Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quality of Life meeting tonight: agenda, slides, and some potential issues (arena "mob," parking removal, green roof timing)

Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, yesterday circulated the agenda for the Quality of Life Meeting tonight at 6 pm at Brooklyn Hospital Auditorium, 3rd Floor, 121 Dekalb Avenue.
1. NYPD Community Update - Capt. DiGiacomo (78th PCT)
2. Department of Transportation (DOT) – Chris Hrones
3. Empire State Development (ESDC) – Samuel Filler
a. Relocation Update
b. Atlantic Yards Community Development Corp. (AYCDC)
4. Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) – Ashley Cotton
a. Design Presentation 535 Carlton & 550 Vanderbilt by CookFox
b. On-site Environmental Monitor (OEM)
c. Construction Update
--i. Barclays
--ii. Demolition & LIRR
--iii. 461 Dean Street (B2)
d. Arena Operations
e. Update Maintenance and Protection of Traffic (MPT) Block 1129
5. Q & A
Among the issues that may come up:

  • the architects' will present the designs (misleading in the renderings)  for the two upcoming towers, on Dean Street at Carlton Avenue and at Vanderbilt Avenue
  • what's going on with the planned Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (first meeting? members? staff? budget?)
  • what exactly happened when a "mob" rushed the arena during a recent rap show? (NYPD has been closemouthed, as has been the arena)?
  • when have the remaining property owners/occupants agreed to leave after condemnation?
  • what's happening to parking in and around the southeast block of the project site, now that two towers are planned for construction, and a 16-foot sound-attenuating fence will encircle the block?
  • how far is the arena green roof behind schedule?
  • what's to be expected from NBA All-Star weekend next February

The slides

Quality of Life Committee Presentation 11-19-2014, Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park

Parking was cut, but what about the interim?

The amount of permanent project parking was cut by two-thirds, as described further below, but it's murky to me what was supposed to happen with parking in the interim. Consider that, in the Final Supplementary Impact Statement, Chapter 3L, Construction Land Use and Neighborhood Character, ESD stated:
In all of the three illustrative construction phasing plans, Block 1129 would be used to provide surface parking spaces in a temporary condition until they are located below-grade in conjunction with the build-out of the project buildings (Buildings 11, 12, 13, and 14) on Block 1129. 
...Figures 3A-4 through 3A-6 [see here]  show the progression of land use changes on the Phase II development site under Construction Phasing Plan 1. Under this plan, the four proposed buildings along Dean Street between Carlton Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue would be built out first, from west to east between 2018 and 2024. This would transform Block 1129 from an interim surface parking lot for the Barclays Center arena and a construction field office to a fully built-out block including residential buildings with ground floor retail, associated adjacent open space, and 1,796 to 1,846 below-grade parking spaces with access from Dean Street and Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues. 
Actually, according to those graphics, it's not at all clear that surface parking would remain.

From Chapter 3H, Construction Transportation:
As discussed in Chapter 4D, “Operational Transportation,” fewer on-site parking spaces are now expected to be provided on Block 1129 for Arena patrons than were assumed in the 2006 FEIS, though there is expected to be 300 parking spaces available to accommodate Arena demand during all phases of construction. These 300 parking spaces would generally be available to construction workers, because Arena events do not typically coincide with the hours during which construction activities would occur at the project site.
From Chapter 3A, Construction Overview:
Portions of Block 1129 and the bed of Pacific Street between Carlton Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue are currently used for construction staging including storage of equipment and materials, and truck staging. Entrances to the staging area are via Vanderbilt and Carlton Avenues onto the closed portion of Pacific Street. The use of Block 1129 and the bed of Pacific Street between Carlton Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue as staging areas minimizes the number of trucks waiting on the street for access to the construction area. Block 1129 would continue to be used for staging activities at the beginning of Phase II construction, although the area used for staging would diminish as the buildings and open space on Buildings 11, 12, 13, and 14 are developed. It is expected that the bed of Pacific Street between Carlton Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue would continue to be used for construction staging until necessary to be used for open space construction at this location when the seven buildings on Blocks 1121 and 1129 are completed. In such cases, the staging and laydown of materials would occur along the perimeters of the construction sites within delineated closed-off areas.
In addition, temporary parking for construction workers may be provided on Block 1129. If required, to avoid overtaxing nearby on- and off-street facilities, the project sponsors may provide on-site parking to construction workers at a fee that is comparable to other parking lots/garages in the area. The use of Block 1129 as a temporary parking area would diminish as the buildings and open space on Buildings 11, 12, 13, and 14 are developed. In such cases, temporary parking for construction workers may be provided in permanent parking lots under Project buildings that are already completed or at nearby on- and off-street parking facilities (e.g., garage at the Atlantic Center)
From Chapter 1, Project Description:
In addition, the SEIS considers two proposed changes to the project program for Phase II: a proposed shift of up to approximately 208,000 gross square feet (gsf) of floor area from Phase I of the Project to Phase II of the Project, and a reduction of the number of parking spaces on the project site from 3,670 spaces as analyzed in the 2006 FEIS to 2,896 spaces.
Upon Phase II completion, the Project (both Phases I and II) would  provide up to 2,896 below grade attended parking spaces on the project site. As currently envisioned, in Phase I, these include: approximately 50-100 spaces in a below-grade facility on the Arena Block with access from Dean Street and 400 spaces in a below-grade facility on Site 5 with access from Pacific Street. In Phase II, these would include: 450 spaces in a below-grade facility on Block 1120 with access from Carlton Avenue; 150 spaces in a facility below Building 15 on Block 1128 with access from Pacific Street; and 1,796-1,846 below-grade spaces on Block 1129 with access from Dean Street and Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues (see Figure 1-5).
Parking ultimately cut

In the end, they cut parking even more, according to an amendment to the Modified General Project Plan:
The Proposed Amendment also proposed reducing the number of parking spaces (the 2009 MGPP requires 3,670 parking spaces upon Project completion) to reflect lower anticipated parking demand based on experience with the operation of the arena since its opening in 2012 and on lower expected demand from the residential units. The Proposed Amendment presented two alternatives for public comment. Under the “base case,” parking requirements would be reduced from 3,670 spaces to 2,896 spaces to reflect lower arena parking demand. Alternatively, under the “Reduced Parking Alternative”, parking requirements would be reduced to 1,200 spaces to reflect both lower arena parking demand and reduced parking requirements for the residential units. In connection with these alternatives, the Parking Key Plan attached as Exhibit D to the 2009 MGPP would be deleted in its entirety and be replaced by a new Parking Key Plan. Two Parking Key Plans were attached to the March 2014 Proposed Amendment to the 2009 MGPP to facilitate public comment: one corresponding to the “base case” described above, and the other corresponding to the “Reduced Parking Alternative”.
...The Reduced Parking Alternative would reduce the number of parking spaces on Block 1129 from approximately 2,070 spaces under the 2009 MGPP to approximately 900 spaces. T

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