Skip to main content

AY: "Out of the barn" or driven by Forest City Ratner's tightening timetable?

In an article headlined Atlantic Yards won't be derailed and, bizarrely enough, accompanied by a rendering of a previous iteration of the AY arena block, Crain's New York Business offers the conventional wisdom:
Forest City Ratner's long-delayed, dramatically altered Atlantic Yards project faces two key votes this week on its latest changes. Critics say the modifications will dilute—or erase—the plan's pledged public benefits.

On Tuesday, the Empire State Development Corp. board is expected to weigh in on a timetable that would put the completion date for the $4 billion, 22-acre project far past the original 2014 target. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will probably vote the next day on a proposal allowing Forest City to delay delivery of a $100 million lump-sum payment to the MTA for development rights, and possibly reduce the payment amount.

Despite fierce opposition to the shrinking project, bets are running heavily in favor of state officials' reaching the necessary compromises to push it along. Far too much time and money has been invested, officials say. It's also unlikely that another developer could be found to take over in this economic climate.

“Too much has happened on this project,” said Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association [RPA]. “The horse is out of the barn on this one.”


As DDDB and NLG point out, the horse isn't exactly out of the barn, because the project has changed so much, with the promised benefits far attenuated.

What's driving timetable?

As for finding "another developer," the question is a false one. There indeed might not be another developer to build Forest City Ratner's project, but there might be other developers to build on the MTA-owned land, and at a faster pace than Forest City Ratner and the ESDC are willing to project.

What's driving the timetable is the need to issue tax-exempt bonds for the arena by the end of the year, and Forest City Ratner's aim to reverse losses on the Nets by moving them to a new building in Brooklyn.

The RPA conveniently forgets its endorsement of Frank Gehry's arena block and its dismay over the process.

Critics vs. reality

The article does give state Senator Bill Perkins and City Council Member Letitia James the opportunity to question the MTA deal and the affordable housing promises, and cites the Independent Budget Office's conclusion that the arena would be a net money-loser to the city.

In response, it cites the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC), which still predicts a positive fiscal impact.

So that's summarized as "Critics say the modifications will dilute—or erase—the plan's pledged public benefits."

However, if the reporter for Crain's was "calling bullshit," she might have recognized that the NYC EDC's methodology isn't credible.

Comments

  1. Mr. Yaro's farmyard is an appropriate imagery for Ratner and his project, but what comes to mind is not a horse, which is far too majestic an animal, but a pig -- wallowing, grunting and rooting about for things to fill its greedy belly. Recall that fables about greedy pigs always have the same ending.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

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.


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 …

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…