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Showing posts from June, 2019

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

Flashback, 2006: "It would not be appropriate to locate Building 1 elsewhere on the project site since other locations... do not provide a location at a major commercial and transit crossroads."

Given tonight's open meeting, What's Next for Atlantic Yards (and more coverage here), it's worth looking back on some official documentation regarding Site 5, currently home to Modell's and P.C. Richard across Flatbush Avenue from the arena block.

After all, it's widely expected that developer Greenland Forest City Partners will seek a change in the project's guiding General Project Plan--requiring a public approval process--to move most of the bulk from the unbuilt tower once planned for the arena plaza (aka "Miss Brooklyn") to create a much larger structure than previously approved.
In other words, instead of a 250-foot tower with 439,040 square feet, how about a two-tower project, with one tower rising 785 feet (as of 2016 plans), with a total of 1,141,000 square feet. That was one possibility floated in 2016 plans shared with the Department of City Planning but not officially advanced.

By now, their plans could be more ambitious or--not surprisin…

At Fifth and Dean near the arena, a one-time location for accountants will be home to Insomnia Cookies

Insomnia Cookies Opening First Brooklyn Outpost in Park Slope, the Commercial Observer reported 6/13/19.
That''s quite an evolution for a once-humdrum building at 32 Fifth Avenue, the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Dean Street, adjacent to Yayo's Latin Cuisine and now close to the Barclays Center.

According to the article, the bakery chain has a 10-year lease for one of the two ground-floor spaces at the double-wide three story building, which was marketed for $7.5 million, sold for $6.6 million in November 2015, and then went through a $3 million gut renovation. Such spending means they're not looking for mom-and-pop businesses.

(The previous loft owners were bought out in August 2013 for a collective $5 million, if I'm reading the city's property records correctly.)
Though asking rent exceeded $150 per square foot, according to the article, no contract rent was announced. Shake Shack and other new food purveyors are nearby. According to Bklyner last mon…

Barclays Center offering free afternoon concerts at (not always public) Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza


The Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza will host six free concerts from 4 to 7 pm on Thursdays and Friday. The Summer Sessions events will be free, starting with a DJ set before a featured artist. A series of rotating food trucks will offer food and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase.
FR, June 21: Donwill / Nappy NinaFR, July 12: Niara Sterling/Andy Suzuki & The MethodTH, July 25: DJ GETLIVE!/Meridian LightsFR, Aug. 2: MICK/TBAFR, Aug. 16: Luna RĂ³sa/LohaiTH, Aug. 29 4-7PM TBA/TBA TBA = featured artists to be announced at a later date.

About that plaza

Note that the plaza is an often publicly accessible place but not quite a public place; I wrote in May that security guards ejected my small tour group, and arena operators regularly use the plaza to hawk event-related merchandise. And, of course, it has a naming rights partner.

"We're very excited …

Newly acquired 2016 document offers hint on developer strategy for massive Site 5 project: larger building = solution; also, potential bulk shift to enlarge railyard towers?

At the What's Next for Atlantic Yards public discussion next Monday (see more here on timeline and ownership issues), one topic surely will be the future of Site 5, currently home to P.C. Richard and Modell's but long slated for something bigger or, perhaps, much bigger.

As I wrote in July 2016 for City Limits, developer Greenland Forest City Partners has floated--but not yet implemented--plans to shift most (but likely not all) of the bulk of the unbuilt "Miss Brooklyn" tower--once planned for Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, now site of the arena plaza--across Flatbush to Site 5.

That would super-size the tower already approved there--to a potential Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 23.5, nearly double that of the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning. (FAR is a multiple of bulk compared to lot coverage.) It also would preserve the plaza, an important safety valve for arena operations.
Several proposed modifications--including the bulk transfer and change of use--would require a publi…

After SLA suspends Woodland's liquor license and pushes for revocation, venue gets a stay; charges of unfair treatment (and disruptive behavior)

Update 6/14/19: Bklyner reports that the State Liquor Authority on June 18 will hold a hearing on the more serious charges outlined in the press release, including “permitting dancing, contrary to application,” permitting the premises to “become disorderly,” and “the occurrence of noise, disturbance, misconduct or disorder in the licensed premises, in front of or adjacent to the licensed premises…” which resulted in the location “becoming a focal point for police attention.”

Also, the State Liquor Authority has filed forceful response papers to the Woodland legal papers.

The popular (and controversial) Flatbush Avenue bar-restaurant Woodland, known for long bottomless mimosa brunches attracting a fashionable black millennial crowd--and some fraction of disruptive behavior from over-imbibers, neighbors say--saw its liquor license suspended last week by the State Liquor Authority (SLA).

But Woodland quickly got a court order for a stay, so it can sell liquor during the interim at Flatbus…

Revisiting the RPA's Next New York recommendations from 2012: not much improvement for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park (third party monitor?)

Now that Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has multiple new owners and leaseholders (FAQ here), and residents are trying to assess the project's progress and future, it's worth revising the May 2012 recommendations from the Regional Plan Association (RPA), in "Building the Next New York: Recommendations for Large Real Estate Projects." (The press release is here, and the report's embedded at bottom.)

As I wrote at the time, "the RPA's recommendations for mega-projects implies avoidance of Atlantic Yards pattern, though the report suggests no verdict yet on project." (Former head Robert Yaro later wrote that the RPA not only saw the Atlantic Yards site as appropriate for a big project, it also recognized it couldn't  fight the mayor.)

The most important recommendation, I think, was for an independent, third-party project monitor for costs and benefits. That, of course, hasn't happened.

The RPA is a business-funded, mainstream group, which opposed …

Next Monday, an open meeting: What's Next for Atlantic Yards? (I'll be a presenter)

The Fort Greene Association sent out a message for its June Open Meeting, which features a public discussion, What's Next for Atlantic Yards?, co-hosted by the Boerum Hill Association, North Flatbush BID, and the North Prospect Heights Association.
I will be among the presenters. I expect the schematic map below will be distributed.

The event will be Monday, June 17, 2019, 7 to 9 pm, at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (S. Oxford Entrance), 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn. Among the questions posed:
Why is Atlantic Yards in the news again?What is the timeline for additional affordable housing?When do we get the “Park” in Pacific Park?Who is in charge of Atlantic Yards now?How can the community have input on this project? Do note: some of these questions don't have clear answers, and there's no dramatic "reveal" planned, as far as I know. This is more an update for those who haven't been following closely. From the announcement text:
The future of Atlantic…

A day's notice for night work tonight and tomorrow (Vanderbilt Avenue, track work)

Yesterday at 5:24 pm, Empire State Development circulated a supplement (below) to the Atlantic Yards Project construction activity update. While that two-week update, circulated just last Friday, disclosed various night and weekend work--more transparency than in previous weeks--it did not mention either the possibility of or the plan for work tonight and tomorrow night.

From the document:

On Tuesday, June 11 and Wednesday June 12, the contractor will conduct striping of Vanderbilt Avenue in between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street during the second shift.On Wednesday, June 12, during the second shift, the Contractor will continue backfilling operations in the Yard for Tracks 1 and 2. This will include some truck activity in the B12 area. Appropriate dust and noise mitigation measures will be taken during for these supplemental activities. Note: the hours for the "second shift" were not specified, but that is typically between 3 pm and 11 pm or 4 pm and 12 am.

Walk-ins Welcome. No fee. Stop by 535 Carlton, you might find an apartment.

Well, just in case you're looking for a two-bedroom apartment--or maybe just visiting BKLYN CLAY--and happen to be at the corner of Dean Street and Carlton Avenue, be advised: two-bedroom apartments are supposedly available, with "prices starting at $3,223," according to a sign. "Walk-ins welcome." (The photo was taken on my last visit, about a week ago.)

Actually, if you look at the 535 Carlton web site, there's no currently available apartment, but last week a one-bedroom was available for $2,720.20. See screenshot below.  (The building is "100% affordable," meaning income-linked, but that's a middle-income unit, and such units have been tough to find takers for.)

As of last year, when both one- and two-bedroom units were available outside the lottery--which of course delivered more than enough takers for the low- and moderate-income apartments--the one-bedrooms were renting for $2,680 and the two-bedrooms were renting for $3,223. Eligible h…

Newsday: "Racegoers [who are hockey fans!] support the Islanders' proposed new arena at Belmont Park"

Um, a Newsday article yesterday was headlined Racegoers support the Islanders' proposed new arena at Belmont Park, but, actually, it should've been "Racegoers who are already Islanders fans support..."
The gist was this: "And while there were no signs of construction on Saturday, it wasn’t hard for Islanders fans in attendance for the Belmont Stakes to imagine returning for a hockey game."
Of course. Who doesn't want an arena relatively nearby to see their favorite team.
It just so happens that pesky questions remain about the deal, the costs, and the process--plus the impact on the Nassau Coliseum.

A rising chance (if not this year) for sports betting at venues like Barclays Center

From Forbes, 6/6/19, New York Bill Could Bring Sports Betting To Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden:
In a bill amendment filed yesterday, New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who heads that chamber's Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, revised his mobile sports betting bill (S 17) to include in-person wagering at professional sports stadiums and arenas located in counties that do not have traditional gambling venues. This language appears to have been crafted with three specific venues in mind: Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center.
Specifically, the amendment restores the concept of an "affiliate"—previously defined to include horse racetracks and off-track betting (OTB) locations — that would extend sports betting (presently confined to four upstate casinos) to other locations throughout New York State. The reason it would work at those venues is there are no other gambling facilities (like racetracks) in those counties. (Presumably oper…

From the latest Construction Update: expect (noisy) Saturday work all year at B15 and B4 sites

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, June 10, was holiday), was circulated at 5:08 pm yesterday (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.

There are some contrasts from the previous update, notably long-term Saturday work at the two parcels where excavation and foundation work proceeds before vertical construction, B15 (664 Pacific) and B4 (18 Sixth). From the document:
Saturday work permit applications will be submitted to DOB [Department of Buildings] each week through the end of the calendar year for ongoing foundation and construction work. If received, residents should expect site work between the hours of 9 am – 5 pm. On the one hand, that's progress in transparency, given a previous pattern of belated or incomplete disclosures of such noisy, disruptive work. On the other, it's hardly clear that this is needed for "public safety," as…