Skip to main content

AY office jobs: from 10,000 to... 375

It sounded like a nice round number. When the Atlantic Yards project was announced, it was promoted as providing space for 10,000 office jobs. Now, after further cuts in the size of the project, it would provide space for only about 1340 jobs--and likely only 375 new jobs.

The news came in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released today by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), which stated:
The amount of commercial office space has been reduced by approximately 270,000 gsf in the residential mixed-use variation and approximately 223,000 gsf in the commercial mixed-use variation.

That cut, from 606,000 square feet of office space, leaves about 336,000 square feet. In other words, the amount of office space has been cut 44.5 percent in this round, a far more dramatic cut than that in the amount of housing. And jobs fuel tax revenues more than does housing.

Divide 336,000 square feet by 250 square feet per job, and that means space for 1344 jobs, or, as rounded off in the FEIS, 1340 jobs.

Rounding down

But that's likely overstated as well. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in an analysis of an earlier configuration, calculated a 7 percent vacancy rate, which would mean 1250 jobs.

NYCEDC also suggested that only 30 percent of the jobs would be new to New York, rather than moved from Manhattan. That would mean only 375 new office jobs at Atlantic Yards. So much for the 10,000 jobs some columnists eagerly embraced.

Persistent optimism

Everyone knows there's a trend toward building housing rather than office space in Downtown Brooklyn, despite a rezoning. Still, the Final EIS persists in relying on both stale data and general observations, rather than an analysis of the current building plans--including the latest round of cuts.

In the Response to Comments section, the ESDC received this comment:
The DEIS assumes an increasing need for commercial space, an assumption based on the 2001 Group of 35 report, coordinated by Senator Schumer. However, the data in this report was gathered and analyzed prior to September 11, 2001. In addition, this report has not been widely publicized, nor has it received the public support required for it to be considered citywide policy.

The ESDC responded:
The Group of 35 report was not the only source predicting the need for commercial space. Although it is difficult to predict the exact amount of future growth with precision, studies show that Brooklyn will continue to grow in terms of both new residents and new jobs. According to the latest forecasts from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), the agency responsible for coordinating such forecasts throughout the region, Brooklyn is expected to add 60,000 jobs, 90,000 residents, and 40,000 households between 2005 and 2015; from 2002 to 2030, Brooklyn is expected to add approximately 162,000 jobs, 330,000 residents, and 120,000 households (see Chapter 1, “Project Description”). Using a general rule of 1 employee per 250 square feet (sf) of floor area, Brooklyn’s predicted employment increase of 60,000 from 2005 to 2015 will create the need for 15 million sf of additional development; the demand from 2002 to 2030 would translate to a demand for 40.5 million sf. In its Atlantic Yards statement, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) also predicts substantial growth in the tri-state (New York-New Jersey-Connecticut) region: 4 million additional residents and 3 million additional jobs by 2030, adding that much of this growth should be accommodated around the region’s transportation hubs, including Atlantic Terminal. As discussed in Chapter 2, “Procedural and Analytical Framework,” the EIS analyzes two program variations—residential mixed-use and commercial mixed-use—in order to allow the project to meet potential future greater demand for residential or office space in Downtown Brooklyn.
Reference to the Group 35 report was removed the section discussing citywide programs and policies affecting development in Chapter 3, “Land Use, Zoning, and Public Policy,” of the FEIS; recommendations of this report remain in Chapter 1, “Project Description.”


Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in November 2017, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won't be so cheap.


Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park in 2017: no new towers, unfilled affordable units, Islanders prepare to leave, project timetable fuzzy

My 2018 preview.

It was another wait-and-see year for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, with one big twist--the beginning of a slow goodbye for the New York Islanders--but continued delays for towers, a lost (mostly) 421-a subsidy for condos, and new skepticism about unfilled not-so-affordable housing units.

So ongoing questions linger regarding the project's pace, affordability, and even future ownership.

In my 2017 preview, I predicted--not exactly going out on a limb--that two and likely three more towers would open, though it would be unclear how fast they'd lease up and sell.

Indeed, we've learned that the middle-income below-market units at 461 Dean (which opened in 2016) and 535 Carlton have leased very slowly, while it's too soon to assess progress for commensurate units at 38 Sixth. (At 535 Carlton and 38 Sixth, middle-income units make up half the "100% affordable" buildings.) Meanwhile, many apartments are up for rent at the 550 Vanderbilt condo buildin…