Skip to main content

"Inspired Urbaneering": Greenland USA's tagline (and web site)

Greenland USA, majority owner of Greenland Forest City Partners, updated its onetime placeholder web site to a nice slick site last fall, and it's worth a look.

The full home page is reproduced below. It's probably not coincidental that the less controversial and complicated Metropolis project in Los Angeles gets billing over Pacific Park Brooklyn.

A new tag line

Greenland offers this tag line: "Inspired Urbaneering." What the heck does that mean?

If it's a combo of "urban" and "pioneer," well, the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park site was hardly the hinterlands. Here's Greenland's overview, which offers some pleasant generalities:
Greenland USA’s mission is to create vibrant communities where people and neighborhoods thrive.
We develop residential and commercial properties that transform communities and exemplify modern living.

They are defined by their ability to fit seamlessly within a city, catalyze the local economy, foster the growth of the surrounding areas, and provide residents and visitors with a full range of community services, amenities, and open green space.

Greenland USA was established in 2013 as a subsidiary of Greenland Holding Group, which is publicly traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and ranked 311th on the Fortune Global 500. Greenland Group has developed properties in 26 provinces in China as well as in nine countries on four continents.

To date, we have invested more than $8B in projects on the east and west coast and we continually assess new opportunities.
Other definitions

Note the contrast with "urbaneering," as defined by the nonprofit Terreform:
Our intention is to jumpstart a new profession that can re-invent and negotiate the complex mix that encompasses a city. We have defined a radical new occupation to regenerate, pioneer, and sustain the future urban realm. These innovative multi-disciplinarian advocates are called Urbaneers. Their immense task is to manifest and facilitate the City 2.0 across the globe. Each Urbaneer is an individual with a different set of versatile abilities that merge previously disparate occupations. They range from combined ecological  architects and engineers to action based  urban planners and developers.
Or this definition from the crowdsourced Definithing:
urbaneercontraction of “urban” and “pioneer”
an urbaneer is an influencer/early-adopter within the millennial generation, establishing themselves as part of a live/work community in a city. they are part of the rising creative class, are usually described as hipsters, and are leading the migration away from suburban living.
But a real estate broker in Toronto takes credit for establishing the Urbaneer brand in 1995 (and trademarking it in 1998. An early tagline: 'Pioneering Your New Urban Spirit!'

Greenland USA web site 7-7-17 by Norman Oder on Scribd

More about Greenland

On its Company page, Greenland repeats this line:
We develop residential and commercial properties that transform communities and exemplify modern living. Our properties are defined by their ability to fit seamlessly within a city, catalyze the local economy, foster the growth of the surrounding areas, and provide residents and visitors with a full range of community services and amenities.
(Emphased added)

Seamless is in the eye of the beholder.

Greenland USA was established in 2013 as a subsidiary of Greenland Holding Group, which is publicly traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and ranked 311th on the Fortune Global 500. Greenland Group has developed properties in 26 provinces in China as well as in nine countries on four continents, including the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. We couple our international expertise in large-scale, mixed-use properties, our commitment to design innovation, quality and efficiency, and local market insight, to bring our vision to life. To date, we have invested more than $8B in projects on the east and west coast and we continually assess new opportunities.
The leadership

From the web site:
Hu Gang
Hu Gang has served as president and CEO of Greenland USA since November 2015.
With nearly twenty years of experience in real estate development planning, construction, sales and marketing, Mr. Hu oversees Greenland USA’s $8 billion in assets and explores new opportunities for growth. Mr. Hu leads Greenland USA’s investment strategy and pipeline in alignment with parent company Greenland Group, one of the largest real estate company in the world.
Mr. Hu previously served as vice president of Greenland USA’s New York office, overseeing day to day management of the company’s activities on the east coast and leading its development of Pacific Park Brooklyn.
Mr. Hu joined Greenland Group in June 2003 as the assistant general director of the company’s Northeast China Division. In this role, he oversaw the construction of the 1.1 million-square-foot Shanghai City residential complex in Changchun, China. Prior to joining Greenland USA, he was the deputy general director of the Baltic Pearl project in St. Petersburg, the largest residential development in Russia, and was also deputy general director of the region’s largest shopping center, Pearl Plaza, located within Baltic Pearl.
Mr. Hu received his bachelor’s degree in construction management from Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology. He is a supervision engineer and cost engineer certified by the People’s Republic of China’s Construction Ministry. 
Jian Xu
Jian Xu oversees construction and design at Greenland USA. He directly leads the design, contract and construction departments for Pacific Park Brooklyn and oversees the design department for the Metropolis project in Los Angeles.
Mr. Xu joined Greenland Group in February 2002 as assistant chief architect. His responsibilities included project planning and the overall architecture for major projects. Mr. Xu led two of Greenland Group’s earliest projects outside of Shanghai, including a 2.2 million-square-foot luxury apartment property and a 165-acre villa project.
Mr. Xu has held a number of senior managerial positions at Greenland Group including serving as assistant general manager and director of design of its northwest business division. He also served as CEO of its Yinchuan City Company where he oversaw development of Century City, a 13 million-square-foot mixed used property in Xi’an’s central business district.
He obtained a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology. He is a certified senior engineer in China.
Regarding the parent:
Established in Shanghai, China on July 18, 1992, Greenland Holding Group Company Limited (also known as “Greenland Group”) holds an asset size of nearly USD $99B and has ranked among Fortune Global 500 for five consecutive years.
Committed to transforming communities around the world, Greenland Group manages projects in over 100 cities in nine countries on four continents, including the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.
Greenland Group specializes in developing large-scale projects while prioritizing quality and efficiency. The company is a leader in the development of ultra-high-rise buildings, large urban complexes, and industrial parks and business districts surrounding transportation centers, such as high-speed railway stations. Currently, there are 23 ultra-high-rise projects under construction or completed by Greenland Group, four of which are among top 10 tallest buildings in the world.
Beyond real estate, Greenland Group has diversified its portfolio by expanding into strategic and related industries, such as retail and transportation.
Note that "prioritizing quality and efficiency" can mean some trade-offs.

Describing Pacific Park

Note the company's description of its Brooklyn project:
Brooklyn is Your Front Yard - Serenity is Your Backyard.
Encompassing 15 buildings that will surround an iconic 8-acre park, Pacific Park is a new community with something for everyone, in the heart of Brooklyn.
Pacific Park will offer a range of homes, from affordable and market-rate rentals to condominium homes. While each building is unique, they’ll all offer light, airy ambiances where residents can relax from the hustle and bustle of the city. Homes will also be oriented with views in mind, whether it be of the Manhattan skyline, or the park, with its sloping lawns for picnics and sunbathing, public promenade, children’s play areas, dog runs, and athletic spaces.
Note of course that it won't be a "public park," as described elsewhere on the page, and also that the buildings will not "surround" the park, given that at least four will not touch any open space.

Design principles

Greenland describes its design philosophy:
Greenland USA prides itself on developing properties that transform and sustain communities both socially and economically. To do this, we partner with the world’s leading architects and designers to draw inspiration not only from the needs of each local community, but also from our expertise in creating urban destinations. Together, with Asian design principles at our core and the latest in modern, purposeful and innovative architecture, we develop properties that become integral to the fabric of each neighborhood that fit seamlessly into its environment while also reimagining skylines and streetscapes across the country.
Again with the "seamless" claim.

"Small businesses"

Note the press release from 12/16/16 regarding 550 Vanderbilt:
Greenland USA announced today it has secured the first Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) for 550 Vanderbilt, its first market-rate condominium at Pacific Park Brooklyn in New York. Greenland USA broke ground on the 278-unit building almost exactly two years ago. The first secured TCO marks the first of several upcoming milestones leading to the move-in of residents at 550 Vanderbilt
Following closely on the heels of 550 Vanderbilt, 535 Carlton, a 298-unit all-affordable apartment building, is expected to welcome its first residents in January 2017. Move-ins at 535 Carlton will mark the completion of the second all-affordable building at Pacific Park Brooklyn, reinforcing Greenland Forest City Ratner Partners’ commitment to delivering 2,250 affordable units by 2025—ten years ahead of the previous schedule. Once completed, Pacific Park Brooklyn will be a cornerstone of the Brooklyn community, integrating family homes, storefronts, small businesses, school, shopping and entertainment, all with direct access to multiple subway, bus and LIRR lines.
Note plans for a massive amount of retail at the percolating Site 5 development, likened to Time Warner Center, which would not exactly exemplify small business.


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.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won't be so cheap.


The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

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 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…