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

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Moody's: Sale of Nets to Tsai rescued Barclays Center finances, bolstering bonds above "junk" despite negative outlook

The recent blockbuster sale of 49% of the Brooklyn Nets by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov to fellow billionaire Joe Tsai—a deal valuing the team at $2 billion-plus and which is expected to lead to Tsai’s full control of the Nets by 2021—didn’t just represent a big payday for Prokhorov.

It also provided a crucial backstop to the uncertain finances of the Barclays Center operating company, now owned by Prokhorov’s Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BS&E), which has consistently reaped far less of a profit than expected, due in part to a bad deal with the New York Islanders.

Though the $1 billion transaction with Alibaba tycoon Tsai did divert additional revenues from the arena to the team, as ratings agency Moody’s explained May 14, it also allowed Prokhorov to create a $345 million reserve fund to deliver supplemental revenue and ensure that bondholders are repaid.

That cushion safeguards BS&E against a downgrade of the bonds, from the lowest rung of investment-grade—a common …

Work zone to begin tomorrow at Atlantic and Vanderbilt for LIRR East Portal project

According to a Community Notice sent yesterday from Pacific Park Brooklyn, temporary changes to the roadway around Vanderbilt and Atlantic avenues are scheduled to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, May 23. 
No time frame or duration was provided. This work was not previewed in the latest two-week Construction Update, dated May 14.
From the notice:
As part of the construction of the Long Island Rail Road East Portal project, the center median of Atlantic Avenue will be reconfigured at the intersection of Atlantic and Vanderbilt Avenues.
To accommodate this work, the west crosswalk of the intersection of Atlantic and Vanderbilt Avenues will be closed beginning on on Wednesday, May 23. Pedestrian traffic across Atlantic Avenue will be detoured as per the diagram below.
Also, the westbound B45 bus stop on Atlantic Avenue will be relocated one block west, moving from the northwest corner of Vanderbilt Avenue to the northwest corner of Clermont Avenue.
Please note that this is the first phase of …

Remember how ESD predicted that middle school would open in fall of 2018? It looks like 2021 at best.

Joining Bruce Ratner's unreliable prediction of 2018 project completion should be the prediction, just two years ago, that the promised middle school--dubbed M.S. OneBrooklyn by advocates--would open this year.

Consider the 7/18/16 letter (below) from Howard Zemsky, President and CEO of Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards, as first published 8/16/18.

Responding to concerns raised by Assemblymember Walter Mosley and fellow legislators, Zemsky wrote, "A district wide middle school is also expected to open in the Fall of 2018."

As of then, that was doubtful. I'd written a month earlier that the plan for 664 Pacific, a 27-story market-rate rental building with a school at its base, was delayed, and project documents suggested it would be a four-year buildout.

As I reported, a court file revealed that a representative of developer Greenland Forest City Partners said excavation and construction at the site would take four yea…

A 550 Vanderbilt footnote: the Development Agreement is expected to be modified (for Site 5, most likely)

Stay tuned, all of those waiting for action on the seemingly stalled Site 5 project. Well, a change was (seemingly) contemplated as of June 2015, when the Offering Plan for the 550 Vanderbilt condominium was filed with the New York State Attorney General.

As excerpted below, it indicated that there would be a modification to the project's governing Development Agreement, to be approved at a later date.

The most obvious candidate is Site 5, given that it requires first a revision to the project's guiding Modified General Project Plan, in order to move bulk approved for another site, B1 (aka "Miss Brooklyn") across the street, and then surely an amendment to the Development Agreement between the state and developer.

From the 109th page of this document, part of the Offering Plan:
WHEREAS, in order to effectuate the intent of the MGPP, Declarant and affiliates of Tenant entered into: (i) that certain Development Agreement, dated March 4, 2010, as first amended by the Om…

ANHD chart: affordable housing still threatened in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights (Brooklyn CBs 3 & 8)

Recently, the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) released the 2018 edition of their annual housing risk chart, How is Affordable Housing Threatened in Your Neighborhood?

As the organization explains, each year, it collects a variety of indicators of key threats to affordable housing in the city that illustrate issues and patterns that are specific to each community district, as well as the city as a whole.

This year’s housing risk chart shows displacement is a growing crisis. The neighborhoods losing the most affordable rent stabilized units between 2015 and 2016 are Astoria (634), Central Harlem (500) and Bedford Stuyvesant (460), or Brooklyn Community Board 3.

In Brooklyn, Bedford Stuyvesant had the most new residential units approved, with over 1,000 new units in 2017. It also had a dramatic decline (-81.8%)  in home purchase loans made to low- and moderate-income buyers, as did Brooklyn Community Board 6, Park Slope/Gowanus/Red Hook (-85.7%).

I've an…

Yes, Gilmartin says she expects Site 5 to be built, rejects her company's original "urban planning decision"

So, former Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York MaryAnne Gilmartin, whose new company L&L MAG has a service contract to represent Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, wants to see Site 5 built.

Of course. As reported yesterday by The Real Deal, Adding some zeroes: Is Pacific Park ready for a 1M sf office tower?:
Building a 1 million-square-foot-plus tower with significant office space at site five — occupied by P.C. Richard & Son and a Modell’s — would help amend that, she said during a panel at TerraCRG’s Only Brooklyn conference on Wednesday.
Such a building would require public approvals and the transfer of air rights from the arena. Those rights were once pegged for a 62-story skyscraper next to the arena, designed by Frank Gehry and dubbed “Miss Brooklyn.”
“To me, at the end of the day, it seems to me a much better urban planning decision to put more density on that site than to muck up our beautiful arena by landing a building in front of it,” she told The Real Deal after the …

Developer debuts West Portal, easing LIRR path to terminal; upgrades said to be worth $500 million!

Newsday and two TV stations seem (so far) to be the only news outlets covering the unveiling of the operational West Portal to Atlantic Terminal, an upgrade to the Vanderbilt Yard that allows trains being stored and serviced to go directly to the commuter tracks rather than perform a more time-consuming and awkward maneuver.

(I wasn't invited to the press event.)

Newsday reported yesterday, in LIRR: New path to Atlantic Terminal may ease commuter delays
For more than a century, routing a train from Atlantic Terminal into the yard, where it would be cleaned and serviced, required a complicated and time-consuming set of movements. Trains would have to travel east from the station about three-quarters of a mile, and then back west again through the only portal leading to the adjacent outdoor rail yard.
The movement, which takes about three minutes to complete, would block all train traffic into and out of the station until the tracks were clear.
That should ease potential and actual d…