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

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

Before next meeting, AY CDC member suggests board has its limits (as does environmental review)

The next meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), an advisory body, is today at 3 pm. See previous coverage of footprint renters, West Portal/railyard timing, and project/building/green wall timing.
When I covered a 9/27/17 panel associated with artist/activist Peter Krashes' exhibition, Block Party, I wrote about the tensions expressed in Krashes's paintings, as well as the onerous contract pushed on--but not required of--a project neighbor who wanted back windows thick enough to deter project-related noise.

But another theme surfaced from Jaime Stein, Director of Pratt Institute's M.S. in Sustainable Environmental Systems, who serves on the state-created advisory board, the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), which first met in February 2015. The board was created as a compromise during a 2014 agreement to speed up the long-delayed affordable housing, but it does not have the policy-making powers once sought.


More questions for AY CDC meeting: project timetable? next building? what about Dean Street wall? (blocked traffic yesterday)

The next meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), an advisory body, will be tomorrow at 3 pm. Attendees must RSVP today. See previous coverage of footprint renters and West Portal/railyard timing

While the agenda (below left) for tomorrow's meeting is typically vague--President's Report, Public Comments--there's at least one big issue, in two parts, that should be discussed beyond the ones mentioned above.

And that connects to a smaller but very important question about the giant green wall still on Dean Street, in part, which just yesterday again snagged traffic, as described below and shown at right.

Project timetable: 2025? 2030? 2035?

First, the big question: is there a timetable for the project as a whole?

Remember, in November 2016, developer Forest City Realty Trust--which owns 30% of the project going forward, as part of Greenland Forest City Partners--announced an unspecified pause in the project.

In other words, the required deadli…

So, how many former footprint renters have been relocated to the project? Unclear, but they had to enter the lottery (!)

The next meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), an advisory body, will be Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 3 pm. Attendees must RSVP by Monday.

In March 2017, I tried to answer this question: How many former residents of the Atlantic Yards footprint, who agreed to leave in response to a pledge by developer Forest City Ratner to be relocated to a comparable apartment in the project--and have their rent in the interim subsidized--will be back?

I couldn't get an answer, though the Daily News in November 2012 reported that 17 former tenants had taken the deal, and were expected to move into the first tower, 461 Dean. That building took a lot longer than promised, too.

The fulfillment of the pledge is the kind of thing that that an Independent Compliance Monitor, required by the project's Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), would report on. But that monitor was never hired.

What the city says
I did get a partial update from officials at the New York City Housi…

Yormark: "At the end of the day, it’s great that your food is terrific, but artists want to make money"

Beyond his chilly quote about the New York Islanders, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark offered another notable quote in his 10/9/17 interview with Sports Business Journal, when asked about the Barclays Center:
What we need to consistently do is create a point of differentiation because of the competitive landscape. We constantly emphasize Brooklyn as a market that has a cool and hip factor. It’s the combination that creates a reason for artists to come here for the first time and to keep coming back. We have to be mindful of maintaining the cost structure. At the end of the day, it’s great that your food is terrific, but artists want to make money and I have to keep an eye of managing our cost structure so artists and events can come here and make money. (Emphasis added)

That to me partly echoed a 2008 quote from developer Bruce Ratner that presaged the dismissal of original architect Frank Gehry:
“We need jobs, we need shopping that's appropriate and the righ…

A question for the next AY CDC meeting: when will the West Portal be done? The railyard in 2018?

The next meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), an advisory body, will be Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 3 pm. Attendees must RSVP by Monday.

The announcement Friday, 10/13/17, of overnight construction all weekend for the West Portal of the Vanderbilt Yard--a new entrance from the railyard to the Long Island Rail Road's Atlantic Terminal--prompts a question.

When will that West Portal be done? December 1? December 31? Next year? What about the permanent railyard to store and service LIRR trains? Perhaps that question will be asked at the AY CDC meeting, since the timetable has shifted more than once.

In a June 2014 presentation, the West Portal was to be finished by February 2016, as shown in the screenshot below.

That, of course, didn't happen. As I wrote 10/20/15, Forest City's Ashley Cotton, of Greenland Forest City Partners, disclosed that they'd shifted the date for completing the West Portal from early 2016 to late 2017, but without tell…

Deputy Mayor Glen: "Atlantic Yards deals" represent "a better bargain for the taxpayer and the public" (well, now)

In a segment yesterday on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen defended the administration's affordable housing plans.

Starting at about 6:10, she said, "I could probably count on my hands the amount of times I've actually had a meeting with a lobbyist. If you look at the record of the administration, and if you look at the deals that we have done, it would pretty impossible to say that lobbyists have been influencing the way we build housing."

Well, there's lobbyists, and then there are companies. And while de Blasio's efforts certainly surpass those of his predecessor, many advocates have been critical, given the city's need.

Glen cited an article about how tough the administration had been in restructuring the affordable housing at the Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg.

"Time and time again, we have demonstrated that we are getting a better bargain for the taxpayer and for the public," she said, "whether it's in the…

Late notice: overnight work starts tonight near Sixth/Atlantic, part of West Portal construction

A message from Pacific Park Brooklyn indicates late night and weekend work beginning during the overnight hours tonight, near the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Atlantic Avenue.

"As part [of] Long Island Railroad West Portal construction for Pacific Park Brooklyn contractors will be working during the overnight hours" through 5 pm Sunday, "demolishing portions of a suspended electrical duct bank." The West Portal is a new entrance from the Vanderbilt Yard to the Atlantic Terminal railway hub.

The notice states that "Localized directional lighting will be used and all construction equipment meets environmental project requirements regarding noise." That doesn't mean it will be quiet.

The notice says that "Coordination with LIRR schedules require that his work take place during this time," which is plausible. Less plausible is that it was not announced in the two-week Construction Update circulated last Friday.

For information/concerns:

Outside 535 Carlton Avenue, the fractional open space now welcomes the public

OK, it's small, pleasant enough, and still too early to evaluate.

But one thing's clear: the first slice of open space (not an actual park) to open in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project is not going to make a dent in Prospect Heights.

Nor will it to deliver what Forest City New York CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin once said, “There will no longer be a dearth of green space in the heart of Brooklyn." Not to mention "sprawling lawns." Nor, actually, will the open space serve "Brooklyn" once it's built out, by 2025 at best.

Outside 535 Carlton (aka B14), only a piece of green space has opened, more or less a courtyard, without connection to the adjacent space to the east (the unbuilt B13), as shown above B14 in the rotated rendering at right, nor connection to the lawn that would span the demapped Pacific Street, not to be completed until construction over the adjacent railyard.

A visit

When I visited the fractional open space last Saturday in early after…

Outside B3 site, wind knocks down barriers

On Monday, 10/9/17, a Prospect Heights neighbor snapped photos of metal fencing, wood fencing, and even a few jersey barriers overturned outside the B3 site, 38 Sixth Avenue, apparently by high winds.

Fortunately, an additional cordon of jersey barriers kept the disorder away from pedestrians and vehicles. Remember, in June 2015, debris from the under-construction tower blew off high floors, into the street, though no one was injured.

It's a windy corner, that's for sure, at Sixth Avenue and Dean Street.

Barclays Center now banning backpacks (but allowing them to be checked)

The Barclays Center is now banning backpacks, surely a recognition of increased security risks. From an announcement yesterday:
Beginning this season, Barclays Center has implemented the following policies to ensure a safe and enjoyable event experience for all guests. No backpacks of any size are permitted, with the exception of single-compartment drawstring bags, and no bags larger than 14”x14”x6” will be allowed inside the venue. Guests who arrive with bags that do not meet the entry requirements will be able to check them at the main entrance. This policy does not apply to working media who is entering at the designated entrance. Special consideration will be made for guests with medical needs and those caring for infants.