Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hints at a new plan for Site 5 building, replacing Modell's & P.C. Richard; could there be swap from B1?

Arrow points to Site 5; photo of model in Pacific Park sales office
An intriguing hint about the future of Site 5--the parcel of land in the new Pacific Park "neighborhood" west of wide Flatbush Avenue--emerged at Tuesday's meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC).

AY CDC President Marion Phillips III, a senior VP at Empire State Development (ESD), told the directors that ESD had begun condemnations of the two Site 5 businesses, the last parcels to be taken by eminent domain.

For Modell's, which is in a building owned by Forest City Ratner, the condemnation covers just the ground lease, while for P.C. Richard, it's the entire property. 

(The adjacent Brooklyn Bear's Garden remains, at the tip of the site where Flatbush and Pacific Street converge.)

"Proceedings will probably commence by the end of this year, early next year," Phillips said, noting that that the building, which can contain either residential or commercial space, has 439,050 square feet. He didn't mention the maximum height: 250 feet, which was reduced twice during the approval process, from 400 feet and 350 feet.
From President's Report to AY CDC
A change coming?

Then Phillips left a tantalizing hint.

"We've had some discussion with Forest City Greenland Partners [sic; actually Greenland Forest City Partners] about other possibilities related to the project... Nothing has been presented, nothing has been approved," he said. "If there is a project proposal that moves forward it will be provided to ESD, there is an entire public process that it must go through" to modify the General Project Plan (GPP).

"At this point, we are going forward with what is provided in the GPP," he said.

What could be the "other possibilities"?

I can only speculate.

But consider that there is considerable sentiment for keeping the arena plaza, and not building the giant, 511-foot, 1.1 million square foot (though it says only 760,190 in the image below) B1 tower.

If that tower is eliminated or truncated, then Greenland Forest City would surely want to get equal value in development rights elsewhere. So part of that trade could come at Site 5.

They could make an argument for a larger building at Site 5: first, it was once supposed to be secondary to B1 (aka Miss Brooklyn), but if it stands alone then it could be larger. 

Also, the march of towers into Fort Greene near the Brooklyn Academy of Music--though not quite to Atlantic and Flatbush avenues--dwarfs the 250-foot height currently approved (though that in turn dwarfs the residential block(s) bordering it to the south.

Stay tuned. When a change gets floated, there's usually something happening. After all, as I've said before, Atlantic Yards is a "never say never" project.


  1. Anonymous7:20 AM

    What about the garden? Seems potentially... endangered.

    1. The garden is not part of the project. Could it be affected by construction, and then operations? Sure. But it is supposed to stay.

  2. Will this be an office tower?Maybe they can just drop the original Miss Brooklyn along with the Urban Room on the site as they are about the same dimensions.

    1. As stated, it could be commercial (office) or residential. Don't think they could put all of Miss Brooklyn there, but maybe a good chunk of it.