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

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From the latest Construction Update: overnight work at railyard on weekend should include "minimal demolition of an existing retaining wall"

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning today, Monday, Nov. 11, was circulated Friday at 5:31 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.

There's not much new from the previous update, but weekend work at the railyard, during a second shift from 6 pm to 6 am, will expand somewhat: beyond excavation, installation of train servicing equipment, and installation of yard lighting structures--all previously mentioned--a contractor also will conduct "minimal demolition of an existing retaining wall."

Also, at the B12 and B13 sites mid-block on Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, the contractor may repair parts of the existing construction fence.

After-hours work continues

Excavation work is expected to continue on Saturdays at the B15 and B4 sites from 9 am through 5 pm, through the end of the year.

Saturday daytime electrical utility installat…

In Gilmartin interview from May, a reminder that Atlantic Yards pace was never realistic, the role of luck, and the dubious claim of an ongoing Forest City alliance

There are a couple of intriguing lines in a 5/16/19 interview with MaryAnne Gilmartin, co-founder of L&L MAG and former CEO of Forest City Ratner, on the web site Madame Architect, under the headline You Are What You Build: MaryAnne Gilmartin on Knowing Your Wheelhouse and Seeing What Others Don't.

What did she learn in her government-adjacent job at New York City's Public Development Corporation?
My time there helped me understand the role that public policy and government play in the built environment for things of a certain scale. I learned to think big and to not be intimidated by complexity. You also think in different metrics on the public side, like job creation and tax dollars - not profit and bottom line, so as a private developer, my take-aways from that time allow me to now effectively partner with the government and marry the goals of public and private to make it a win-win all the way around. (Emphases added throughout)

Sometimes it's a win-win, sometimes n…

In Los Angeles, questions about development-related corruption; Greenland pushes back on misleading report

As noted last December, the Los Angeles Times reported that Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar "personally asked companies that do business at City Hall to donate to a private school where his wife was working as a professional fundraiser," and Greenland USA was among the most generous donors.

In a 1/14/19 article headlined FBI corruption probe of L.A. City Hall focuses on downtown development boom, the Los Angeles Times reported:
Federal investigators have cast a wide net for information about foreign investment in Los Angeles real estate development, according to a search warrant that names an array of political and business figures.

...Those developers also have been told to provide information on any contributions they have made to Huizar’s reelection bid, his officeholder committee, any legal defense fund or his alma mater, Bishop Mora Salesian High School, the sources said. The subpoenas seek information on any donations made to two political committees with ties to Hu…

New Department of Buildings map shows after-hours variances, but it doesn't include all Pacific Park work

In an effort to heighten transparency, the city Department of Buildings (DOB) recently released a new interactive tool to map after-hours variances, thus identifying potentially disruptive constructive work beyond the normal permitting times of 7 am through 6 pm weekdays.

And while  it includes some work at the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park site--notably the B4 and B15 construction sites, as shown in the screenshot at right, as of 11/1/19--it doesn't include all such work.

(Note: there are no after-hours permits for those sites this weekend.)

Nor do the extant permits offer full candor on the reason for such construction work, for example claiming "public safety" when that could have easily been extended simply to expediency.

City Land, in a 10/31/19 article, explained:
In 2018, Buildings issued 18,866 initial after-hours variance permits – down 24 percent from 2012, when 25,005 after-hours variance permits were issued. After-hours variance permits are issued for specific …

As City Planning report points to inadequate regional housing and transportation, a reminder of the mayor's limited power to address inequality

A new report from the Department of City Planning, The Geography of Jobs (also at bottom), describes the challenges posed by inadequate housing and transportation systems, analyzing trends since 2000.

The overview:
One-fifth of NYC’s workforce lives outside the city, representing a dynamic flow of incommuters traveling to work in all five boroughs. 80% of the 4.7 million people employed within NYC live within the five boroughs. The other 20%, representing nearly 1 million workers, are housed outside of the city, elsewhere in the Region (“incommuters”). Manhattan, the Region’s densest employment center, is geographically central to the Region’s labor market and supported by a wide range of transportation infrastructure specifically designed for core access. So, it is no surprise that the majority of in-commuters from the Region are traveling to jobs in Manhattan. However, there are also strong commuter relationships between other NYC boroughs and their geographic neighbors. Notably, t…

For third tower at Metropolis project In Los Angeles, Greenland shifts from condos to rentals

It's a never-say-never project, I always say about Atlantic Yards, given the history of--and potential for--changes, including changes in ownership, from Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York to Greenland Forest City Partners, initially owned 70% by Greenland USA, now 95%, but with three parcels leased to other developers and a fourth under co-development.

Same too for the three-tower, 1,500-unit Metropolis project in Los Angeles being developed by Greenland USA, which has gone through various gyrations. As previously reported, Greenland has switched brokers three times to sell condos in the first two buildings, and has tried to sell the third, unbuilt tower.
Now, as Urbanize/LA reported 10/18/19, Final Metropolis Tower Switches from Condos to Rentals, with 685 units. There's apparently a glut of condos, and rentals are cheaper to build. The new tower will be known as THEA at Metropolis
And in Brooklyn
Atlantic Yards was announced as 4,500 rental apartments, plus four tower…

So, were Barclays Center tax revenues from direct spending in line with initial projections? Not even close (though numbers did change).

The sunny and (I believe) outlandish estimate by Nets/arena CEO David Levy that Barclays will host 285 a year got me thinking about another, even more dubious set of numbers.

Remember this 10/1/13 Daily News headline, Barclays Center scores: City says arena generated $14 million in tax revenues in its first year?

I was skeptical, since the New York City Economic Development Corporation is an arm of the mayor's office, and its previous studies of Atlantic Yards had been rather self-serving,

But I didn't have the data and context at the time to refute it. Which I do below.

The claims

From the article:
The $14 million in tax revenues includes sales tax associated with purchases inside and outside the sports and entertainment complex, as well as income tax generated by Barclays Center employees and the Brooklyn Nets.
Forest City Ratner executive chairman Bruce Ratner called the numbers confirmation that the city and state's investment in the Barclays Center was money well spent…