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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.
Court of DreamsThis is hardly novel in the NBA, though the Nets are more opaque than some, since they don't announce a ticket requirement.
Play where the pros play before or after a Brooklyn Nets game! Do not miss this opportunity to play an authentic basketball game on the court with the same amenities as the pros including announcers, access to the player benches, and the ability for your fans to watch and cheer you on. Call for ticket requirement.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23rd – CHAMPIONSHIP GAME @BARCLAYS CENTER (Details)The video of the event shows a rather sparse crowd.
* Each player will receive new uniforms, shoes, socks, backpack, headband, and t-shirt
* This weekend tickets will be on sale. Minimum tickets are $50pp or premium package which includes courtside seating during championship game and closer seating for Nets-Sixers game for $175pp (limited quantity available)
We want to thank the Brooklyn community and our entire fan base for your unwavering support. You are instrumental in the team’s success and have helped us advance to the playoffs each year we’ve been in the borough.Um, that's reminiscent of the alleged "unwavering" support from Barclays when it came time to renew the naming rights agreement in November 2008, as the project stalled during the financial crisis. Barclays actually renegotiated, and a reported $300+ million deal became a $200+ million deal.
Skanska Motion for Contempt of CourtSkanska Memorandum of Law backing motionSkanska lawyer's AffirmationSkanska Subpoena Request to Berlin Rosen
Skanska Subpoena Request to Greenland
Berlin Rosen Objections to Subpoena
Greenland Objections to Subpoena
"What we're trying to do is inform that process," said Jonathan Rosen, an Acorn spokesman. "We want to take the mayor's opening and point out that in places where you're selling condos for a million dollars overlooking the East River, you probably don't need to subsidize those developments with money from middle-class homeowners."The Times briefly referenced Atlantic Yards:
New York Acorn, which successfully pressured the Forest City Ratner Companies to include mixed-income housing in its 9.1 million-square-foot Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn...Ah, but the devil's in the details, then and now.
One notable exception to these trends in Downtown Brooklyn development, the Forest City Ratner Companies’ Atlantic Yards Project, will lie on a 22-acre site, bordered for the most part by Flatbush, Atlantic and Vanderbilt Avenues and Dean Street. It will include a professional sports arena, a hotel, an office complex and residential mid-and high-rises containing 4,500 units of new rental housing.
Forest City has entered into a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with ACORN and seven other community groups that commits the developer to making 50% of the rental units – 2,250 units – affordable. Developers and government agencies typically define “affordable housing” using broad income brackets that encourage the development of housing affordable only to the highest-earning members of each bracket, who may earn as much as $141,600 for a family of four. But the CBA tiers Atlantic Yards’ affordable housing to much smaller income brackets, ensuring that units will be affordable to every low- and moderate-income family:
The remaining 450 apartments, 20% of the affordable units, could include people making 101-160% of the AMI, depending on the development’s financing negotiations and funding commitments. The project will also include between 600 and 1,000 affordable condos.
With 2,250 total units of affordable housing, including 1,350 affordable to low-income families, Atlantic Yards will far exceed both the 467 units of affordable housing of the other 87 developments combined and the 201 of these units affordable to low-income families. The project is currently undergoing environmental impact review.What was missing from the report
3. All affordable units in all developments should be income-tiered so that the units are targeted to and affordable for all low- and moderate-income families, at 30 percent of household income.Well, we know that CBAs don't necessarily work unless they have teeth, and the Atlantic Yards CBA signatories--including ACORN--have been compromised because they have received financial support from the developer.
4. Any developer who receives a tax exemption should be required to enter into a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with relevant community organizations, covering labor participation and training, minority contracting, etc., as well as affordable housing.
"I'm much happier,'' he said. "It was a tough situation (in Brooklyn) last year. Horrible, really.Pierce suggested that the pressure got to point guard Deron Williams and that shooting guard Joe Johnson was too quiet to be a leader. Both of course are paid very well.
"It was just the guys' attitudes there. It wasn't like we were surrounded by a bunch of young guys. They were vets who didn't want to play and didn't want to practice. I was looking around saying, 'What's this?' Kevin (Garnett) and I had to pick them up every day in practice.
"If me and Kevin weren't there, that team would have folded up. That team would have packed it in. We kept them going each and every day.''
NO doubt most of what Pierce has said is accurate but he did want to stay and wanted a lot of money.Nets vs. Knicks
— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) April 15, 2015
As soon as the Nets are eliminated [from the playoffs], the Knicks will retake the stage with their roughly $30 million in salary cap space for potential free agents and a high first-round draft pick that has, suddenly and comically, been imperiled by the prideful résumé padding of next season’s possible end-of-bench players.Nets merch sinks
While the Knicks invent fascinating new ways to infuriate their fans, the Nets continue providing few reasons to consider them as a viable alternative.
The Nets last season in New Jersey, sales of their merchandise were 31st in the league, behind the defunct Seattle Supersonics. Their bold black-and-white gear jumped to No. 4 their first year in Brooklyn, selling more merchandise in their first day than they had sold the season before. Last season, they dipped a bit to No. 7.
But with the team losing more than they won this season, and playoffs now in question, their sales dropped out of the NBA's top ten, according to the latest numbers released by the NBA Tuesday. The bad news didn't end there: for the second straight year, the Nets didn't have a player in the top 15 of jersey sales. Deron Williams had finished sixth two years ago. D-Will, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett weren't in the top 15 last season.
The rankings are based on overall retail sales on NBAStore.com since the beginning of the 2014-15 season, not worldwide retail sales. And the Nets have pointed out that their sales overseas have jumped, particularly in China.
During the overnight hours of Thursday, April 16th the contractor will be trenching across the 6th avenue intersection at Atlantic Avenue. This work is needed for the installation of shoring for a Verizon conduit servicing the arena and to prepare for the temporary water and sewer utility relocations which will occur within the same trench. The trench will be covered with road plates following the installation of shoring and conduit. While this work is underway, the crosswalk along the south side of Atlantic Ave and the sidewalk along the east side of 6th Avenue will remain open; the northbound travel lane between Pacific Street and Atlantic will be closed. Individuals looking to cross to the north side of Atlantic Avenue will be directed to do so at the intersection of Ft Greene Place and Atlantic Avenue. Flagman will be posted at the intersections of Pacific Street/6th Avenue and Atlantic Avenue/6th Avenue to direct traffic and pedestrians. Given the need to close the intersection at Atlantic Avenue and 6th Avenue, this work is being performed at night pursuant to the DOT work permit; work would commence after 9:30 pm and is expected to take 8 hours. While the work is underway, the contractor will have directional lighting in the work area and will be using various equipment, including excavators, hoe rams with a mounted jackhammer and a boom truck.Modular restarts
• Work related to the erection of modules for floors 11, 12, and 13 will commence during this reporting period.It does not indicate, as was stated two Updates ago, that modules on the 10th floor would be realigned, or that they have been realigned. Nor is it clear whether work "related to" the erection of modules includes the actual placement of modules.
|2015 rent levels for B3; rent should be higher when building opens in 2016|
In 2011, in his first State of the State speech, Governor Cuomo established MWBE participation goal for NY state contracts at 20 percent. By the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year, official data indicated that New York State jumped ahead of the rest of the country, with over 25 percent, or $1.96 billion in contracts awarded to MWBEs. For 2014-15, the goal is set at 30 percent, or $2.4 billion.(So is the Atlantic Yards goal now 30 percent? If so, that's news to me.)
Further, M/WBE spending remains heavily concentrated in a few agencies (topped by the School Construction Authority, which is not subject to LL1, and yet has spent 37.7 percent of all M/WBE money). Likewise, the largest chunk of M/WBE spending ended up in the hands of a handful of companies: top 10 prime vendors have received over 30 percent of all contract spending - incuding five WBEs, three companies owned by Asian Americans, one Hispanic/ Latino-owned, and one whose ownership has not been identified for security reasons. As for subcontracting, of the top 10 M/WBE subvendors, 4 were Asian-owned, 2 WBEs, 2 Hispanic/Latino-owned, and 2 owned by Blacks. (On the bright side, Black-owned firm, R & D Contractors and Builders, has been the largest city subvendor, with almost $478,000, or 10% of total M/WBE subcontracting funds.)One reason for this is the state requirement to award contracts to the lowest bidders only.
M/WBE participation goals in New York State and New York City laws and regulations are not mandatory. Instead, they limit agencies’ responsibilities with regard to identifying an M/WBE contractor to “best efforts” or “good faith efforts”:84 agencies and their contractors are required to show that they made just such an “effort” to attain the goals. In the view of many observers, this wording provides leeway for city agencies and their traditional contractors to circumvent the government-set goals for M/WBEs’ participation.Note that the M/WBE percentages in the Atlantic Yards CBA are goals.
To get a better idea of opportunities still available for a substantial M/WBE participation in New York, it is worth reviewing at least some of the most recent and ongoing construction projects in New York State and the city.Projects mentioned include LaGuardia Central Terminal Project, JFK Airports Delta Terminal Redevelopment Project, George Washington Bridge Bus Station, Willets Point Development, and the sale of Long Island College Hospital. Also cited is Hudson Yards. Atlantic Yards is unmentioned.
To begin with, Columbia resorted to the use of “eminent domain,” i.e. basically the seizure of small businesses’ property, which was widely criticized but ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court; local critics, including the leadership of Community Board 9 (which tried to ban eminent domain and voted unanimously against a Community Benefits Agreement with Columbia in May 2009), had to accept it as a “reality.” The leadership of CB9 changed hands and adopted a more collaborative stance toward Columbia. NY State Assemblyman Keith Wright echoed the feelings of many at the time: “If my constituents can make some money off of it, it is good. If my constituents can benefit, it is good.”The same criticism of eminent domain, of course, was lodged regarding Atlantic Yards.
However, some of those who acquiesced to the expansion soon found themselves protesting in the streets against what they saw as Columbia’s failure to live up to its CBA commitments. Black architects, in particular, felt that they were shut out of Manhattanville’s contracting. Arch527, a group of African-American architects in Harlem, said that they were offered contracts for such types of work as moving a piece of furniture a few feet.... Larry English, CB9 Chair in 2009-2011, who was initially viewed as a supporter of Columbia, sided with the protesters, stating that “local and minority architects have not been given a fair opportunity to work on that project.” He charged Columbia with reneging on CBA.... even after he ceased to be CB9 chairman, Community Board under the new leadership of Rev. Georgiette Morgan-Thomas – the third chairperson in 3 years – continued to be critical of CU compliance; in March 2013, it unanimously passed a resolution calling for a state audit of Columbia’s promises.The report notes:
“The West Harlem Local Development Corporation should immediately hire a law firm to audit Columbia’s compliance to the CBA and take appropriate action to bring Columbia into compliance. The community should insist the Empire State Development Corporation do the same with the GPP,” wrote Larry English in a moving post on his personal blog. “Today, the redlines no longer surround neighborhoods, but instead they circle the city’s mega projects such as Barclay, Hudson Yards, World Trade Center, Second Avenue subway line and Manhattanville like a medieval moat. A barrier built on a mixture of race and greed that says to professionals of color - you need not apply.”That backhanded "Barclay" mention by English is the only Atlantic Yards-related reference in the report, as far as I can tell.