Skip to main content

At ESD, organizational chart suggests Joe Chan presides over Atlantic Yards; also reflects reorg and new appointments

The latest Empire State Development organizational chart, which recognizes several new appointments, is below, dated 1/31/14.

wrote 11/9/11 that Brooklynite Joe Chan, then the agency's new EVP of Business Development and former CEO of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, did not appear to have any direct role in Atlantic Yards.

Now he apparently does, since he heads Real Estate Development & Subsidiaries, which includes Public/Private Partnerships, which is where I suspect Atlantic Yards is placed..

One notable element: the Job Development Authority (JDA), way down in the bottom right corner, is under Small Business Services. Except the Brooklyn Arena Local Development Authority, a "creation" of the JDA, was used to issue tax-exempt bonds for Atlantic Yards.

One previous chart, from November 2011, showed Atlantic Yards under the responsibility of Chief of Staff Justin Ginsburgh, far from Chan:

The new appointments

A 1/31/14 press release, Governor Cuomo Announces Appointments to Empire State Development
Albany, NY (January 31, 2014)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointments of Elizabeth R. Fine, Charles S. Imohiosen, Margaret A. Tobin, John J. Gilstrap, Katie L. Codey, Kerri Jew, and Claire McLeveighn to Empire State Development (ESD). Ms. Fine will serve as General Counsel, Mr. Imohiosen as Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Tobin as Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Gilstrap as Executive Vice President, Ms. Codey as Policy Advisor, Ms. Jew as Executive Director of the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development, and Ms. McLeveighn as Vice President of International Trade and Investment.

“As we continue to create new jobs and grow economic opportunity throughout New York, I am pleased to announce the appointments of these highly qualified individuals to my administration,” Governor Cuomo said. “Each of these men and women represent the best and brightest of their respective fields and bring invaluable knowledge and experiences to Empire State Development. I am sure their service will help us to continue New York’s economic progress.”

Elizabeth R. Fine, General Counsel
Ms. Fine previously served as the General Counsel to the New York City Council. In that role, Ms. Fine was chief legal officer to the Council, responsible for all aspects of legal representation for the Council, its Speaker, members, and divisions. Her distinguished career includes the following highlights: Special Counsel to President William J. Clinton; Counsel to Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she directed administration-wide and DOJ initiatives, policy planning, and legislative programs; and Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. Ms. Fine earned a J.D. from New York University, an L.L.M. from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from Brown University.

Charles S. Imohiosen, Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Imohiosen previously served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Taskforce, in Washington, D.C. In that role, he advised the Executive Director on infrastructure issues related to post-storm rebuilding and assisted New York State with finance and energy initiatives. Previously, he served as Counselor to the Deputy Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as an associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Mr. Imohiosen earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Williams College and served as a law clerk to Judge Colleen McMahon in the Southern District of New York.

Margaret A. Tobin, Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Tobin joined the Cuomo administration as the Executive Director of the New York Works Task Force in 2012 to lead the Governor’s initiative to overhaul the capital investment process for New York State. In that role, which she will continue to fill, Ms. Tobin led the development of the State’s first-ever, 10-year, Statewide Capital Plan, coordinating $174 billion in capital investment across 47 agencies and authorities, and has overseen more than 600 projects valued at more than $1.5 billion, while achieving a 100% on-time, on-budget performance. During her distinguished career, Ms. Tobin has served as a Principal at Cherry Tree Development, an Executive Vice President at Thor Equities, a Vice President at Vornado Realty Trust, EVP/CFO of the Hudson River Park Conservancy, and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Finance and Economic Development during parts of the Koch and Dinkins Administrations. Ms. Tobin earned her B.A. from Vassar College and her M.B.A. from Stanford University.

John J. Gilstrap, Executive Vice President
Mr. Gilstrap is a senior management executive with extensive private sector experience. Mr. Gilstrap previously served as principal of Unthinkable Media, a consultancy specializing in reshaping brand perceptions, and as CEO and founder of UBM Inc., which manages property and maintains buildings throughout the tri-state area. Mr. Gilstrap also worked for MTV Networks and JPMorgan Chase. Mr. Gilstrap earned an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Katie L. Codey, Policy Advisor
Ms. Codey previously served as Senior Policy Analyst for the New York City Council, where she managed the Speaker’s economic development, workforce development, and transportation policy portfolio. Ms. Codey also served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares in New Jersey. Ms. Codey earned an M.P.A. from the University of Georgia, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Kerri Jew, Executive Director of the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development
Ms. Jew joined ESD in May 2013 as the Corporation’s Compliance Officer. Prior to that, she owned and operated a small business in Westchester County, served as a Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services, and also served as Chief of Staff for Columbia University Facilities. She began her legal career at Proskauer Rose, and spent several years as a federal civil rights litigator at the New York City Law Department. Ms. Jew received a B.A. from Cornell University and graduated with distinction from Emory University School of Law.

Claire McLeveighn, Vice President of International Trade and Investment
Ms. McLeveighn, a consultant in international relations and business development since 2010, has extensive experience forging partnerships across multiple sectors. She was previously Manager of International Engagement for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, facilitating global initiatives with Atlanta’s business community, international stakeholders, and government entities, supporting the airport’s role as a catalyst in international business development. She also served as the Director of External Affairs and International Relations for the City of Atlanta. Ms. McLeveighn earned a B.A. from Brown University and an M.P.A. from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of Empire State Development is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, Empire State Development strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State.


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…

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…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

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 …

For Atlantic Yards Quality of Life meeting Sept. 19, another bare-bones agenda (green wall?)

A message from Empire State Development (ESD) reminds us that the next Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life Meeting--which aims to update community members on construction and other issues--will be held:
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 6 pm
Shirley Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place
1st Floor Conference Room
Brooklyn, NY 11217 The typically bare-bones, agenda, below, tells us nothing about the content of the presentation. One thing to look for is any hint of plans to start a new building on the southeast block of the project by the end of the year.

If not, ESD is supposed to re-evaluate a longstanding request from project neighbors to move back a giant wall encroaching on part of Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues. It's said to enclose construction activity, but, in recent months, has significantly served to protect worker parking.

Also, by the way, if you search for Atlantic Yards on Google or the ESD website, it leads to this page for the Atlantic Ya…