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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

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From Common Edge: "Does Brooklyn’s New Brooding Monolith Deserve Kudos?" (and do selfie-takers at Barclays Center plaza seek out the supertall?)

Yesterday Common Edge published my essay Does Brooklyn’s New Brooding Monolith Deserve Kudos? It's surprising to me that two major critics, and an online poll, have treated the Brooklyn Tower, the borough's first supertall (over 1,000 feet) so generously, since the "person-on-the-street" perspective is so negative. Note that the architect behind the tower, SHoP, is also responsible for the Barclays Center's look. As I wrote: To Dezeen, SHoP principal John Cerone linked the Brooklyn Tower to the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn arena that the firm revamped—after a design by Ellerbe Becket—to acclaim when it opened in 2012. “People take selfies at Barclays and then they turn around and then take selfies down the street with the Brooklyn Tower,” said Cerone. “They don’t know they are by the same architects.” Well, if they take selfies from the arena plaza, those photos include the Brooklyn Tower, but it’s not the focus. As shown [below[, a photo from the plaza foregroun

At "City of Yes" info session, City Planning officials say they hope to reach deeper affordability, go below 80% of AMI. But state must deliver tax break.

So I watched some pieces of the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity online presentation ( video ) last Wednesday from the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP). One pending question, as I noted , concerns the affordable units unlocked by a proposed 20% density bonus, what's called a Universal Affordability Preference (UAP). Upon unveiling the proposals, DCP Director Dan Garodnick said they hoped to target housing not at 80% of Area Median Income (AMI)--technically "low-income," given high regional AMI, but encompassing six-figure households--but would aim to go below that. Emphasizing the goal While he wasn't definitive,  John Mangin , head of DCP's Housing Division, emphasized that goal. "We recognize that AMIs have increased a lot in recent years," Mangin said at one point. "And so we are looking to ensure that where affordability is required in these proposals, that we're doing better than the current 80% AMI that exists in a lot o

From Paved Paradise: the paradox of parking enforcement. Which means... the status quo endures near the arena.

I recent read Henry Grabar's excellent book Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World , which helps explain one of the lasting conundrums related to the Barclays Center: the unwillingness and inability of city officials to enforce parking laws. From the summary: Parking, quite literally, has a death grip on America: each year a handful of Americans are tragically killed by their fellow citizens over parking spots. But even when we don’t resort to violence, we routinely do ridiculous things for parking, contorting our professional, social, and financial lives to get a spot. Indeed, in the century since the advent of the car, we have deformed—and in some cases demolished—our homes and our cities in a Sisyphean quest for cheap and convenient car storage. As a result, much of the nation’s most valuable real estate is now devoted exclusively to empty and idle vehicles, even as so many Americans struggle to find affordable housing. Parking determines the design of new buildings and

From the latest (non-) Construction Update: again, no new work, just continued open space work in fountain area at 595 Dean

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning  Monday, Oct. 2, was circulated yesterday at 12:03 pm (lead time) by email by Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project. As with the Update  two weeks ago ., there's no major construction activity, but, at the B12/B13 towers (595 Dean), "East Courtyard Work ongoing for the fountain area." That's incremental progress from the previous alert, which said work "remains to be completed pending final delivery of materials."  Indeed, the open space isn't yet done, though the buildings have been open for months--albeit not for the  "affordable" units . Baseline competency The document notes that weekday work hours are 7 am-6 pm and adds "Saturday work is not currently scheduled during this reporting period." That clarification is a reminder that, for many months, the Updates had misleadingly sugge

Win-Win? Behind The Book of HOV, a savvy Roc Nation CEO whose Trump pardon (for long-past drug convictions) may have been strategic.

Yesterday, I mentioned  that the chairs for the big Jay-Z gala at the Brooklyn Public Library's Central Library Oct. 3 include library CEO Linda Johnson and her husband, the developer Bruce Ratner (who built the Barclays Center), as well as Joe and Clara Wu Tsai, who currently own the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty, and the arena operating company. Photos: Norman Oder But let's not skip over the other co-chair Desiree Perez, CEO of Jay-Z's company Roc Nation , who--as a reader pointed out--has an interesting backstory, involving a drug conviction (for some serious weight), a bold gambit to wear a wire, and, much later, a pardon by President Donald Trump which prompted speculation. After all, if Perez could get the Brooklyn Public Library to install essentially a Jay-Z Hall of Fame in its public spaces, put a Lexus on its lawn, and cover its facade with visually striking but mostly forgettable Jay-Z lyrics--after all, most are hardly hits--she's got to be an operator an

At Brooklyn Public Library gala honoring Jay-Z, co-chairs include Bruce Ratner (husband of library CEO) + Joe & Clara Wu Tsai. "Book of HOV" exhibit extended, now with a Lexus on the lawn.

Photos: Norman Oder Well, now.  The Brooklyn Public Library, likely executing a plan long contemplated, has extended The Book of HOV, the Roc Nation-produced "tribute" to company founder Jay-Z, to Dec. 4, which just happens to be Jay's birthday.  And Monday, the Central Library will again--as with a summer shindig previewing the exhibit, per Hell Gate -- close early, for the library annual gala, likely to reap more in donations than previous efforts. After all, they're honoring Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and his mother Gloria Carter, and the significant list of supporters--including corporate names like Amazon, Goldman Sachs and Google--suggests some deep pockets. Then again, the library has already compromised itself by hosting, with no editorial control, an exhibit that mythologizes Jay-Z, and two weeks ago even allowed a Lexus used in a famed video--another Jay-Z "artifact"--to be mounted on its lawn, complete with its own security guard. The library

AY down the memory hole: Doctoroff credited by NY Times for Atlantic Yards' "larger plan for 17 high-rises." No, project wasn't abandoned.

OK, when a New York Times profile of former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, posted online 9/6/23, bizarrely credited the former city official with the Atlantic Yards plan but also said the recession forced its abandonment, I tweeted the following "Apartment towers... rise" far more slowly than originally planned, and delay means that baseline for #affordablehousing calculations rises steadily. In his book, Doctoroff admitted he thought #AtlanticYards was a "crazy risk," but he played good soldier — Norman Oder (@AYReport) September 6, 2023 Following up When I saw the article in print three days later,  His Mind Helped Rebuild New York. His Body Is Failing Him.  with the mistake intact, I wrote a letter to the newspaper, seeking a correction: By no stretch of imagination should Doctoroff be credited with "larger plan for 17 high-rises." Rather, the plan was developed by developer Forest City Ratner/Bruce Ratner, and shepherded/ap

"City of Yes" proposals for 100K new homes include density bonus for below-market units, but affordability level unclear. Info session tomorrow.

Mayor Adams Launches Historic Effort to Build "A Little More Housing in Every Neighborhood,"  the city announced 9/21/23. Translation: a potential 100,000 more homes over 15 years, or 6,667 a year. The  “City of Yes for Housing Opportunity” proposal  is part of Adams’ “moonshot” goal of delivering 500,000 new homes to New Yorkers over the next decade, given that population and jobs exceeds the supply of residences. The top feature is "Ending Parking Mandates for New Housing," which drives up costs--and helps explain why applicants for spot rezonings propose eliminating a parking requirement. But that proposal may face challenge in certain neighborhoods less connected to public transit. New affordability More crucial for those watching development in the area around Atlantic Yards is the "Universal Affordability Preference," which is a 20% density bonus for all affordable housing--including additions to existing buildings but most likely for new constructi