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

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No, image from moveable model does not mean new AY/PP building on south side of Dean Street, but it makes you think. (Plus: where's the Site 5 project in model?)

Is this the next Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park surprise? (After all, there's always something.)   My annotations Apparently no--and I should've been more careful with the evidence--but it does raise some intriguing questions. A photo of a model of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project, tweeted 2/25/21 by the 78th Precinct from a community meeting, seemingly suggests, as the excerpt at right shows, an additional tower associated with the project, on the south side of Dean Street, indicated by the pink arrow I added. That "vaportecture" tower--seemingly roughly comparable in height to the 27-story B15 (662 Pacific St.) looked to be just east of Sixth Avenue--at least according to my not-quite-accurate reading. However, a representative of developer Greenland Forest City Partners, in response to my query, said that building is not part of the project, and that pieces of the model are moveable, as I soon tweeted. (I've deleted my old tweets but screen-capped them h

Independent Budget Office predicts "slow and fragile" economic recovery (which must give developers pause)

Anyone building in New York City--private projects, at least--must be an optimist, because the crystal ball is very cloudy. The New York City Independent Budget Office yesterday offered Outlook for the City’s Economy: A Slow and Fragile Recovery , noting that, despite increased vaccinations, the rise of new variants of the coronavirus "suggests the city’s economic recovery will remain slow and fragile." The outlook is worrying: The largest impacts on employment and earnings in the city have been concentrated among industries that rely heavily on consumer behavior and tourism. Meanwhile, real estate sales have been depressed for most of 2020, particularly in the commercial real estate market. In the short run, personal income grew due to a large increase in government aid, while other income categories including wages and proprietors’ income have declined. All of these factors suggest the possibility of a substantial realignment to the local economy even after the threat of th

As small businesses suffer in pandemic year, a reminder about delayed retail at Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park (plus tomorrow's vague meeting agenda)

Last week, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce released 2020 Year End Small Business COVID Impact Survey Results , indicating some grim news: 80% of all businesses, and 77% of M/WBE businesses had lowered revenues last year, and 47% of those losing revenue said it was by more than half. Of the 13% of businesses that reported an increase in revenue, they were concentrated in the healthcare, construction, and consulting sectors. (Here's coverage .) Note: revenue decline doesn't necessarily translate fully to financial losses, because they might have lowered costs somewhat. Indeed, 85% of all businesses cut their employee headcounts. The outlook is grim, since 33% of all businesses owe some back rent, and 49% of all businesses did not receive any rent concessions. Of those businesses receiving concessions, 20% got rent reductions and another 20% got rent deferrals. More than half those surveyed, 51%, said they increased debt. Some 75% of small businesses received a Paycheck Protectio

CBRE buys 35% stake in workspace provider Industrious, which has outpost on Dean Street, across from B12/B13 site

A 2/22/21 press release,  CBRE Group, Inc. Acquires 35 Percent Interest in Industrious, Leading Provider of Flexible Space Solutions , adding that the "world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm," which is headquartered in Dallas, is expecting to acquire another 5% in the coming weeks. The deal includes $200 million in cash and the transfer of CBRE's own "flexible-space solutions offering, Hana," which has ten locations in the U.S. and UK. The Commercial Observer quoted Industrious CEO Jamie Hodari: "Almost every Fortune 500 [company] is putting in workplace plans that explicitly say they’re going to massively increase their use of flex." "Industrious has more than 100 locations in more than 50 U.S. cities and specializes in asset-lite flexible workplace operating models," according to the press release, which added: The investment significantly increases CBRE’s participation in the flexible workplace sector and posi

In routine vote, Nassau County approves amendments to support Coliseum reopening. Again, a misunderstanding: "So this lender... They aren't running the Coliseum, right?"

Nope, nobody cares about the Nassau Coliseum switcheroo , in which the middleman for the building's EB-5 loan, an affiliate of Nicholas Mastroianni's U.S. Immigration Fund, curiously became the leaseholder, after Mikhail Prokhorov's Nassau Events Center (NEC) withdrew. Though I raised some significant questions about the candor of Nassau County officials and what County Legislators understood regarding the County-owned building, neither officials nor the press took it up. So the Legislature on 2/22/21 unanimously approved lease amendments allowing rent relief for the tenant and also--as Newsday  put it  in a brief summary, protected "the county from potential lawsuits against the leaseholder." And, as I describe below, the Legislature still doesn't understand the switcheroo, with the Presiding Officer confusing the lender and borrower--not surprising, given the convolutions. The upshot That means, as Patch reported 2/24/21, the New York Islanders will resume

Office space glut in Brooklyn likely casts further clouds on plans for office project at Site 5

How Brooklyn’s Office Market Is Getting Through COVID , the Commercial Observer reported 2/23/21, quoting broker Chris Havens of TerraCRG that, even though it was a tenant's market before the pandemic, now it's even more so: "There’s really nothing large happening.” So prices for office/industrial properties are going down, to $327 per square foot at the end of 2020 from $467 psf a year earlier, and rents to $39.03 a square foot from $40.37, with an availability rate in 2020 to 18.3% (Colliers Intl.) to 22.4% (CBRE). The article notes several major projects haven't panned out, including the former Jehovah’s Witnesses headquarters in Fulton Ferry, now called Panorama; Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; The Refinery at the Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg; and 25 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg.  (The Refinery strikes me as the most attractive property, given its placement near open space, but maybe people would rather work from their apartments.) Meanwhile, some 4 million

How an Albany resistance to Freedom of Information Law candor helps explain the difference between "TV Cuomo" and "newspaper Cuomo"

So, how do things really work in Albany?  Cuomo's new ethics chair ran governor's 'defense' program , wrote the Times-Union's Chris Bragg 2/21/21, offers a revealing anecdote: In 2015, longtime Cuomo aide Linda A. Lacewell set up a little-noticed program spanning the executive branch. Lacewell, at that point in the post of "chief risk officer" for the Executive Chamber, embedded highly paid senior attorneys in two dozen state agencies. ...A function of “special counsels” embedded at state agencies, according to sources speaking on condition of anonymity, has been helping flag and manage potentially troublesome Freedom of Information Law requests filed with those agencies by the media and others — exactly the sort of requests that are at the center of the administration's controversial handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo's administration often drags out, by months and even years, the release of public records. Hmm, so th

Commercial Observer interviewees: the arena has kinda helped some but not too many nearby businesses

Barclays Center Set to Allow Limited Attendance for Brooklyn Nets Games , the Commercial Observer offered 2/22/21, saying it "renews focus on whether the arena has sparked economic benefits for Brooklyn eight and a half years since its debut." The answer was mixed, even though the interviewees came from the real estate world. Timothy King of SVN CPEX Real Estate said the arena has helped some food-and-beverage purveyors nearby--sure--while others farther away lost out.  Ofer Cohen of TerraCRG said the new housing has helped restaurants whether or not there's a game. OK, but does that make up for the increased rent? (Also, News 12  quoted  various nearby restaurant owners, also hoping for foot traffic.) About Triangle Sports Cohen's company sold the former Triangle Sports Building at 182 Flatbush for $4.1 million in 2012 and then $7 million in 2019 "despite no improvements being made" but also--I'd add--no use other than for exterior advertising.  That ma

Next Quality of Life meeting set for March 2, again via Zoom. (ESD claims, "The information provided in the construction alert is accurate." Nah.)

The next Atlantic Yards Project Quality of Life Meeting, where residents can raise questions/concerns and get updates on project elements, will be held on Tuesday, 3/2/21, according to a notice from Empire State Development (ESD), which oversees and shephards the project. Though the meetings are typically scheduled every two months, this date is actually just five weeks after the most meeting, on 1/26/21. (Here's my coverage .) ESD on 2/18/21 finally posted Meeting Notes (bottom) from the event, which, as I note below, sidestep the challenge I made regarding inaccurate Construction Updates. Project-related questions and suggested agenda items may be sent to  atlanticyards@esd.ny.gov . Presumably we'll learn some more about construction progress and the Barclays Center reopening to fans, but, as indicated in the notes below, candor about larger questions is lacking. Via Virtual Conferencing https://zoom.us/j/94517394934 Dial In: +16465588656,,94517394934# Meeting ID: 945