Skip to main content

So what if Prokhorov owns the Barclays Center? Arena operations vs. construction imperatives

There has been (and will be) inevitable tension between the imperatives of operating the Barclays Center and building and operating towers around it, especially but not limited to the three or four towers on the arena block.

That's what makes the prospective sale of Forest City Enterprises' shares in the arena and Brooklyn Nets to team majority owner and arena minority owner Mikhail Prokhorov intriguing--and surely should give both sides--Prokhorov and developer Greenland Forest City Parters--some pause.

For now, at least, despite those inevitable tensions, presumably people inside Forest City offices can easily share information and complain/solve problems. When ownership separates, even if there are cordial relations, the structure is different.

Impact of arena operations on towers

Consider that arena crowds line up not merely on the plaza but sometimes toward the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Sixth Avenue, eventually the site of a large residential tower. Or that the second-largest entrance to the arena is on Dean Street, in between two under-construction residential towers.

So too is the arena loading dock, outside of which limos and trucks have historically lingered, both on the "pad" as well as the turn lane just outside the B3 site.

(See photo at right, from Atlantic Yards Watch, from June 25, the night of the NBA draft.)

Or that, for some concerts, rowdy or hyped crowds stream out of the building, some on routes past those tower sites.

Consider that B15, opposite the arena between Dean and Pacific streets just east of Sixth Avenue, is supposed to be the site not just for rental apartments but also a 616-seat school. (The location and nature of the school--primary/intermediate or just intermediate--hasn't been approved yet.)

There's no one living in the towers yet. But surely some will be concerned when arena operations intrude.

Impact of tower construction on arena

From the other angle, consider how tower construction impacts the Barclays Center. The lingering B2 site, at the intersection of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue, severely narrows the pedestrian passageway, forcing it into the street. The now under-construction B3 site, at Dean Street and Sixth Avenue, also narrows the passageway on Dean,

Surely construction of B2, at Atlantic and Sixth, will narrow both pedestrian passageways.

And the big kahuna is the construction of B1, the flagship office tower over the arena plaza. If and when it's built, an alternate entrance to the arena is supposed to open at the east, at Sixth Avenue and Pacific Street, in between two towers. That will make things challenging both for the arena, as well as for the residents of adjacent towers.

I'd bet that many will want to "save" the unplanned arena plaza, and the developers would be happy to not build that tower--just as long as they get 1M+ square feet of equally valuable development rights.

Going forward

The point is there are many unknowns and, when ownership splits, less of an incentive to communicate and resolve problems. That's not to say it won't happen, just that there's less of an incentive.

Some issues may have been resolved. The new arena green roof is not only supposed to look nice but also to tamp down bass escaping from certain concerts and disturbing neighbors blocks away.

For now, Greenland Forest City can make nice to existing neighbors by offering them free or discount tickets to arena events. I'd bet that, even if Forest City sells its stake in the arena, it will maintain that practice, especially for the residents in the new towers around the arena.

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…

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…

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…