Skip to main content

Draft SEIS: no to multiple developers; hint of Greenland delay; notable push to cut parking (but no push for permits); parking plan shown

So, what's important in the 132 pages about Atlantic Yards released today in the board materials for tomorrow's meeting of Empire Statement Development, the state agency overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards, beyond the planned arena green roof and cageyness about blight I already mentioned?

Well, note that document is far more descriptive about reducing parking in the project to 1200 spaces--and unconcerned about the competition for free parking in the neighborhood--than about whether undeveloped sites should be bid out to other developers.

Below is the statement, in full, in the Executive Summary of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS), which was released prior to the board meeting. (The full DSEIS presumably will be released tomorrow and offer more analysis.)
MULTIPLE DEVELOPER ALTERNATIVE
The analysis of the multi-developer alternative concludes that the alternative would not be practicable, and would not be effective in accelerating construction of Phase II of the Project. 
I guess we'll have to wait for the details.

The Greenland joint venture

The document does summarize some (already known) issues relating to the Greenland Group's expected purchase of 70% of the project going forward and the creation of a joint venture, but says "No Director action is requested with respect to the transaction at the present time."

While Forest City Enterprises last month said all approvals were expected, "allowing the transaction to close in mid-2014," ESD either hinted at delay or was simply more cautious, stating, "It is expected that the joint venture transaction will close in 2014."

Cutting parking--again

Note that ESD is already evaluating a proposed reduction in parking from the 3,670 spaces analyzed in the 2006 Final EIS to 2,896 parking spaces. This is analyzed in the Extended Build-Out Scenario for the Draft SEIS.

But a "Reduced Parking Alternative" would cut the number to 1,200 spaces. The document states:
The “Reduced Parking Alternative” would be an alternative that would further reduce on-site parking to reflect the recent zoning changes for Downtown Brooklyn, which eliminated accessory parking requirements for affordable housing units and reduced accessory parking requirements for market-rate housing. 
That's likely welcome news to the sensible, progressive sorts who embrace the livable streets movement, but... there's a huge caveat. 

Competition for free parking

Given the limited amount of free parking, this would mean continued, and aggressive, competition with arena goers, at least without instituting residential permit parking.

The Draft SEIS dodges the issue:
Accounting for non-Arena parking demand that would also need to be accommodated off-site under the Reduced Parking Alternative, off-street public parking facilities are expected to operate with available capacity during both the weekday evening and Saturday midday periods when there is a Nets game scheduled at the Arena during these periods, irrespective of the Project variation. Therefore, under the Reduced Parking Alternative, no shortfalls in off-street public parking capacity are expected to occur as a result of demand from a Nets game at the Arena and other non-Arena uses at the project site.
But off-street parking facilities charge fees.

The parking planned in the base case

According to the Draft SEIS, the “base case” Parking Key Plan would reduce the parking area on the Arena Block and eliminate parking spaces in the southwest corner of Block 1120 because parking in this area is not compatible with the current design of the permanent rail Yard.



The reduced parking plan

The Parking Key Plan studied in the Reduced Parking Alternative also would reduce the parking area on the Arena Block and would eliminate all parking on Block 1120 and under Building 15 on Block 1128.

Comments

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…