The buildout sequence was graphically confirmed in 2009 and 2010, before economy turned; state offered fig leaf for Forest City's plan to delay expensive deck
|Plan from 2006 Draft Design Guidelines|
After all, the November 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) indicated that the three towers in the western section of Phase Two--along the railyard between Sixth Avenue and Carlton Avenue--would be built before the seven towers to the east, between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenue.
And that continued after the project was re-approved in 2009; according to the ESDC's December 2010 Technical Analysis, "Development of each site is still generally expected to occur from west to east in a clockwise direction, starting with the arena block."
|The buildout initially was to be clockwise, not the|
leapfrog (now planned) indicated by the arrow
State fig leaf for Forest City plans
What does it all mean? Even in 2009-2010, when the economy was still emerging from deep trouble, the state government still signaled in at least some documents that the deck would be built promptly. That means the blight of the below-grade railyard would have been removed.
Now that the economy is better, and residential construction in Brooklyn is hot, Forest City has no plans to build the deck.
In fact, for Forest City's business purposes, as explained this past March, it has revised the notion of Atlantic Yards Phase 1. It includes the arena block and the southeast block--the parcels demarcated in red. That definition does not appear on any government documents.
Versus the Development Agreement
Of course, Forest City doesn't have to build the platform (or deck) over the railyard immediately. . The multiple environmental review documents regarding the buildout sequence were contradicted by the Development Agreement signed in late 2009.
The developer has 15 years to start construction of the platform. Neither the ESDC's June 2009 Technical Memorandum nor December 2010 Technical Analysis made mention of that fact.
And the Development Agreement requires construction of one residential building on the southeast block, Block 1129, within ten years of the Project Effective Date (which was May 2010). That hints that construction might come before the deck.
Now, assuming that Forest City Ratner's plans succeed in getting a modular construction factory up and running, it looks like three towers around the arena will be completed in the next four to six years, and tower construction on the southeast block could easily begin--and perhaps be well in progress--before 2020.
|From June 2009 Technical Memorandum|
The indicated sequence: 2009
The environmental review documents, at least, suggested that the deck would be built to support towers over the railyard.
The June 2009 Technical Memorandum contained the table at right.
It showed showed that the expensive platforms for Block 1120 (the railyard between Sixth and Carlton) and Block 1121 (the railyard between Carlton and Vanderbilt) would be built well before Buildings 11-14 would go up on "terra firma," as Forest City puts it.
The Technical Memorandum was issued as part of the re-approval of the project.
The indicated sequence: 2010
After a lawsuit challenged the environmental review, the ESDC in December 2010 produced a Technical Analysis (Part 1, 2, 3) further confirming the anticipated sequence.
The graphics clearly illustrate, if not a clockwise movement, an eastward one. First there's work on the arena block, plus Site 5 across Flatbush Avenue, along with work on the railyard.
Then came a deck over the first railyard segment, along with Building 15, between Dean and Pacific streets east of Sixth Avenue. (That building likely will wait, because it requires another round of eminent domain.)
Then, when the development moves east of Vanderbilt Avenue, the construction continues steadily east, with one tower first built on the parking lot block, but then a section of the deck built to support a tower.
That process continues, according to the graphic.
While the graphical sequence suggested a steady march from west to east, the Development Agreement offered another option: wait to build that expensive deck. That proved more amenable to Forest City Ratner's business purposes.