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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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At Atlantic Yards meeting, state says no expectation foreclosure auction will proceed April 30. Quorum allows AY CDC budget passage.

This is the first of two articles on the April 18 meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), charged to advise on the project and monitor obligations. The meeting was brief and mostly uneventful--though my update tomorrow will address the effort by Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project, to update its official affordable housing chart. Notably, ESD officials said they had no expectation that the foreclosure auction of the rights to six development sites over the Vanderbilt Yard, scheduled for April 30 but already postponed twice, would proceed, as the entity controlling the debt has not presented a potential developer to them. Budge approved With a quorum, the AY CDC directors were finally able to approve--as they were precluded form doing, at their March 26 meeting--of approving the body's $250,000 budget, which is provided by the developer, Greenland USA. Page 24 of AY CDC Agenda April 18, 2

Does ESD have discretion over a potential transfer of development rights in foreclosure? Yes, but the conditions may not be onerous.

As I've written, the foreclosure auction of developer Greenland USA's interest in six development sites over the Vanderbilt Yard has been postponed twice, most recently until April 30 . It's likely to be postponed again. After all, there are a lot of complications, including a winning bidder's obligation to comply with project requirements--or to evade them--regarding affordable housing liquidated damages, and more. That likely involves negotiation with Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversee/shepherds the project. And yesterday, ESD reps said no developer has surfaced. If a bidder does emerge, it's also worth looking at the conditions imposed by ESD on such a transfer. One unit, or two? First, note that, while the six development sites might be seen as a unit, they represent two separate auctions: one for the sites B5-B8, the collateral for the $249 million "Atlantic Yards II," and another for B9-B10, the collateral for the $100 m

In state budget: 485-x, a yet-unspecified incentive for rental housing, plus an extension of 421-a deadline. Both presumably somewhat helpful to Atlantic Yards.

A state budget recently announced, if not fully specified, should incentivize new rental housing and also provide a lifeline to projects that started construction--put footings in the ground--under the only 421-a program. That should make construction of the remaining Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park towers somewhat more viable, though 1) the devil's in the details and 2) these aren't the only factors. Notably, the six development sites over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Vanderbilt Yard face a foreclosure auction of developer Greenland USA's stake. That is scheduled for April 30, after being postponed twice, and it's unclear if it will go forward. Not only is a tax incentive needed to make the numbers work, any bidder must factor in the cost of a platform to enable vertical construction, the remaining cost to pay the MTA for development rights, and the pending damages of $2,000/month for each of the 876 affordable housing units not delivered by May 20

After my queries regarding the affordable housing chart, ESD says it's "performing due diligence" after conveying the developers' information.

My newsletter yesterday analyzed and critiqued the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park affordable housing chart provided by Empire State Development (ESD) after a request from the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation. See A Dive Into Affordability Prompts a Metaphysical Question , subtitled "If apartments open to middle-income households rent for well below the maximum, do they qualify as moderate-income?" A week earlier, I had pointed out one discrepancy, and shared it with ESD, the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project: the chart ignored the swap of eleven middle-income units at 535 Carlton Ave. for moderate-income ones, thus enabling big tax savings down the block at the 550 Vanderbilt condo building.  See The "Zoning Lot" Hustle , subtitled, "In 2017, eleven rental apartments got cheaper. That saved condo buyers down the block millions." Moderate- or middle-income? I then found another potential discrepancy: I initially counted 24 stu

The Brooklyn Nets report nearly 99% attendance at Barclays Center home games. However, gate count and *paid* tickets unclear.

In the past NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets dropped in attendance rank from eleventh to 21st, according to ESPN, but only saw a fractional decrease in numbers, averaging just 101 fewer fans per game than in 2022-23 . The reported attendance--which reflects tickets distributed, not sold, and does not equal gate count--was 17,568 per game, or 98.85% full. The NBA, as the league announced , set an overall attendance record, with arena's averaging 98% of capacity. What we don't know is how many Nets freebies were given out. Remember, based on anonymous sources, the New York Post  said  the 2021-22 Nets, "after giveaways, sold about 15,000 tickets a game." The Nets in 2022-23 had, at least for part of the season, a couple of superstars, and made the playoffs after a 45-37 record. From ESPN Sunny outlook? Given the team's mediocre performance this past year, with a 32-50 record ranking them 11th and thus out of playoff contention, the Nets didn't have much to promote,

Broadening the affordable housing applicant pool: when the housing lease-up extends into a new AMI calculation and new income ceilings

Last year, when the deadline for applications for below-market middle-income "affordable" units at the two-tower 595 Dean St. (B12/B13) was extended , it was clear that the extension also broadened the potential applicant pool. That's because an increase in the AMI calculation for 2023, as recently announced by the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), meant higher income limits for all applicants. Broadening the pool A related, if not exactly parallel, broadening of the applicant pool has happened over the years, notably with--but not limited to--the two previous towers, 662 Pacific St. (B15, aka Plank Road) and 18 Sixth Ave. (B4, aka Brooklyn Crossing).  As with 595 Dean, they're geared to middle-class applicants earning up to 130% of Area Median Income (AMI), usually more than six figures. And an apparent extended deadline for at least some applications meant that some units were open to applicants earning higher incomes. 662 Pacific:

Yes, Atlantic Yards Community Development Corp. meeting Thursday will address budget. Anything else?

It's a do-over, more or less. After the (purportedly) advisory Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC) meeting March 26 could not get a quorum--but did include updates on the project --the new meeting scheduled for Thursday will attempt official business: approval of the minutes of the Jan. 23 meeting, and approval of the budget for the fiscal year, which started April 1. The agenda  (also at bottom) also includes "Updates and Follow-ups," an oral report that may or may not offer new information. The meeting --RSVPs required--will be held at the Manhattan office of the parent Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project. One obvious question: is the foreclosure auction of six railyard development sites, twice postponed and rescheduled for April 30, going to happen? It would be unlikely unless other aspects of the project's future--including the successor to the 421-a tax break and the obligation to build the

Was Empire State Development informed about the foreclosure auction? Well, not in a document.

Last November we learned that development rights to six development sites within Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, used as collateral for two loans to immigrant investors, were scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure auction in January. That auction has been postponed twice, and it's unclear if it will proceed as scheduled on April 30. After all, the towers can't be built without an expensive platform over two blocks of the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard. And it's not clear whether a new developer, which would presumably take over from Greenland USA, would be liable for the $2,000/month fines for each of the 876 affordable housing units not built by May 2025. When did they know? In January, I filed a Freedom of Information Law request with Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project: I seek documents that explain how and whether ESD was informed of this foreclosure possibility by developer Greenland USA or other sources, and whether and how E

Atlantic Yards CDC set to meet again next Thursday, presumably to approve budget. No agenda yet.

Barely three weeks after the March 26 meeting ( my coverage ) of the (purportedly) advisory Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, the AY CDC, which is supposed to meet quarterly but has rarely met that schedule, is set to meet again , at 3 pm on Thursday, April 18. Though no agenda has yet surfaced, it's likely the meeting is aimed to get the directors to approve the annual $250,000 budget for the year that began April 1. That didn't happen on March 26, because the unexpected absence of one director meant there was no quorum. That said, it's possible other information may surface and/or be discussed. (I'll post the agenda when it surfaces.) Meeting details The meeting will be held at Empire State Development, 633 Third Avenue – 37th Floor Conference Room, It also will be webcast . Due to purported building procedures, members of the public attending in-person should RSVP by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, April 17. Members of the press should call (800) 260-7313; memb