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

With transfer to Greenland, questions pending re off-site affordable housing (Forest City's role), the Community Benefits Agreement (where's the monitor?) and the school (when?)

So, now that Forest City Realty Trust is selling all but 5% of its 30% share in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, what about that off-site affordable housing? And what about the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)?

Don't hold your breath. We haven't heard a lot about either since the first deal between Forest City Realty Trust and Greenland USA closed in 2014.

And, perhaps most importantly, the joint venture continued Forest City's pattern of not hiring the Independent Compliance Monitor required by the CBA. Does anyone think that, without significant pressure, Greenland--owned by the government of Shanghai, in large part--will have any reason to bring third-party scrutiny to the project?

Off-site for-sale affordable housing

As I reported in May 2015, a recently unveiled LLC agreement between original developer Forest City Ratner and new joint venture partner/overseer Greenland Holdings, explained the promise to build 600 to 1000 for-sale affordable units at or near the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park site.

It meant 200 units on-site, the responsibility of the joint venture, Greenland Forest City Partners, with the other 400 units be solely Forest City's responsibility.

According to the Atlantic Yards Development Agreement, signed late in 2009, the developer "shall build or shall cause the construction of at least 600 affordable homeownership housing units on the Project Site or as close to the Project Site as reasonably practicable, with a caveat: "subject to Governmental Authorities making available... affordable housing subsidies."

That leaves wiggle room. Given that Forest City doesn't look to be prioritizing ground-up development, it's hard to see these units coming online, unless perhaps Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who pushed for this as an Assemblyman, and his successor Walter Mosley, start applying some pressure.

What about the CBA?

As I wrote in April 2017, the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) continued, but contracts with only two signatories continued through the joint venture. under the new ownership of Atlantic Yards, the Greenland Forest City Partners joint venture.

A contract continued with the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance (DBNA), led by the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, regularly distributes free tickets to Barclays Center events, and also helps operate a foundation that distributes funds to non-profit groups. (The program for low-cost use of the arena, however, has not gotten off the ground.) Those are the responsibility of the arena operating company.

A 6/30/14 document signed by Greenland indicated a consulting agreement with James E. Caldwell, the former head of the now-defunct Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD), who was then a defendant in a lawsuit filed by trainees who said they were promised paths to union construction jobs. The case was settled in late 2015, and we don't know if the agreement with Caldwell was renewed after that.

The document indicated a Budget Renewal Contract 1/1/13 with Public Housing Communities, an organization aimed to represent the interest of public housing tenants. It's unclear if that continues.

Another question: what about the school?

The B15 tower (aka 664 Pacific) was supposed to contain market-rate units and a middle-school. It was delayed by a lawsuit with a neighbor about construction protections. That lawsuit was resolved, but another dispute with a neighbor was said to continue.

There's been no word about starting that building but, unlike B4, the tower that is supposed to start next year, it's already designed.

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