Skip to main content

Company fabricating metal arena facade shuts down; work was supposed to extend through May; no comment from Forest City at this time

The Whitestown, IN-based company that has been fabricating the weathered steel for the Barclays Center facade unexpectedly went out of business last week, raising questions about whether and when the additional steel needed would be delivered, and how the overall project timetable may be affected.

It's unclear how much of the steel has been fabricated and delivered by ASI Limited, but a considerable amount of facade work remains to be done. Some steel has been delivered to and is stored at the southeast block, Block 1129, as shown in the photo above, taken today by Tracy Collins.

A spokesman for developer Forest City Ratner said "we cannot comment at this time." The Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency overseeing Atlantic Yards, said it was a question for Forest City.

ESD at 5:30 pm today issued a two-week Construction Alert (prepared by Forest City) covering work beginning this week; it indicates continued work on the facade, and does not disclose anything about the facade fabricator.

Work extending through May

The Exterior Skin--which likely includes more than the metalwork--is not supposed to be completed until the "Early Finish" date of 5/13/12, according to a report from Merritt & Harris, construction monitor for the arena bond trustee.

(Photo from Patch slideshow/video.)

All subcontractors must be bonded in an amount equal to its subcontract price--$32.4 million in the case of ASI Limited, according to Merritt & Harris--but this is specialized work and presumably not easily transferred.

Indeed, the factory in Whitestown was customized specifically for this weatherization process. As the facade architect, SHoP, explained on its blog:
Earlier this year ASI Limited, the facade contractor for Barclays Center, flipped the switch on for their custom built 2500′ linear conveyor system designed to accelerate the weathering process for the 12,000 individual panels and supporting rails that make up the weathering steel portion of the facade designed by SHoP Architects. 
Surprise shutdown

ASI Limited officials, according to theIndyChannel, surprised 250 employees with the closure after Christmas; another report suggested the total was closer to 150.

"Regretfully, ASI, Ltd. is no longer profitable and is winding down the business," officials told employees.

However, owner Ken Smith also stated, "Management is currently reviewing its financial viability moving forward. It is hopeful that we can re-commence operations sometime in the near future."

Presumably those building the Barclays Center want very much to ensure that operations do re-commence, since there's a tight schedule to get the arena done.

What ASI Limited does

ASI Limited, according to the company's web site (page below, as well), was hired "to provide the 219,000 square feet of total building façade and enclosure." The work includes "a custom designed unitized mega-wall system that will include blast resistant curtain wall, insulated weather wall and exterior weather steel lattice screen."

The two-week Construction Alert issued 12/19/11 described the installation of erection clips and panels on the Flatbush Avenue and along the west elevations, as well as of erection clips along the 6th Avenue  and Dean Street elevations. A second shift was needed.

While the installation of façade panels at the street level and at the Upper Concourse levels on Atlantic Avenue was substantially completed, installation of the façade panels at the uppermost elevation was expected during December. However, in the Construction Alert issued today, it states that such work will be done "at a later date."

According to the Atlantic Yards web cam accessible through Atlantic Yards Watch, the side of the arena facing Sixth Avenue clearly lacks such panels, as shown in the photo above.

Previous problems

It's not the first bump in the road involving ASI Limited, which set up shop in October 2010 in a on Dean Street east of Flatbush, right next to a well-restored 19th-century house and across from the arena site.

(Photo by Tracy Collins)

In April, Forest City Ratner executive Bob Sanna said that the process of "weathering cycles" is behind, with efforts afoot to speed up the process.

Also in April, ESD said that a planned visual mock-up of the facade had been delayed for two months.

A message left today with ASI Limited was not returned.

ASILIMITED Barclays Center

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…

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…