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

Local questions at community meeting: street trees, bike racks, building management, MWBE count

This is the third of four articles on the 11/17/20 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, held on Zoom by Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project. The first focused on after-hours construction. The second concerned the big open questions about the project. The fourth concerned the Barclays Center.

Attendees raised several specific questions, and got answers.

There are two damaged street trees outside 535 Carlton Avenue and "a few" at 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, according to Greenland USA's Scott Solish, which co-developed the buildings. "Yes we are aware of them," he said. "Those are in the process of being replaced… you want to plant them at the right time."

As to the messy condition of Atlantic Avenue outside the Vanderbilt Yard, he said "we discussed it with LIRR," which owns the railyard. "We have our building staff on the lookout… We are working, along with LIRR, to keep everything as clean as possible."

As to residents' desire installing bike racks, Solish said the city Department of Transportation advised suggesting new locations via this page.

Building management

Residents raised questions about management at the 535 Carlton "100% affordable" rental building, where one resident--at an earlier community meeting--described "a revolving door."

Solish said the same company, Pinnacle, continues to manage that building and the similar 38 Sixth Avenue, but "there was a change in the district manager," who left in May and, given the pandemic, it "took a little longer than we expected" to find a replacement.

MWBE fuzziness

A representative of Rep. Yvette Clarke asked for a "final count" of MWBE (minority and women's business enterprises) contractors. 

"It’s never final," Solish responded. "We supply our reports to ESDC"--Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority overseeing/shepherding the project"--"as part of their monitoring of state goals."

Note that those reports are typically not made public--here's coverage in 2012-- so we don't know how well the goals are being met.

Praise for retail tenants

One resident commented that the retail tenants at 535 Carlton and 550 Vanderbilt have been great neighbors during the pandemic. 

"That warms my heart," Solish said, noting the businesses had taken big risks and been "hit pretty hard when COVID started."