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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

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The Amazon aftermath: the Atlantic Yards angle (and comparison)

Sure, there was some chatter yesterday about Atlantic Yards in the wake of Amazon's surprising decision--I and others would have bet on renegotiations--to pull out of plans to build a campus in Long Island City.
I'm surprised too... but Amazon hadn't bought a money-losing basketball team it had to move to Brooklyn or a deal it had to revise post-recession (or purportedly blighted land to be acquired via eminent domain) — Norman Oder (@AYReport) February 14, 2019That was former Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, who's still working on Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park government relations (I think) as an executive at L&L MAG.

Amazon had invested relatively little in Long Island City. Not only did it not have a team it had to move, it hadn't started buying land, sometimes at inflated prices and with money borrowed at high interest rates. So it had much less pressure to close the deal.

Thing is: had Amazon gone ahead with its campus, it likely could have--as sho…

Next Quality of Life meeting coming March 5, six weeks after previous one; lingering questions about project timetable

Just six weeks after the 1/22/19 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting--my coverage--the next one is coming on Tuesday, March 5 at 6 pm:
Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place
1st Floor Conference Room
Brooklyn, NY 11217 Interested parties can send project-related questions, concerns, and suggested agenda items to atlanticyards@esd.ny.gov. Perhaps we'll learn some more about plans to start building two towers (B15, B4) in the next months. 
Or maybe even about plans for a giant complex at Site 5 across Flatbush Avenue from the Barclays Center, given a court decision (under appeal) requiring the project developer to provide space to retailer P.C. Richard in a future building.
The lingering irony
The irony for project watchers is that, while the bi-monthly meetings are very much on schedule, the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), supposed to meet quarterly, has not met for nearly 11 months, and the meeting scheduled for yesterda…

So does Amazon need New York more than vice versa? The talent is here, but...

As consternation rises about whether Amazon is really threatening to pull out from the tentative deal to establish a campus--half a second "headquarters"--in Long Island City, there's debate from all sides.
One thing to remember is an exchange from the December hearing at City Council.

“Did you need the $3 billion [in incentives] in order to come to New York?” asked Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

“Talent was the primary driver for our decision,” said Amazon’s Holly Sullivan. “Incentives were certainly a part of that process."

That's inconclusive, but it certainly suggests a lot of wiggle room. After all, tech companies are expanding in Manhattan without the same subsidy package.

(With Atlantic Yards, did the New Jersey Nets need incentives to become the Brooklyn Nets? Well, it did turn out that everything was more expensive, and less remunerative than they projected, but... the team owners were desperate to move to a major media market and a brand-new arena, w…

Forbes: Nets, at $2.35B, still sixth most valuable NBA team; paradox: relatively low income (but revenues in the black)

It's astonishing, still. In 2017, I didn't quite believe Forbes's valuation of the Brooklyn Nets at $1.8 billion, the 7th most valuable team in the NBA, up from $1.7 billion in 2016 and $1.5 billion in 2015, especially since that somehow included the Barclays Center.

But yes, Forbes was right in 2018 to value the Nets at $2.3 billion, sixth in the league, because that was the valuation set in the deal by Mikhail Prokhorov to sell the team--first 49%, the rest, an option to be exercised in 2012--to billionaire Joe Tsai.

For 2019, Forbes (Kurt Badenhausen and Mike Ozanian) values the Nets at $2.35 billion, a tiny uptick. They're still sixth in the league.

Operating income has risen slightly as well, from $52 million to $53 million, which, relatively speaking, is great news, since the Nets for years lost money.

But there's a paradox on Forbes's NBA valuations list: eight teams worth less earn more income, sometimes much more. For example, the Houston Rockets, wort…

China developers issuing more bonds, as regulators help. Situation still volatile.

This past November, I cited a Bloomberg article headlined Short-Dated Bond Spree by China Builders Flashes ‘Systemic Risk’, which mentioned that Greenland Holding Group was aiming to pay 9% on 1.5-year notes--which was actually a lower interest rate than at one rival mentioned.
So Greenland, the main developer of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, is under stress. Now a 1/30/19 article in the South China Morning Post, Buoyed by easing, expected end to Fed rate hikes, China developers issue US$8.6 billion in offshore bonds, suggests a slightly better picture: Top mainland Chinese property developers are flocking to the offshore bond market to capitalise on a recovery in investors’ appetite. About 14 companies, including big guns Country Garden and Evergrande China, have already issued bonds worth US$8.6 billion this year, more than doubling the amount for January 2018, according to Chinese financial data provider Wind Information. The article cited yields from 6.25% to 8.25%, over varying te…

Making use of unsold 550 Vanderbilt townhouse: a Crazy Rich Asians-themed Valentine's Day event

Well, if the developers of 550 Vanderbilt can't yet sell their 3-bed, 3.5-bath maisonette, Townhouse 1, listed for $4.5 million (down from $4.65 million, not to mention the potential 20% flex in the sales price), it can always host a party on Friday, Feb. 15, the day after Valentine's Day.

According to an announcement on EventBrite,
"High Tea Club NYC, New York City’s premier marriage-oriented matchmaking concierge for Asian Americans, is pleased to announce that it will be hosting an exclusive, Crazy Rich Asians-themed Valentine's Day event with Greenland Group."

The High Tea Club calls itself "Dating for the 1%."

Presumably it's not a complete coincidence that Greenland Group is based in Shanghai, with its subsidiary Greenland USA, the majority owner of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park.

It's a pretty spacious place, some 3,200 square feet over two levels. The entrance is on Dean Street west of Vanderbilt Avenue. The common charges are $3,717 per mon…

Brookfield to investors about acquiring Forest City: "we believe we can drive further value" and "create outsized returns"

There's not a ton of detail/insight in public statements by the buyer of Forest City Realty Trust before the 12/7/18 closing of the purchase, but, for the record, here's a recap, from Brookfield, plus last week's post-closing statements, which were even more optimistic.

The key phrase is "we look forward to creating further value in this business by leveraging our unique mixed-use real estate and placemaking expertise with the portfolio." The unspoken addendum may be: "we have deeper pockets and more patience."

Emphases added.

8/1/18, Brookfield Property Partners Q2 Letter to Unitholders:
New Investments
Earlier this week, a Brookfield real estate investment fund entered into an agreement with Forest City Realty Trust (NYSE: FCEA) – an $11.4 billion diversified U.S. REIT – to acquire all of the shares of Forest City for $25.35/share. BPY is a 25% limited partnership investor in this fund. Forest City has created a high-quality portfolio of operating and…