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

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ProPublica explains how billionaire sports team owners get tax write-offs. The same applies to arena operators (Hello, Brooklyn). A tax benefit for below-market naming rights?

ProPublica's 7/8/21 article,  The Billionaire Playbook: How Sports Owners Use Their Teams to Avoid Millions in Taxes , doesn't mention the Brooklyn Nets, but it's relevant to all major league sports teams, and should help put into perspective the seeming generosity of team owners like the Nets' Joe Tsai.  And it also should help us reframe understanding of the Barclays Center's financial results, because, even when the arena has been (somewhat) profitable, it has had significant paper losses, which help save on taxes for the owner of the arena operating company.  I have tended to ignore those losses because they don't address whether the arena was meeting its financial metrics--which are crucial to the bond rating, never quite "junk." But those "paper" losses have a very important real world impact and should count as a major giveaway. Team values leap First, let's look at the astronishing jump in the last 20 years for team values, with t

In "sensitive time" for Tsai, a pricey NYC condo purchase, notable new philanthropy, and more criticism for his reflexive defense of China

Joe Tsai, the billionaire Alibaba mogul, owner of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center operating company, has been in the news lately. A lot. CNBC recently reported  Billionaire Joe Tsai is the ‘mystery buyer’ behind $157 million Manhattan apartment deal , buying "two full-floor condo apartments at 220 Central Park South in two transactions totaling $157.5 million, say people close to the transaction."  It's the third most expensive home ever sold in the United States, and vaults Tsai well past former Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov in terms of flashy spending. Monthly maintenance costs exceed $23,000, according to the New York Post . From CNBC: The purchase comes at a sensitive time for Tsai and Alibaba. Alibaba shares have fallen by a third since October, and Chinese authorities are cracking down on the country’s big tech companies to curb their power and data reach. Tsai’s fellow Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has largely retreated from public life after he criticized Chines

On Aug. 8-9, Barclays Center opens doors for students' Basquiat-inspired art exhibit, funded by Tsai Foundation

Basquiat-inspired art show hosted by Barclays Center , the Brooklyn Daily Eagle told us yesterday, lightly revising (via "Staff") a press release (bottom) from the arena. (Update: here's coverage from BK Reader,  Brooklyn Students to Hold Basquiat Inspired Art Show at Barclays Center .) Indeed, in an unusual opening of arena doors to the public, the show, "featuring 150 pieces created by Brooklyn middle and high school students, inspired by Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat," will be open in the Geico Atrium free on Sunday, Aug. 8 and Monday, Aug. 9 from 11 a.m.-2 pm and 4-7 pm. (Of course, the atrium sponsor gets a plug, as does the arena sponsor.) Here's the website for The Basquiat Project, which contains examples of the students' impressive work, samples below.  The work comes from a two-month Basquiat educational arts program developed in partnership between the Brooklyn Nets, the New York City Department of Education, and the Fund for Publ

The Nets build their image with a smartphone donation, but have a "Kremlin-esque wall" around more dubious practices

One thing Matt Sullivan's new book, Can't Knock The Hustle , reminds us of, is how the Brooklyn Nets managed to build their image--for example, helping  spread the myth  that Jay-Z designed the logo--via smoke and mirrors. In another recent interview, as shown in the clip below, the Nets also don't share some more dubious practices, part of letting superstars like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have their way. "There's a lot of things that the Nets do that aren't kosher," Sullivan says. "There's a reason they have this kind of Kremlin-esque wall around everything they do. During the middle of Covid, they were working out half the team—well, really Kyrie, KD, and their friends on the team, out in Kobe's [Bryant] old gym in California. You weren't allowed to do that during Covid, you had to have all these strict protocols..." "But they were running like a secret camp the whole time, trying to get KD and Kyrie in shape and, fro

Author of new book on the Nets: "there's a lot of smoke and mirrors" (like claiming Jay-Z as logo designer)

As I wrote in October 2017, author Rafi Kohan pointed out, "Jay-Z has been widely credited for the team's color scheme, although Gregg Pasquarelli tells me his firm, SHoP Architects, first pushed the idea." That was plausible, as with the team logo. Remember how the Nets credited Jay-Z, but, as NetsDaily  discovered  back in April 2012, another designer did the real work. And now here's an update, from Matt Sullivan, author of the very interesting new book Can't Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets' Superstars of Tomorrow . (I'll have a review of the book one of these days--there's a  lot more than discussed in this post, and there are a few things I think are missing.) In the interview below, Sullivan explains how tastemaker (and micro-fractional owner) Jay-Z was brought in to convince NBA brass to accept the Nets' black-and-white color scheme, seen as perhaps not colorful enough to work o

With first of the 80 Flatbush towers starting, a new name, Alloy Block, but still no transparency about delayed timetable

Alloy Development, new rendering So, on 7/19/21, Crain's New York Business offered Exclusive: Alloy Development lands $240M to start construction on 80 Flatbush , a project that set a controversial precedent for increased density at the edges of previously rezoned Downtown Brooklyn. It's the first of the two new towers (100 Flatbush) in the project previously presented as 80 Flatbush, now renamed Alloy Block, bounded by Flatbush and Third Avenues, and Schermerhorn and State Streets. Here's the new website . (So that's a little like renaming Atlantic Yards... Ratnerville? Well, the new name pushes aside previous search results.) Actually, 100 Flatbush will now be the retail address, while the residential will be 505 State Street. (Quick, what's 560 State Street ?) Note that the new rendering, like the previous one (below), suggests that the first tower, 44 stories and 480 feet, is a bit narrower than as depicted on the project website (bottom). How do such exclusive

Mayor-in-waiting Adams' Inner Circle includes power lawyer Carone and Rev. Daughtry, both with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park connections

Well, now that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is the Democratic mayoral nominee and presumptive next mayor for at least four and likely eight years--mayors rarely lose re-election--we'll be hearing more about who he listens to. And as with Bill de Blasio's "Circle of Power"  (circa 2013!) there's something of an Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park connection. From the New York Times today,  Meet Eric Adams’s Inner Circle , we get: Frank Carone, prominent lawyer and Adams confidant Mr. Carone, a longtime counsel to the Brooklyn Democratic Party with a reputation as an old-school power broker, has been an ally of Mr. de Blasio’s. He is politically influential, though some of his dealings over the years have drawn scrutiny. He has been a key donor, adviser and friend to Mr. Adams — Mr. Adams has worked out of office space belonging to Mr. Carone’s firm, an arrangement that Mr. Adams had to account for during the campaign. Well, the Politico article linked was a bit