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

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OK, fans prefer Nassau Coliseum to Barclays because of tailgating options, but when it comes to Belmont...

Hey, there's a Newsday video published 10/10/19, Islanders fans love tailgating at the Nassau Coliseum, complete with a fans wearing jerseys and even hats advertising the new Belmont arena.
About 55 seconds in, that guy, Alex Klein comments, "So, getting to Brooklyn, we obviously have to take the train, there's no tailgating there. There's a couple of bars that we made our home. It just wasn't the same, though. It wasn't the same feel, the same vibe."
Thing is, no tailgating will be allowed at Belmont.

Next Quality of Life meeting Nov. 19

A message from Empire State Development regarding the next opportunity to ask questions of those behind/overseeing Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park:

The next Atlantic Yards Project Quality of Life Meeting will be held on:
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 @ 6:00 PM
Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place
1st Floor Conference Room
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Please send Project-related questions and suggested agenda items to

The China protests come to the Barclays Center; Kyrie Irving offers understanding if not support

The issue of the NBA and China--with outrage toward a Hong Kong-supporting tweet from the Rockets' GM, and cancellation of ancillary events and broadcasts connected to NBA games in China--has not died down completely, though the teams are now stateside.

Last night, as the New York Post reported, protesters critical of China made themselves visible during the Brooklyn Nets' pre-season game with the Toronto Raptors at the Barclays Center:
Sitting in Section 1, diagonal from the Nets’ bench, nine fans in the front row donned white shirts with black lettering saying Free Tibet.
A far greater number of fans – some 100 China protesters filling about eight rows of seats – wore black shirts that read Stand With Hong Kong.  ...The protesters, most of whom were Hong Kong natives, were peaceful, and none of them were ejected or banned from Barclays Center. It bears watching whether that remains the case, considering the building’s ownership. That's notable, given that it's certai…

Barclays Center gets new (Tsai-owned) tenant: WNBA's New York Liberty, with at least 17 home games

The Barclays Center, which has been losing the New York Islanders in stages (and should lose the team completely when the new Belmont Park arena opens in 2021, if not sooner), is gaining a new tenant: the WNBA's New York Liberty, which will play at least 17 home games in the season, which runs from May through September, and could extend to October with the playoffs.

The Liberty were recently bought by Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai, who also owns the Barclays Center operating company (not the arena itself, which is owned nominally by New York State, to enable tax-exempt bonds).

Tsai bought the team from Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan, who'd exiled the basketballers from the Manhattan arena to Westchester County Center, which has a capacity of just 2,100, far less than the previous attendance.

“With many of our fans based in the five boroughs, moving to Barclays Center will make the Liberty more centrally located, allowing us to bring back the original fan base and attr…

Revisiting the 2006 Response to Comments: was private property taken for private gain, or public benefit?

Over several posts in an occasional series, I'll revisit various Response to Comments documents in separate environmental review or project approval processes, pointing out, with the asset of hindsight, unwise or unfounded assessments by either commenters or the Empire State Development Corporation (now called Empire State Development), the state authority overseeing and shepherding the project.

I previously wrote about the lack of institutionalized oversight and the wobbliness of project promises.

Project opponents and those facing displacement criticized a developer-initiated process:
ESDC has never solicited proposals from other developers. The project was initiated by [Forest City] Ratner and Ratner presented the project to ESDC. It was beyond a doubt that Ratner would be the primary beneficiary before the plans for the project were formulated or a substantial commitment of public funds was made. (468; representatives of several potential eminent domain plaintiffs)
This projec…

A sobering look at amNewYork's new Schneps overlords

What Will amNewYork Look Like Under The Schneps Empire?, Gothamist's Jake Offenhartz wrote today, and the answer is: not good. First, as the article notes, amNew York seems to be repurposing articles from other Schneps community papers like The Villager, the Bronx Times, and Brooklyn Paper.

Note: Schneps not only owns Brooklyn Paper, once a feisty weekly, but also owns Brownstoner, once a more independent blog. In both cases, its purchases came after those publications were sold to new owners to to some degree tamed them.

Here's Offenhartz's key finding: According to current and former reporters and editors who spoke to Gothamist, the Schneps playbook involves cozying up to advertisers and local powerbrokers, while muzzling critical coverage of friends and public officials close to the owners...
“It very quickly became clear that they’re less of a news company than a promotions company,” said Vince DiMiceli, the former editor-in-chief of Brooklyn Paper, who was let go two …

Yes, Atlantic Yards was an example of a "new mega-project," given its nod to broader interests

I recently read Old Mega-Projects Newly Packaged? Waterfront Redevelopment in Toronto, published in the December 2008 issue of International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, by Ute Lehrer and Jennefer Laidley of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.

Their article ends with some general observations about mega-projects that have relevance to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park:
While generalizing from the Toronto case to all new mega-projects is not our intent, our work on Toronto’s waterfront redevelopment suggests not only these apparent shifts from ‘old’ mega-project to ‘new’, but also that the new mega-project contains two key aspects that need closer attention. First, while mega-projects seem to have returned as an urban renewal strategy, this reappearance is accompanied by an institutional and political-economic framework that redirects public attention away from controversy and, therefore, from the inherent tendency within the mega-project to re-inscribe and perp…

Yes, the big law firms in real estate have intersected with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park

The Real Deal's 10/1/19 article, NYC’s barrister brain trust, by Eddie Small, covers the universe of big law firms and ranks them on several metrics.

And while the article is keyed to recent issues, including changes in rent regulation, it's a useful reminder that some of the firms named have been involved in Atlantic Yards.

The number one firm in dollar volume of sales, Fried, Frank, long served as an outside counsel and lobbyist for Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York on zoning/planning issues. It has the single largest corps of real estate attorneys, ranked on another chart.

The number eight firm, Kramer Levin, represented Forest City in various legal cases, including those involving eminent domain, environmental review, and promises of construction jobs. 
It continues, (as far as I know) representing the Forest City entity within new parent company Brookfield, regarding the condemnation of the P.C. Richard site and the tussle with Skanska over blame for the B2 modular…

As NBA/China controversy subsides somewhat, the general tensions won't go away

The controversy over the tweet by the Houston Rockets' Daryl Morey, followed by an NBA apology and then a statement backing free speech, coupled with a withdrawal by Chinese broadcasters and sponsors and a disturbing history lecture by Brooklyn Nets' owner Joe Tsai, has subsided somewhat, but it won't go away, neither regarding sports nor general business issues.

N.B.A.-China Spat Shows Sports Isn’t (and Shouldn’t Be) Just About Games, the New York Times's John Branch summed up 10/11/19:
“The N.B.A. has always been a league that prides itself on its players and coaches being able to speak out openly about political and societal affairs,” the reporter said. “I just wonder if after the events of this week, and the fallout we’ve seen, whether you both would feel differently about speaking out in that way in the future?”
A team representative chimed in immediately, saying they were accepting “basketball questions only.”
Irony died on the spot. (The league later apologized.)…

From the latest Construction Alert: overnight foundation pours Oct. 18 and Oct. 25, Community Liaison Office moves to 550 Vanderbilt

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 14, was circulated Friday at 6:23 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.

As in the previous update, they're announcing disruptive overnight work, albeit this time with at least one week of lead time.

For B15 (664 Pacific) foundation concrete work is scheduled for Friday, October 18 in the evening through Saturday, October 19. For B4 (18 Sixth), foundation concrete work is scheduled for Friday, October 25 in the evening through Saturday, October 26.

For both, work will begin at approximately 10 pm Friday night and will likely run all day until Saturday evening. In both cases, concrete trucks will be staged on Atlantic Avenue before entering the site. Trucks will then move to the Pacific Street queue area for truck washout measures before departure.

Will that "Pacific Street queue area" s…