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

About that health center: beyond generalities, nobody can say how it fulfills Atlantic Yards CBA

This is the seventh of several articles based on discussion at the 1/22/19 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting. The first concerned timing for the B15 tower, with school, and the B4 tower. The second concerned questions about the affordability of future income-restricted housing. The third concerned plans to constrict streets around the B15 tower. The fourth concerned plans for the railyard, demolition, and Times Plaza. The fifth concerned an absurdist dialogue about the definition of construction. The sixth covered NYPD parking, post-event enforcement, and more.

So, how exactly does the new health center at 38 Sixth, the tower at the southeast corner of the arena block, fulfill the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), a question I raised in this blog?

I tried to raise it at the meeting. The CBA, I noted, says only that the developer should provide space for the health center to be built out, and that the program, funding and who it is serves would be determined later: …

There's no official construction at B12. But there's still noise and vibration.

Two days ago, not long after I wrote about the absurdist dialogue regarding whether noisy construction activity qualified as construction noise for which the state could require mitigation, Peter Krashes, the Dean Street resident on one end of the dialogue, wrote, "This morning our house shook with the dropping of massive boulders by Tully [Construction] into the B12 lot."

That's a lot just west of 550 Vanderbilt (aka B11) on Dean Street west of Vanderbilt Avenue. Tully is working on the permanent and relocated Vanderbilt Yard, a project that, at least according to its web site (right), was supposed to be done in 2017.

Karshes sent the photo below, time-stamped 9:08 am. You can see some boulders through the fence, and more in the second photo. 


Though Krashes couldn't say all boulders were dropped there that morning, there's hasn't been much construction-related work in that lot for a few weeks.

Roundup: NYPD parking; post-event enforcement; ticket distribution; Neighborhood Support Team

This is the sixth of several articles based on discussion at the 1/22/19 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting. The first concerned timing for the B15 tower, with school, and the B4 tower. The second concerned questions about the affordability of future income-restricted housing. The third concerned plans to constrict streets around the B15 tower. The fourth concerned plans for the railyard, demolition, and Times Plaza. The fifth concerned an absurdist dialogue about the definition of construction.

With 24 parking spaces been provided at the 535 Carlton garage for cops working at the 78th Precinct a little more than one long block away at Sixth Avenue and Bergen Street, the "developer is being compliant with the project requirement," said Tobi Jaiyesimi of Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing the project

"Law enforcement," she added somewhat cagily, "of course has autonomy with use of this space."

"If the police got …

An absurdist dialogue: noisy construction activity on site isn't "construction" unless it's vertical

This is the fifth of several articles based on discussion at the 1/22/19 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting. The first concerned timing for the B15 tower, with school, and the B4 tower. The second concerned questions about the affordability of future income-restricted housing. The third concerned plans to constrict streets around the B15 tower. The fourth concerned plans for the railyard, demolition, and Times Plaza. 

Was this another nod to the author Samuel Beckett (as in two Atlantic Yards episodes), or was it Franz Kafka?

Either way, the exchange between neighborhood activist Peter Krashes, a Dean Street resident and Dean Street Block Association stalwart, and Tobi Jaiyesimi, who manages the project for Empire State Development (ESD) and also serves as executive director of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, definitely touched on the absurd.

Krashes brought up the neighborhood effort last year to improve project oversight by having new RFPs (req…

From Gotham Gazette: In Amazon Debate, Atlantic Yards Lessons Beyond Those Aired at First City Council Hearing

I have a Gotham Gazette op-ed today, In Amazon Debate, Atlantic Yards Lessons Beyond Those Aired at First City Council Hearing, which begins:
It was fascinating, having watched in 2004 and 2005 two New York City Council subcommittee hearings on the announced Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, to see the Council's Committee on Ecomomic Development, with the Speaker prominent, on December 12 take a distinctly adversarial stance toward the proposed Amazon campus in Queens.

Back then, not only were the Governor and Mayor gung-ho for “jobs, housing, and hoops,” many Council members, despite their questions, were essentially enthusiastic. Meanwhile, the developer and supporters got significant time from the hearings’ start, relegating opponents to later slots.

And it was curious to hear both proponents and opponents of the Amazon deal rather tritely invoke lessons from Atlantic Yards (now called Pacific Park), suggesting the need for either broader public participation or the importance of…

Railyard update, with questions about foundation; demolition work and East Portal progress; Times Plaza open space still pending

This is the fourth of several articles based on discussion at the 1/22/19 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting. The first concerned timing for the B15 tower, with school, and the B4 tower. The second concerned questions about the affordability of future income-restricted housing. The third concerned plans to constrict streets around the B15 tower. 

When will the permanent Vanderbilt Yard be finished?

"We’re going to complete the permanent [rail] yard this year," Greenland USA's Scott Solish said in May 2018. "We’re in active design of the platform work, that enables us to build the buildings on top of the platform."

In October 2018, he said the final two tracks were supposed to be installed in the fourth quarter of the year. According to the most recent Construction Update, the third rail for two storage tracks was still being installed.

So what's the current timetable for completion, I asked. Is there a hard deadline?

He said there's no n…

On Sixth Avenue bordering arena block, two 11-foot lanes going north-south during 34 months of construction, narrow passages for pedestrians on Dean and Pacific

This is the third of several articles based on discussion at the 1/22/19 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting. The first concerned timing for the B15 tower, with school, and the B4 tower. The second concerned questions about the affordability of future income-restricted housing.

During the 34-month buildout of the B15 tower (previously called 664 Pacific), it looks like the streets around the site, bounded by Sixth Avenue, Pacific Street, and Dean Street across from the arena block, will be rather tight.

Sixth Avenue will be narrowed to two 11-foot lanes (one northbound, one southbound) between 38 Sixth, which flanks the arena, and the B15 site, according to the developer's presentation, excerpted below. That could make for tight quarters, especially when buses or other large vehicles are entering, lingering, or doing drop-offs.

Sixth Avenue appears closed to pedestrians on the east side, which borders the site. While the sidewalks on Dean and Pacific streets flanki…

Turning point? As surging Nets beat Knicks at Barclays, the crowd finally goes hard for Brooklyn

🗣 BRROOOOOOOKLLLLYYYYN#WeGoHard | #WeGoBIGpic.twitter.com/mdR8Z0UbnI — Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 26, 2019Nets just stole New York’s basketball heart from Knicks, wrote Brian Lewis after the 1/25/19 come-from-behind victory, before a near sellout--17,033 out of 17,732 capacity at at Barclays Center. As he wrote:
And for a change, the arena wasn’t taken over by Knicks supporters streaming across the East River. It was filled with raucous fans actually cheering for the hottest team in the NBA, one that has embraced a next-man-up mentality.I'm not sure that, in the Brooklyn Nets' seventh home season, that helps give "Brooklyn a soul," as boosters like Bruce Ratner once said, but it does mean savvy basketball fans and bandwagon locals respect a team that rebuilds smart, plays hard, and wins, as the Nets have been doing.

And it means the Nets dominate the back of the tabloids.
Good Morning. pic.twitter.com/Fj8q2fgdnq — A Scottish Nets Blog (@AScotNetsBlog) January…

Departing Deputy Mayor Glen defends city's housing plan

Departing Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen published an op-ed in the Daily News 1/25/19 headlined Our housing plan is working: New York City is getting the affordable units it desperately needs,

Some excerpts from the opening part:
Our ambitious plan is to build or preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing over 12 years. That’s enough to house 750,000 people. But preservation doesn't add units for those who need them.
This past year, we reached a landmark achievement, financing over 34,000 affordable homes, marking the highest year on record. A little over a decade ago, at the height of the market, the number was 16,000. And we are now reaching a greater proportion of low-income and vulnerable families than ever. In 2018 alone, we financed over 2,500 units for homeless New Yorkers. That's a tiny fraction of the need.
It’s disturbing to me that despite all this, some still portray the de Blasio administration as cautious, or captive to big real estate, or as callous to New Yorkers …

More hints that future affordable housing might not be too affordable; a look back at mistaken 2005 certainty

This is the second of several articles based on discussion at the 1/22/19 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting. The first concerned timing for the B15 tower, with school, and the B4 tower.

As I've pointed out, the government-subsidized, income-linked, (usually) below-market "affordable housing" in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project skews toward middle-income households who pay higher rent, rather than a broad range, as promised in the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding original developer Forest City Ratner signed with the advocacy group ACORN (and which was incorporated in the 2005 Community Benefits Agreement).
Now it looks as though the project's developer, as well as the state authority overseeing the project, are prepared for more not-necessarily-affordable housing, as Greenland Forest City Partners--dominated by Greenland USA--must fulfill a requirement to build 2,500 affordable units by 2025, which means 1,468 more units.
Broad latitude
"I…

Yes, Joe Tsai's buying the WNBA's Liberty, which will play one game this season at Barclays; future plan not stated

Yes, as previously reported, Brooklyn Nets minority owner (and future majority owner) Joe Tsai is buying the WNBA's New York Liberty. No price was announced; the team, according to its former owner, had been losing big sums until it moved from Madison Square Garden to a smaller suburban arena.

The 1/23/19 press release is headlined "WNBA Announces Sale of New York Liberty to Joe Tsai" and is reproduced in full below. It notes that the team will keep its 2019 plans--too late to move--to play home games at the Westchester County Center.

However, there's at least one sign of some presence at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (or possibly the Nassau Coliseum, also operated by BSE Global), since this summer "the Liberty will host a Comm-UNITY Day celebrating community, diversity and inclusion at a to-be-announced game hosted at Barclays Center."

The Liberty, previously owned by New York Knicks owner James Dolan, moved to Westchester  last season, playing two games…

The long-awaited middle school is due in 2022 (not 2021), when B15 tower opens; construction of B4 tower flanking arena to start in April, take 3 years

This is the first of several articles based on discussion at the 1/22/19 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting.

Attendees got no insight on two key questions--how the 2025 deadline for the full 2,250 affordable housing units (1,468 more) will be met, or the project's overall schedule, given that the buildout likely will last until 2035--but did learn about two upcoming construction starts.

Tower with school

The long-awaited middle school, dubbed by advocates M.S. One Brooklyn (with an arts/culture/STEM focus) and part of the B15 tower just east of the arena block between Dean and Pacific Street, will start construction soon, likely at the end of February or the beginning of March.

But construction will take about 34 months, attendees at the meeting were told, which implies completion by January 2022. (The building address was previously designated 664 Pacific Street, but that could change. Here's the overall site plan.)

Schools officials have offered a different s…

As Brooklyn Nets continue winning, more attendees at games (though still last in the league)

A little more than halfway through the 82-game season, with 24 home games, the Brooklyn Nets are still last in attendance in the NBA, according to ESPN, but, as noted by the New York Post, in Nets’ recent hot streak finally boosting attendance at Barclays:
During the Nets’ first 13 games at home this season — in which they went just 3-10 — their average attendance was 13,813. In their last 11 home games — in which they are 10-1 — the average attendance has bumped up to 14,889. If they were to continue that pace, they might overtake the Phoenix Suns, currently averaging 14,786, but would have to increase attendance even more to rise higher.
Note that the Detroit Pistons, with a larger arena, have averaged more attendees but have an emptier building.

Also note that the average Nets attendance, 14,303, is said to be 79% of capacity, but 79% of 14,303 is 79% of 18,105, while the arena seats 17,732 for basketball. That means the arena is slightly more full: 80.7% of capacity, which beats t…

The arena hosts a mobile food pantry for unpaid federal employees

Yesterday, as noted first by NetsDaily, the Food Bank for New York City set up a mobile food pantry at the Barclays Center atrium to provide food and other essentials to about 500 families reliant on federal employees who haven't been paid for more than a month.

Stop & Shop contributed, and the Nets offered a "surprise gift." The media were invited to cover it, and they responded.

Almost 500 Federal Workers And Their Kids Flock To BK Food Pantry, reported Patch yesterday, noting that TSA agents made up the bulk of the 452 people served. amNY reported, in Unpaid federal workers grateful for 'humbling' food drive in Brooklyn, that the Food Bank now plans pop-ups in each borough. “We Are Not Pawns!” reported Bklyner, quoting one worker. Here's coverage from the Brooklyn Paper.
ABC quoted one worker: "It's a little embarrassing," Peek-Williams said. "You're working and you have to come to a food bank. But at the same token, I'm not a…

Can Long Island really support two arenas? Why Belmont would threaten the Nassau Coliseum.

I have an op-ed in today's New York Daily News headlined The billion-dollar Belmont bad bet: A new arena will compete with Nassau's county-owned Coliseum. Here's the start:
A new, $1.18 billionarena project at Belmont Park on the western edge of Nassau County seems nearly a done deal, thanks to Gov. Cuomo, who’d love to cut a ribbon on a new home for the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders and see an adjacent retail and entertainment complex built.
But does Long Island really need a second arena barely eight miles from the recently renovated and downsized Nassau Coliseum, once the Islanders’ home?
State documents confidently claim that the new arena, with the Isles as anchor tenant, would happily coexist with the county-owned Coliseum. But there’s no backing evidence, and a closer look suggests that the older venue — officially now known as NYCB Live, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum — faces a significant threat.
It’s not just that the new arena would…

NewYork-Presbyterian opens health center at 38 Sixth; how much does it fulfill Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement?

There's a new health center at 38 Sixth Avenue, the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park tower at the southeast corner of the Barclays Center, but the same questions I raised 7/20/17 as the project percolated--who's paying and who's served?--remain.

I missed this press release until Bklynr distilled it into a roundup of press releases  1/18/19:
NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Brooklyn opened a new Medical Group Office at 38 6th Avenue late last year, right by the Barclay Center. It provides adult and pediatric orthopedic, radiology, podiatry, neurosurgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation services. Procedures offered on site include X-rays, casting, blood drawing, fluoroscopic and other pain management modalities and nerve blocks. The medical group will also soon expand clinical services to include comprehensive urological services. Urologists will perform vasectomy, lithotripsy, urodynamic testing, cystoscopy and other procedures on site. Additionally, NYP Medical Group …