
New York, New York 10017
This meeting is open to the public. Web casting of the meeting is available at http://www.esd.ny.gov/webcasts/
Due to 633 Third Avenue building procedures, those wishing to attend please RSVP by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 29, 2015. Members of the press should please call (800) 260-7313; Members of the public should please call (212) 803-3795.
In an unusual arrangement, Mr. Silver would not quit his post. Instead, he would temporarily delegate his duties as speaker to a group of senior Assembly members.Yes, that's veteran Joe Lentol of that mysterious cameo in Forest City Ratner's Ridge Hill case. The Buffalo News suggests:
...Under the tentative plan developed on Sunday, the Assembly majority leader, Joseph D. Morelle of the Rochester area, and the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Herman D. Farrell Jr., Democrat of Manhattan, would assume responsibility for budget negotiations.
Three other senior Democratic members — Carl E. Heastie of the Bronx, Catherine T. Nolan of Queens and Joseph R. Lentol of Brooklyn — will round out the leadership team.
The likelihood of Silver temporarily stepping aside and then somehow returning if he is cleared of the corruption charges is next to zero.The Post editorializes, Eric [Schneiderman] the silent:
If what US Attorney Preet Bharara alleges is true — that for years Assembly Speaker Silver “monetized public office” — why should it have taken a federal prosecutor to bring him down? Why wasn’t it New York’s attorney general?Impact on DNC bid?
When New York Democrats pledged their delegate votes to President Obama at the party convention in 2012, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver took the mic as the Empire State’s spokesman.Silver and real estate
With the national party on the verge of picking a convention city for 2016, Silver is again in the spotlight — but this time, he’s the target of a stunning corruption probe that could tarnish the Big Apple’s chances of beating out Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio.
...A DNC official wouldn’t comment on the impact Silver’s arrest would have on the bid, but said that the “decision will be based primarily on logistics, financing and security.”
US Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating the massive tax breaks granted to Midtown’s luxury One57 condo building, where a mystery buyer just paid a record $100 million-plus for the duplex penthouse, sources told The Post on Sunday.And the Times offers Developer Who Keeps Low Profile Is Embroiled in Silver Scandal:
Unlike many other New York developers, Leonard Litwin, a shy, soft-spoken, compact billionaire, has never sought the limelight.Here's the tastiest passage:
Yet Mr. Litwin and his company, Glenwood Management, have always stood out, for the number of luxury residential towers they have added to Manhattan’s skyline and the exceptionally generous donations Glenwood has made to state lawmakers.
Now, in his 101st year, Mr. Litwin is embroiled in a very public corruption scandal that is rocking the real estate industry and the state’s political establishment.
When Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the New York State Assembly, was arrested on federal charges on Thursday, the criminal complaint against him included accusations that he used his powerful position to reap millions of dollars in graft by steering real estate developers, among others, to law firms that gave him a slice of their fees.
Glenwood is one of the two developers cited but not named in the complaint, according to people familiar with the matter.
While neither of the developers is accused of wrongdoing, Glenwood’s part in the case has stunned Mr. Litwin’s colleagues in the real estate industry, where he is a revered figure who, friends say, has always sought to avoid controversy. He and the company declined to comment for this article.He's a revered figure? That's because the real estate industry has no problem with legal if ethically questionable activity like this:
His company has been a prodigious political donor, contributing over $10 million to political candidates and party committees since 2005, according to the complaint against Mr. Silver. In 2014, Glenwood also spent a total of $900,000 on eight different firms to lobby state officials, including Mr. Silver. Other developers have typically left lobbying to the real estate board.More on Silver
For the better part of a decade during the 2000s, Silver told an associate, he would routinely send a $100 check each year to the campaign committee of former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.Dicker added:
“I knew he didn’t need the money,’’ Silver told the associate with a nervous laugh.
“But I wanted to see if he would cash my check. If he did, then I knew I wasn’t in any trouble because if he was investigating me, he wouldn’t have taken the money.’’
Silver didn’t knock down the suspicion that he was about making as much money as possible a few years ago when he began defending his bizarre practice of flying on the state’s dime from New York City to Albany via Washington, DC, or some other distant spot so he could pick up a few extra frequent flier miles for his personal use.That's a bizarre story, as the Post reported in 2013:
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver spent $20,219 in taxpayer money over the past three years jetting from New York City to Albany — but the top-flight pol turned easy 150-mile, one-hour jaunts into epic 500-mile, five-hour odysseys in a greedy quest to rack up frequent-flier miles, according to sources and expense records.What needs to be done
Instead of finding cheap flights that connect directly from New York City to Albany, or taking less-costly trains or automobiles, the second-most powerful man in the state takes long, expensive detours through Philadelphia or Washington, DC.
“He brags about his ability to build up mileage,” said one Albany insider.
Greenland Holding Group steers clear of Hollywood [Los Angeles] and other communities where the company may face protracted opposition, said Ifei Chang, chief executive officer of the U.S. unit of the Shanghai-based development company.
"We want to invest in a city that's more forward-thinking," said Chang, whose projects include the $1 billion Metropolis in downtown Los Angeles and the $5 billion Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn. "Communities that say 'not in my backyard' might not welcome us. Those cities aren't in the picture."
Give Brooklyn back its street
Brooklyn: I feel harassed, betrayed and exhausted trying to live and work in the borough where I grew up. In 1999, I purchased the building that houses my business in Prospect Heights. When the Atlantic Yards project came on the drawing board, I thought of it as a positive proposition for jobs and the community.
Fast forward to today. I don’t have a problem with any part of the construction project, now called Pacific Park. I have a huge problem with the fact that the city gave the developer half of Dean St., literally. The street now has a 16-foot construction wall, one lane of traffic and no parking lane. My business’ five trucks must park all over the neighborhood during the day and indoors at night.
In one week, we have received six parking tickets — all from the same police officer — for parking on the sidewalk while in the process of bringing trucks inside. It is so unfair to the working guy that there seem to be more obstacles in our way every day in this city. Jack Ippolito
Um, #AtlanticYards developers had already demolished a lot, right @threecee? http://t.co/tn6qNryeqb #FBF @pacificparkbk @barclayscenter
— Norman Oder (@AYReport) January 23, 2015
|The photo circulated by Pacific Park Brooklyn|
|By Tracy Collins|