Friday, February 12, 2016

Neat trick: virtual reality for 550 Vanderbilt condo buyers shows "eight-acre public park" (10 years, not a park)

From the New York Times Real Estate section, coming this Sunday, A New Dimension in Home Buying: Virtual Reality:
Halstead says it will introduce three-dimensional displays and virtual-reality headsets to its offices this year, and the brokerage isn’t alone. Greenland Forest City Partners and Douglas Elliman Real Estate are also hoping to add virtual-reality technology in the coming months, as are individual brokers looking for a competitive edge.
...Greenland Forest City Partners says its fully immersive VR is ready to go. Later this month, buyers who come to the sales office for 550 Vanderbilt, a new condo building in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, will be able to don headsets and take a virtual tour of the eight-acre public park planned around the development.
Well, the VR may be ready to go, but the open space will be several years in the making. The full 8 acres willl take about ten years. So virtual reality may be the only way to experience it.

Not a park

And no, it will not be a "public park." It will be privately managed, publicly accessible open space, outside the auspices of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Or, maybe a "private park," as Stuyvesant Town describes its open space.

From the 2009 Atlantic Yards Modified General Project Plan:
The publicly accessible open spaces will be built as the parcels are developed. They will be owned by a Conservancy or other not-for-profit entity established by the Project Sponsors, which will be responsible for the maintenance, operation and security of this public amenity. The Conservancy or other not-for-profit entity will be funded in the first instance by the Sponsors, and when the surrounding parcels are developed, by the owners of the surrounding buildings within the Project Site pursuant to restrictive declarations recorded against the land upon which such buildings are constructed. Such declarations shall also include obligations on the owners of the surrounding Project properties to (1) operate and perform maintenance in the event the Conservancy or not-for-profit entity defaults on its obligation to maintain and operate, (2) fund maintenance and operation at a sufficient annual level, and (3) provide adequate assurances satisfactory to ESDC and the City that the publicly accessible open spaces will be maintained and operated. The Conservancy or other not-for-profit entity will be governed by a board, which will include representatives of the Project Sponsors, civic group(s) active in park matters, the owners of surrounding properties and, on an ex officio basis, the local community boards and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation ("DPR"). The initial program and planning for the open space will be subject to the reasonable approval of ESDC, consistent with the Design Guidelines and any material modifications thereto will be subject to the reasonable approval of the City. The open space will be accessible to the public from dawn to dusk or at hours consistent with the practices of DPR for comparable public parks.
Well, the issue there is "comparable" public parks, because the hours will be less than at public parks. And the management of the open space will be private.

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