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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

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BrooklynSpeaks: foreclosure sale "potentially fatal" setback & "searing indictment" of NYS oversight. My take: conditions imposed by ESD key to any sale.

The coalition BrooklynSpeaks--the only long-running community entity left to speak on Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park--has issued a  statement  calling the pending foreclosure sale of six development sites over the Vanderbilt Yard "a potentially fatal setback for the project, and a searing indictment of New York State Empire State Development’s [ESD] failure to oversee Atlantic Yards in the public’s interest." Though dated Nov. 29, a day after news broke of the sale, the statement--which calls for governmental investigations of ESD's "stewardship" over the project for now owned by Greenland USA--was released today. I've reproduced it in full below, with annotations in italics. “The public deserves a full accounting of how things have gone so wrong at Atlantic Yards,” added Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, a nonprofit affordable housing group that also partners with developers on affordable housing. “We call upon the New York

What are the six development sites worth? Huge clouds over sale, given platform & affordable housing (?) obligation. Could only first block get built?

How much are the six development sites over the Vanderilt Yard, scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure auction in January, worth? Would the holders of the debt, incurred by master developer Greenland USA (which owns nearly all of the project going forward) be paid back? And might it be worth it for a buyer to build on the first block, including only three of the development sites, between Sixth and Carlton avenues? The answers to those questions are murky, since neither the private parties involved nor the state authority overseeing the project have released any details, though I'll attempt some ballpark estimates below.  Looking west from Vanderbilt Avenue at two railyard blocks needing platform Big platform cost One obvious conclusion: the cost of the platform cuts deeply into the value of the sites, and the potential fines for affordable housing cut even further. As estimated in 2016--and costs surely have risen--the platform over the first block, in two parts (for B5, and B6/B7

As foreclosure auction of six development sites looms, big Qs about bidders' obligation to build platform, pay MTA, & deliver affordable housing. What does NYS say?

The bombshell announcement of foreclosure auctions for the six Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park development sites over the Vanderbilt Yard, as I wrote yesterday, raises more questions than it answers. And that means that Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project, must publicly discuss its role and the guidelines and obligations it requires of whatever company (or companies) might take control from Greenland USA. ESD did not respond to my queries yesterday. It is overdue to schedule a quarterly meeting of the advisory Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), which has mostly been toothless but on Aug. 2 asked for a report on the project's financial viability. That would include the developer's obligation to pay $2,000 a month in fines for each affordable housing unit not delivered by a May 2025 deadline. Of the 2,250 required units, 876 (or 877) remain. That report, requested for early October, has not been delivered.

With Greenland EB-5 debt in foreclosure, big Qs about future of stalled project, including collateral, platform, & investor visa middleman. What's government's role?

The stalled Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project faces another financial convulsion, as news about a foreclosure arrived yesterday, raising huge questions about the future owners of the project, the nature of the collateral, and how any ownership transfer might affect the commitment to build the expensive two-block platform--as well as the role of government. In Greenland losing grip on $5B Pacific Park megaproject , the Real Deal reported that Greenland USA, which owns nearly all of the future Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, has defaulted on two loans totaling $349 million under the EB-5 investor visa program. Those affect control over the six development sites over the railyard, though, as described below, the collateral may overlap. A foreclosure auction is scheduled for January, which could mean a new owner of development rights and, presumably, the obligation to build the platform. It also raises questions about the transfer, enforcement, and potential renegotation of the May 2025 dea

Welcome to the Corner Store! A "bodega"-style store at the Barclays Center, with arena prices: soda, $8; water, $7, beer $13-$15

On a recent visit to the Barclays Center, I noticed the "Brooklyn Corner Store," a retail outlet set up, with yellow and red awning and signage, reminiscent of the venerable, yet fading New York bodega However faithful the rendition, it's jarring: the Brooklyn Corner Store hardly resembles a bodega, known for modest pricing. As shown in the screenshot at right, soda costs $8, water $7, beer $13 to $15, while snacks are $5 to $7.50.  Empanadas and beef patties are $6 each. This is what happens when you have a captive audience--pricing is surely similar at Madison Square Garden and other major venues. It's just a little rich to liken it to a bodega, especially given the history of bodegas, as discussed below. A little history on boedgas A 7/30/02 New York Times article headlined  These Colors Don't Run, But They Droop; Bodegas and Their Awnings Are Both Looking Tired  notes that the "origins of the red-and-yellow bodega awnings and their near-universal applicat

If Brookfield, which bought out Forest City, no longer actively claims Pacific Park, what remaining stake does it have in the future project? "Nominal," says a rep.

From Brookfield web site, 2023 If you search "Brooklyn" on the website for Brookfield Properties, the results , at right, deliver nine properties, including several at Brooklyn Commons, formerly known as MetroTech. Absent, however, is any part of Pacific Park Brooklyn. That's been the case for a while, though I'm not sure how long, which raises the question: is Brookfield still involved? Flashback, 2018 In December 2018, after Brookfield Properties had absorbed Forest City Realty Trust, parent of the oiriginal Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park developer, I wrote  that Brookfield seemed a little overoptimistic about the project, stating, prematurely, that, "Multiple residential building components are under construction." As of then, Brookfield owned 30% of two rental towels, the "100% affordable" 535 Carlton and 38 Sixth, plus a 30% share of the remaining unsold condo units in 550 Vanderbilt, all built as part of a 30/70 joint venture between original de

Following up: more on the Jay-Z takeover of the Brooklyn Public Library's Central Library

So, to follow up on my essay yesterday in Common Edge, Jay-Z’s Unseemly Takeover of Brooklyn’s Central Library , let me address a few of the questions and comments that have surfaced, plus add some bonus photos. (And I may update this further.) Waiting on line for the video section Isn't this bad timing? First, the exhibition's closing Dec. 4. Second, the library just got hit with a budget cut.  Well, sort of. I first pitched an article in July to a major publication that said no. My response was, "OK, but please do publish something on this, perhaps both a critical and a supportive piece." Then I got delayed, and decided to wait until after the gala. Then it took a while to get this published. Does the money raised make up for the (proposed) budget cuts?   Nope. Rather, $1.5 million goes to the Books Unbanned initiative. The take from the gala, $1.5 million gross--which likely translates to $1+ million after expenses--presumably goes to the general fund. Why do you s