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

B12 & B13 design reflects brick and masonry, with one shared lobby (?) and underground connection

This is the fourth of several articles on the 11/19/19 Quality of Life meeting, which focused on the new B12 and B13 towers. The first concerned plans to finally move forward with Site 5. The second concerned the timing of the platform over the railyard. The third concerned the single parking garage entrance on the block.


They probably won't win architectural awards, the designs for the paired B12 (615 Dean) and B13 (595 Dean) unveiled this week, by Handel Architects and developer TF Cornerstone.

But the towers, with 798 units, do take some cues from the surrounding Prospect Heights neighborhood, as well as from the bookend B11 (550 Vanderbilt) and B124 (535 Carlton) towers, echoing some brick and masonry.

"Thank you for not building a big glass building," Prospect Heights resident Robert Puca said at the meeting.

That probably wasn't on the table. Then again,  the original 2015 plan for B12, by KPF, was more modern and streamlined, without the level of window artic…

Parking garages on project's southeast block were once to have three entrances. Now one entrance to serve 693 (or 758?) spaces. Accommodates Chelsea Piers?

This is the third of several articles on the 11/19/19 Quality of Life meeting, where most of the discussion concerned the new B12 and B13 towers. The first concerned plans to finally move forward with Site 5. The second concerned the timing of the platform over the railyard.

Update 5:25 pm 11/22/19: Empire State Development says the portrayal of the three parking entrances "was illustrative, not definite." That doesn't answer why, when the parking was reduced slightly earlier this year, the change was not disclosed.

ESD also says the the project "requires at least 390 parking spaces at B12 and B13. By delivering a total of 455 parking spaces, the developer would meet (and exceed) that requirement." That's poppycock. The new total of 758 spaces contrast with the definitive statement that the project will have 693 spaces on that block.

There was much interesting in the presentation by the architect and landscape architect behind the paired B12 (615 Dean) and B1…

When will first stage of platform over railyard start in 2020? No answer, but contractor not signed yet. That hints at delay.

This is the second of several articles on the 11/19/19 Quality of Life meeting, where most of the discussion concerned the new B12 and B13 towers, which I'll cover subsequently. The first article concerned plans to finally move forward with Site 5 condemnation.

One question looming, but not quite answered at the meeting, involves developer Greenland Forest City Partners' plan to start the first phase of the two-block platform over the Vanderbilt Yard.

As I reported, Greenland USA--by far the dominant player in the joint venture--told the New York Post it would start the platform in 2020, but offered no timetable.

I cited a document, excerpted below, that indicated that groundbreaking was aimed for early 2020, with substantial completion targeted for December 2022--a three-year project.

Querying the developer

When Scott Solish, Greenland USA's project manager, provided various updates on the project and took questions, I asked if he had any update on the timing of the platfo…

Construction at Site 5, catercorner to arena, now on horizon after agreement with P.C. Richard enables state to re-launch eminent domain; contours of plan unclear

This is the first of several articles on the 11/19/19 Quality of Life meeting, where most of the discussion concerned the new B12 and B13 towers. (See rather gentle coverage of the new renderings in Curbed, 6sqft, and NY YIMBY.)

More than four years after big plans surfaced for Site 5, the parcel catercorner to the Barclays Center long housing retailers P.C. Richard and Modell's, construction now seems likely.

The timing and contours of that construction, however, remain unclear. A significant amount of high-end retail space, likened to the Time Warner Center, has been proposed at the base. Above it would be office, residential, and/or hotel space.

Empire State Development (ESD) plans to go to court this week to condemn the site, ESD's Atlantic Yards Project Director, Tobi Jaiyesimi, said last night. "We believe the condemnation will move forward. We understand that the developer is working with P.C. Richard to reach some type of agreement." That agreement would brea…

For tonight's public meeting, questions about the platform's timetable and the B12/B13 square footage

My original post previewing the agenda for tonight's Quality of Life meeting (including whether the developer will pay for Site 5 development rights) left out a few things, including issues I've raised since then:
given the disclosure that the first phase of the platform would last three years, when does the developer expect to start residential towers, and how would the 2025 affordable housing deadline be met?how long would the second phase of the platform take, and how does that affect the project schedule?what's the expected square footage at the B12 and B13 sites and when will construction start?About B12/B13
Note that an application for foundation work, filed 11/4/19, is pending.
Regarding square footage, I wrote 10/23/19 that a permit filed by TF Cornerstone to build the two towers on the southeast block of the site was confusing, since it said (see below) the buildings would have 925,681 square feet, far more than officially approved. 
As I wrote, B12 was originally …

Is Pacific Park really on “fast track”? First phase of new platform, document reveals, should take three years. That squeezes affordable housing timetable.

Brooklyn’s Pacific Park moves to fast track, wrote the New York Post's Steve Cuozzo on September 30, citing just one sign of progress: the announcement by developer Greenland Forest City Partners that next year it would start construction of the first of two needed segments of the platform.

That platform should cover two blocks over the MTA’s Vanderbilt Yard, used to store and service Long Island Rail Road trains near Atlantic Terminal. Three towers would rise over each segment.

But the Post, which published a rendering showing the first three towers (plus an adjacent one flanking the arena), didn’t say how long the platform would take. Meanwhile, Greenland Forest City representatives have deflected questions when asked at public meetings about the project’s timetable.

Three-year timetable

Perhaps that’s because the developer expects the first platform segment, on Block 1120, to take three years, with completion targeted for December 2022. It would span Atlantic Avenue and Pacific …

Only two (of five) city properties contributed to project might prompt payment. And that's not so likely. City tax relief also might prompt payment. Also constrained.

As I wrote three days ago, four New York City-owned parcels--two streets, one building, and one piece of land--contributed to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park were appraised at under $2.3 million.

Those appraisals seem generous to the project developer, as is the appraisal that seemingly requires payment of barely $1 million for Site 5 development rights, as I wrote two days ago.
With Site 5, it looks--on the face of it--that the developer might be obligated to pay, though we we can't be sure.
But appraisals do not guarantee payment. Of the other five parcels, however, only two are even eligible to generate payment, while three have been conveyed gratis.
Regarding those two eligible parcels, however, there are significant question marks and roadblocks. 
First, most buildings in the project will be exempted from having their profits diverted for such payments.
Second, only after significant returns--as of now unlikely, I suspect--would the diversion of profits even begin. Moreover, the …

Rounding up the Nets: Kyrie Irving concerns (and billboard); CEO's swift exit; for fandom, borough identity trumping all?

The Brooklyn Nets have sometimes been impressive, and star guard Kyrie Irving can dazzle, but they're a perplexing 5-7, even after last night's shorthanded (without Irving or Caris Levert) win against the weak Chicago Bulls.

That said, last year they took a while to gel, and everyone's waiting for Kevin Durant to re-appear next year, anyhow. And the Nets always look better than the trainwreck of the New York Knicks, at 3-10 and subject to perpetual criticism.

But let's catch up on a few things.

The Irving factor

First, a long 10/29/19 ESPN article by Jackie MacMullan, For the culture: KD, Kyrie and what comes next for the Nets, cited a few anecdotes showing that Irving marches to his own drummer: he refused to work with the team's performance specialist, and wouldn't take off his cap at a photo shoot.

That doesn't make him a team killer, though. "I look at Kyrie as somebody who is an artist," Durant told ESPN. "You have to leave him alone. You …

Quality of Life Meeting Tuesday: vague agenda, but lots to discuss, including timing of overall project, platform, and next development sites

A few days ago, Empire State Development, the state authority that shepherds/oversees Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, distributed a typically vague agenda (right) for the bi-monthly Quality of Life Meeting, which will be held Tuesday, November 19 at 6 pm at:
Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place
1st Floor Conference Room
Brooklyn, NY 11217 Presentations will be made by representatives of ESD, Greenland Forest City Partners, and the Barclays Center.

Also, the ESD rep will offer an update on the advisory Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), which is supposed to meet quarterly but meets more irregularly.

Project-related questions can be sent to AtlanticYards@esd.ny.gov.

Among the issues likely to be discussed:
the timing of the first stage of the platform over the Vanderbilt Yard (supposed to start in 2020, but with no announced timetable)the timing of the next two towers, at the B12 and B13 sites on Dean Street, which are supposed to start in 2020 b…