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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

A question for the next AY CDC meeting: when will the West Portal be done? The railyard in 2018?

The next meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), an advisory body, will be Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 3 pm. Attendees must RSVP by Monday.

The announcement Friday, 10/13/17, of overnight construction all weekend for the West Portal of the Vanderbilt Yard--a new entrance from the railyard to the Long Island Rail Road's Atlantic Terminal--prompts a question.

When will that West Portal be done? December 1? December 31? Next year? What about the permanent railyard to store and service LIRR trains? Perhaps that question will be asked at the AY CDC meeting, since the timetable has shifted more than once.

In a June 2014 presentation, the West Portal was to be finished by February 2016, as shown in the screenshot below.

June 2014 projection
That, of course, didn't happen. As I wrote 10/20/15, Forest City's Ashley Cotton, of Greenland Forest City Partners, disclosed that they'd shifted the date for completing the West Portal from early 2016 to late 2017, but without telling the public, the press, and the Community Boards.

They did, apparently, tell some elected officials of their new plan, but they did so in such an oblique way none of the officials shared the information or even recognized it was news.

In a document shared with elected officials, they described West Portal work as lasting through 2017, but in another document (below) shared with the public said it would be done by July 2017, with the permanent railyard done by the end of December. That first deadline hasn't been met. Perhaps we'll learn soon whether the second one is possible.

October 2015 projection
Cotton's 2915 explanation was that they "figured out a more efficient, more sophisticated, smarter way to do this... so we added scope to what we call the West Portal work, and therefore changed the date of completion,” she said. That doesn’t mean delays, it just means a shift, with more work up front. “if you add platform foundation, building foundations to what we’re going in the bed of that railyard work, it will take us longer...thus December 2017.”

As I pointed out, Forest City in April 2014 proposed to the MTA a new December 1, 2017 timetable to finish the permanent railyard, presumably including the West Portal. In other words, a change had been percolating for a while., though the impact on the West Portal was not discussed, so the second one seems less likely.

Railyard, 2018?

Last November, Bob O'Brien, CFO of Forest City Realty Trust, told investment analysts there were "certain guaranteed obligations, primarily the completion of the permanent [Vanderbilt] yard for the MTA." He said there was about $120 million to spend, "to complete that and that will take us through most of 2018."

That suggests a 2018 completion.

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