Friday, June 15, 2012

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.

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