Thursday, September 16, 2010

Latest ESDC (from FCR) Construction Update comes from Director Arana Hankin; ESDC says it found "a good fit" without advertising to fill position

Arana Hankin is on the job directing the Atlantic Yards project--well, at the least, forwarding Forest City Ratner-prepared Construction Updates.

Consider that an August 30 email from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), updating community members on construction activities for the next two weeks, came as usual from Project Associate Harlan Pruden.

By contrast, the email sent yesterday, with some words missing:
Subject: Atlantic Yards Construction Update for the weeks beginning

In our ongoing effort to update you on construction activities surrounding the Atlantic Yards project; attached is the construction update for the weeks beginning September 13, 2010.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions.

Regards,
Arana J. Hankin
Director, Atlantic Yards Project
Empire State Development Corporation
Why no search?

I asked the ESDC why no one other than Hankin (who earns $110,000) was considered for the job--a job that was never announced or advertised.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Mitchell responded: "In selecting a candidate for this position, ESD engaged in a review first internally and then externally to identify an individual suitable for the position. In this case, ESD found someone within our administration who we believe is a good fit. Ms. Hankin is well qualified and was already intimately familiar with the project, the players and the progress."

She started work in the last week of August.

A few highlights

The August 30 update indicated that Atlantic Yards was responsible for a track outage:
Drilling of Test Piles within the project footprint (block 1118) will take place, followed by load-testing of Caissons to be used for the foundations of the new Transit entry area. This work was postponed from the past reporting period due to the need to install vibration monitoring sensors on the BMT tunnel walls. This requires a track outage which has been scheduled for the week of August 31st. This work is expected to commence toward the end of this reporting period, but may slip into the next one.
The latest update, dated September 13 but distributed yesterday, indicates that three more trees will go, at least for now:
Tree removal permits have been applied for, in preparation for having a NYC licensed arborist remove three street trees on Flatbush Ave near the corner of Atlantic. This is necessary in order to excavate and work on the subway vents in the sidewalk area. The trees will be replaced as part of a broader tree-planting program at the end of the Barclay’s Center Arena project.
Demolition status

Only two buildings, 24 Sixth Avenue and 636 Pacific Street, both industrial buildings turned into condos, remain in the Atlantic Yards arena block footprint.

However, note that there are several buildings indicated in white on the map, though there's no key indicating the meaning of that color.

Properties in white are either still in the possession of their owners, though threatened for a second phase of eminent domain, or have been transferred to the state but not demolished.


AY Construction Alert 9-13-2010


Atlantic Yards Construction Alert 08/30/10

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