Skip to main content

Posts

Featured Post

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

Recent posts

NY Mag's Davidson on AY/PP: by 2035, "they may have renamed it after yet another ocean"

From New York Magazine's Justin Davidson, If You Think Hudson Yards Is a Big Development, Wait Till You See What’s Coming to Sunnyside
This all sounds like the plan is heading towards an appealingly complex, grainy neighborhood — in fact, it sounds suspiciously like an architect’s pleasant fantasy. It’s hard not to worry. When stakes are high and intentions are pure, the system tends to respond with a mixture of venality, hype, and habit. (Brooklyn offers another case study in what to avoid: the perpetually troubled 22-acre development that started out 15 years ago as Atlantic Yards and, with only four of 15 towers now done, has since been rebaptized Pacific Park. The latest, more or less meaningless deadline for completing the rest is 2035, by which time they may have renamed it after yet another ocean.) I'm not sure if that 2035 deadline is completely meaningless--surely by that time Greenland USA will have figured out whether it wants to finish the project or unload it. But…

OK, that Barclays escalator is down for another week

The down escalator was supposed to be up and running by Dec. 14, after an outage lasting about three weeks. That's been extended a week. Let's see if it actually gets back to service.


Is Greenland pulling back in London, too?

Firm behind Aecom's stalled Docklands tower mulls next move reported Building, a construction publication in the UK, on 12/13/18.

That's a proposed 67-story, 900-unit tower known as Spire London, the tallest planned in Docklands, a east/southeast waterfront zone of London, to be developed by Greenland Group, in association with the U.S. company Aecom, part of a global partnership announced last June.

Though it was to be Aecom's first big job in the UK, Greenland says it's reassessing, according to a spokesperson: “The residential sector in London has changed significantly since Spire London was conceived in 2014. The purpose of the review has been to ensure that our development reflects those changes and remains at the forefront of the market.”

It doesn't seem, at this moment, that Greenland is ending the project, but rather looking at the configuration. But, as with Pacific Park in Brooklyn, and Metropolis in Los Angeles, the Shanghai-based firm is behaving pruden…

In Los Angeles, eyebrows raised about corporate donations (including Greenland) on behalf of Councilman

It's interesting: Greenland USA has not, to my knowledge, made a splash in Brooklyn/New York as a contributor either to charities or to political candidates. In Los Angeles, however, it and some other companies are in the spotlight.

On 11/30/18, the Los Angeles Times reported, in L.A. councilman's wife was a paid fundraiser. Ex-aides say he assigned them to help:
L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar personally asked companies that do business at City Hall to donate to a private school where his wife was working as a professional fundraiser and also assigned his staff to help with the effort, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Times.
Huizar instructed staffers to work on a yearly fundraiser for Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Boyle Heights, and the assignment was considered part of their job duties, according to interviews with former aides and a lawsuit filed by one. The article suggests that using staff to help his wife may have been illegal, and that Huiza…

L&L MAG's first project: a 22-story apartment building in Chelsea

After some 11 months of existence, the new firm co-founded by former Forest City New York CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin finally has a deal. L&L MAG’s first development will be a 460-unit resi building in Chelsea, the Real Deal reported 12/10/18, surely fed by the company (which later issued a press release).
Notably, the 22-story building on West 29th Street will be 30% affordable, participating in the city's Affordable New York program, and will be designed by CookFox, the firm that designed 535 Carlton and 550 Vanderbilt. It would not be unreasonable to expect Pacific Park buildings to also be 30% affordable.

The Real Deal quoted Robert Scharf, executive vice president of real estate at Edison Properties, which is leasing the site. “Although we received several higher offers, we chose to ground lease the property to L&L MAG because of the wonderful team that they have put together,” he said. “They have extensive experience developing some of the most outstanding and transforma…

A lacrosse team is coming to the Nassau Coliseum, but it can't be called an anchor tenant

OK, so now the Nassau Coliseum will have an anchor tenant? Not quite.

NLL coming to Long Island with new indoor lacrosse team planned for 2019, Newsday reported 12/11/18, citing the 13th team in the National Lacrosse League, which will start play next December.

Newsday notes that a field lacrosse team already plays at Hofstra University, but the seasons don't overlap. It's only an 18-game season, according to Wikipedia, so that's 9 home games.

So, if average attendance for NLL games last season was just over 11,000 per game, does that mean the Nassau Coliseum will draw similar crowds?

Brett Yormark, CEO of Coliseum operator BSE Global (which also operates Barclays Center), blew some smoke. “We think it’ll do extremely well. The Long Island Nets do very well at the Coliseum, and we’d expect to do it equally as well with the NLL, if not more so."

Problem is, the Long Island Nets draw 2,000 to 2,500 people per game. Yormark should hope lacrosse does much, much better, esp…

With ESD offering barely a month to prepare for public hearings, Belmont arena seems a "done deal"

NY report: Islanders development at Belmont would boost congestion, Newsday reported 12/6/18, indicating that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the new arena at Belmont Park would cause traffic that could only partly be mitigated but otherwise would not cause untoward impacts. (Here's the Draft EIS.)

The key passage in the article, though, was this:
Board members of the Empire State Development Corporation, the state's economic development agency, adopted the study in a unanimous vote Thursday, starting a public comment period. Public hearings on the environmental impact will be held for three days beginning Jan. 8, and written comments will be accepted through Feb. 11. That deserved a little more context. First, board members of ESD almost never disagree. They work for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who wants the deal done, with the developers aiming for a May construction start. (That's probably why Newsday editorial writer Randi Marshall, in a 2/1/18 tweet, p…

Yes, BerlinRosen's the "most powerful" pr firm

From the New York Observer, 12/14/18, The Most Powerful PR Firms of 2018, which assesses a "holistic" view of the agency's year, not merely revenue or size:
1. BerlinRosen
Last Year’s List: 29
Employees: 144
Leadership: Valerie Berlin and Jonathan Rosen, principals and co-founders
Founded: 2005  Last year, we thought unwelcome publicity surrounding work for Mayor Bill DeBlasio muddled BerlinRosen’s reputation. After a gangbusters 2018, it’s clear the agency’s left that cloud behind—BerlinRosen now feels unstoppable. The firm cemented towering client relationships like Google’s Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto, mega-developers SL Green, Forest City, and Brookfield, tech educator General Assembly, and automaker BMW. Plus, they nabbed the World Trade Center project from Rubenstein. BerlinRosen’s hospitality practice keeps booming—think the Wythe, JFK’s TWA Flight Center Hotels and Marriott’s Autograph Collection. The firm’s been just as potent in its massive cause-related, …

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. pic.twitter.com/nbwrpSATLG — 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…