Skip to main content

Barclays Center seen as not cannibalizing Jersey arenas, at least; bars in arena's orbit not yet feeling huge effect from spillover patrons, Nets fans

According to the Bergen Record, Barclays Center not viewed as drain on concert business at Izod, Prudential arenas, because, as one promoter suggests, the marketplaces is capable of expansion.

Then again, the Izod Center, now lacking a major league team, also gets rented for Madonna rehearsals, which brings in revenue but not paying guests.

And the big loser, given the coming loss of the New York Islanders and the accessibility of the Barclays Center to the Long Island Rail Road, may be the Nassau Coliseum.

What about the bars?


A long New York Times Sports section article headlined Places to Drink for Brooklyn’s Toast of the Town (though the URL suggests an earlier version of the headline was the more neutral "searching-for-nets-bars-near-barclays-center"), finds that, though there are numerous bars near the Barclays Center, and some new ones, they're slow to gain Nets fans.

The explanation is that "these things take time":
You don’t just: 1) draw a line around a succulent 22-acre parcel of real estate in the heart of Brooklyn; 2) throw out all the people and knock down all the buildings; 3) shoehorn in an arena that, according to the readers of this newspaper, looks like a rusty turtle or a parking garage, a spaceship, a dragon, a bed pan, a comb-over, rat scat or possibly a “Transformers” robot with only his head sticking out of the ground and a long tongue snaking out in front of it; 4) and then import a gloriously inept basketball team from the petrochemical badlands of New Jersey, toss up a ball and expect fans to stampede the place.
Note that not all of the people have yet been thrown out, nor all the buildings demolished. There's a whole 'nother phase of eminent domain. Nor has the majority of the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard been paid for, in terms of development rights.

And doesn't this article further undermine the dubious premise of a Times article last April that, to developer Forest City Ratner:
the changes are evidence that the arena has already met its goal of transforming a dreary section of Brooklyn — the Long Island Rail Road’s rail yards and surrounding industrial buildings, which the company’s spokesman described as “ a scar that divided the neighborhood.”
Voices from the bars

But the authors diligently survey numerous bars, and people. A few selections..

The personal assistant to Nets' player Josh Childress, on the arena: "It’s extreme, a little out there. It didn’t look like it fits the neighborhood, that scrap iron."

Kree Gumbs of the Trinidadian bar/restaurant Sugarcane, on Flatbush Avenue: "The Nets haven’t changed anything — yet."

At Frank's Cocktail Lounge on Fulton Street:
Patrons from the far reaches of the bar jump into conversations. They talk about life’s dramas. Bring up the Nets, and the first thing the sewing circle discusses is the nightmarish traffic and the dubious promise made to build affordable housing near the arena. Still, the Who’s performance last week sent a crowd jamming into Frank’s that did not thin until 3 a.m.
At the home of the relocated Freddy's, in South Park Slope/Greenwood Heights, once the clubhouse of the Atlantic Yards opposition before its Dean Street location was demolished:
On this night, there appeared to be no Nets fans in Freddy’s. The Knicks-Magic game was on the TV in the back. The bartender, Matthew Kuhn, a 10-year Freddy’s veteran, insisted there were no sour grapes.

“We’d switch to the Nets game if somebody asked,” he said. “Life goes on.”

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.