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

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That cute nickname, "The Clays," and the tainted name behind the Barclays Center (which may not last)

It's kinda cute, I guess, calling the Barclays Center "The Clays," a partial parallel to shorthanding Madison Square Garden as "The Garden" (which at least refers to an actual thing).  According to language maven Barry Popik , there were some fitful attempts to call it "Clays" or "The Clays" from the arena's 2012 debut, but the nickname was popularized by Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant on 10/22/21, in a post-game interview. “Next we got a young, athletic team in Charlotte coming to the ‘clays, so we gotta keep that intensity.” - @KDTrey5 — Nets Smoothies (@NetsSmoothies) October 23, 2021 Hey, KD's a trendsetter, he's cool. That was picked up by team owner  Joe Tsai , who also owns the arena operating company, and even the arena's own Twitter account.   BACK AT THE CLAYS😎 — Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) November 16, 2021 It's been mentioned by NetsDaily , the New York Daily News , and the Ta

The Boston Celtics' Enes Kanter takes on the NBA and Nike re China, then Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai

NBA AND NIKE CHOOSE SILENCE AS ENES KANTER TAKES ON CHINA , Sportico reported 10/29/21: Last week [Boston Celtics center Enes] Kanter posted a series of videos on Twitter where he called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “brutal dictator,” and asked the Chinese government to free Tibet and close down “the slave labor camps and free the Uyghur people.” Kanter also took his messages onto the court via custom sneakers designed by Chinese activist-artist Badiucao. On Monday, Kanter was back on Twitter, this time accusing Nike for producing sneakers in labor camps. The next day, he invited Nike’s president Phil Knight and NBA legends Michael Jordan and Lebron James to visit the factories. Just as with then Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey's 2019 tweet (since deleted) in support of pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, Kanter's current team has faced a backlash, with games pulled from streaming in China. Notes Sportico: Born in Switzerland to Turkish parents, Kanter has been a vocal critic

Competence and transparency: when developer fails to disclose additional time for after-hours work, state authority ESD should catch that.

Sure, it may seem a small thing to harp on, but, as I wrote yesterday , the after-hours variance for work at the B12/B13 site today is from  9 am to 5:30 pm , as it has been for many weeks in the past, despite information to the contrary in the Construction Update.  See the screenshot at right for the variance, from the Department of Buildings (DOB), and the one below for the excerpt from the bi-weekly Construction Update , which is prepared by the developers and then circulated, apparently without vetting, by Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project. It's a small difference, but not unimportant. And they know better, because I've pointed it out. (The developer of the site is TF Cornerstone.) Why it matters Why is it not unimportant? Because for months, as I wrote last February, master developer Greenland Forest City Partners had been preparing inaccurate Construction Updates, downplaying much more extensive after-hours work, and

AY down the memory hole: the Tish James summary (and how the next governor has both carrots and sticks regarding the project)

A young writer/organizer named Michael Lange has an interesting Substack newsletter, The Narrative Wars , with some deep dives, such as the 11/12/21 Tish James makes her move . Lange does good research, but isn't as surefooted as I'd like. He writes: Upon entering the council, James was eager to distinguish herself as a frequent critic of the Bloomberg administration, as she quickly cultivated a reputation as one of the body’s most outspoken members. During her first week in office, James inherited the Atlantic Yards development project, a.k.a. the Barclays Center, which consumed the lionshare of her work over the next decade. James emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of the project, vowing to fight eminent domain tooth and nail in court. However, the case was rejected at both the trial and appellate court levels, while the Supreme Court refused to even hear it, a dead-end for James’ efforts. Yet in recent years, James’ once steadfast opposition to Atlantic Yards has app

From the latest Construction Update: belated announcement of TCOs at 662 Pacific; leasing at 18 Sixth will start in early January

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, Nov. 29, was circulated 11/23/21 at 12:22 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners. There are only a few changes from the  previous update . Nobably, regarding 662 Pacific St. (B15, aka Plank Road, the document states that "TCOs [Temporary Certificates of Occupancy] have been issued for the building and residents have begun to move into the building." Of course, I reported weeks ago that residents were in the building, which already got TCOs in October. So the announcement via the Construction Update was a little late. Also, outside B15, "Permanent sidewalk work continues along Pacific, Sixth & Dean with anticipated completion by the end of December 2021."  Similarly, outside 18 Sixth Ave. (B4, aka Brooklyn Crossing), "Permanent sidewalk work has been initiated along Sixth Avenue." B4

From "affordable and middle-income housing" to only "affordable" and now maybe just "middle-income"

Well, the circle is completing, as others recognize that "affordable," income-targeted units at the 662 Pacific (B15, aka Plank Road) tower are aimed at middle-income households From Brownstoner yesterday,  Don’t Call It Affordable Housing: Lottery Opens for Pacific Park Tower in Prospect Heights The developer, The Brodsky Organization, has applied for a tax break under the state’s 421-a program and as a result, the building has income-targeted, rent-stabilized units whose lottery launched last week. Interestingly, Brodsky is not calling them “affordable” but rather “middle income.” Indeed, as I wrote nearly six years ago about the evolving rhetoric in the project,, for the first few years after Atlantic Yards was announced, the developer and project supporters used a more precise, if less self-serving, locution: "affordable and middle-income housing."  The reticence to use the term "affordable" for below-market but relatively high-priced units likely re

Projections vs. reality: middle-income emphasis means Atlantic Yards off-track to meet promised allocation of low- and moderate-income affordable apartments

Given what we now know about the middle-income housing, without any community preference , at the next two Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park towers (and likely two more after that), let's look at the promises and the reality of the project's affordable housing Crucially, with 876 more affordable units required to be built beyond those already under construction, it seems impossible to deliver on the project's promise of mixed-income affordable housing, at least within the 4,500 rentals promised. The deficit is too large: 646 more low-income units and 385 more moderate-income units, for a total of 1,031. Only if some of the projected 1,652 condominiums are shifted to rentals (or affordable condos) could the project possibly get back on track.  But low- and moderate-income units, however promised, are not required, given that the guiding Development Agreement does not reflect the initial promises but allows crucial slack, defining affordable housing as participating in a government

The promise, and (partial?) removal, of community preference in AY/PP affordable housing. A glaring lack of disclosure. More middle-income units than promised.

A very important change in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project was revealed last week when the  affordable housing lottery  for 662 Pacific St. (B15, aka Plank Road) went live on the city's Housing Connect database: the longstanding program of community preference was gone, as I reported .  Instead of 50% of the income-linked units being reserved for those in the four closest Community Districts, served by Community Boards 2, 3, 6, and 8, the only preference is for New York City residents. We should have been told ahead of time that affordable units in buildings that get only the 421-a tax break, rather than city subsidies and/or financing, do not have such community preference. (And we also should have been told ahead of time that this "affordable" housing would be limited to middle-income units.) Why? Because that's a huge change for a project long promised to offer half of the affordable rentals--1,125 of 2,250--to nearby residents, thus mitigating gentrificati