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

This graphic, posted in February 2018, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed--but not yet approved--shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won…

Gunshot fired in hallway during boxing match Saturday at Barclays Center; TMZ tags member of rapper's entourage

Earlier this month, a mixed martial arts fighter caused a fracas deep inside the Barclays Center, seen on video throwing a heavy metal handtruck, breaking the window on a van.

Two nights ago, a member of the crew of rapper Tekashi69 (who has his own police record) allegedly shot a gun off during a boxing card.

TMZ was the first to report, stating:
Law enforcement sources tell us cops believe an unidentified member of Tekashi's entourage fired a shot inside Barclays Saturday night during an altercation with a rival rap crew headed by Brooklyn-based MC Casanova, who Tekashi's been beefing with online.
We're told police understand the situation as follows ... Tekashi and his guys were heading down a hallway in Barclays to hit up a VIP area in the arena, when they bumped into Casanova and co. along the way. The two crews started pushing and shoving ... and someone in Tekashi's group allegedly discharged one round from a firearm. The apparent shooter fled the scene, accordin…

From the latest Construction Update: weekend/night work at the Vanderbilt Yard

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Alert (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, April 23, was circulated at 2:27 pm Thursday (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners, indicates new--and, potentially, disruptive--work at the Vanderbilt Yard.

At night and on weekends, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will use a portion of the yard lighting near the Atlantic Avenue LIRR Access Ramp for security reasons. This is expected to continue through September. No specific hours were indicated.

At the LIRR's East Portal, at the intersection of Atlantic and Vanderbilt avenues, test pit work will be performed during these two weeks to identify National Grid and Con Edison underground gas and electric services nearby. This work will be completed at night because of Department of Transportation permit stipulations. The amount of noise is unclear.

As in the previous update--not sure it is continuing, or just has be…

My free Jane's Walk on Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park/Barclays Center: Friday, May 4, 5:30 pm

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) is again sponsoring Jane's Walk in New York City May 4-6, part of "a global festival of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by urban activist Jane Jacobs."

Numerous tours are available over those three days, with no reservations required--just show up. And on Friday, May 4, at 5:30 pm, I'll be offering my now-annual tour of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Brooklyn/Barclays Center:
Explore Brooklyn’s Most Contested Real Estate Project  See what’s been built (arena plus 4 of 15 towers) and what’s coming within Atlantic Yards (in 2014 renamed Pacific Park Brooklyn), and learn the project’s tangled history, shifting timetable, changing ownership, and ongoing question marks. The tour should last about 1.75 hours, depending on how many people show up and how fast we move.

Meeting point, ending point

We meet outside the Barclays Center--many subway lines available--on the arena plaza, under the oculus (opening to the sky), next to…

Report: construction costs keep rising in New York City

On 4/16/18, Crain's New York Business reminded us that Sky-high construction costs rose again in 2017, though the 3.29% increase between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018 was actually less than that in the country as a whole, according to a report from thjje consultant Rider Levett Bucknall,

Still, New York City remains world's most expensive place to build, which affects not just market-rate construction but all construction--hence the need for subsidies and also not-so-affordable below-market housing.

The graphic below, from the report, cites hard construction costs--so, omitting things like design and legal--based on dollars per square foot of gross floor area.

Note that, in New York City, building below-ground parking ($125-$200/square foot) can be quite expensive, as is building office space ($375-$575/sf prime, $300-$400/sf secondary). Apartment construction ranges from $200-$375/sf.

No wonder developers of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park wanted to reduce the amount of parking.

From City & State NY: "No, Mikhail Prokhorov doesn't 'own' the Barclays Center"

I have an op-ed at City & State NY, headlined No, Mikhail Prokhorov doesn't 'own' the Barclays Center, which begins:
The recent sale by Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov of 49 percent of the team to Taiwanese-Canadian businessman Joseph Tsai was announced by the Nets as not affecting the team’s arena, the “Barclays Center, which will continue to be wholly owned by (Prokhorov's) Onexim Sports and Entertainment.”
The shorthand dates back at least to 2012, when the arena’s developer Bruce Ratner was regularly dubbed the building’s majority owner, such as in a press release from the Barclays Center he controlled, or in a 2015 press release from Ratner’s parent company.
...The claim that the arena is privately owned matters because it obscures the difference between the arena and a related entity – the arena operating company – and conceals how public policies were designed to save wealthy businessmen Ratner and now Prokhorov tens of millions of dollars. For the exp…

Marty Markowitz on the Barclays Center, Atlantic Yards, and Brooklyn: "I still would always hope" jobs & housing would go to neediest

Recently, at a 2/22/18 Brooklyn Historical Society event featuring the most recent three Brooklyn Borough Presidents, I got to hear former BP Marty Markowitz's reflections and shtick--and, intriguingly, hear his typical enthusiasm for the Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park get met with general indifference, perhaps indicating ambivalence. More on that below.

So that sent me back to some other public appearances and interviews with Markowitz, who, not surprisingly, has steadily praised the project.

Tellingly, though, when pressed in late 2016 by a prepared interviewer, Tony Guida, on a 2005 statement that "The jobs and housing for this project will go to those who need it the most," Markowitz responded, deflectingly, "I still would always hope that it would go to those."

Of course, that's not what's happened, given the widely publicized struggles of affordable housing aimed at middle-class households or the demise of the much-anticipated tra…

Film dramatization of Kelo eminent domain case, Little Pink House, opening on Friday

The long-gestating film Little Pink House, dramatizing the 2005 Kelo v. New London Supreme Court decision that galvanized opinion nationally regarding eminent domain--and unsettled eminent domain defenders--is screening Friday April 20 through Thursday, April 26 in Manhattan.

It's playing at the Village East Cinemas in the East Village and AMC Empire 25 in Times Square. At the Village East, director Courtney Balaker and real-life protagonist Susette Kelo (played by Catherine Keener in the film) will be doing a Q&A after the 7 pm screening on Friday April 20. (Here's one early--and mixed--review. Here's columnist Jeff Jacoby's supportive take, noting that the project for which Kelo's house was taken never panned out.)

The film is getting a boost from the libertarian Institute for Justice (IJ), which supplied lawyers for and drove publicity in the case, which, while a loss of Kelo and neighbors, spurred many but not all states to tighten eminent domain laws. Here…