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

At Quality of Life meeting, no news about Site 5 and B5/platform development, but two towers (B4, B15) rising steadily

This is the first of three posts on the 7/21/20 Quality of Life meeting, sponsored by Empire State Development (ESD). The second concerned Barclays Center issues. The third concerned the B12 and B13 sites.

The news from last night's meeting is that there is no big news. Several big questions remain pending.

For example, Tobi Jaiyesimi, Atlantic Yards project director for ESD, said they have no updates on plans for development at Site 5 catercorner to the arena block, currently home to Modell's and P.C. Richard, and proposed for a giant two-tower project.

"There are no updates on the Site 5 condemnation," she said, which has not moved ahead, nor updates on the litigation between P.C. Richard, which won a preliminary ruling ordering original developer Forest City Ratner to deliver replacement space in a future building.

Nor are there any updates on plans to build B5, the first tower over the railyard, for which permits have been submitted (but not finalized), nor plans to build the first phase of the two-phase platform over the railyard, which is required for six towers.

From meeting presentation, B4 at right, B15 at left
A question I submitted about how developer Greenland Forest City Partners (GFCP) plans to meet the requirement of 2,250 affordable units by 2025 was ignored.

Two towers rising

Scott Solish of GFCP noted significant vertical progress on the B4 (18 Sixth) and B15 (664 Pacific, 37 Sixth) towers.

While in June, according to slides he showed, B4 was at the 8th floor and B15 was at the 10th floor, now B4 is at about the 21st floor, topping out in September or October (at 51 stories), while B15 is at the 24th floor, expected to top out in the next few weeks (at 28 stories).

Units will not be marketed, he said, until closer to the opening of units in 2021 or 2022. Note that the middle-school in the base of B15 is not expected to open until 2023.

There was no announcement about the level of affordability in each building, which will contain 30% affordable units, two-thirds or all--at least according to extant tax breaks--of which will be middle income.

Note: construction on the B12 and B13 sites has not actually started; I'll write more about those towers in another post.

Neighborhood issues

"As it relates to NYPD barricades" in Prospect Heights on blocks leading to the arena and the 78th Precinct, "please note that the ESD and the developer do not inform NYPD operations," she said. "But the details and the concerns that have come in have been submitted to the 78th Precinct. We’ve expressed your concerns as it relates to duration and placement" of the barricades.

Jaiyesimi noted question with regard to sanitation and street cleaning on Carlton Avenue between Dean and Pacific streets. "As a result of pandemic, the city has had a temporary pause on street cleaning," she said. "I believe that has restarted this week, on a limited schedule. We will follow up with Department of Sanitation."

Workers using arena?

Jaiyesimi cited a question regarding whether or not construction workers from the B4 and B15, who lack places to eat lunch and have been seen in the neighborhood without masks, could use part of the Barclays Center--presumably the entrance on Sixth Avenue--as a rest area.

Rather than let arena spokeswoman Mandy Gutmann respond, Jaiyesimi said, without elaboration, “At the moment, the workers will not be utilizing the arena as a rest or eating area.”

Railyard substantially complete, almost

Solish, responding to focused questions about the number of items in the revamped railyard that qualified contractually as Substantial Completion, said all but two items have been signed off as that status, that they are expected to be done soon.

At that point, the developer can work on getting a letter indicating Substantial Completion from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and later Final Completion.

Sticker program

Asked about the demise of the program identifying project workers by sticker, introduced after instances of harassment, Solish said there was no plan to resume it. "At the time, there were 5 different projects, actually six if you the include green roof," he said, and there were four different construction managers.

"At this time, there are just two projects overseen by the same construction manager," he said, in a reference to the B4 and B15 projects. "We continue to stress importance of being a good neighbor."

That said, a new cohort of workers is expected very soon at the eastern end of the site, as the b12 and B13 projects ramp up.

The logic is not completely clear. Is it assumed that a concern about any construction worker(s) could be easily resolved?

ESD monitoring?

Will ESD's project monitors track worker compliance with masks and social distancing?

"It is not within scope of work of ESD’s monitors" to track such compliance, Jaiyesimi said. Of course, that's because contracts were written before the pandemic.

Not much change on meeting protocols

Unlike with the first virtual meeting, ESD this time did distribute a vague agenda, listing the presenters but nothing more.

Jaiyesimi did announce there were 41 attendees, including representatives of Council Member Laurie Cumbo, Assmblymembers Walter Mosley and Jo Anne Simon, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, and Comptroller Scott Stringer. However, the names of participants was not shared.

Questions were accepted only in writing, so no one could verbally ask follow-up questions. Some follow-up questions were accepted by chat, but the format distinctively served the presenters, as I'll explain. We were unable to see the questions posed by others, or know whether questions were fully answered.

Future meetings

Until further notice, future meetings will be held virtually.

The next two meetings are on 9/15/20 and 11/17/20.


  1. The 3 main incomes they should be working on is extreme, very low, and low income units, then deal with the moderate and up incomes


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