Skip to main content

Latest consultant's report: arena still ahead of schedule (but lingering schedule issues?), 320 workers on the job (fewer than FCR's report)

According to the latest Arena Site Observation Report, dated 6/30/11 and based on a 6/1/11 visit, based on cash flow, the Barclays Center remains is one month ahead of schedule and the transit connection remains two months ahead of schedule.

The report is prepared by Merritt &; Harris, the real estate consultant to the arena PILOT Bond Trustee.

There are a few items that should provoke further inquiry, such as a discrepancy between the number of workers reported and the number reported by Forest City Ratner, and a discrepancy regarding the percentages of minority- and women-owned contractors.

Those discrepancies might be explained by a report from the Independent Compliance Monitor (ICM) required by the Community Benefits Agreement, but no ICM has been hired.

Also, there may be a lingering dispute about the schedule.

Workers on site: 320 vs. higher numbers

There seem to be fewer workers on site than Forest City Ratner has reported. From p. 35 of the document:
According to the General Contractor and the Manpower Log, 320 persons have been on the job this month.
It's not clear whether the term "month" regards May or June, though, given that Merritt & Harris had further time to work on the report after the site visit, I'd bet on June.

By contrast, at the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting 5/19/11, Forest City Ratner said there were 500 workers on site. At the cabinet meeting 7/14/11, the developer reported 430 workers on site.

MWBE contracting

Similarly, the percentage of contracting seems to differ, though that may depend on work that changes each month. From p. 35 of the document:
Approximately 6.0% and 9.5% of the workforce on the job this month is attributed to MBE [minority-owned business enterprise] and WBE [women-owned business enterprise] companies, respectively, with a projected MBE and WBE participation to account for 13.3% and 9.3% of the workforce.
Forest City this month said that 17% of the work on the arena and transit connection was attributable to MWBE companies, not 15.5%.

It's not clear if Forest City calculated its number by workforce or by contract amount.

Schedule disputes or discrepancies?

For months, Merritt & Harris has hinted at some unresolved, if not necessarily highly contentious, discrepancies over the schedule. From p. 8 of the document:
The original High Level Arena Summary Construction Schedule, dated July 16, 2010, had been provided for our review. We subsequently received the Executive Level Summary for Schedule 12M, dated February 10, 2011, prepared by Hunt, which indicates that substantial completion is anticipated to be by August 27, 2012. The Developer is currently reviewing that schedule and is working with Hunt to reach an agreement. A resolution is expected by July 2011.
In its 4/4/11 report, Merritt & Harris stated similarly:
The original High Level Arena Summary Construction Schedule, dated July 16, 2010, had been provided for our review. We have now received the Executive Level Summary for Schedule 12M, dated February 10, 2011, prepared by Hunt, which indicates that substantial completion is anticipated to be by August 27, 2012. The Developer is currently reviewing that schedule and is working with Hunt to reach an agreement. A resolution is expected by May 2011.
The resolution date has obviously been pushed back. Actually, it's been pushed back a while. The 1/28/11 report used the term "schedule disputes":
A High Level Arena Summary Construction Schedule, dated July 16, 2010, has been provided for our review. The current schedule, prepared by Hunt, indicates that substantial completion is anticipated to be by August 12, 2012. The Developer is currently reviewing that schedule and is working with Hunt to resolve current schedule disputes. A resolution is expected over the next few months.
(Emphases added)

Note that the substantial completion date has since been nudged back 15 days, and that the term "schedule disputes" is no longer used.

The 1/3/11 report also used the term "schedule disputes" and hinted at a much earlier resolution:
A High Level Arena Summary Construction Schedule, dated July 16, 2010, has been provided for our review. The current schedule, prepared by Hunt, indicates that substantial completion is anticipated to be by August 12, 2012. The Developer is currently reviewing that schedule and there is a meeting anticipated for mid-December to resolve current schedule disputes.
Graphics showing cash flow (click to enlage)


Comments

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…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

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…