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

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In letter to mayor, Prospect Heights area community organizations call for police accountability, end to ID to access neighborhood

Yesterday, residents, civic organizations and community groups that border Atlantic Terminal & the Barclays Center, in response to protests in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, posted a Community Letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, which was also sent to numerous elected officials.

The letter was organized by Prospect Heights resident Crystal Hudson, organizer of Greater Prospect Heights Mutual Aid, the first organizational signatory. She's a former aide to Council Member Laurie Cumbo, and currently is a Deputy Public Advocate for Community Engagement.

Other groups signing on were Crown Heights North Association, North Prospect Heights Association, P.S. 9 Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), Clinton Hill-Fort Greene Mutual Aid, Boerum Hill & Downtown Brooklyn Mutual Aid.

The list remains in formation, and different organizations can take longer to make decisions, but I would note that some long-established organizations, like the Fort Greene Association…

Columnist suggests sports, for now, feel meaningless. But when NBA returns, surely some will take a knee.

The NBA is set to come back at the end of July in Orlando,

But Sports Have Never Felt More Meaningless Than Right Now, New York magazine's Will Leitch wrote 6/2/20.
It has felt inappropriate to talk about any sort of diversion in the wake of this tumult, the president’s rapid public meltdown, the gassing of peaceful American citizens for a photo op, and the sense that everything might just be falling apart; I haven’t noticed people having heated debates about the Dakota Johnson romantic comedy that came out last weekend either, after all. But it sure does make the rush to get back in time for an artificial, rally-together-America deadline seem awfully unnecessary, and maybe even actively ill-advised. Sports, like much of entertainment, exist as a distraction. But, boy, does it seem irresponsible to be distracted right now. Perhaps the NBA is thinking that, by July, the atmosphere will have shifted.

Taking a knee

Meanwhile, it's hard not to think that some players and even team …

From Bklyner: "What if… the Barclays Center Had Been the Jackie Robinson Arena?"

I have an essay in Bklyner today, What if… the Barclays Center Had Been the Jackie Robinson Arena?. The start:
On June 2, on the fifth day of protests against police brutality, activists hoisted a Black Lives Matter flag up the temporarily-bare flagpole at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues near the Barclays Center, on a plaza controlled by the arena.

It supplanted the usual flags representing the United States of America, the Brooklyn Nets, and the New York Islanders. (The Nets and Islanders flags were flapping forlornly near street level on Sunday.)  With the arena as a focal point for protests in Brooklyn, the action suggested that the movement’s message, for now, trumped not just the national symbol but also that of Nets, a “sports entertainment corporation” that can inspire civic pride and attachment.  That flagpole, as a plaque on its base indicates, once stood at the Brooklyn Dodgers’ former home, Ebbets Field. One Brooklynite made a deeper connection on Twitter:…

After neighborhood lockdown and questions about project progress, postponed Quality of Life meeting to be held June 9--on Zoom

There's a lot going on with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park and the neighborhood around it, so it's good  a belated--and newly virtual--Quality of Life meeting scheduled for Tuesday June 9, at 6 pm.

Zoom details below.

Such meetings are typically held every two months. The scheduled 5/12/20 meeting was postponed.

Points for discussion

The issues, I suspect, include the pace of construction at the B4 (18 Sixth Avenue) and B15 (37 Sixth Avenue), and the impact of extended daytime and Saturday construction, especially on neighbors now forced to work from home.

Also, the new construction of B12 and B13 (615 and 595 Dean Street) was expected to start this month or in July, so that deserves an update.

Also, when will work on the first phase of the Vanderbilt Yard platform start? Can the B5 tower, the first over the railyard, start simultaneously? If not, why were permits recently filed?

Another question, which I'll address in a separate article: what's going on with the facade o…

After pledge to pay arena workers expires, Barclays Center operator says it's extended; did protests catalyze decision?

Yesterday, one day after the expiration of the pledge to pay hourly employees at the Barclays Center what they would've earned had arena events not been canceled, Joe Tsai, owner of the Brooklyn Nets and arena operating company, agreed to extend that pledge, NetsDaily reported yesterday.

The decision, which would add an open-ended cost beyond the previous $6 million over 2.5 months to assist some 2,000 part-timers, was indeed civic-minded, as it's unclear if any other venue operators have continued such pledges.

On the other hand, evidence suggests the decision was last-minute and strategic, perhaps catalyzed by the Barclays Center's prominence in days of protest over police brutality. See this tweet even from People's Daily:
#JustIn: #NewYork Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposes a #curfew in #NewYorkCity from 11pm Monday night and plans to double the number of police on the streets in response to the massive protests over police killing of black man #GeorgeFloydpic.twitter.com/I…

With Barclays as focal point for protest, arena/Nets denounce racial discrimination, pledge progress; will they offer donations, continue worker pay?

Yesterday, after two days in which the Barclays Center served as a focal point for demonstrations in Brooklyn (and before a third day) against police brutality, the Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center, Long Island Nets, and New York Liberty issued a joint statement:
Today, we stand up and speak up against all forms of racial discrimination —overt or subconscious— especially against the Black community.  We want to say, ‘Enough is enough.’” The statement was signed by seven people, but essentially can be attributed to Joe Tsai, who owns all the teams and the arena operating company.

On the one hand, the statement shows the Tsai entities ahead of other sports teams and venues in New York City, which have otherwise been quiet. (Most teams in the NBA have made statements, as has the league, though not the New York Knicks. None seem to have pledged any money yet.)

On the other, given the central role of the Barclays Center as gathering place--and, as I pointed out, the ironies of the arena'…

From the latest Construction Update: after hours work at B4/B15 continues; fence installation on Pacific Street seems precursor for work at B12 and B13 sites

Te latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning today, was circulated Friday, 5/29/20 at 3:07 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.

Judging from the text highlighted in in red in the document below, the only new work expected is fence installation along Pacific Street on the southeast block of the site, a precursor for work launching the B12 (615 Dean) and B13 (595 Dean) towers, once expected to start this month.

Those two towers would have 798 rental units and, underground, a fitness center and fieldhouse

Meanwhile, what I two weeks ago called a rather stealth acknowledgment of after-hours work at both the B4 (18 Sixth) and B15 (37 Sixth) sites, given that it was not highlighted in red, weekday work there will last from 7 am until 7 pm and Saturday work goes from 8 am until 5 pm.

Here's the permit for B4. Here's the permit for B15.

In both cases, the rationale …

With drive-in movies at Nassau Coliseum, an arena surrounded by parking lots gains an advantage

The coronavirus pandemic has upended all kinds of processes and assumptions, including the notion that an arena surrounded by an ocean of parking lots is a liability.

For the moment, it may be an advantage.

The Nassau Coliseum this weekend has sold out five drive-in showings of the movie Trolls, with all 200 tickets sold ($30/car in advance, $35 at gate). And there will be more next week.
Due to popular demand, we're extending our drive-in movie series!

Join us next weekend for the screening of “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Tickets are on sale now ⬇️

🎥 🚘| https://t.co/dQUaSbolA9pic.twitter.com/JEwZorYF8l — NYCB LIVE (@NYCBLive) May 29, 2020
That said, it's a small advanage: $6,000-plus in gross ticket revenue, not counting ancillary income sponsorships, will not rescue a venue otherwise mothballed.

The description:
All ages are welcome to join our drive-in movie screening. Please note, this event is rain or shine and will broadcast on our large exterior LED wall facing Hem…

As Barclays Center becomes locus for angry protests and harsh response, arena's boosterish bluster has new valance

Last night, the centrally-located Barclays Center, with its privately managed, publicly accessible plaza, became the locus of protests against police brutality and the painful-to-watch, seemingly white officer-caused death of black arrestee George Floyd in Minneapolis. (The officer has been charged with third-degree murder.)
A massive crowd is gathering for justice for George Floyd and an end to police violence. We are at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn NYC. The crowd has their hands up and is chanting, “No justice, no peace.” I’ll be posting photos and videos throughout the protest. [thread] pic.twitter.com/JtL7f8038m — Andy Ratto (@andyratto) May 29, 2020Some people climbed on top of the transit entrance.
Some protestors climbed onto that sloped park at the Barclays Center #GeorgeFloydProtestpic.twitter.com/S74EifJQEL — Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) May 29, 2020I wrote about last night's protests at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. In August, it will be five years since the Fergu…

With NBA plans seemingly on track, is basketball coming back too soon? Well, teams are "sports entertainment corporations."

It looks like the NBA is on its way to a partial restart at Disney World in Orlando, despite reasons for doubt, given that lack of major progress--like a treatment or cure-on the coronavirus.
Majority of NBA GMs vote to restart season by going straight to playoffs, ESPN's Tim Bontemps wrote yesterday, but that was just 16 out of 30 general managers. Five backed a different version of the playoffs, while nine voted to finish the season.

No one agreed on when the season could end--as early as Labor Day and as late as November 1., with a small plurality--nine votes--for October 1.

Sources: NBA board of governors expected to approve [Commissioner] Adam Silver's restart plan Thursday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported later yesterday, describing a plan for 22 of 30 teams to return, with regular-season games included.

More games, of course, means more revenues.

If the bottom eight teams are eliminated, the Brooklyn Nets are in, the New York Knicks are out. H…