Skip to main content


Featured Post

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

Recent posts

Metaphor? 17-minute blackout before third-period at Barclays hockey game.

Call it a metaphor, perhaps.

Lights go out at Barclays, and Vegas extinguishes Islanders, the New York Post reported, citing a 17-minute blackout before the third period last night, when the New York Islanders lost to the Las Vegas Golden Knights.The power's out at Barclays Center, because of course it is. — Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 13, 2018#Isles D Thomas Hickey on lights going out at Barclays Center. “Amateur hour.” But notes both teams had to deal with delay. — Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 13, 2018Note that, after mid-February, all the Islanders' home games will be in the Nassau Coliseum, the undersized/downsized arena closer to their fan base, and which sold out the first two games (13,197 attendance), while drawing fewer than 10,000 people to Barclays in the last three games.

The team is supposed to split the next two seasons, during the expected construction of a new arena at Belmont Park, between Barclays and the Coliseum, but …

The bid for Amazon in Brooklyn offered two Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park sites, plus towers over Atlantic Center mall

Sure, the most notable thing in my article yesterday for The Bridge: Amazon in Brooklyn: Why the Bid Didn’t Quite Measure Up, was that dramatic (and fanciful) illustration of the Amazon sign on top of the former Watchtower building, now called Panorama.

And there are other interesting comparisons between the Brooklyn bid and the Long Island City offering, with better logistics and lower costs.

The Atlantic Yards angle

But, yes, Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park was part of it, with two sites offered as potential office towers. One was the B4 site at the arena's northeast flank, now planned as space for 810 apartments. See DT 10 in the graphic below. It says 830,000 square feet.

The other was Site 5, currently home to P.C. Richard and Modell’s parcel, slated for a larger development, assuming the state permits the shift of bulk of the never-built tower approved for the Barclays Center plaza across the street. See DT 13 in the graphic below, with 1.14 million square feet, likely in two to…

From Gotham Gazette: The Fuzzy Fine Print of Amazon’s Queens Real Estate Deal

I have an essay in Gotham Gazette, The Fuzzy Fine Print of Amazon’s Queens Real Estate Deal
The first of several New York City Council public oversight hearings on the deal to bring an Amazon campus to Long Island City will be held Wednesday at City Hall. Titled by the Council as “Exposing the Closed-Door Process,” the questions should concern not just the big-picture issues but also some fine print regarding the company’s acquisition of city-owned real estate.
Of course, the estimated $3 billion in tax breaks and subsidies in the deal made among Amazon, the state, and the city deserve scrutiny, though, except for a state capital grant that could reach $505 million, those questions -- as Gotham Gazette previously reported -- mostly concern revising existing policy.
... But Council members also should look at two maddeningly complicated passages in the non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Amazon signed with Empire State Development (ESD), Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic devel…

From the latest Construction Update: new infrastructure work at East Portal

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 was circulated at 5:13 pm Friday (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.

There are few changes from the previous update, notably the start of some new infrastructure work around the East Portal at Atlantic and Vanderbilt avenues (a vexed intersection for bicyclists and pedestrians), part of preparations for a deck and ultimately vertical construction:

Foundation installations in the East Portal footprint will begin during this reporting period.Pile drilling for Vanderbilt Retaining Wall is expected to begin during this reporting period. Drilling will be conducted during daytime hours and appropriate dust and noise mitigation measures will be followed. This operation may also be performed during Saturday daytime hours.Excavation to Yard Grade elevation in the East Portal area will begin during this reportin…

From Crain's Cleveland Business: "The lights go out for Forest City" (blame debt & messy family control)

A couple of interesting passages in the 12/9/18 corporate obituary for Forest City Enterprises/Forest City Realty Trust (now part of Brookfield Asset Management) in Crain's Cleveland Business, The lights go out for Forest City:
The ability to spot opportunities and spend years making them a reality distinguished the company, especially when its projects took it to new markets. For example, when Forest City began developing MetroTech in Brooklyn, the borough was not seen as a New York office market. With seven buildings there now, it helped set the stage for Brooklyn's rebirth. Over the years, it would do that again and again in new locations, such as in a venture with MIT in Boston, remaking the former Navy Yards on the Potomac in Washington, D.C., an old rail yard in Chicago and the Presidio former Army barracks in San Francisco. I'd point out that those opportunities were usually public-private partnerships, so they had a high barrier to entry. (Also see my March 2018 re…

The end of Forest City: stock delisted, assets now part of Brookfield

First, half of the executive team goes, then the company identity vaporizes, as Forest City has now been absorbed by Brookfield, with the transaction closing yesterday.
At right is the message on Forest City's home page:
For nearly a century, Forest City has owned, developed and managed dynamic commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate in core markets across the United States.
In November 2018, the company announced that its stockholders approved the acquisition of Forest City by a real estate investment fund of Brookfield Asset Management, a global leader in alternative asset management. The transaction closed on December 7, 2018.
Forest City’s property portfolio is now managed by Brookfield Properties, a global, best-in-class real estate operating company. Here's the Brookfield press release yesterday, Brookfield Completes Acquisition of Forest City Realty Trust:
NEW YORK and CLEVELAND, Dec. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (“Brookfield”) (…

As Brookfield deal closes, Forest City executives in Cleveland get fired; assets to become Brookfield Properties

The absolute end of Forest City Realty Trust, and thus Forest City New York, is nigh, as the Plan Dealer reported yesterday action from the new owners: Brookfield cuts jobs, including top executives, at Forest City as acquisition looms.

About 75 executives in FCRT's headquarters have been let go, with another 35 on short-term extensions, which will cut management from 350 people to 240 by next summer. The transaction, approved by Forest City shareholders 11/15/18, is expected to be complete today, the newspaper reported.

While workers at various Forest City properties will be retained, it's unclear what will happen to executives at Forest City's major subsidiaries, in places like New York and Washington, DC.

It is clear that the name will gone. The firm will be called Brookfield Properties. That raises a question about the joint venture to build Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, owned only 5% by Forest City going forward, currently called  Greenland Forest City Partners. Will i…