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Second meeting of Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet slated for Thursday at Borough Hall; updates on first tower, web site coming?

The second meeting of the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet will be held Thursday, February 10, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, from 9:30-11 am, allowing various agencies and entities involved with Atlantic Yards to update each other, and to hear from developer Forest City Ratner.

As with the first meeting, held in November, neither the Borough President's office nor any other sponsoring entity has publicized the event, though a staffer in the office of Council Member Letitia James confirmed the time and location in response to my query.

In contrast with such reticence, last September, Empire State Development Corporation Project Manager Arana Hankin said at a public meeting, "The structure and schedule of these meetings will be announced shortly, and we look forward to your participation."

Questions beforehand

The event is open to the public for observation, but questions must be submitted beforehand to local community boards, James's office, or the Borough President's Office.

Expect an update on construction progress, with an increased number of workers at the site.

New web site delayed

At the November meeting, Forest City Ratner Executive VP MaryAnne Gilmartin said the developer was "working on creating an information web page. This will provide the public with regular updates on the project, including issues around construction and traffic. Our goal is to have this up by the end of the year."

That didn't happen. Perhaps we'll get a new schedule this Thursday.

First tower timing unclear

Last September, Gilmartin said, "We anticipate having funding in place to start the first building at Dean and Flatbush in the spring of 2011, the second six to nine months later, and the third about the same time after that."

In November, she said the developer intends to release designs and start construction of that first residential building, known as B2, in the first quarter of 2011.

Construction, she said, should take 18 months, with the building opening in the fourth quarter of 2012 or the first quarter of 2013.

Presumably this plan will get an update. Keep in mind that they're already somewhat behind. In September 2009, arena architect Gregg Pasquarelli said, "The current plan by the client is to get Building 2 started six to nine months after the arena begins."

The ceremonial groundbreaking was in March 2010, which was 11 months ago, though excavation for the arena foundation didn't begin until mid-April, ten months ago. Either way, they're delayed.

About a year ago, as I reported 2/25/10, Forest City Ratner executive Jane Marshall stated, "As we've stated publicly, we intend to begin design of the first residential building in such a way that it can break ground in the fourth quarter of this year."

It didn't.

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