Skip to main content

Catching up: optimism about arena-area retail rents, unmet promises in Williamsburg, auditions for Brooklyn Nets dance team

From the 6/14/12 Real Deal How the Barclays Center will transform Brooklyn retail leasing: Restaurateurs, retailers express interest:
As the Barclays Center’s arrival approaches, the retail leasing landscape in Brooklyn is primed for a transformation. The borough will see an influx of high-end restaurants, a panel of real estate executives today told a crowd at TerraCRG’s Brooklyn Real Estate Summit, and that will mean higher rents. It is also likely to lead to more “rent participation” deals, wherein the landlord shares in the revenue stream of the tenant. Panelists included executives from Forest City Ratner, RedSky Capital, Pintchik Development and Crown Acquisitions; David Kramer of the Hudson Companies moderated.
Although the steep increase in rent – Michael Pintchik of Pintchik Development said rents on Flatbush Avenue have risen from $50 or $55 to more than $175 per square foot as the Barlcays complex has risen – is clustered around the mega-project slated to open in September, the changes underway are not limited to the area. Retail overhauls are in progress in the Fulton Mall area as well as in Williamsburg, panelists noted.

...[Forest City Ratner's Kathryn] Welch noted that there was significant restaurant interest in the Atlantic Center and Atlantic Terminal. She said that in the next five years, 40,000 to 50,000 square feet of retail space will be becoming available in the company’s properties.
I'm not sure that high-end restaurants will be rushing to go into Forest City Ratner's malls--more like the cousins of existing tenants Applebee's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Un-met promises

From the 6/13/12 Wall Street Journal, Brooklyn Waits on Promise of a Park:
A plan to remake Williamsburg and Greenpoint with gleaming luxury apartment towers was sold to a skeptical community seven years ago with the promise of new waterfront parks and 3,500 "affordable housing" units.

But with about 18 months left in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's last term, few of those plans have materialized, and community leaders in north Brooklyn are concerned they are running out of time.

"They made these commitments, and as a result we rezoned the last large swath of industrial waterfront," said City Councilman Stephen Levin, who represents the area. "The community wants to know and I want to know, 'What's the plan?'"

It has become a familiar scenario across the city, as large developments such as Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn and Willets Point in Queens move forward: The promises made by the city and developers to overcome opposition change over time or are delayed long into the future.
Isn't there a lesson here: ensure that promises are more binding?

The audition

From the 6/14/12 New York Observer, Nets Debut Dance Team (Containing Only One Native Brooklynite) and Its Cheeky Moniker: The Brooklynettes:
The Observer lankered out to Brooklyn Bowl last night still trying to square the circle of a professional sports team moving to unkempt Brooklyn, but the team is doing its best job to erase that dissonance by inviting us to some killer parties before the losing starts. This particular party? Cheerleader tryouts. If you insist.

We were there to watch 27 dancers compete in an “American Idol”-like competition to determine the final spots on the dance squad, whose name at the event was revealed to be the cheeky “Brooklynettes.”

...We took a spot near the action, perched above the stage. Just below it mingled photographers straining their practiced bored looks and excited reporters for small-time media outlets. In just the right lighting, they looked as pretty and well-dressed as everyone else. The dancers were a blur, all flesh and movement. David Diamante, who is also the Nets’ public address announcer, emceed the contest, announcing the women by their first names. It was all very gentleman’s clubby, except for the dreadlocks down to his waist.
"[T]the team is doing its best job to erase that dissonance by inviting us to some killer parties before the losing starts?

Well, that's the easy part. Maybe some dull Community Board meetings are worth visiting too.

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…