Skip to main content

Barclays Center on 14th Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, in part because of unresolved retail space

I'm leading a walking tour Sunday of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park/Barclays Center/Prospect Heights (via Municipal Art Society), and present several posts in preparation. One thing to remember: the project remains very much in process. Some impacts feared, expected, or welcomed have not emerged because they were calculated on a larger/full buildout. 

Instead of Fro-Yo, a couple of Nets 
The Barclays Center, two-and-a-half years in, is still not officially finished.

It's on its 14th Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO), with the latest TCO, effective 2/2/15, expiring 5/3/15. It

Why? The document is not exactly clear, but it's likely at least in part because of unresolved retail space.

The TCO indicates that, however fractionally unfinished, the building is safe and legal to occupy.

As I wrote 10/14/13, it took three and four years, respectively, for the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field to get their Final Certificates of Occupancy. For the Barclays Center, September 2015 will be the third anniversary.

WPIX is coming
The latest TCO states, unlike its predecessors, that there are 26 "outstanding requirements."

(Most previous TCOs said 30 "outstanding requirements," except for the 12th TCO, which had 22, and the 13th TCO, which had 24.)

What are those "outstanding requirements"?

The TCO states, "Please refer to BISWeb for further detail." However, the DOB's website provides no clarity.

Waiting for retail

In the case of Citi Field, the failure to fill some retail space had delayed the final sign-off.

As noted, for the Barclays Center, that's surely part of the reason. (Another may be the reconfiguration needed to adapt the arena professional hockey.)

I've mentioned the closing of Let's Yo!, the briefly operating fro-yo outlet on the Flatbush Avenue side, as well as the advent of WPIX on Flatbush. (See photos above. They're sandwiched by the Nets Shop by adidas and the Nets Lifestyle Shop by adidas.)


The latter will bring a street-level studio--good promotion for both, with the added benefit for the arena of a friendly media outlet.

But I didn't mention how the Elbow Room, the mac-and-cheese joint once located on the little-trafficked Atlantic Avenue side of the arena, closed in (approximately) fall 2013.

That left some retail space, as shown at right, that has yet to be filled.

metroPCS still has a store on the Atlantic Avenue side and, astoundingly, is open 10 am - 9 pm, but, as far as I can tell, a large majority of their business comes from in-arena crowds.

Then again, metroPCS is also an arena founding partner. (The Sugar Factory, which is located at the also remote Sixth Avenue/Pacific Street side of the arena, is open only during events.)

Dicey Atlantic Avenue foot traffic

Remember how original architect Frank Gehry in 2005 complained about City Planning Commission Chairmwoman Amanda Burden’s push for retail on Atlantic Avenue, where the sidewalk left little depth.

Another issue surely is the absence of foot traffic, which could/should change when towers emerge on the Atlantic Avenue side of the project.

For now, the Atlantic Avenue passage is even less welcoming, because a giant crane, and associated scaffolding, further encroaches on (and darkens) the passage.

By the way, a new Elbow Room location on St. Marks Avenue just off Flatbush Avenue opened in September 2013, so Elbow Room fans can get their fix. (The Elbow Room Newark location has also closed.)

Comments

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 …

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…

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.


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…