Monday, September 26, 2016

Yes, three buildings will open soon. But they and others are behind previous tentative schedule.

This the second among articles based on the 9/20/16 meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), set up to advise Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. See also coverage of Site 5 plans.

So, how well is Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park progressing? Yes, three buildings will be opening in next several months, and a fourth is due next year.

But all four of them are well behind the tentative schedule noted in the document below, released in August 2014 by Greenland Forest City Partners. Yes, the schedule was and is subject to change, but there's reason enough to question the progress, including the question marks surrounding the 421-a tax break.

At the meeting, Greenland Forest City Partners' Scott Solish said the B2 tower, 461 Dean Street, would welcome tenants in the fall. Keep in mind that this building broke ground in December 2012, and was originally supposed to take two years.


At 535 Carlton, aka B14, the 100% affordable building will open in late 2016 or early 2017. In the graphic above, it was supposed to open in July.

The condo building 550 Vanderbilt, aka B11, is supposed to open at the beginning of 2017. In the graphic above, it was supposed to open in July/August of this year.

The B3 affordable rental building, 38 Sixth, is supposed to open by June 2017, said Solish. In the graphic above, it was supposed to open in January 2017.

Affordable housing timetable

Both Solish and ESD officials said that the affordable housing was still due by 2025. But B4, a mixed-use tower on the northeast corner of the arena block, was once supposed to start in March 2017 and include 275 affordable units. No timetable for the building has been confirmed.

In fact, Greenland Forest City has indicated it would like to switch B4 to office use, but has not said where the 275 affordable units--key to maintaining a ratio of 35% affordability in the first stretch of the buildout--would go.

B4 and two condo sites, B12 and B13, have been put up for sale, with no announced deal--or timetable--pending.

What's next?

Solish said that B12 (aka 615 Dean) was among the next two towers to be built, but did not specify timing. Forest City executive Susi Yu said that footings were installed for B12 to qualify for the 421-a tax break. But B12 was once projected to open by February 2017, and that date is not even close.

Solish identified B15, a market-rate rental tower known as 664 Pacific (that includes a middle school), as the other building coming next. But 664 Pacific, once projected to open by February 2018, has been delayed by litigation, and likely won't be finished until 2020.

A neighbor comments

Peter Krashes of the Dean Street Block Association reminded the AY CDC board that "the. duration of the project is really long" and that the project, as originally passed in 2006, "was meant to be complete by now."

"As the project is being implemented, we have kids that are going to be born on the block and go to college, and exposed to construction" throughout, he noted.

Board member Jaime Stein noted that there was a request by the Barclays Center Impact Zone Alliance (BCIZA) to "think about this project in its length and scope." She said that helped her better understand quality of life issues facing residents, as "the duration and uniqueness of the project became very clear."

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