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That platform is key: six towers over the railyard would account for 65% of the Phase 2 housing units

Illustrating plan to move school from B5 to B15
However much Forest City's new joint venture partner/overseer, the Greenland Group, accelerates housing construction on terra firma (like Block 1129, currently used mainly as a surface parking lot), the big lift for Atlantic Yards would occur when and if the developers build a deck over the Vanderbilt Yard, a precursor to vertical construction.

After all, as I calculate below, the six towers over the railyard--of 11 towers in Phase 2--would account for nearly 65% of the units, housing an estimated 6844 people.

It's long been known--see graphic below--that the towers over the railyard would be taller and bulkier than the towers facing Dean Street on Block 1129, but I hadn't seen a population count.

Timetable for the platform

The developer must start construction of the platform over the railyard no later than May 2025--a 15-year window from the project Effective Date, subject to "Unavoidable Delays," which include infrastructure failures, inability to procure labor, equipment, materials or supplies (but not customary delays), which are not attributable to improper acts or omissions by the developer--or any litigation.

According to the Development Agreement, the failure to do so (see graphic at right) means the loss of future development rights. That's obvious, because no deck means no construction.

I've suggested they might use EB-5 funds to pay for the deck, as is being done at Hudson Yards. Or--who knows--perhaps Mayor Bill de Blasio will kick in.

Looking at the numbers

A chart (below) from the Construction Open Space chapter of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement indicates that Buildings 5 through 10, which would be built over the railyard (see bottom graphic), would house a total of 6844 people. That leaves 3,711 in the other five towers.

The total population would be 10,555, assuming an average household size of 2.14--a far cry from the significant number of family-size units sought and promised in the affordable housing.

In other words, while six of 11 towers make up 54.5% of the Phase 2 buildings, they'd account for  64.8% of the population
From the Construction Open Space chapter
Maximum buildings heights and square footages


This does not incorporate Forest City's pledge to reduce the height of Building 1
The configuration

Yellow border illustrates plan to move school from B5 to B15

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