Skip to main content

ESDC consultant: ten-year project timetable for housing "not unreasonable"

Does the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), as it approved the Atlantic Yards project, have a rebuttal to the statement by real estate analyst Joshua Kahr, who, in a report commissioned by the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, emphatically declared that "the project cannot be completed anywhere near 2019."

(That's backed up by further analyses and even a comment by then-ESDC CEO Marisa Lago, who in April said the project would take "decades.")

Well, sort of, but it wasn't exactly emphatic.

ESDC Senior Counsel Steven Matlin told the board this morning, "In addition, under separate cover, we’ve provided the directors with a confidential report prepared by KPMG with respect to the development model and the potential absorption of the residential component of the project during the development period. KPMG has concluded that it’s not unreasonable to assume that the housing units to be developed can be absorbed in the marketplace during the projected development period."

(Emphasis added)

Following up

Matlin spoke to reporters afterward. ""Quite frankly, we're going to allow for additional time if additional time is needed," he said. "But we think the ten-year period is reasonable and we think we could accomplish that."

What did KPMG look at? Demographics, trends, pricing information, and the level of affordable housing vs. market housing, he said.

"Why did they reach the conclusion that it's not unreasonable but they didn't say something like 'it most likely will happen'?" he was asked by Matthew Schuerman of WNYC.

"I'm not sure I want to question why they chose that language as opposed to other language," Matlin responded. "But we think ten years is a reasonable period."

Did the report respond specifically to the Kahr report? The KPMG report was commissioned before the Kahr report was received, but the latter was shared with KPMG. "They certainly didn't respond to it directly but they looked at it," he said.

Public availability?

Will the public get to see the KPMG report? (Remember, a previous KPMG report surfaced officially only in litigation.)

"The KPMG report was provided to the directors on a privileged and confidential basis," Matlin said. "Quite frankly we're looking at now whether we can release the document. We may have to redact a portion. There could be some proprietary information. So we haven't reached that decision, but we're going to look at it in the next few days."

Comments

  1. I made a Freedom of Information request to ESDC for any documents related to a cost-benefit analysis of the project. ESDC refused to provide me with any documents and denied my appeal. I intend to sue. I also doubt there are any such documents.

    ESDC took the identical position with a range of Freedom of Information documents requested by the tenants' attorneys in the Columbia University eminent domain proceedings. ESDC lost in court and were required to supply the documents, but ESDC did not.

    The Columbia tenants had to argue their EDPL Article 2 lawsuit without benefit of documents that ESDC had unlawfully withheld.

    ESDC is a corrupt agency. But calling ESDC corrupt does not adequately describe how private interests, particularly real estate, have hijacked government for the purpose of looting the public - and that this conduct is considered perfectly okay, even civic.

    But the grotesque squandering of money and land, its brazen and greedy and lawless process, and yes, it's abuse of eminent domain, has doomed the Atlantic Yards Project in the courts.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

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…

So, Forest City has some property subject to the future Gowanus rezoning

Writing yesterday, MAP: Who Owns All the Property Along the Gowanus Canal, DNAinfo's Leslie Albrecht lays out the positioning of various real estate players along the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site:
As the city considers whether to rezone Gowanus and, perhaps, morph the gritty low-rise industrial area into a hot new neighborhood of residential towers (albeit at a fraction of the height of Manhattan's supertall buildings), DNAinfo reviewed property records along the canal to find out who stands to benefit most from the changes.
Investors have poured at least $440 million into buying land on the polluted waterway and more than a third of the properties have changed hands in the past decade, according to an examination of records for the nearly 130 properties along the 1.8-mile canal. While the single largest landowner is developer Property Markets Group, other landowners include Kushner Companies, Alloy Development, Two Trees, and Forest City New York.

Forest City's plans unc…

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…