Monday, October 14, 2013

One year in, Barclays Center, to DOB, is officially "Temporary," likely due (in part) to delayed retail (so was Citi Field)

The Barclays Center may have become a fixture in Brooklyn after one year, but, according to the city Department of Buildings (DOB), it's still temporary, likely because retail space has long remained empty.

The arena is on its eighth consecutive Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO). Such TCOs indicate that, however unfinished, the building is safe and legal to occupy. The certificates can last up to three months.

The situation, actually, is nothing new for sports facilities. When the Yankees and Mets opened new baseball stadiums in the spring of 2009, that began a string of TCOs. Citi Field got its Final Certificate of Occupancy only in July 2013, while Yankee Stadium got its document in March 2012.
New team store is in process on Flatbush Avenue

The Wall Street Journal reported in April 2011 on the somewhat awkward situation, quoting an unnamed city official as saying the failure to fill some retail space at Citi Field had delayed the final sign-off. (Yankee Stadium awaited approval from the Public Design Commission.)

Retail the issue in Brooklyn?

While neither Barclays Center reps nor the DOB responded to queries, there may be some parallel between Citi Field and the Barclays Center, which also has had empty retail space linger.

The Nets are building out a second team store with "lifestyle apparel," opening in long-vacant space along Flatbush Avenue, perhaps this week.

The long-delayed Sugar Factory on Sixth Avenue
The Sugar Factory, whose "Coming Soon" signage went up in October 2012 at the Sixth Avenue end of the arena, at what would be the extension of Pacific Street, says it's coming this fall.

However, though no work on the store is evident. (The DOB web site indicates only one permit in process for a retail buildout, and presumably that's related to the Flatbush space.)

Would retail buildout resolve TCO?

It's unclear whether filling both retail spaces would fully resolve the TCO in Brooklyn.

Some 67 "outstanding requirements" listed in the mid-September 2012 TCO were whittled to 29 requirements by the time the Barclays Center opened later that month.

Since then, that number has remained fairly constant; the most recent TCO, dated August 23, 2013, indicates 30 "outstanding requirements." (See below.)

What are those "outstanding requirements"? The TCO states, "Please refer to BISWeb for further detail." However, the DOB's website provides no clarity.


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