Skip to main content

Looking at development around the arena site: new "center of gravity" for Brooklyn?

So, I'm catching up on the March 21 Times Real Estate section article In Barclays Center’s Shadow, Awaiting What’s Next:
Indeed, among real estate professionals, the mood around the Barclays Center — the only part of the controversial Atlantic Yards project that has come to fruition — could best be described as optimistic uncertainty....

...Instead, stores are on year-to-year leases, or even month-to-month, as landlords wait to see what changes the behemoth brings. That has given the neighborhood a somewhat ragtag quality, even as other thoroughfares in and around downtown Brooklyn have flourished.

But that is likely to change. Cyril Aouizerate, the owner of Mama Shelter, a stylish boutique hotel in the outlying 20th Arrondissement of Paris, said he was “90 percent sure” he would be opening a Mama Shelter at a site near the arena. Mr. Aouizerate said he had rejected neighborhoods like Williamsburg as “too bourgeois-bohème,” in favor of the less established Boerum Hill area, where he is negotiating with property owners.

Though he is aware that the building is named for a bank and will house a basketball team, he said, "I’m more interested in the fact that Jay-Z is involved."

“That’s a name,” he said, “that we can sell to customers around the world.”
Let's see how they market that one--maybe along with "Brooklynized" water?

Rates rising

I don't doubt that retail and entertainment lease rates are rising. Agent Chris Havens commented on Brownstoner:
ANYONE who writes that there is any retail uncertainty in that area
WHATSOEVER and that the impact won't ripple for many blocks only does so because, of course, they aren't taking the huge volume of calls from buyers, renters and investors looking to participate in the immediate area
New "Center of Gravity"?

The Times quotes developer Douglas Steiner:
His company, Steiner NYC, the developer of Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, plans to build a 52-story rental apartment building a few blocks north of the Barclays Center, at Flatbush Avenue and Schermerhorn Street.

According to Mr. Steiner, Brooklyn’s “center of gravity” is about to move south, from the Fulton Street area to the neighborhood around the arena, where nine subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road converge.

The arena will brand the neighborhood around it, said Louis V. Greco, a prominent Brooklyn developer. “People will be able to say, ‘I live a block from Barclays Center,’ ” Mr. Greco said. Until now, the neighborhood — where Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Prospect Heights and Fort Greene converge — has lacked an identity.
Well, I agree that "Barclays Center area" will become branded. And I think it will become one "center of gravity," not necessarily the center of gravity. After all, Prospect Park, the Central Library, Brooklyn Museum, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden are about a mile away.


The article makes note of a developer aiming to build a seven-story apartment building but avoid a city zoning requirement for parking, as well as plans to build rental apartments, rather than condos, which suggests a more transient residential market.

The article also notes the purchase of a warehouse building on Atlantic Avenue within the project footprint--a sign that either the value will rise or that "knowledgeable investors do not expect the residential part of the Atlantic Yards project to rise anytime soon." Maybe even both.

Tacky retail?

One comment on Brownstoner:
I would reserve judgement on the impact of the arena on surrounding retail but one might consider the area around Yankee Stadium which is certainly not a hot-bed of high end retail. The typical arena attendee will be coming in from the suburbs, seeing a game, grabing a hot dog or pizza, and heading home. This certainly is not going to drive customers to hotels or an Apple store. I bet the crappy restaurants at the Atlantic Center Mall will see most of the uptick in business.
What's notable is that the area around the arena is already well-populated and can support a significant number of restaurants, bars, and retail. So the dynamic will be interesting.

From the Real Deal

A 3/1/12 article from the Real Deal, Retail ripples from Atlantic Yards: Nearby eateries see a temporary uptick in business, but not everyone is happy suggested "local business owners have mixed feelings about the temporary uptick in traffic" from construction workers. Long lines, apparently, affect regular customers.

But brokers say the market is picking up:
Upscale eateries opening in anticipation of increased traffic from the Barclays Center include Van Beh, a three-month-old trattoria on Dean Street, and the brand-new Cream Puff Café on Sixth Avenue.
At three-year-old Fish & Sip at 216 Flatbush Avenue, owner Eyal Asulin said his business has grown about 20 percent each year. In response, he opened ChickP, a hummus and falafel take-out, three months ago on Bergen Street.
The retail picture is currently more mixed--but it's too soon to tell until the arena opens.

Rates rising

The bottom line is there's money to be made:
Ryan Condren of CPEX Real Estate Services said three or four years ago, his firm was doing deals in the $50 to $60 per-square-foot range along Atlantic Avenue; now properties there reach $100 per square foot.
Michael Pintchik of Pintchik Development, who owns dozens of buildings between Atlantic Avenue and Grand Army Plaza, said current leases are being signed at $75 to $100 per square foot and “up to $150 per square foot directly across from the arena.”


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.

The previous graphic, from August 2017 (without the ghost B1)

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…

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 …