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

What might full Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park buildout look like? More images surface.

One major lingering question about Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park is the timetable: will it take until 2035 for full buildout, and how will developer Greenland Forest City Partners deliver the required 2,250 units of below-market, affordable housing by the 2025 deadline?

Another has always been: what might it look like? Only four of 14 (or 15) towers have been built so far, as explained on my FAQ page, and with the image above right. See inset for completed buildings.

No one has published the image below, which I cropped from a rendering, published by the developer and shown in full below right.
Cropped image via Greenland USA. Note: no Site 5 rendering across Flatbush Avenue (far left). Only four
towers have been built: B2 and B3 flanking south side of arena; B11 and B14 bookending southeast block.
It's a rather arresting image, because it's more forward-facing than any previous visual--as I explain below--even if it omits a tower. In other words, though it's from a hovercraft perspective rather than a street-level one, the hovercraft is not that high.

It's cropped from an image published with a press release 6/27/18, in which Greenland USA, the controlling partner in the joint venture, announced that they had completed the previously disclosed restructuring, in which Greenland USA’s ownership interest grew from 70% to 95% going forward, and Forest City’s interest dropped from 30% to 5%.

Full image, via Greenland USA
As far as I know, no one published either the full image, much less the cropped one.

The full image somewhat bizarrely focuses on Grand Army Plaza, as if that anchors the identity of the proclaimed "new" neighborhood of 22-acre Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, rather than is situated several blocks way, at the southeast--rather than northwest--part of Prospect Heights. The image looks northwest.

The tallest tower in the image is the 511-foot B4 (18 Sixth), which is at the northeast corner of the arena block and has just started construction. The image omits B1, the once-planned but long-discarded tower that original architect Frank Gehry dubbed "Miss Brooklyn." Its absence has enabled the arena plaza. (Here's a list of maximum building heights and square footages, as currently approved.)

What about Site 5?

The image also omits the contemplated but not yet officially proposed two-tower plan for Site 5, across Flatbush Avenue from the Barclays Center, which could rise 785 feet, assuming Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing/shepherding the project, approves it.

A previous rendering from January 2018, circulated by L&L MAG, the firm started by former Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, did include Site 5, at the far left of the image, though only one tower is visible.
Cropped image, via L&L MAG
That image, published in full below right, shows the project from more of an angle, with the hovercraft somewhat higher. It presumably was also created by Greenland Forest City Partners, as that company was credited with the image in this CityRealty post.

Full image, via L&L MAG
That image was published by multiple websites, including New York YIMBY, which erroneously claimed that "all of the structures are within the allowable existing scope of the site" and failed to correct that, despite two published comments requesting a correction.

B6 more visible, has room to grow

Among the differences between the angled image and the more straightforward one up top: the shortest tower over the railyard, B6, approved at 219 feet tall (but wide enough to encompass 445,060 square feet), is far more visible in the top image.

It stands--with wide, loft-like window frames--directly north of the Newswalk building, a former newspaper printing plant, between Sixth and Carlton avenues. According to a document I found, that building would be "100% affordable," helping Greenland Forest City Partners meet its obligation to build 2,250 below-market units by 2025.

Still, at least with previous plans for neighboring B5 and B7, the total would fall a bit short of 2,250. I had suggested that more units could be created either with more smaller units or some shifts in bulk.

Such a shift in bulk likely would require approval by Empire State Development, but B6 seems a not unreasonable candidate, since adding a few more floors would not make the building stand out vertically. Stay tuned.

An evening image

Below is another cropped image, not previously shown as such, of the project at night. It was taken from an image published 9/26/18 by City Realty (in full below right) and also presumably comes from the developer.

Cropped image, from City Realty. No Site 5. Barclays Center and B2 obscured.
This evening image also comes from a rather high-in-the-sky hovercraft perspective starting not far from Grand Army Plaza and looking northwest. Site 5 is absent.


Full image published by City Realty
Also, as shown in the full image below right, rather oddly portrays a large percentage of buildings in the project shining brightly at night, which seems unlikely, even as no other buildings on the horizon in Downtown Brooklyn are illuminated.

Notably, the Barclays Center is dark--though it typically has soft light emanating from its panels.

Also, the tower at the southwest flank of the arena, 461 Dean (B2), barely has any light. Could that be because it and the arena were developed by Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York, and Greenland USA would rather focus on projects in which it was the driver, as majority owner?

Images of the open space

Many Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park watchers are familiar with the open space schematic released in June 2015 and designed by landscape architect Thomas Balsley. Notably, the largest amount of open space is on the eastern end of the site, created in significant part thanks to the Pacific Street roadbed, which currently serves as a staging area.


Well, there's an updated view, circulated in October 2017 and published on Medium by journalist Siyi Sun as US-China Cooperation in U.S. Infrastructure: Lessons from China’s Experience. Titled "Permanent Yard and Platform," it shows the transformation of the Vanderbilt Yard into future development sites.
Slightly cropped from image published by Siyi Sun on Medium
It shows both the towers and the open space in far more detail, but the resolution on the railyard image is not clear enough to show exactly how the platform would be built.

It does indicate that the significant amount of terra firma will remain on Block 1120, above left, as that's the location for demolition of the two buildings that "bump" into the railyard. While that surely needs to be shored up, and the adjacent open space requires a deck, it should make construction somewhat easier and faster.

Wrote Sun:
Mr. Yang Chengxu is the Vice President and Director of Construction of Greenland USA, which is arguably one of the most active Chinese development groups in the U.S. Mr. Yang said the company is involved in large infrastructure-related projects on four continents, and he gave a detailed explanation of the many stages of transforming Atlantic Yards into Pacific Park, which is expected to be a successful case study for transit-oriented development, similar to Hudson Yard project.
Whether it will be similar to Hudson Yards--for better and for worse--remains a major question, but stay tuned.

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