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At Friday's AY CDC meeting, contract renewal discussion; also, project changes coming? (plus some lingering questions)

Here's my report on the rescheduled meeting. The timing apparently mostly related to the need to advise the parent group in time for its meeting, not Forest City's restructuring.

The agenda (right) for the hastily-called meeting Friday of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC) includes, most significantly, the advisory group's requested blessing for the parent Empire State Development to extend two consulting contracts: HDR, which monitors environmental mitigation, and STV, which serves as owner's representative.

That likely will happen, since the argument surely will be that no new contract, with a broader ambit, is needed until we know what's happening next with the project.

Also, board member Jaime Stein, who pushed for more transparency regarding mitigation monitoring, as well as a broader scope of work--and thus a revised contract, not an extended one--to protect neighbors, has left the board.

Project changes to be discussed?

Note that the "President's Report - Corporate Update" on the agenda serves as a general update on the project. In January, we learned about the long-brewing restructuring of Greenland Forest City Partners, a plan for Greenland USA to buy all but 5% of Forest City New York's/Forest City Realty Trust's 30% share in the project going forward.

As I wrote yesterday, Forest City Realty Trust's "strategic review" process is concluding today at 5 pm, and that could lead to a corporate merger, absorption, or sell-off. If so, that'll be big news for the company and the project, and could be discussed at the meeting Friday. (Also see my long retrospective on Forest City for The Bridge.)

Lingering project questions

As I wrote in January, the restructuring, with a new corporate overseer with a far weaker history in Brooklyn, and with this project, raises questions about several lingering issues:
  • What about the Independent Compliance Monitor required by the Atlantic Yards Community Benefit Agreement (CBA), a non-government pact that was supposed to deliver community commitments? What of the CBA survives, anyhow?
  • What about the off-site for-sale affordable condos, with 400 the responsibility of Forest City? (I recently wrote that Forest City executives did not sound like they counted this as a future financial obligation)
  • What's the timetable for the planned middle school in the B15 tower (aka 664 Pacific), which also was supposed to contain market-rate units?

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