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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: new infrastructure work at East Portal

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 was circulated at 5:13 pm Friday (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.

There are few changes from the previous update, notably the start of some new infrastructure work around the East Portal at Atlantic and Vanderbilt avenues (a vexed intersection for bicyclists and pedestrians), part of preparations for a deck and ultimately vertical construction:

Foundation installations in the East Portal footprint will begin during this reporting period.Pile drilling for Vanderbilt Retaining Wall is expected to begin during this reporting period. Drilling will be conducted during daytime hours and appropriate dust and noise mitigation measures will be followed. This operation may also be performed during Saturday daytime hours.Excavation to Yard Grade elevation in the East Portal area will begin during this reportin…

From Crain's Cleveland Business: "The lights go out for Forest City" (blame debt & messy family control)

A couple of interesting passages in the 12/9/18 corporate obituary for Forest City Enterprises/Forest City Realty Trust (now part of Brookfield Asset Management) in Crain's Cleveland Business, The lights go out for Forest City:
The ability to spot opportunities and spend years making them a reality distinguished the company, especially when its projects took it to new markets. For example, when Forest City began developing MetroTech in Brooklyn, the borough was not seen as a New York office market. With seven buildings there now, it helped set the stage for Brooklyn's rebirth. Over the years, it would do that again and again in new locations, such as in a venture with MIT in Boston, remaking the former Navy Yards on the Potomac in Washington, D.C., an old rail yard in Chicago and the Presidio former Army barracks in San Francisco. I'd point out that those opportunities were usually public-private partnerships, so they had a high barrier to entry. (Also see my March 2018 re…

The end of Forest City: stock delisted, assets now part of Brookfield

First, half of the executive team goes, then the company identity vaporizes, as Forest City has now been absorbed by Brookfield, with the transaction closing yesterday.
At right is the message on Forest City's home page:
For nearly a century, Forest City has owned, developed and managed dynamic commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate in core markets across the United States.
In November 2018, the company announced that its stockholders approved the acquisition of Forest City by a real estate investment fund of Brookfield Asset Management, a global leader in alternative asset management. The transaction closed on December 7, 2018.
Forest City’s property portfolio is now managed by Brookfield Properties, a global, best-in-class real estate operating company. Here's the Brookfield press release yesterday, Brookfield Completes Acquisition of Forest City Realty Trust:
NEW YORK and CLEVELAND, Dec. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (“Brookfield”) (…

As Brookfield deal closes, Forest City executives in Cleveland get fired; assets to become Brookfield Properties

The absolute end of Forest City Realty Trust, and thus Forest City New York, is nigh, as the Plan Dealer reported yesterday action from the new owners: Brookfield cuts jobs, including top executives, at Forest City as acquisition looms.

About 75 executives in FCRT's headquarters have been let go, with another 35 on short-term extensions, which will cut management from 350 people to 240 by next summer. The transaction, approved by Forest City shareholders 11/15/18, is expected to be complete today, the newspaper reported.

While workers at various Forest City properties will be retained, it's unclear what will happen to executives at Forest City's major subsidiaries, in places like New York and Washington, DC.

It is clear that the name will gone. The firm will be called Brookfield Properties. That raises a question about the joint venture to build Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, owned only 5% by Forest City going forward, currently called  Greenland Forest City Partners. Will i…

The down escalator at Barclays Center: out of service until Dec. 14

Well, the elevator from the Barclays Center plaza to the subway has been chronically out of whack, and the escalator isn't so great, too. Both are the responsibility of the arena operator, BSE Global.

Two days ago, a resident alerted me that the down escalator at the plaza had been down for two weeks, with barriers but no signage.

I got a response yesterday from arena spokeswoman Mandy Gutmann:
As you said, the down escalator has been having issues for about two weeks. The initial problem was a faulty battery back-up system.
That took a little over a week to source and replace due to the holiday. Following the replacement of that, a drive unit part failed. It is currently on order and expected to arrive within the coming week, at which point it will immediately be installed. Pending no further surprise issues, the escalator should be up and running at that point. There should be signage, but we will ensure it’s more visible. I took the photos yesterday, so a day after my initial q…

Continuing new trend, Chinese companies still selling assets in U.S.; will Greenland sell more?

From the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Chinese Dumped $1 Billion of U.S. Real Estate in Third Quarter, Extending Recent Retreat:
Chinese investors offloaded more than $1 billion in U.S. real estate in the third quarter, extending their recent retreat from hotels, office buildings and other foreign property under pressure from Beijing to reduce debt and curb money sent abroad. This marks a two-quarter trend in which Chinese companies have flipped from being buyers to sellers. Beyond pressure on debt and foreign investment, the WSJ suggests that "trade tension" between the two countries may be a factor.

In Brooklyn

What does that mean for Greenland USA, the majority owner of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park? Well, they've already offloaded three sites (B12, B13, B15) to two local developers, TF Cornerstone and The Brodsky Organization, and announced plans to build another tower, B4.


Those are the remaining towers on terra firma, with the exception of Site 5, currently home to …

The Isles draw just 9,125 fans, but it's not their low

Oh my. Not even on the Coliseum’s worst day did it look like this. Incredible https://t.co/BrnwXpSUIZ — Robert Brodsky (@BrodskyRobert) December 5, 2018
Official attendance = 9,125, 57% of @barclayscenter capacity https://t.co/Sgv8rpkdpO
But that does not appear to be gate count#Isles — Norman Oder (@AYReport) December 5, 2018
Do they take face offs during warmups? https://t.co/CyYJXnnpGb — Matthew Sexton (@RealMattSexton) December 5, 2018This actually wasn't a low. The Isles drew 9,0728,806, and 8,790 at some earlier games at Barclays. If they can consistently sell out the Coliseum, it may become their full-time interim home.

As Brooklyn Nets bolster superfans, attendance lags, at bottom of NBA

From the New York Times today, New York’s N.B.A. Teams Don’t Have Much to Celebrate. These Fans Cheer Anyway.:
When a team has had eight home arenas in two states over a half-century, it’s tough to build a dedicated fan base. At Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where the Nets moved in 2012, they are last in the N.B.A. in attendance and most fans tend to make noise only when T-shirts are being shot from cannons.

Then there’s Section 114.

It’s called The Block — a rowdy section purposely set in a corner of the arena where the fans, who rarely sit down, wouldn’t obstruct anyone else’s view. Indeed, according to ESPN, as of today, the Nets rank well last in average attendance per game, at 13,862, which is well behind last year's average of 15,556 (29th in the 30-team league) or the Nets' worst season, which averaged 15,125 (27th).

That said, the percentage capacity, 76.6%, is matched the results for the Minnesota Timberwolves and just a tick below that of the Detroit Pistons.

The New …