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

Greenland USA executive: Vanderbilt Yard upgrade exceeds $200 million, as do projected platform costs. Is platform past "documents" phase?

Though statements on LinkedIn profiles aren't definitive (see previous coverage of Equinox),  the profile for Chengxu Yang, VP, Director of Construction at Greenland USA in New York, offers a few intriguing clues about the progress and plans for Pacific Park Brooklyn.

After describing the three towers completed by the joint venture Greenland Forest Partners--the condo 550 Vanderbilt and the rentals 535 Carlton and 38 Sixth--Yang's profile describes current and future work.

About the new railyard

That work includes "LIRR VD Yard (Infrastructure, construction costs >$200M, near completion)." Translated: the new and relocated Vanderbilt Yard, to store and service Long Island Rail Road trains, will cost more than $200 million, and is nearly finished.

Indeed, the yard was described at a meeting earlier this month as nearing completion.

As to the cost figure, in 2009, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said the new railyard would be valued at $147 million, while an MTA official said the previous, larger iteration would have been worth $250 million, after inflation.

In May 2018, Newsday dubiously described the new yard as"among more than $500 million in upgrades promised to the LIRR by private builder Greenland Forest City Partners," without offering any details.

About the new platform

Yang's profile also states "Pacific Park Platform (Infrastructure, projected construction costs >$200M, construction documents phase)."

That's quite interesting.

First, a cost exceeding $200 million is consistent with the figure I reported in April, based on a December 2018 document I acquired, estimating that the current cost would be at least $192 million, plus an additional $50+ million set of payments to assist with Long Island Rail Road operations, a figure that may have increased over time.

What about the timing?

It's unclear when Yang updated his profile, but, at least according to recent public statements, as well as bi-weekly construction updates, they're somewhat past the "construction documents phase."

Earlier this month, Greenland USA's Scott Solish, when queried at a public meeting, said that "as part of what we call the early work, as we were building the permanent yard we were also placing foundations for future platform work. I would say 98-and-a-half percent of that work is finished, the pre-placement of the foundations."

"Does pre-placement of the foundations," I asked, "constitute 'footings, columns, and foundation walls'?" (That was a reference to the elements pre-construction work in the document I acquired.)

Block 1121 needs $100M+ for the platform
"I would say so," said Solish, a bit offhandedly. "I don’t know what you’re looking at. What we call the early work is substantially complete."

Well, hold on. There aren't a ton of columns visible in the railyard, so it's tough to think that the first stage of each phase--"footings, columns, and foundation walls"--is complete, I wrote.

That said, the most recent project Construction Update described, under "LIRR Yard Activities," Foundations (Atlantic and Carlton Avenues):
Formwork, rebar, concrete installations, and backfilling for building foundations will continue in the northeastern portion of Block 1120 (just west of CAB)
That's not the full railyard, just the easier block to work on: Block 1120, west of the Carlton Avenue Bridge, between Sixth and Carlton avenues, between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue.

A lot more preliminary work needs to be done for a deck over the eastern block, Block 1121, between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, as shown in the photo above right.

What's next for Greenland?

Yang's profile cites "Future Buildings: B5, B6, B7, B8, B9, B10, Site 5."

That's consistent with what we know: six buildings over the railyard, plus the planned (but not yet approved) giant two-tower project at Site 5, currently home to Modell's and P.C. Richard.

Omitted at the B12 and B13 sites, leased to TF Cornerstone, and the B4 and B15, leased to entities managed by The Brodsky Organization. B15, containing a school, is fully a Brodsky project, while B4 has been described as a joint venture, though it looks like Yang isn't putting it in Greenland's purview.

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