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Jane Jacobs coverage collected

12/20/07: The AY omission in the Jane Jacobs exhibit, some contentions, and the lesson of skepticism

12/19/07: The Jane Jacobs exhibit: a worthy reaffirmation but just the start of a longer discussion

12/05/07: Panel on "oversuccess" raises questions about community review, CBAs, gentrification, and AY

12/5/07: Imagine Flatbush, Jane Jacobs, and NIMBYism

12/03/07: Will "absurd" process make Atlantic Yards this generation’s Penn Station?

12/2/07: A neo-Jacobsian take on urbanism: "morphogenesis"

11/29/07: Panel: a stronger public sector might mitigate "oversuccess," but developer reality is scarce

11/7/07: "When the Big Get Bigger": the unresolved challenge of balancing town and gown

11/1/07: A look at the context and legacy of Jane Jacobs--and a swipe at AY

10/26/07: At the Brooklyn Bear's Garden, a Jacobs reminder

10/19/07: Civic activism post-Jane Jacobs: stamina, (AY) "insurgencies," and "retaking our souls"

10/11/07: Designing Public Consensus--it takes a lot more meetings

10/10/07: The "activist press" and the "Atlantic Yards Narrative"

10/9/07: The missing Jane Jacobs chapter in The Power Broker

10/7/07: New York's soul lost? 'New York Calling' fills in some gaps

10/5/07: Jane Jacobs on Kelo; her attorney on post-Kelo legislation

10/4/07: Is New York losing its soul? Sort of, panelists say (and one targets AY)

10/2/07: Vitullo-Martin takes a second look at Jane Jacobs

9/28/07: Jane Jacobs was wrong about a stadium, but Toronto ain't Brooklyn

9/27/07: Would Jane Jacobs approve of AY? One Time Out-ster thinks so

9/26/07: We are all Jacobsian now--but what about process?

9/25/07: UNITY 2007: a new, Jacobsian plan for the Vanderbilt Yard

9/19/07: Jane's Walks coming in two weeks, including one on AY

9/14/07: "Listening to the City" and Atlantic Yards

9/11/07: Atlantic Yards through a Jacobsian lens

9/7/07: Coming: the Jane Jacobs exhibit and discussions; AY gets some notice

8/19/07: Superblocks, a massacre in Newark, and Jane Jacobs

8/2/07: Vito Lopez invokes Jane Jacobs, says New Domino should be scaled down

7/28/07: On complex land-use choices and "land monopoly"

5/25/07: Critic Goldberger: post-Moses era represents failure to plan

5/9/07: Reconsiderations of Jane Jacobs lead inevitably to Atlantic Yards musings

5/7/07: What the Village Voice was to the Washington Square battle, the blogs are to Atlantic Yards

4/26/07: At Glazer talk on modernism, AY is poster child for too much density

4/14/07: Robert Moses, transportation, and the question of Atlantic Yards

3/6/07: Jane Jacobs, Atlantic Yards, and "the age of marketing"

2/15/07: Spin city #1: Burden calls AY “a gaping hole in the heart of Brooklyn”

2/11/07: Moses revisionism, Jane Jacobs, the BQE, and the Promenade

2/1/07: "Time to build again," as Moses controversy gets airing

1/15/07: Times profile of planning chair Burden maintains AY myth, suffers curious cut

1/6/07: Brooklyn Matters: race, class, and the Atlantic Yards debate, on film

10/12/06: Planning Chair Burden claims Jacobsian mantle, discards it for AY

9/3/06: The more things change... (Jacobs on public hearings)

7/2/06: Critic Goldberger calls AY a corruption of Jacobsian "mixed-use"

6/2/06: Rereading Ouroussoff on AY and Gehry: reinventing Brooklyn or flawed process?

5/18/06: Raising hell? Allan Temko and the "foxes" critiquing architecture today

5/8/06: DDDB's new advisory board, Jane Jacobs, & "angry blogs"

4/30/06: A veiled defense of Atlantic Yards? The Times's Ouroussoff on "Outgrowing Jane Jacobs"

4/30/06: What would Jane Jacobs say? Disingenuousness & Atlantic Yards

4/27/06: Atlantic Yards out of place in "New Downtowns" discussion

3/7/06: Historic preservation, the legacy of Robert Moses, and the enduring lessons of urbanism


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Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

At 550 Vanderbilt, big chunk of apartments pitched to Chinese buyers as "international units"

One key to sales at the 550 Vanderbilt condo is the connection to China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holdings.

It's the parent of Greenland USA, which as part of Greenland Forest City Partners owns 70% of Pacific Park (except 461 Dean and the arena).

And sales in China may help explain how the developer was able to claim early momentum.
"Since 550 Vanderbilt launched pre-sales in June [2015], more than 80 residences have gone into contract, representing over 30% of the building’s 278 total residences," the developer said in a 9/25/15 press release announcing the opening of a sales gallery in Brooklyn. "The strong response from the marketplace indicates the high level of demand for well-designed new luxury homes in Brooklyn..."

Maybe. Or maybe it just meant a decent initial pipeline to Chinese buyers.

As lawyer Jay Neveloff, who represents Forest City, told the Real Deal in 2015, a project involving a Chinese firm "creates a huge market for…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season--a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…