Skip to main content

On Bloomberg TV, Bruce Ratner claims 2000 arena jobs (1900 part-time) means "tremendous" impact on local economy

The headline on the 6/28/13 Bloomberg article was New York Office Prices May Be Too High, Bruce Ratner Says, but there was much more news in the associated video regarding Ratner's plans for his own residential buildings as well as the spin he's putting on the Barclays Center, calling the provision of part-time jobs a "tremendous" impact on local economy.

Office and residential

Ratner's comment referred not to office prices in general, just some "trophy prices" a few buildings.

"They're too high," he said. "You're using less square feet per person. And the economy is still iffy. All of us real estate people, all of us in business, are wondering what’s happening in this country. What's happening in this world While New York is doing great by comparison, we still do get affected.”

Is New York its own market?

"It's its own market," he replied. " Residential multifamily rental is going crazy, it's very very strong, that will continue. Condo prices are going up, I think that will continue. Retail is very strong, also... We live on an island, there's only so much land."

In other words, a good market for the Atlantic Yards residential units.

What's driving really high prices for Manhattan apartments, he was asked.

The answer: "foreign investment... When the world gets unsettled, we get foreign money coming here."

Next project

What about the Nassau Coliseum, he was asked. Is the Ratner bid the front-runner of the four?

"I think so, and I hope so," he replied. "Our plan's great. The Nassau Coliseum doesn't look great. "Were changing the whole way it looks like we did with Barclays....we've got great partners.... we've got the best design... This really reflects a bit of Long Island, a gray fence around the dunes."

The Barclays Center example

"When you first proposed the Barclays Center," he was asked, "a lot of people said they didn't want you to change the neighborhood in Brooklyn, now that it's been up and running, people have been much more enthused, has that helped you in your bid with Nassau Coliseum?"

"First of all, no one thought we could do it, so we're the people who get things done," Ratner replied. "I think people realize that. Second, we were very sensitive to the community, architecturally it's beautiful. Even the people who work there, we have turned around the way people look at employees of arenas, or Home Depots... we have nice employees."

"I will bear testament to that," a host replied. "I've been to several of the Nets games, Rolling Stones. I've been amazed how friendly everyone who works there. I don't know if it's they're happy to have jobs, they like the structure... almost a small-town feel."

"For one thing, we have Disney train the employee," Ratner said. "I'm very personally involved, I know the employees, I say hello."

He knows 2000 employees, with the rapid turnover at the venue?

"Tremendous" impact?

"The other thing is, believe it or not, we hired 80% from Brooklyn and in the neighborhood," Ratner added, citing "30% from the housing projects."

What has it meant to the local economy?

"It's tremendous," he responded. " Y'know, the area, the segment that has not recovered in New York and the country, people who are low, middle-income... Basically you have a situation where the less educated, people of lower income, have not recovered. So it's a big thing when you provide 2000 jobs."

Really? Remember, 1900 of those jobs are part-time, and the average weekly salary is likely in the $250 range. How does that make a "tremendous" impact?

The trade

Ratner was asked about the reported but not formally consummated Brooklyn Nets trade for Boston Celtics stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

"These are great players, great All-Stars," he said. "Basketball is about the key celebrities, the best players... this is a world of celebrity, whether it be Jay-Z or Garnett or Pierce."

Condos vs. rentals

Ratner was asked about 8 Spruce Street, the Frank Gehry-designed residential rental tower in Lower Manhattan. Given that more people will want to buy, will Ratner build condos?

"I'm not a big condo person, honestly. We will build some," he replied, presumably referring to plans for 1930 Atlantic Yards condos along with 4500 rentals. "The thing I don't get about condos.. you have to decide today what the market's going to be like three years from now.... So I'm a bit nervous about condos. Money's been made in this city, in the multi-family, by rentals, not so much condos. So we'll probably build some, but this is still a rentals market, 70% of the city is still rentals."

Note that the Atlantic Yards condos still would be a better bet for the company than the long on-hold office tower that was supposed to rise over what is now the arena plaza.


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 …