Skip to main content

Photo & GIF show 550 Vanderbilt rendering skewed to diminish size; model released in China (but not U.S.) suggests full Atlantic Yards bulk

What's wrong with the rendering at right of 550 Vanderbilt, the planned condo tower at the northwest corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and Dean Street?

It's not just that, as I wrote, the rendering offers a selective perspective, which minimizes the scale transition between low-rise buildings on Vanderbilt and this 202-foot tall, 17-story, 275-unit tower.

It's that the perspective itself is a lie. It makes the three-story, mixed-use red brick building across the street look shorter and wider than the reality. That allows the tilted tower to fit in the rendering.

Let's try a GIF to compare a photo of that three-story building at 552 Vanderbilt, which has the restaurant Chuko Ramen on the ground floor, with a similarly cropped piece of the rendering.
Vanderbilt & Dean on Make A Gif
It's odd, isn't it. The top left corner of the photo and rendering pretty much start with the same sliver of the adjacent building, then extend to the cornice of 552 Vanderbilt. And the bottom right border is the southwest corner of Vanderbilt and Dean.

In the rendering, however, the three-story building at 552 Vanderbilt is stretched and tilted. The far side of the building points down, and both the windows and the brick between them seem widened.

The result? Minimizing the scale of 550 Vanderbilt, which is actually one of the smallest buildings planned for Atlantic Yards.

In China, a huge project

Ironically enough, in China, potential immigrant investors  in "Atlantic Yards II"--the second round of immigrant investor funding, now on its third round--were in January 2014 shown the model below, which emphasizes the full scale of the project and may exaggerate at least some of the towers.

(They were shown the model at an event sponsored by the Qiao Wai migration consultancy, which works with the U.S. Immigration Fund, the "regional center" packaging the low-interest loan under the EB-5 program. The U.S. Immigration fund was working with Forest City Ratner and, presumably, the Greenland Group, its pending partner. Surely the model was produced in cooperation with Forest City.)

This model has not been shown publicly in the United States. In China, the audience is different: the immigrant investors wouldn't care about community impact but rather would be impressed by the project's grandeur. And Greenland, now the 70% owner of Atlantic Yards (minus one tower and the arena), loves to build big.

Consider that the southern wall of 550 Vanderbilt, at the southeast corner of the site, is ten stories, while the current plan, as shown in the rendering above, is for seven stories. Also note how the open space--remember, Pacific Park?--seems minimized.


Also note that the model may indicate a change in the project plan--or simply was an expedient but incorrect interim representation. The tallest building on the eastern third of the site, Building 9, over the railyard between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, is supposed to rise 419 feet.

But it looks nearly as tall as the 511-foot B1 and the 510-foot B4, both on the arena block. Could some buildings will be taller or smaller than previously represented? Stay tuned. As I've said, Atlantic Yards is a "never say never" project.

The tight view of Vanderbilt and Dean: photo


The tight view of Vanderbilt and Dean: rendering



The full view of Vanderbilt and Dean: photo


The full view of Vanderbilt and Dean: rendering



552 Vanderbilt, from Google Street View

From Google Street View

Comments

  1. Anonymous8:25 AM

    Great sleuthing to see what they say and present in China compared to USA.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

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 Matzav.com 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 …