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

Some questions for Quality of Life meeting Jan. 22: project timetable, affordable housing, railyard completion, AY CDC, escalator, Times Plaza work

The next bi-monthly Atlantic Yards Quality of Life meeting is Tuesday, January 22, at the usual location, starting at 6 pm:
55 Hanson Place
1st Floor Conference Room
Brooklyn, NY 11217
The agenda (right) typically reveals nothing beyond the entities making presentations, so here are some questions that should/might come up.

Timetable questions: short term

What's the timetable for the next buildings, which would represent the first new building start since June 2015? (The ongoing construction work has otherwise been infrastructure.)

Note that B4 (18 Sixth) and B15 (664 Pacific, with school) are expected to start this year, but no specific schedule has been announced.

B12 and B13, the two remaining sites on the project's southeast block, also are expected to start this year or next.

Timetable questions: longer term

What about the full project, which has until 2035--or 2025 for the affordable units?

There's a long percolating plan for Site 5 and unspecified plans for six towers over the Vanderbilt Yard (which need a deck).

But there's been no inkling of a timetable, despite requests last year of the main developer, Greenland USA, which controls Greenland Forest City Partners, owning 95% of the project going forward. (It has leased three sites to other developers.)

How does the developer plan to meet the obligation to provide 1,468 more affordable housing units--part of the obligation to build 2,250--by 2025?

(Or: does the developer plan to ask for/get an extension?)

Will those apartments be dispersed throughout the full buildout, as once planned? If so, how can that aggressive buildout meet the 2025 deadline?

Or, if those units would be concentrated in the next few buildings, what might the configuration be?

B4 site
And if the latter is the plan, well, what would be the unit mix in buildings after that? Would the entire project contain more than 2,250 subsidized units?

What's going on at B4?

There's been some activity at the B4 site, at the northeast corner of the arena block, as indicated in the photo at right.

According to the latest Construction Update, the only activity is the "the demolition and removal of the existing Substation equipment and structures west of the 6th Avenue Bridge."

So presumably that's part of the railyard, not the future building. But we should learn more.

Railyard timetable

"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?

Hand demolition of "bump" buildings and a fallen brick

A brick in the railyard
The demolition of two buildings that "bump" into the Vanderbilt Yard below Atlantic Avenue finally proceeded last year, slowly, since the location, adjacent to the railyard, requires demolition by hand, not machine.

The photo at right, I'm told, shows a brick that fell into the railyard, which is surely not part of the protocol.

Perhaps we'll learn about the progress and the safeguards involved.


When is the next Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC) meeting?

It hasn't met since last March--its second meeting of 2018--though it's supposed to meet quarterly.

Also, it has several vacancies. The AY CDC has been mostly toothless, but its meetings are webcast, and sometimes the developer and state are asked relevant questions about such things as the project timetable, so it can add transparency.

What about the escalator?

The escalator is back!
The down escalator at the Barclays Center was supposed to be up and running by Dec. 14, after an outage lasting about three weeks.

But there were multiple extensions of that date, and I was told it was back by Monday, January 14, at least.

Still, if this happens again, there's good reason to question the estimate.

Open space at Times Plaza?

What's happened to plans to upgrade the open space at Times Plaza, the triangle just below Flatbush Avenue at Fourth and Atlantic?

In October 2017, I reported that the promised improvement of open space at Times Plaza, which is a required mitigation under the 2014 Atlantic Yards Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, wouldn't occur until the second quarter of 2018, at best. That, of course, didn't happen.

The design had been approved by the Public Design Commission, said Tobi Jaiyesemi of Empire State Development last May, but there was no timetable for the work.