Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2014

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

J.Kidd back where he belongs? Nets' coach, leaving for Milwaukee, returns to the tabloid back pages

Nets' Coach Jason Kidd, losing a power grab with the Nets, is leaving for the Milwaukee Bucks after one season. The Nets will get two second-round draft picks . So much for that happy Nets email barely more than a year ago (right). And another reminder: basketball is a business. Mike Vaccaro in the Post, From greatest to grating, Kidd’s legacy forever tarnished But none of them have willfully tried to mangle their legacies, the way Kidd has. None of them have dared the same fans they used to thrill to despise them — or, worse, to try to forget them. It was graceless enough the way Kidd left the franchise the first time... Kidd II is something else altogether, an absolutely blind power grab that completely ignores the fact the only reason Kidd got the job here in the first place is because of the royal place he has in the Nets’ team history (which, admittedly, is akin to being the best chef in a freshman dorm). It was always an uncomfortable balancing act. The Nets kne

FAQ on new Atlantic Yards housing deal: how 65% of units in two all-affordable towers would go to $100K+ cohort promised only 20%+ of subsidized housing

The devil is always in the details (and this will be updated, as more details emerge). And the agreement announced Friday to expedite affordable housing for Atlantic Yards and also set up a new subsidiary regarding the project deserves a close and careful look, especially given some misleading and uninformed press coverage. Will the two new Atlantic Yards towers, filled with 100% subsidized units, go to the neediest? Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Well, they will provide 180 units to households defined as low-income under federal regional guidelines. Those low-income households would be above the median income for Brooklyn as a whole, though not the median income for the areas closest to the project. So those units will help some people in the Prospect Heights area remain. That's enough of a justification for some who negotiated the overall agreement, as noted below. However, in the new towers, 390 of 600 units, or 65%, would go to households earning

Barclays Center releases July 2014 event calendar: family shows on seven days, two concerts, one celebrity hoops game

It's again a summer lull at the Barclays Center, though construction around it should proceed quite busily. According to the July 2014 event calendar circulated by the Community Affairs Office, there will be 11 family shows over seven days, two Katy Perry concerts, and one celebrity basketball challenge. The family shows--Walking With Dinosaurs, Cirque du Soleil--are expected to draw only 5,000 people, while the Katy Perry concerts could draw 13,000. For some reason, the event calendar now lists VIP Access Tours; those are relatively small groups of people. Unlike in 2013, a weekly greenmarket has not been announced. July 2013 The event calendar in July 2013 was even more sparse: one concert (Further), a wrestling event, and five days of family shows, encompassing seven Cirque du Soleil performances.

Nets, furthering ties to Brooklyn, unveil (branded) training facility on roof of Sunset Park warehouse

On Thursday, 6/26/14, the Brooklyn Nets formally announced plans to renovate a Sunset Park warehouse on Industry City on 39th Street into a rooftop practice facility, the awkwardly named (because they have to sell naming rights) Hospital for Special Surgery Training Center. It's supposed to open in the fall of 2015. The price tag is estimated at $45-$50 million. The move should make the team's connection to Brooklyn much more firm, and is likely to induce some players, who now live in Manhattan to manage practice in New Jersey (at the PYN Center in East Rutherford) and games in Brooklyn, to move to Brooklyn. (Downtown towers? Bay Ridge? DUMBO? Atlantic Yards itself?) (One irony: talking up the practice facility on Thursday was Coach Jason Kidd, who, after losing an apparent power play to gain more control of basketball operations, is  likely leaving  for the Milwaukee Bucks. According to  Daily News columnist Mike Lupica, the move--given the Nets' mixed record and

Forest City grants $250,000 for tenant protection in Community Districts 2, 3, 6, and 8

One additional piece of the Atlantic Yards settlement announced Friday, according to a BrooklynSpeaks press release : Finally, under the terms of a separate agreement with FCRC [Forest City Ratner Companies], the developer [via its Atlantic Yards Development Company, or AYDC] will contribute $250,000 towards a newly-created Atlantic Yards Tenant Protection Fund expected to be administered by the Brooklyn Community Foundation. The Fund will provide grants to local nonprofit organizations offering eviction prevention and anti-displacement services to low and moderate income residents of Brooklyn community districts 2, 3, 6 and 8. That $250,000 is a one-time contribution. It's not an insignificant sum, and surely will do some good. But it's hardly a commitment on Forest City's part to help "solve Brooklyn's affordable housing crisis," as the developer once claimed Atlantic Yards would accomplish. After all, the scale of the challenge is huge, given the numb

Reports on $5M fines for delayed towers obscure switch; Forest City can slow construction on arena block while green roof is built

Like a game of Telephone , an un-analytical New York Times report yesterday on the $5 million fines faced by Forest City Ratner for delay on the next two towers tumbled around the journalistic food chain, suggesting that somehow the fines are new and meaningful. They're new only in part, and not so meaningful. In fact, the revised formula allows Forest City to delay building a second tower (B3) on the arena block until 2015, providing crucial wiggle room while it pursues unanticipated construction of a green roof over the Barclays Center. And the formula allows Forest City to evade building a third tower on the arena block promptly. Instead, it can fulfill its obligation by building where construction is less complicated. It does require Forest City to start two towers within a year, rather than one by December 2014 and another by December 2016. But that schedule conforms to what Forest City had already public pledged. (Far more meaningful are other penalties negotiate

How the Times again got used: No, affordable housing won't be "10 Years Early" and 25 years was not supposed to be schedule

It was another public relations coup for Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner, with assistance from the New York Times, notably real estate development reporter Charles Bagli, who seems to pay much closer attention to other projects. The Times reported yesterday, in Plan Expedited for Affordable Housing Near Barclays Center in Brooklyn : Now, the developer, Forest City Ratner, facing pressure from public officials and community groups, has signed a formal agreement with the state, which oversees the project, to put housing construction into high gear and finish 2,250 affordable apartments by 2025, 10 years ahead of the current schedule. While it's accurate to say the plan has been expedited, it's wrong to claim it's "10 years ahead of the current schedule" and even more misleading to say--as the sub-headline said in print (above)--that the 2,250 units would arrive "10 Years Early." The project was always supposed to take ten years, and th

Disconnect with needy? In two new 100% affordable Atlantic Yards towers, 50% of units would go to households earning up to $142K [updated]

Note correction on income ranges, in second paragraph.  There's always a catch, isn't there? It turns out that some 65% of the units in the two all-affordable buildings to be expedited for Atlantic Yards would be weighted toward middle-income households earning at least $125,000 for a family of four. Most of those middle-income units, and 50% of the each building, would go to households earning more than  up to $142,000 for a family of four. [ Updated and corrected: While I originally wrote "more than $142,000," that was incorrect if we look at 2013 incomes, since that's the approximate income ceiling. It is quite possible that the income floor will have risen to or near $142,000 by 2016. ] If they're paying 30% of their income in rent, a two-bedroom unit could easily cost more than $3,000. Smaller middle-income families, in a one-bedroom, would pay about 17% less, based on the pattern for the first tower. That distribution of units departs severely

Testimony at ESD meeting on Atlantic Yards: "step in the right direction" and "significant change," say deal negotiators; closest neighbors still wary (video)

They were posing not for AYR but for a photographer affiliated with the Fifth Avenue Committee There was a kumbaya moment (right) after this morning's ritual approval by Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards, of changes in the project plan pushed by a community coalition, including a faster timetable for affordable housing--15 years instead of 25 years, though the promise was long ten years--and a new entity in six months to channel community input and provide some oversight role. At left is the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council's Gib Veconi, who only weeks ago slammed ESD for not taking steps to deliver the 2250 units of subsidized housing faster, and, in the white blouse is Michelle de la Uz of the Fifth Avenue Committee, the chief negotiators with the city and state. ESD Executive Director Kenneth Adams listens At center, in the white slacks, is Ashley Cotton, Forest City Ratner's executive VP