Saturday, June 25, 2016

Virtual reality: the real-estate press on project location, units under construction, & "public green park"

It's a bit strange to read some of the real-estate press regarding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, since some articles posit an alternate reality regarding the location of the project, the number of units under construction, the "public green park," and even the target market.

Consider the Commercial Observer's 6/16/16 article Under Construction: 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, which hails the topping off of the condo tower.


The building is said to be located "[a]t the intersection of Vanderbilt Avenue and Dean Street in between the Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn."

Oh, really? So Prospect Heights ends at the other three, non-Pacific Park corners of Vanderbilt and Dean? It doesn't.

Unit count

The article states:
Once completed, Pacific Park will contain a total of 6,400 residential units, 2,250 of which are affordable (1,800 units are currently underway, 782 of which are affordable).
Well, the total is supposed to be 6,430. More importantly, the only way to count 1,800 units under way is to include the B12 (651 Dean Street) and B15 (664 Pacific Street) towers, which, as I wrote, have not gone vertical. It looks like B15 will not be done until 2020.

Brownstone living

The article states:
While the building will have a 24-hour doorman, there will also be some elements of brownstone living, [Forest City Ratner's Susi] Yu said. There will be three maisonettes, units with private entryways, so occupants can enjoy “the benefits of living in a full-service building, yet having the privacy of coming through your own entry.”
There will be elements of brownstone living? Well, sure, if you count a 2-story, 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath maisonette townhouse with a private elevator and a private outdoor terrace, on sale for $4,650,000, as described in the excerpt at right.

By the way, the brands mentioned include: Carrara marble counter, premium Miele appliance package, Grohe fixtures, Carrara marble penny round tiles, LG washer and vented dryer, Kohler tub, and Toto toilet.

Don't foget the 421-a tax abatement!

Not about "uber-wealth"

The article ends with a quote from Forest City's executive:
“It can be a background of whatever you want your house to be,” Yu said. “It’s not about ├╝ber-wealth. That’s just not what Rick is about.”
OK, the least expensive listed sale for a studio at this building is $540,000, which is in contract, and the least expensive available unit is a 1-bedroom for $892,000.

I guess uber-wealth is all relative.

The virtual reality bit

Another Commercial Observer article, on the new trend regarding the use of virtual reality to market new developments, of course mentions this project:
Greenland USA and Forest City Ratner Companies started its virtual reality usage with its $4.9 billion, 22-acre Pacific Park residential project in Brooklyn, behind the Barclays Center. The firm realized the power of virtual reality when it wanted to show off what the public green park would look like.
“We knew that we wanted to start with the park,” said Adam Greene, a vice president at Forest City. “We thought that it was the most important thing to start with, because it’s a little bit unknown to people right now, since the site is a big construction [area]. We wanted to show that open space and what it was like to be in there.”
Then the developers subsequently added its condos under construction at 615 Dean Street and 550 Vanderbilt Avenue and the rental project 535 Carton to the virtual reality experience to give future homeowners and tenants a look inside the projects. 

Well, that's because the "public green park"--not a public park under the NYC Parks Department but rather publicly accessible, privately managed open space--won't be finished for nearly a decade. Also, 615 Dean is not actually under construction.

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