Skip to main content


Featured Post

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

Recent posts

DOT rep expected at next Tuesday's Quality of Life meeting; questions about response to arena operations and current/future construction

The agenda for the 1/28/20 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life Meeting was circulated yesterday by Empire State Development, the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project.

And while the agenda was typically thin--a mere list of presenters--it did include something new: a New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) representative is expected to be in attendance.

That's a response to concerns raised about traffic chaos on certain Barclays Center event days, as well as during project construction, especially near Sixth Avenue between Dean Street and Atlantic Avenue.

Now that construction is expected to ramp up along Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues for the B12 and B13 towers, constraining a passageway that's supposed to accommodate buses and bikes along with business and post office operations, residents have questions.

Other questions

Of course there are other significant questions for the meeting, such as the expected progress for the pla…

2010 document cites milestones regarding crucial MTA platform, including notices and schedules (which we haven't learned about)

On Tuesday 1/28/20 is the bimonthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, where attendees often get an update on project plans, and get to hear from representatives of the state and the developer, plus--occasionally--other city agencies.

One big question: when will the B12 and B13 towers start?

A bigger question: what's the plan to build the platform over Block 1120, between Sixth and Carlton avenues and Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue? It's supposed to start this year, but we don't have a schedule nor a time estimate (though I reported in November that documents estimated the first phase of the platform would take three years).

Another big question: does developer Greenland Forest City Partners plan to meet the requirement to build 2250 units of affordable housing by 2025 by building three 50% affordable towers, as one state document indicates? If not, does it plan a 100% affordable tower?

And how do they plan to fund that housing, and the platform, as G…

Presence of stars, even if not playing, return Nets to top ten in merchandise sales; ESPN on The Block

The NBA is a star's league. As explained on Nets Daily, not only are stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant 10th and 12th in the league, respectively, in individual jersey sales--despite Durant being out for the year and Irving mjissing many games--the team is now tenth in the league in total merchandise sales.
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s new Brooklyn Nets jerseys are the 10th and 12th best sellers, respectively, in the NBA.

Nets as a team sit 10th. — Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) January 17, 2020 The Nets as a team were last in the top ten in 2014, not long after their 2012 debut, when they had some stars and were a playoffs team.

That suggests that the 2020-21 Nets, assuming Durant's back and plays well, will do even better.

About The Block

In The fight for New York's next generation of fans starts in Barclays Center's lower bowl, ESPN today describes how Section 114 of Barclays Center has become home to "The Block: a section of 96…

From the latest Construction Update: overnight work at railyard; steel trusses at B15; tower crane at B4

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, Jan. 20, was circulated Friday Jan. 17 at 5:01 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.

Newly planned is overnight work, from 6 pm to 6 at the Vanderbilt Yard: "Contractor plans to work second shift to sawcut/trench/excavate, install train servicing equipment, and install yard lighting structures... pending LIRR support availability. Limited demolition work on yard road base may also occur." It's unclear if that also includes weekends.

Ramping up at two tower sites

Also, work is ramping up at the two main construction sites, where excavation for towers has been continuing.
At B15 (664 or 662 Pacific), "Large steel trusses and the equipment needed to install them will be delivered and erected on site," according to the document. That means "Steel will be delivered overnight and stored in th…

Schumer part of bipartisan effort to gut reforms in EB-5, aid projects in cities like New York

Backing EB-5 power players is always bi-partisan, isn't it? In Graham Backs a Bill Friendly to Real-Estate Industry, the Wall Street Journal's Konrad Putzier reported 1/14/20 that not only is Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) a co-sponsor of a new bill, but so too are Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

The pending bill would essentially restore primacy for immigrant investor projects in major cities like New York. As I reported 10/31/19, new program rules raised the minimum investment from $500,000 to $900,000 (but not $1.35 million, as originally proposed), as long as the project is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is a rural area or an area of high unemployment. 
The non-TEA investment, generally ignored in recent years, increased from $1 million to $1.8 million, and it also made it much harder to define such a TEA, long gerrymandered by developers, the middlemen known as regional centers, and local governments eager to attract low-cost capital.

Yes, the Barclays Center's capacity for hockey was originally said to be 14,500

According to the Barclays Center web site, the arena offers 15,795 seats for hockey, though everyone knows a good chunk have obscured views--surely more than the 400 claimed in 2014.
But that wasn't always the plan.

As I reported in June 2012, then arena General Manager John Sparks said there would be 18,200 seats for basketball, and 14,500 for hockey, of which about 1,500 would be obscured. That was before the October 2012 announcement that the Islanders would move to Brooklyn.
That total for basketball was eventually trimmed to 18,000 and 17,732, while the hockey capacity was expanded. The reason's unclear, but that would've allowed the arena to sell more seats, and to appear more "major league."
Proof of 14,500
For a while, though, arena developer (and majority operator) Forest City Enterprises, parent of Forest City Ratner, stuck with 14,500 capacity for hockey.
Consider Forest City's annual report for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2013, which said:

When's the next Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation meeting? It only met twice* last year. It's supposed to meet quarterly.

The Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), the putative monitoring and advisory body that sometimes can ventilate useful information about the project, was supposed to meet 12/4/19. That meeting was canceled and supposed to be rescheduled, but no information was forthcoming.

The delays in scheduling have been attributed to the difficulty in getting a quorum. But AY CDC meetings also have been scheduled to accommodate a rubber-stamp advisory vote to ease the passage of a project change or contract extension by parent Empire State Development (ESD)

According to ESD records (and my coverage, in the hyperlinks), there have been essentially four meetings in the past two calendar years: 1/17/18, 3/27/18, 3/15/19, and 7/22/19. The latter deserves an asterisk, because directors asked for more time to assess two project changes, so they returned for a vote on them 8/12/19. But that was essentially an extension of a meeting, not a new one.

Questions: affordable housing, and t…