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

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Surprise! State plans to allow 100,000 square feet new below-grade space for fitness center, calls this "clarification" (that doesn't trigger official review)

The is the first of multiple articles about the 7/16/19 Quality of Life meeting, which focused on proposed modifications to the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Modified General Project Plan (MGPP), none of which were said to trigger further official review.

Given the minimal information about the agenda on offer, I had suspected that the most important proposed modification was "Change to Square Footage at Parcels B12 and B15."

Actually, that turned out to be relatively minor: a swap of 10,000 square feet.

Rather, the biggest change is the one obliquely described as "Clarification on Commercial Use on Residential Blocks."

Translation: Empire State Development, the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project, is set to allow an additional 100,000 square feet to be carved out below-grade for a fitness center and fieldhouse, below sites B12 and B13.

That's at the southeast block of the project in the middle of Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues…

Changes to Modified General Project Plan seem fast-tracked to advisory AY CDC, then ESD board. But state had promised "additional environmental review."

At tonight's bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, several proposed project changes will be discussed, as I've written.
Those changes include unspecified cuts in vehicle parking and bike parking, a "change to square footage" for two parcels, and an unspecified reduction in the width of "the Open Space North-South Walkway Width."
The process seems fast-tracked.
According to the announcement, staff from Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority overseeing/shepherding the project, are to "discuss amendments to the Modified General Project Plan (MGPP) to be brought before the Atlantic Yards Community Development [Corporation] Board of Directors for recommendation, and then presented to the Empire State Development Board of Directors for approval."
That AY CDC meeting was yesterday scheduled for July 22.
Unmentioned is any role for public comment and any plan for public hearings, which of course would add time and un…

Next AY CDC meeting July 22 at 3 pm, set to endorse changes in project (that we don't yet know about)

The train is rolling. The fix is in.

With less than one week's notice, Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, today announced a July 22 meeting of the  Directors of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, an ESD subsidiary advisory body that most often acts as a rubber stamp. (It's controlled by gubernatorial appointees.)

No agenda was announced, but surely the board will be considering--and endorsing--several changes proposed by the developers, as noted below.

The weekday meeting will be held in Manhattan, convenient to state employees and others who work in that borough, less convenient to Brooklynites. (Several previous meetings were held at Long Island University.)

Date: Monday, July 22, 2019 at 3 pm
Empire State Development
37th Floor Conference Room
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017

This meeting is open to the public. Webcasting of the meeting is available here.

Those attending should RSVP by 5 pm…

How "Atlantic Yards" never quite disappeared from Pacific Park Brooklyn

After Atlantic Yards in August 2014 was renamed Pacific Park by Greenland Forest City Partners, I filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority overseeing/shepherding the project.

I wanted to know, among other things, whether and how ESD was told of the plan to change the name and how the authority considered changing the name of the Atlantic Yards Project, which, after all, was enshrined in the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, established just two months earlier.

The AY CDC page refers to the "Atlantic Yards Project," which now--as shown in the screenshot above right--is being implemented as Pacific Park Brooklyn.

I had earlier been told, "There are no plans to change the project name – and, yes, as you noted, there is historical precedent for building names differing from project names (e.g., Queens West)." That wasn't quite on point, given that this was a name change for the proje…

So, what might "Ventilation Structures in Open Space" mean? Well, previously there was only one "lantern/exhaust"

wrote 7/11/19 about several proposed changes to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, which will be explained--rather than revealed beforehand, allowing some assessment--at the Quality of Life meeting this Tuesday.

They will then likely proceed to boilerplate endorsement by the advisory (but gubernatorially-controlled) Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC) and then the gubernatorially-controlled Empire State Development (ESD).

Yesterday, I took a second look at what the "Reduction of the Open Space North-South Walkway Width" might mean. Today, let's look at the even more enigmatic "Ventilation Structures in Open Space."

The general open space concept plan, by Thomas Balsley (below), shows there's already supposed to be one element, a "lantern" (more on that below), that serves as an exhaust. See #20, as annotated, at the northwest intersection of Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street, within the railyard.
But "Ventilation Structures&q…

So, what might "Reduction of the Open Space North-South Walkway Width" mean? Bigger building, more "affordable housing"?

I wrote 7/11/19 about several proposed changes to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, which will be explained--rather than revealed beforehand, allowing some assessment--at the Quality of Life meeting this Tuesday.

They will then likely proceed to boilerplate endorsement by the advisory (but gubernatorially-controlled) Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC) and then the gubernatorially-controlled Empire State Development (ESD).

Let's take another look at Reduction of the Open Space North-South Walkway Width. First, take a look at the general open space concept plan, by Thomas Balsley, and the gray pavements for those North-South Walkways.

Current requirements

As of now, "Each Major North-South Walkway shall include a clear unobstructed pedestrian walkway with a minimum width of 16 feet, which path can split into two or more pathways at any point along its length provided that the resulting pathways each provide a clear unobstructed width of not less that 12 feet.&qu…

Though a variety of changes are looming, Pacific Park lobbying seems to focus on Site 5 and B4; L&L MAG no longer contracted

Well, now we know several changes, likely some of them significant, are planned for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, including larger (likely) buildings, less car and bike parking, design changes, and a narrowing of an open space path. We'll learn more at a meeting Tuesday.

Interestingly enough, those issues are not at the forefront of project-related lobbying.

At least according to 2019 city lobbying files (bottom), the most important projects to Greenland Forest City Partners are the B4 tower, aka 18 Sixth Avenue, which is rising at the northeast corner of the arena block, and the yet-to-be approved (or even formally advanced) plan for a giant two-tower project Site 5, currently home to Modell's and P.C. Richard.

Consider the two main contracts from entities building the project are for B4 and Site 5, at bottom. For B4, Pacific Park Development LLC is paying Kasirer LLC $4,000 a month. For Site 5, Atlantic Yards Venture LLC is paying Kasirer the same sum.


The scope of services i…

What's next for Atlantic Yards? Several changes, including (likely) larger buildings, design modifications, less parking for cars/bikes, smaller open space walkway

What's next for Atlantic Yards? Those of us making presentations at a recent public meeting didn't have solid predictions, only the inkling that something was happening. After all, as I said, it's a never-say-never project--and the devil's in the details.

Yesterday, a message of Empire State Development (ESD), which oversees/shepherds the project, hinted at some significant changes--and some smaller ones.

My best guess, as described below, is a significant boost in square footage to at least one building, thus facilitating more units and thus more affordable housing. (Update: It might be a change in square footage of usable space, though not the actual building.)

(Still, there's no announced plan to meet the May 2025 deadline for affordable housing, though surely strategies have been set, according to documents I've acquired.)

And, interestingly enough, a previous significant cut in proposed parking--from 3,670 spaces to 1,200 spaces--will apparently be followed…