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

2010 document cites milestones regarding crucial MTA platform, including notices and schedules (which we haven't learned about)

On Tuesday 1/28/20 is the bimonthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, where attendees often get an update on project plans, and get to hear from representatives of the state and the developer, plus--occasionally--other city agencies.

One big question: when will the B12 and B13 towers start?

A bigger question: what's the plan to build the platform over Block 1120, between Sixth and Carlton avenues and Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue? It's supposed to start this year, but we don't have a schedule nor a time estimate (though I reported in November that documents estimated the first phase of the platform would take three years).

Another big question: does developer Greenland Forest City Partners plan to meet the requirement to build 2250 units of affordable housing by 2025 by building three 50% affordable towers, as one state document indicates? If not, does it plan a 100% affordable tower?

And how do they plan to fund that housing, and the platform, as Gib Veconi asked? (Could EB-5 funding be used, were the program made more attractive to developers? After all, it was used for Hudson Yards.)

One general caveat for Atlantic Yards: everything takes longer than expected. Given the past pattern, what reason have we to think the platform would go quickly, or smoothly?

Looking for more on the platform

A few clues regarding the platform may come from a nine-year-old document. It was prepared for the legal battle over whether New York State properly studied the impact of the Development Agreement (which gave the developer 25 years to build the project) and MTA agreement (which gave 20-21 years to pay for public land) on its continued use of a ten-year buildout to assess the project when it was re-approved in 2009.

The document (bottom) is the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC, now simply ESD) response to state Supreme Court’s November 9, 2010 Order to make findings on the impact of those two agreements.

In hindsight, the state's judgement seems absurd:
Based on its assessment of market demand, ESDC concluded in 2009 that it was reasonable to assume that the demand for the Project’s residential units will be sufficiently robust to allow the Project to be constructed on FCRC’s 10-year construction schedule, which the Final Environmental Impact Statement (“FEIS”) had used in 2006 to assess the environmental impacts of the Project under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”).
At the same time, in 2009, ESDC acknowledged that the 10-year construction schedule could be delayed for years in the event of prolonged poor market or general economic conditions
But ESDC concluded that the potential for delay did not require or warrant the preparation of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), which was ultimately ordered by the court.

Regarding the platform

Within that document are some clues regarding the future platform, including mention of the Air Space Parcel Development Agreement, which allows work on the platform to be “commenced, performed and completed” within up to three separate “Platform Construction Periods,” with the work within each phase being “designed, constructed and completed as a single coordinated development.” Those periods can overlap.

With respect to design and planning prior to construction, it provides for several documents, including delivery to MTA of a “Platform Construction Period Notice,” and various stages of plans (30%, 60%, 90%, and 100%) which require LIRR comments.

A "preliminary milestone schedule," which includes the schedule for requested track outages, goes to the LIRR, and gets refined.

What starts the work, and what keeps it going?

The MTA Parties deliver a “Release to Proceed” to allow construction work to start, as long as certain conditions are satisfied, including evidence of financing, a “Platform Completion Guaranty,” and performance bonds.

If the developer does not meet the Baseline Construction Schedule, the MTA may seek remedies, including liquidated damages. The developer must pay the LIRR to dedicate personnel to certain tasks.

The Air Space Development Agreement ultimately includes an Air Space Subparcel Owners Association that establishes a reserve fund for ongoing platform maintenance, with $3,300,000 to start.

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