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

New ventilation structures in southeast block commercial space only partly connected to proposed new commercial use

The is the sixth of multiple articles about the 7/16/19 Quality of Life meeting, which focused on proposed modifications to the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Modified General Project Plan (MGPP), none of which were said to trigger further official review. The first article concerned plans for a 100,000 square-foot below-grade fitness facility. The second concerned a cut in parking. The third concerned a cut in bike parking. The fourth concerned modifications to the B5 tower design. The fifth concerned a cut in the North-South walkway width. The seventh concerned a swap in square footage and a change in the design guidelines. The eighth concerned updates on infrastructure work and the fate of Site 5.

As I wrote last week, changes to "Ventilation Structures in Open Space" implied there would be multiple structures rather than the single one indicated in the space concept plan, by Thomas Balsley (below), which showed a "lantern/exhaust" at #20, as annotated, at the northwest intersection of Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street, within the railyard.

Indeed, there will be--more "lanterns," and more separate structures

From 2015 presentation by Thomas Balsley. note #20: "lantern/exhaust"

In fact, Tobi Jaiyesimi, Atlantic Yards project director for Empire State Development, which oversee/shepherds the project, indicated that there would be multiple such structures for venting over the railyard, once a platform is built between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue.

At the southeast block

Separately, up for the discussion at the meeting were two structures on the southeast block of the project, terra firma, one between 535 Carlton (B14) and the upcoming B13 and one between 550 Vanderbilt (B11) and the upcoming B12. (See schematic above.) The new buildings would both be built by TF Cornerstone, which has leased land from master developer Greenland Forest City Partners.

One would be located at the playground between B14 and B13, and the other at the "plaza" between B11 and B12, as indicated in the image below.
From Quality of Life Meeting presentation

The structures would have a seated area and interactive feature, as indicated in the gauzy image below. They don't diminish the open space or total square footage, we were told, but apparently the obstruction must be permitted by a change in the design guidelines.

The eastern structure (left) would be at the plaza. The western structure would be at the playground.
From Quality of Life Meeting presentation
"Part of what would be vented would be exhaust from the buildings' garage," Jaiyesimi said, noting that there would not be an adverse impact on air quality--a statement that drew some skepticism.

Are these vent structures in any way connected to the proposed new commercial use below grade, 100,000 square feet for a fitness center and fieldhouse?

"A small percentage," said Jaiyesimi.

"The vast majority, over 90%, of any continuous exhaust is solely due to parking," said TF Cornerstone's Amir Stein. "The reason for the massive size of these things… in the event of a fire, it’s to purge smoke from anything below grade… would have to evacuate building, and open space
it's really just a safety issue."

(Afterward, he said the dimensions would be 186 square feet and 300 square feet.)

He said the fitness center's exhaust would be "louvered out through different means" through the building.

Those planned "lanterns"

At a 2015 public presentation, excerpted below, Balsley said designers have "proposed a series of what we call urban lanterns," structures like shelters or gazebos that can be used as a kiosks or to house ventilation for the platform over the railyard below. There apparently will be at least two, likely more.

So that concept plan up top was not exactly precise.


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