Thursday, July 30, 2015

If first condo building will have private open space (maisonette court), what about the other three? Developer won't answer

I'll have a more extensive report from Tuesday's meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC) after Board Materials are posted. But the one agenda item up for a vote--to recommend minor changes in the open space design guidelines--passed uneventfully.

Well, we all know that the rendering below of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park open space is a bit fanciful, given that the concept plan from landscape architect Thomas Balsley Associates somehow includes street trees on the Sixth Avenue Bridge between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue, as well as the east side of Vanderbilt Avenue, which is outside the project boundaries.

At one point during the meeting Tuesday, Balsley--who made a presentation to the board that was well received--was asked by board member Jaime Stein, "Can you describe separating private space from public space?"

"There's no private space," Balsley responded, then corrected himself. "There is one maisonette that has private space shielded" from the public space. See item #25 in the schematic below--marked with the arrow--for a "maisonette court" associated with 550 Vanderbilt, the first of four condo buildings on the site.



A maisonette, according to StreetEasy, is a hot concept in real estate today:
By NYC standards, the current definition of a maisonette is a ground-floor or first-floor condominium or co-op apartment that has a street-level and private entry, thus affording celebrities or recluses a dwelling in which there’s easy and anonymous in-and-out access
In this case, it also has its own patch of green.

More maisonette courts coming?

If a maisonette is a profitable concept, and there are three more condo buildings coming, it seems likely that Greenland Forest City Partners is considering or planning maisonette courts for the three future condo buildings.

At the meeting, I posed that question: will that be the only maisonette court, or will other condo buildings have maisonette courts?

Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton wouldn't answer, even after I rephrased the question to ask if they were ruling it out or in.

That non-response, to me, suggests there will be future maisonette courts. And the next iteration of Balsley's pleasant concept plan will need an update.

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