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

"Pacific Park’s biggest tower to date tops out"--looking behind the press announcement

B4 nearly topped out Nov. 20
Photo: Norman Oder
Pacific Park’s biggest tower to date tops out
, Real Estate Weekly reported yesterday, based on a press release regarding the 511-foot tower at the northeast corner of the arena block--or, alternatively, the southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and Pacific street. 

Most is from the press release (bottom). From Real Estate Weekly:
Greenland Forest City Partners and The Brodsky Organization have topped off 18 Sixth Avenue in Brooklyn, the largest of the Pacific Park apartment towers on the 22-acre development rising over LIRR’s Atlantic Yards.

The tower – known at parcel B4 – features 858 apartments, including 258 affordable units, and is expected to open next year.

“The topping off of 18 Sixth Avenue is another major milestone for Pacific Park,” said Scott Solish, Executive Vice President of Development at Greenland Forest City Partners. “Pacific Park is a landmark project for Brooklyn and New York City, and the progress at 18 Sixth Avenue demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing modern affordable housing and delivering a transformative mixed-use project for all New Yorkers.”

“The Brodsky Organization is delighted to see the topping out of 18 Sixth Avenue, the ongoing progress of Pacific Park, and proud to play a role in keeping New York’s economy moving safely during this challenging year,” said Dean Amro, principal at The Brodsky Organization.
(Emphases added)

Note that "Atlantic Yards" was the branding name, from original developer Forest City Ratner, for the 22-acre project, which would involve development over--or, technically, at grade in--the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Vanderbilt Yard, sometimes described informally as the Atlantic Avenue railyard or the Atlantic railyards.

But the "22-acre development" is not "rising over LIRR’s Atlantic Yards," nor over the Vanderbilt Yard. The B4 tower is being built below-grade in what was the railbed. 

Because the railyard function has been moved to the east, there was no need to build the expensive platform that would serve as a precursor for the development over two blocks of the railyard to the east, with each block involving three towers.

Also note this new phrase to me: "modern affordable housing." I suspect that's an alternative for a more candid, and more clunky, phrase: "new-but-not-very-affordable income-linked housing."

The project's future

From the article:
Decades in the making, Pacific Park will ultimately include 15 high-rise towers with 6,430 units of housing, including 2,250 units of affordable housing, office space, shops, community facilities and eight acres of open space.

To date, four towers have been built: 550 Vanderbilt, a luxury condominium designed by COOKFOX Architects; 535 Carlton and 38 Sixth, two 100 percent all affordable rental buildings offering nearly 600 rental units; and 461 Dean, the tallest modular building in the world.

Designed by architecture firm Perkins Eastman and located on the corner of 6th and Atlantic avenues, 18 Sixth Avenue is over 500 ft. tall.

The Brodsky Organization also recently topped off construction at 662 Pacific Street (parcel B15), which includes a mixed-income rental residential building and a new public school.
Yes, Pacific Park is supposed to include at 15 towers with at least 6,430 apartments, but it's not guaranteed that it will be completed.

Project components

From the article:
Among the retail and community tenants already operating at Pacific Park are BKLYN CLAY, Brooklyn’s largest ceramics studio, at 535 Carlton; Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream at 550 Vanderbilt; and New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital’s medical center that recently opened at 38 Sixth Avenue.

Pacific Park also features a new storage and maintenance facility for the Long Island Railroad, new rail access to and from the Atlantic Terminal station and improvements to the infrastructure network in the surrounding area.

The site is anchored by the sports and entertainment arena Barclays Center and Atlantic Terminal Transit Hub along the Atlantic Avenue corridor.
Note that the Atlantic Terminal Transit Hub, involving the Long Island Rail Road terminus in Brooklyn, is located under the very large Atlantic Terminal mall, across broad Atlantic Avenue.

The Atlantic Av-Barclay Ctr subway hub, which is connected below-grade to the LIRR terminal, at its eastern end has an exit to the plaza outside the entrance to the arena. So they're connected--at least if you pay subway fare--but most Barclays Center visitors who arrive by train must cross Atlantic Avenue.

Note that the official Pacific Park public relations fact sheet, uploaded in January 2017, states that the project includes "a new subway entrance to the Atlantic Terminal Transit Hub, the third largest hub in the City." But it didn't say that the site is anchored by the transit hub. But the new press release does.

Timing details: platform

From Real Estate Weekly:
Greenland Forest City Partners, which controls development rights to many of the complex’s building sites, told Empire State Development in August that it hoped to start work on the platform over the site’s sunken LIRR train yard before the end of this year. The platform will help support three towers, known as B5, B6, and B7, between Sixth and Carlton avenues and Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street.
(Emphasis added)

That was not in the press release, and it's not correct. Master developer Greenland Forest City Partners, which controls all future development rights unless it has leased sites (so far, to The Brodsky Organization and TF Cornerstone), made its statement Empire State Development in May 2020, as I reported in August.

There's no evidence that platform work will start within the next month. As I wrote 11/18/19, a New York Post article from 9/30/19, Brooklyn’s Pacific Park moves to fast track cited an announcement by Greenland Forest City Partners that it would start construction of the platform in 2020.

No other details were offered. In my November 2019 post, I reported that the developer expected the first platform segment, on Block 1120, to take three years, starting in early 2020 and with completion targeted for December 2022. It would span Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, and between Sixth and Carlton avenues.

That didn't happen, of course.

Timing details: affordable housing

From Real Estate Weekly:
Greenland previously reached a deal with the city and state to complete all of the affordable units at the project by 2025.
That wasn't in the press release, either.

Actually, that June 2014 deal was reached by original developer Forest City Ratner, before it sold 70% of the project going forward to Greenland USA. (Later, after developing three towers jointly--and after Forest City developed the B2/461 Dean Street tower itself--Forest City sold all buy 5% of the project going forward to Greenland.)

In fact, the affordable housing deal was reached as an informal precondition to the sale, since a threatened lawsuit about delayed affordable housing might have interfered with the sale.

Other coverage

Shorter versions of the press announcement also appear in Connect NY and New York Business Journal

How many construction jobs?

Note that the statement below about how B4 construction "created more than 500 construction jobs." I'm not sure whether that means job-years, or whether 500 people got work--or are expected to get work--of some duration. 

Or, for that matter, whether it's simply calculated by spending, as in EB-5 investor visa math. I queried the developer's p.r. spokesman, but didn't get an answer.

The press release

Greenland Forest City Partners and The Brodsky Organization Announce Topping Off of 18 Sixth Avenue at Pacific Park

Pacific Park’s largest residential building will deliver 258 units of affordable housing

DECEMBER 3, 2020 (NEW YORK, NY) – Greenland Forest City Partners and The Brodsky Organization today announced the topping off of construction at 18 Sixth Avenue (parcel B4) at Pacific Park, the new 22-acre mixed-use neighborhood in the heart of Brooklyn. The milestone comes on schedule despite the pandemic and created more than 500 construction jobs. Pacific Park’s largest residential building will deliver 858 mixed-income residential units, including 258 units of affordable housing.

“The topping off of 18 Sixth Avenue is another major milestone for Pacific Park,” said Scott Solish, Executive Vice President of Development at Greenland Forest City Partners. “Pacific Park is a landmark project for Brooklyn and New York City, and the progress at 18 Sixth Avenue demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing modern affordable housing and delivering a transformative mixed-use project for all New Yorkers.”

“The Brodsky Organization is delighted to see the topping out of 18 Sixth Avenue, the ongoing progress of Pacific Park, and proud to play a role in keeping New York’s economy moving safely during this challenging year,” said Dean Amro, principal at The Brodsky Organization. “Along with our investment at 662 Pacific Street, we are proud to bring much-needed affordable housing and a public school to this community.”

“The topping out of 18 Sixth Avenue is a tremendous milestone at Pacific Park Brooklyn. Our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that work continued this year safely and productively, helping to create hundreds of jobs when New York needs them the most,” said Jay Badame, President of AECOM Tishman, the Construction Manager on the project.

Soaring over 500 feet tall, 18 Sixth Avenue offers sweeping 360-degree views of Brooklyn. Designed by global architecture firm Perkins Eastman, the residence will bring unparalleled amenities to its over 800 mixed-income residential units. Located on 6th Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, 18 Sixth Avenue will be a dynamic addition to the ever-changing Brooklyn skyline. The Brodsky Organization has also recently topped off construction at 662 Pacific Street (parcel B15), which includes a mixed-income rental residential building and a new public school.

To date, Pacific Park has four completed residential buildings: 550 Vanderbilt, a luxury condominium designed by COOKFOX Architects; 535 Carlton and 38 Sixth, two 100 percent all affordable rental buildings offering nearly 600 rental units; and 461 Dean, the tallest modular building in the world. In addition, innovative retail brands and community facilities have opened outposts across Pacific Park, including BKLYN CLAY, Brooklyn’s largest ceramics studio, at 535 Carlton; Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream at 550 Vanderbilt; and New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital’s medical center that recently opened at 38 Sixth Avenue.

In total, Pacific Park will offer 6,430 units of housing, including 2,250 units of affordable housing, as well as office space, neighborhood retail, community facilities and eight acres of publicly accessible open space. Pacific Park also features substantial infrastructure improvements including a new storage and maintenance facility for the Long Island Railroad, new rail access to and from the Atlantic Terminal station and significant improvements to the infrastructure network in the surrounding area. The site is anchored by the sports and entertainment arena Barclays Center and Atlantic Terminal Transit Hub along the Atlantic Avenue corridor.

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