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

What's next for Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation? A new appointment, no meeting scheduled, no money for consultants (yet)

This is the tenth of ten articles on the 5/7/19 Quality of Life meeting. The first concerned the project schedule. The second concerned The Brodsky Organization's share of the B4 tower. The third concerned noisy weekend construction. The fourth concerned opacity in the Barclays Center calendars. The fifth concerned illegal parking during arena events. The sixth concerned traffic issues. The seventh concerned oversight. The eighth concerned the Community Liaison Office. The ninth concerned the developer's update.

At the meeting, Tobi Jaiyesimi, who serves as the Executive Director of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation and also Atlantic Yards Project Director for parent Empire State Development (ESD)--essentially helping advise herself--said the next meeting of the AY CDC has not yet been scheduled.

The AY CDC is supposed to meet quarterly but had a hiatus for nearly a year, essentially negating its already limited advisory role. The hiatus has in part been due to the difficulty of getting a quorum.

Also, there are four vacancies on the 14-person board, which is controlled by the governor: three gubernatorial seats, and a mayoral appointee. Jaiyesimi said the City Council appointee is waiting for the official letter: Ethel Tyus, who at that point chaired the Land Use committee of Community Board 8 (and since then won an election for Board Chair).

What about consultants?

Jaiyesimi made an oblique reference to the proposal, from two separate board members, for the board to hire its own consultants to evaluate upcoming plans, notably the expected push by developer Greenland Forest City Partners to shift the bulk of the unbuilt "Miss Brooklyn" tower over the arena plaza to Site 5 across Flatbush Avenue, creating a giant, two-tower structure far larger than previously approved. That would require official approval by ESD.

“There have been talks in the past about the AY CDC having consultants or taking on parts of its budget to cover consulting costs," Jaiyesimi said. "At the moment, there hasn’t been any updates on that. Because it is a subsidiary of ESD, AY CDC staff are able to utilize the pre-qual [pre-qualified] list of consultants that are made available to ESD. There’s a process in place for that, it’s just, at the moment, there haven't been any updates related to AY CDC’s budget specifically being used for consultants."

There haven't been any updates because no one has made a motion at a meeting. At the most recent meeting, as I wrote in March, the proposal for a potential independent consultant got bureaucratically buried by AY CDC President Marion Phillips III, an ESD executive, who said it would work by amending existing ESD contracts with law firms and environmental consultants.

Those existing consultants are the ones that have eased the project's path forward in the interest of the developer and the state.

No Site 5 update

Note: Jaiyesimi also said "There are no updates on Site 5," noting that pending litigation between original project developer Forest City Ratner and property owner P.C. Richard--which won an initial court decision requiring replacement space in the future complex--has stalled any request by the developer (now Greenland Forest City Partners) to get the site condemned to further development.

Note: the actual import of that February court decision has never been discussed by the state at Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park public meetings. In other words, they haven't said that P.C. Richard won the court ruling.

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