Skip to main content

Despite stop-work order, Atlantic Yards parking lot proceeds, as (per FCR) tanks have not been installed, only "placed"

Work done before stop-work order, via AY Watch
There's been a lot of work on the Atlantic Yards surface parking lot in the past week, despite a stop-work order regarding the installation of stormwater detention tanks, aimed to collect water so it doesn't overwhelm the sewer system.

Indeed, the installation on Block 1129--between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, and Dean and Pacific streets--looks fairly far along.

If so, it looks like Forest City Ratner's decision to start work on the installation without a permit to do so--it describes the tanks were "placed"-- has paid dividends.

After all, the Department of Buildings (DOB) says the developer's work these past few days was not out of compliance

Installation vs. placement

Work done after stop-work order, via AY Watch
As stated on Atlantic Yards Watch, regarding work done June 15, "Work that appears to be unapproved is taking place on block 1129. What appear to be retaining tanks for the detention system have been installed. Excavation has taken place. The detention system is shown as being 'disapproved' on the DOB website."

"Impactful work has taken place causing vibrations," the report continued. "A hoe ram has been used. Large stones have been dropped in containers. A selection of photos has been submitted to the Department of Buildings."

According to the Department of Buildings web site (screenshot below), a partial stop-work order was issued on June 15 and partly rescinded on June 18, but only to continue grading. However, the DOB also allows work intended to shore up safety, and that offers broad latitude.


FCR: tanks not installed

Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco stated yesterday, "The tanks have not been installed (though they may have been placed in the holes)."

That depends, apparently, on what the word "install" actually means. The meaning encompasses both "to place in position" and to "connect for service or use."

From the DEP/DOB Guidelines
DePlasco was apparently using the latter definition, though I don't think that conforms to what the city typically requires, as explained below.

DePlasco added, "As you know, the stop work order was rescinded." (Not completely, as shown above.)

"Work has started on a fence and there’s some preparation work (excavation) on the tanks," he stated. "We anticipate doing the tanks next week."

"Our inspectors were at the site this morning and found that all work at the site was in compliance with the Stop Work Order," DOB spokeswoman Ryan FitzGibbon state yesterday. "Currently, Forest City Ratner is in the process of submitting the necessary paperwork to the Department to resume work on the retention tanks."

Asked to clarify, FitzGibbon stated, "The Stop Work Order was issued for the installation of retention tanks. However, safety work to make sure the tanks already placed at the site were secure was and is allowed. This includes backfilling around the tanks to secure them."

When should construction start?

From the DEP/DOB Guidelines
How and when should such tanks be installed?

The construction phase should come only after the Plan Examination and Approval by the Department of Buildings, according to a chart (above right) in the Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Stormwater Management Systems, developed by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in consultation with the DOB.

Such approval had not been granted.

According to the 16-phase "Recommended Construction Sequencing" in the DEP/DOB Guidelines (left), excavation is #7, the installation of bedding stone is #10, and the installation of system components is #11.

It does not make a distinction between "install" and "place."

So the act of putting the components in the ground is fairly far along in the process, according to the sequencing. And that's already done, at least in  part, on Block 1129.

Comments

  1. Anonymous1:39 PM

    once again politics prevails and FCR will walk away with not even down time on their illegal parking lot.I hope the tanks do not leak and flood out the railroad grade below and adjoining.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

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…