Skip to main content

The demise of the (structurally unsound) 1866 Church of the Redeemer near the arena and the mitigation plan (for shadows only) not implemented

From Episcopal Diocese of Long Island web site
As reported by Brownstoner and the Brooklyn Paper, the Church of the Redeemer, a non-landmarked 1866 Gothic Revival church at the northwest corner of Pacific Street and Fourth Avenue, is structurally unsound and will be demolished.

DNAInfo reported:

When a resident asked why the diocese had let the building deteriorate to the point of demolition, rather than maintaining it over the years, [the Rev. Christopher Ballard of the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew and project manager of the Redeemer Project] called it deferred maintenance, where  maintenance and repair of the building is put off for so long that it becomes irreparable.
It will be replaced by a much larger building, up to 120 feet, and is expected to include a church. Commenters wonder whether it will be an improvement on some of the undistinguished residential buildings just down the block.

According to the Episcopal Diocese of  Long Island, the church is already closed:
As of the Spring 2012, the physical location of Redeemer is being redeveloped and the church building has been closed The congregation of Church of The Redeemer is currently worshiping at St. Luke & St. Matthew (Clinton Hill), Brooklyn
As noted by Brownstoner's "Montrose Morris," the church is from another era:
By the 1850’s, Brooklyn was growing rapidly outward from the Fulton Ferry and the riverfront, and the city had reached the Times Plaza area, a part of town that would become a nexus of transportation and commerce in the years to come. By 1853, however, it was the edge of the neighborhood of Boerum Hill.
Photo via Brownstoner
It is "S/NR-eligible"--eligible for the State or National Register of Historic Places, listings that can make a property eligible for tax breaks though with no restrictions, as with city landmarking, on the disposition of the building.

The AY impact

Under the plan for Atlantic Yards, the project sponsors were supposed to help mitigate one set of impacts on the church--shadows--by fixing the windows.

But that plan, never implemented because the nearby building has not been built, would not have addressed the fundamental problems faced by a building, as a Brownstoner commenter suggested, with a crumbling foundation, the result of construction completed long before the adjacent subway was built.

From the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), Chapter 21, Unavoidable Impacts:
The proposed project would result in significant adverse impacts from new shadows cast on the southern portion of the open space of the Atlantic Terminal Houses and on the stained-glass windows of the eastern façade of the Church of the Redeemer.... To fully mitigate the impact on the Church of the Redeemer, the building on Site 5 would be reduced to a maximum height of 200 feet. Reducing the height of these structures would be inconsistent with the goal to establish a high-density, mixed-use project in an area that is well served by necessary infrastructure, particularly transportation. Since issuance of the DEIS, the project sponsors and the church have developed measures to offset the potential effect of the project’s shadows on the stained glass windows. These measures, which would be implemented by the project sponsors prior to the time when the proposed project would cast shadows on the stained glass windows of the church, would include: removing the existing protective coverings from all of the stained glass windows, including any patching and repair associated with the removal; cleaning the interior and exterior of the windows; and installation of new transparent protective coverings of similar or greater durability as the existing coverings. These commitments are detailed in a letter from the project sponsors to Bishop Orris Walker, Jr., and accepted by him on behalf of the Church of the Redeemer on October 31, 2006; this letter has been included in Appendix I of the FEIS.
From the FEIS, Chapter 19, Mitigation:
The proposed Phase I building on Site 5 would cast shadow to the west on the Church of the Redeemer (a S/NR-eligible historic resource) at 24-32 4th Avenue, in the morning during all seasons. In the late spring, summer, and late summer, the durations would be the longest, lasting approximately three hours. These incremental shadows would have a significant adverse impact because they would reduce light to the stained glass windows on the church’s east façade in the morning when church services are typically held. Due to the post-DEIS program modification. the building on Site 5 has been reduced in height and its incremental shadows would move off the Church earlier, at 10:45 AM rather than 11:15 AM in the late spring and at 10:30 AM rather than at 11:15 AM in the summer. Morning services currently begin at 11:00 AM on Sundays. Since issuance of the DEIS, the project sponsors and the church have developed measures to offset the potential effect of the project’s shadows on the stained glass windows. These measures, which would be implemented by the project sponsors prior to the time when the proposed project would cast shadows on the stained glass windows of the church, would include: removing the existing protective coverings from all of the stained glass windows, including any patching and repair associated with the removal; cleaning the interior and exterior of the windows; and installation of new transparent protective coverings of similar or greater durabilityas the existing coverings.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season--a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…

Former ESDC CEO Lago returns to NYC to head City Planning Commission

Carl Weisbrod, Mayor Bill de Blasio's City Planning Commission Chairman and Director of the Department of City Planning, is resigning,

And he's being replaced by Marisa Lago, currently a federal official, but who Atlantic Yards-ologists remember as the short-term Empire State Development Corporation CEO who, in an impolitic but candid 2009 statement, acknowledged that the project would take "decades."

Still, Lago not long after that played the good soldier at a May 2009 Senate oversight hearing, justifying changes in the project but claiming the public benefits remained the same.

By returning to City Planning, Lago will join former ESDC General Counsel Anita Laremont, who after retiring from the state (and taking a pension) got the job with the city.

Back at planning

Lago, a lawyer, in 1983 began work as an aide to City Planning Chairman Herb Sturz, and later served as the General Counsel to the president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Weisbrod himself.