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

Though a variety of changes are looming, Pacific Park lobbying seems to focus on Site 5 and B4; L&L MAG no longer contracted

Well, now we know several changes, likely some of them significant, are planned for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, including larger (likely) buildings, less car and bike parking, design changes, and a narrowing of an open space path. We'll learn more at a meeting Tuesday.

Interestingly enough, those issues are not at the forefront of project-related lobbying.

At least according to 2019 city lobbying files (bottom), the most important projects to Greenland Forest City Partners are the B4 tower, aka 18 Sixth Avenue, which is rising at the northeast corner of the arena block, and the yet-to-be approved (or even formally advanced) plan for a giant two-tower project Site 5, currently home to Modell's and P.C. Richard.

Consider the two main contracts from entities building the project are for B4 and Site 5, at bottom. For B4, Pacific Park Development LLC is paying Kasirer LLC $4,000 a month. For Site 5, Atlantic Yards Venture LLC is paying Kasirer the same sum.

The scope of services is the same, and similarly general, including engaging with elected and government officials, engaging with city agencies, monitoring legislation, engaging with the governor's office, and networking.

Moving bulk from the unbuilt B1 tower (aka "Miss Brooklyn") to Site 5 will require a new process to modify the project's guiding General Project Plan. That's a lot of lobbying.

The law firm Fried Frank is also hired to lobby regarding "various land use matters" on behalf of Atlantic Yards Venture, at its staff's regular billing rates, regarding 617 Pacific Street (aka the Site 5 project).

What's unclear is why Greenland Forest City nees to lobby regarding B4; are changes planned?

What about upcoming changes?

Why is no one (reportedly) lobbying regarding B12 and B15, for example, two towers slated to see changes in bulk?

Unclear, but maybe such changes simply come out of the developer's regularly interaction with Empire State Development, which oversees and shepherds the project.

No L&L MAG contract any more

Documents no longer suggest that L&L MAG, co-led by former Forest City New York head MaryAnne Gilmartin, is representing Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. As I wrote in May, at the recent Quality of Life meeting, Greenland USA's Scott Solish was asked if L&L MAG--which, in 2018, was said to be representing Forest City--was still involved.

"Not as—not on an active, day-to-day, basis, but we still communicate with them," Solish said. In 2018, L&L MAG's Ashley Cotton, formerly of Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York, appeared at several public meetings.

What does L&L MAG's do?, Solish was asked. "They represent Forest City and Brookfield for certain aspects of the project," Solish said,

That's by no means clear. The city's lobbying database, as shown in the screenshot below, shows that L&L MAG had Forest City for a client in 2018 (paid $11,070), but not this year. It does not currently have Brookfield as a client. Nor does the state lobbying database show those connections.

Who do they lobby? A lot of people

In the May-June 2019 period, Kasirer reported lobbying, on behalf of Site 5, lobbying a large number of officials, including:
  • Assemblymembers Walter T. Mosley and Jo Anne Simon
  • Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
  • Brooklyn BP Eric Adams
  • DCP Chair Marisa Lago
  • DPR Commissioner Mitchell Silver
  • DOT Polly Trottenberg
  • EDC President James Patchett
  • NYS DPS Chair John Rhodes
  • Council Members Laurie Cumbo, Brad Lander, Stephen Levin
  • NYC DOB Commissioner Thomas Fariello/Melanie LaRocca
  • HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll
One interesting name: John Rhodes, chair of the Public Service Commission. They must be interested in utility rates. That said, Kasirer's lobbying on behalf of B4 involved pretty much the same people.

Other lobbying

This year Fried Frank represents TF Cornerstone, which next year likely will start to Pacific Park towers, on Long Island City issues. Perhaps next year their contract scope will expand.

Kasirer also represented L&L MAG through March 2019, though there's no indication that that had anything to do with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park.

Kasirer also represents Brookfield, at $15,000 a month; that company, which last year absorbed Forest City Realty Trust, has a large array of properties in the city. So it's possible, though by no means clear, that Kasirer now represents the Forest City interests in Greenland Forest City Partners.

"TF Cornerstone 2019 Authori... by on Scribd