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

Coming in 2019: 18 Sixth (aka B4) was the largest building in NYC proposed this year

From the Real Deal, 12/19/18, These were the 10 biggest new real estate projects of 2018, guess what's at the top of the list:
1) 18 Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn
The tallest building at Greenland USA’s Pacific Park megadevelopment will break ground in early 2019. After ditching plans to develop an office building on the site, the developer considered a condo/rental mix before deciding to go rental for all 810 units at the 49-story, 779,000-square foot tower. Greenland USA, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Greenland Group, is facing a state-mandated 2025 deadline to complete 2,250 affordable apartments at the development, and the remainder of the project could take until 2035 to complete.
The list is based on square footage and, as the Real Deal reports, B4 tops the list because there's a bit of a lull: "For the first time since 2011, no new building jobs with more than 1 million square feet were filed this year." Also, the list is heavily residential, with no big office projects.

B4 view from Atlantic Ave.
Rendering: Perkins Eastman
Notes on scale, timing, affordability

Note that, at 511 feet, 18 Sixth (aka B4) is the tallest currently approved building withing Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, but a much taller building likely would be built across Flatbush Avenue at Site 5.

In 2016, a two-tower project rising as high as 785 feet was suggested; since then, the approval of a 840-foot unrelated project at 80 Flatbush, and the proposal for a 941-foot project at 625 Fulton have certainly changed the context and ambition.

B4 won't necessarily break ground in early 2019; Greenland Forest City Partners (with a 5% fraction owned by Forest City, now part of Brookfield) was saying second quarter.

Exactly 1,468 affordable units remain to be built in the project, by 2025. This building is due in 2021. It's unclear how many of the 810 apartments would be affordable, but 30% is a likely maximum, given the city's subsidy programs. That would mean 243 units.

Notes on history

Also note the building's history. When Atlantic Yards was first announced, in December 2003, the four towers around the arena, including B4, were supposed to hold office space. Then, by 2005, most of that space was to be swapped for condos, though the distribution was unclear.

That was not necessarily the case for B4. As of 2009, B4 was apparently envisioned as an 80/20 (80% market/20% low-income) rental building, with 711 market-rate units and 176 below-market units. That's a total of 887 units, more than promised today.

When Greenland first bought a majority stake in the project, with the deal closing in 2014, a tentative timetable (below), issued in August 2014, indicated the building would be 551 rentals plus 213 condos, or 774 units--likely because condos are typically larger than rentals.


But the plans for condos faded as a glut emerged and the crucial 421-a tax break was modified.

In early 2016, Greenland Forest City announced a plan to convert B4 into office space, and also to sell a stake in the building (along with two planned condo towers). Neither came to fruition. We now know that B4 was offered among potential sites for Amazon's New York office campus. 

In January 2018, the Real Deal quoted Greenland USA's Scott Solish as saying the company ultimately decided that the site was “better suited” for residential. One translation of that might be: Amazon decided it wanted Long Island City, not Brooklyn.

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