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

Conundrum: state official has no info on project timetable but says 2025 affordable housing deadline will be met

At last night's bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, the few project neighbors present got a seemingly confident but not-at-all-definitive overview of the project from
Tobi Jaiyesimi.

She serves as both Executive Director of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation and Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Project Director for the parent Empire State Development, thus essentially advising herself.

“In terms of the overall length of what the project development schedule is, that I can’t provide for you," she said. "Just know that the project is sticking to one of its major commitments, in terms of making sure that we’re able to provide the affordable housing by 2025, making sure that we’re able to maintain 30% affordability throughout the length of the project."

The conundrum

That's a bit of a conundrum. If new buildings remain delayed, well, that May 2025 housing deadline get harder to meet. There are seemingly significant penalties of $2000 per month per unit if the pledge is not met, though the deadline is "subject to extensions" set forth in project documents.

(The most obvious extension would be the unavailability of subsidies. Also note the flexibility in the definition of "affordable," which can include middle-income units.)

About 781 affordable units--in three towers--have been built. That leaves some 1,469 apartments to go to reach the promise of 2,250 units. That's going to require some very large buildings, as planned.

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park is expected to include 15 towers, but only four have been built and no new housing starts are planned. This past June, the Real Deal reported, quoting Greenland USA CEO Hu Gang, that one or two new buildings would likely break ground by the end of the year.

That's not likely to happen. Note that partner Forest City New York/Forest City Realty Trust last November announced it would pause construction on the project. That seemingly puts the two partners in the joint venture at odds, which could be resolved--I speculate--by a buyout or a sale, whether of specific parcels or much larger shares of the project.

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