Skip to main content

If you read only the dailies, you're missing Atlantic Yards news

New Yorkers who limit themselves to newspapers--as opposed to, say, online compendiums and coverage at No Land Grab and AYR--might wind up with a very skewed view of the current status of the Atlantic Yards project, since they sure haven't read about the Empire State Development Corporation's (ESDC) generous deadlines, 6+ years to build the arena, then 12+ years to build the first five towers.

Think about it. The New York Times broke the big news last Friday about the Atlantic Yards stall, but hasn't followed up with reporting about the ESDC's willingness to give developer Forest City Ratner a very long leash (though reporter Charles Bagli mentioned it on the Leonard Lopate show yesterday), nor the developer's plan to sell luxury suites.

The New York Post followed up Saturday with a brief article but Monday offered a much longer article about the suite deal. Nothing about the deadlines.

The New York Daily News offered no news article on the stall but ran two sympathetic columns, then a short article Monday about the suites. Nothing about the deadlines.

Online and Brooklyn

Online, the news was linked by the Gowanus Lounge and Curbed and picked up by Brownstoner (which has hired reporter Sarah Ryley from the Brooklyn Eagle).

On Wednesday, the Village Voice's Runnin' Scared blog picked up the story, adding this curious detail:
Yesterday, ESDC spokesperson Warner Johnston confirmed in a telephone call that the funding agreement was signed in September and posted on Friday, in response to numerous inquires from reporters.

That's curious because the ESDC didn't exactly send out a press release announcing that the document was available.

Yesterday, the Brooklyn Paper published a package of stories linked to the news, declaring Atlantic Yards dead; while the plan as announced is indeed dead, it's way to soon to count out some significant Forest City Ratner development.

I wrote a piece for the Brooklyn Downtown Star, published yesterday under the headline Atlantic Yards Stalled, But Arena Remains Goal that rounds up some of my previous reporting.

Marty in the Sun

The New York Sun ignored all this but offered a mostly positive profile Monday of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, headlined Mayor Marty? The Idea Entices From a Booth at Junior’s. The article noted that Markowitz is officially undecided, "but he is sure sounding a lot like a candidate." Then again, the departure of chief aide Greg Atkins offers some counter-evidence.

The Sun reported:
A run for mayor, however, could galvanize New Yorkers opposed to the Atlantic Yards development in downtown Brooklyn that Mr. Markowitz has trumpeted. A spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, Daniel Goldstein, said his organization “would look forward to a Markowitz mayoral run as it would make certain the failing Atlantic Yards project and the other egregious overdevelopment he has overseen in Brooklyn would be major issues in the race, as they should be.”

Mr. Markowitz has said the project will bring affordable housing, in addition to a new city center and a professional basketball arena, to downtown Brooklyn. He appears to get as excited as a boy on a first trip to an amusement park when envisioning attending the first Brooklyn Nets game in the new stadium.


The lack of context is unfortunate, since Goldstein sounds like he's spinning hard when he calls AY "failing," but the news that broke last Friday offers some support for his contention. Similarly, Markowitz's sunniness should be contextualized by his expression of confidence in Forest City Ratner, despite Friday's news.

Comments

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 …

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 Matzav.com 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…

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

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.


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…

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …