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

As experts ponder the "coronavirus-era office," higher costs and extra space disadvantage New York

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published Reopening the Coronavirus-Era Office: One-Person Elevators, No Cafeterias. Bottom line: everything requires more space and barriers in the social-distancing era.

That means high-rise buildings and high-priced land/buildings face a squeeze, as do co-working spaces. All of that makes office space in New York and Brooklyn less attractive than it was, and should give pause to any developer aiming to build a new office tower.

So that should hamper or suspend plans for that ambitious two-tower at Site 5 of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, as I've written. Also, presumably the level of safeguards would be different if and when a vaccine for the coronavirus is achieved.

What the office needs

On 5/6/20, Bisnow published Want To Reopen Your Office Building? Here's A Post-Pandemic Shopping List To Get Ready. The list includes:
  • Hand Sanitizer Dispensers
  • Touchless Doors and Faucets
  • Thermal Scanners
  • Plexiglass Partitions
  • Floor-Marking Tape
  • Extra Disinfectant Wipes and Sprays
  • Extra Masks and Gloves
  • Ultraviolet Light Sources
Elevators and confined spaces

It's possible that elevators are of less concern. In Planetizen yesterday, Michael Lewyn wrote Elevators Are Not the Villain, arguing that statistics show that neighborhoods with many elevators don't necessarily have more infections.

In a widely discussed post on coronavirus risks Erin Bromage, a Comparative Immunologist and Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, warned that the issue is "viral exposure over an extended period of time."

That means:
"Indoor spaces, with limited air exchange or recycled air and lots of people, are concerning from a transmission standpoint. We know that 60 people in a volleyball court-sized room (choir) results in massive infections. Same situation with the restaurant and the call center. Social distancing guidelines don't hold in indoor spaces where you spend a lot of time, as people on the opposite side of the room were infected.
That doesn't necessarily indict elevators:
Interestingly, even though there were considerable interaction between workers on different floors of the building in elevators and the lobby, the outbreak was mostly limited to a single floor.
Then again, that won't necessarily convince office operators and landlords, at least for the near term.