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Roundup: rust at the arena; Jay-Z's sports coup; a BID emerges at Hudson Yards

They're still cleaning rust dripping from the Barclays Center facade, as indicated in the photo at right taken earlier this week, looking east along Atlantic Avenue not far from Pacific Street.

But that's not the big Barclays Center news. As ESPN reported:
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who is in the final season of a $57 million contract, has left agent Scott Boras to sign with a company founded by Jay-Z.
Roc Nation, an entertainment company founded by Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z, announced Tuesday that it is getting into the sports representation business through a partnership with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). This arm of CAA will be known as Roc Nation Sports, which simultaneously announced that its first sports client is Cano.
So he's actually signing with Roc Nation and CAA. Adds ESPN:
Sources say Jay-Z himself is planning to be a certified agent, first in baseball and eventually in basketball and football. In order to represent clients in basketball, he would have to give up his small share of the Brooklyn Nets.
Jay-Z has always had a love for sports, but his passion grew through the Nets ownership and his 40/40 high-end sports bar in New York, which over the past nine years has become a hangout for athletes.
This even made the front page of the New York Times yesterday, which framed it thusly:

With a double-barreled announcement Tuesday that he was opening his own sports agency, and that he was stealing the Yankees star Robinson Cano from the most powerful agent in baseball, Jay-Z stands poised to shake up the sports world by offering athletes something they cannot find anywhere else: himself.
... It is widely seen as a savvy move that will capitalize on his success rebranding the Nets, and attract internationally known athletes, who double as some of his biggest fans. It also creates yet another potential windfall for him.
And what do the Nets think?
The Nets did not describe how Jay-Z’s new arrangement would affect his role with the team other than to say, “We fully support all of Jay-Z’s endeavors.”
Of course they do.

A BID in Manhattan

Meanwhile, as a planned Barclays Center-area Business Improvement District (BID) percolates along, consider the example, as DNAinfo reports, of Hudson Yards Business Improvement District Proposed for Far West Side:
The Hudson Yards Business Improvement District would levy an annual fee on commercial and residential property owners in an area slightly smaller than the space that was rezoned in 2005 as part of the effort to create Hudson Yards.
...Barbara Cohen, a consultant working on the project, admitted that there may be some challenges in convincing people outside of the Related Companies' Hudson Yards development to support the project.
"One of the things we're going to introduce to people is that the BID is more than the [Related] site — that's a reflection of the rezoning," she said.
....The proposed final budget for the BID would be about $3 million a year... there would be different classes of residential and commercial fees, each owing a different amount based on their property's assessed value and square footage.
The BID would have several responsibilities, including maintaining the yet-to-be-built Hudson Park, creating green space and other district-wide improvements, adding lights to now-dark pedestrian areas and even creating buy-local programs that tell thousands of new residents about existing local businesses.
...Cohen also admitted that it is unusual to set up a BID for a neighborhood that technically doesn't exist yet, but she said that the BID itself is meant to address evolving issues as the neighborhood grows. For example, it could help deal with issues that come up when a building is shuttered and slotted for development, but won't be torn down for months.
There's surely a logic to that. At the same time, a BID might also be used to manage public discussion of civic issues, bypassing elected representatives and community boards.

In the case of Brooklyn, much but hardly all of the new "neighborhood" exists, given the yet to be built 16 planned Atlantic Yards towers.


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