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

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As 80 Flatbush decision awaits, a look at Lander's comment that "our highly reactive ULURP process just is not getting the job done"

A resolution on the contentious 80 Flatbush development is expected at or by a City Council subcommittee meeting today, with Council Member Stephen Levin indicating a willingness to accept some more density--a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 15, rather than 12 (plus schools), as previously stated.

But developer Alloy and its partner, the Educational Construction Fund (ECF), have asked for an FAR of 18, which would nearly triple the allowable density at the site, and be 1.5 times the density allowed in the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning. The justification is the cross-subsidization of affordable housing and schools, though the equation remains murky because the Alloy-ECF deal remains under wraps.

As that decision awaits, it's worth looking at the broader framework, and quoting Brooklyn Council Member Brad Lander's comments this past Monday, 9/17/18, before the Council-spurred Charter Revision Commission 2019.

He cited 1989 changes in the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), but sai…

OK, the Quality of Life meeting once scheduled for Sept. 25 will not happen; no AY CDC meeting set yet, either

Last December, when Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, released the 2018 schedule for the bi-monthly Quality of Life meetings, the date September 25 was tentatively set.

Guess what: it's not happening. Not only has ESD not solicited topics for the meeting, a message from an ESD official to a community member confirmed that the meeting will not be held on that date, and that a new date is being sought.

Also, there's been no meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC) since March. The group is supposed to meet quarterly, so an end-of-September meeting would get the schedule under the wire.

As I wrote, there are a lot of questions to be raised at the next public meeting, notably about the project timetable.

From the latest Construction Update: signal structures at the railyard being installed

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, Sept. 17, was circulated at 10:23 am yesterday (late) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners. Except, um, they mistakenly sent the previous document from two weeks ago. After being alerted, they sent the updated document at 3:20 pm.

There are few changes from the previous update, notably planned installation of signal structures in Block 1120--the railyard block between Sixth and Carlton avenues and Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue--using an excavator.

The erection of scaffolding will continue on 728 Atlantic and 700 Atlantic--the two building on Block 1120 that "bump" into the railyard from Atlantic Avenue.

The demolition work at Block 1120 could commence upon receipt of Department of Buildings and Department of Transportation permits, the update says, as in 59 previous updates. A community notice will be distributed.

Atlantic Yards down the memory hole: 461 Dean portrayed in New York Post modular roundup as having "proven its worth"

From the New York Post, 9/13/18, New York’s modular building revolution is here, an overview of modular construction efforts, contains a segment on Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park:
Also in 2016, SHoP Architects completed one of the country’s most-documented prefab projects: 461 Dean St. in Prospect Heights, which, at 32 stories, is still the tallest modular building in the world.
Developed by Forest City as part of its massive Atlantic Yards project, its prefab modules were constructed by Full Stack Modular at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, currently the city’s only modular fabricator. (Most prefab factories are located outside major cities, where space and labor are cheaper.) The company, created in-house specifically for the project, later spun off from the developer.
In order to avoid factory-style uniformity, SHoP utilized a variety of materials, colors, patterns, unit types and fabrication techniques for each of the building’s three volumes, creating an intricate play of light, pattern, and …

A newly announced event should bring 11K+ students and educators, plus 200 buses, to Barclays Center on the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 26

Unmentioned in the Barclays Center September 2018 events calendar circulated to neighbors, a newly announced (if not booked) event should fill many seats in the arena on the morning of Wednesday, 9/26/18.

According to the announcement (in full at bottom):
WE Day, an unparalleled youth empowerment event, returns to New York to celebrate 19,000 youth and educators from across the Tri-State area for the second annual WE Day UN on September 26, 2018 at Barclays Center. Taking place during the conclusion of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), WE Day UN is held in partnership with UNAIDS and UN Global Compact and other UN agencies. WE Day UN will celebrate the year-round local and global acts of service taken by thousands of students from across the region. WE Day UN will stream live at 10:10 a.m. ET on September 26, 2018 at But the attendees will start arrive by 7 am, as noted below.

This is volunteerism backed by some serious corporate money, including Alls…

New building at Brooklyn Bridge Park, with middle-income emphasis, inspires cynicism about "affordable housing"

Eleven years ago, when Council Member de Blasio aimed at the 2009 Brooklyn Borough President race, he invited bloggers to a Park Slope coffee shop. Asked about affordable housing, he proposed a tiered approach, from the poorest, families under $20,000, to middle-income households.

Should those earning six figures get subsidized housing?

"Definitely below six figures," he responded.

Well, that's changed, partly because incomes have risen--leaving the truly needy even farther behind--and because lower-income units require more subsidy. Area Median Income (AMI), the base from which a percentage is applied--80% and lower is technically low-income--has risen: 100% of 2018 AMI is $104,300.

Consider the example of "100% affordable" 535 Carlton, with half the units for households earning up to 165% of AMI--affordable but tough to rent, with two months free on some leases--which de Blasio hailed.

At Brooklyn Bridge Park

Now come 100 new affordable units at 15 Bridge Park…

"Status Cuo-mo," Tish James's rise to AG nominee, and other election takeaways

In a race that pushed incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo to his left and highlighted challenger Cynthia Nixon's criticism of Cuomo's stewardship of the subway system, Cuomo, riding a huge war chest, soundly defeated Nixon in yesterday's Democratic primary election, likely a path to victory in the November general election.

In other words, "Status Cuo-Mo," as the Daily News cover "wood" put it. And that would be the status quo for New York State's stewardship of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, via the state-controlled Empire State Development, which likely will remain deferential to the developer's desires. Not that ESD oversight became a campaign issue.

Not status quo was the defeat of most Democratic Senators who were in the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, including Brooklyn's Jesse Hamilton, who represents a broad district that includes part of Prospect Heights.

The AG race

In a surprise to some, especially those reading the clearly fla…