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Showing posts from 2021

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

Public space, private use: how Barclays Center relies on parking in Atlantic Avenue drop-off lane and Dean Street sidewalk

As I wrote last month, when asked if the Barclays Center had been granted permission for "combat parking" on Atlantic Avenue where there is a “No Standing Anytime” sign, the response from Empire State Development, the state authority that oversees/shepherds the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project  was: There has been no formal permission granted for parking along Atlantic Avenue. Parking signage is regulated by NYC Department of Transportation and enforced by the NYPD. But the informal permission continues, as shown in the photos I took last Thursday around the arena.  While it's true that drivers can't continue in the drop-off lane, or even the next lane--to which the parked cars extend--because they're ultimately blocked by the construction of the B4 tower, the drop-off lane has long been used for parking. Moreover, that casual flouting of the law--crucial to arena operations, it seems--has consequences. As shown in the photo below, parked cars block a fire hyd

With more (and more complicated) options this election, fewer endorsements from the Times (and others?)

I'm curious: will NYC editorial boards offer multiple, RCV endorsements for Mayor? For other citywide races? For BPs and Council? (You'll need more space, but I hope so: it helps frame strengths/weaknesses) @MaraGay @nahmias @SquarePegDem — Norman Oder (@AYReport) April 13, 2021 No response. And then... "Well-read Manhattanites will have to decide for themselves." — @JCColtin , Campaign Confidential — Rachel Holliday Smith (@rachelholliday) April 14, 2021 There are hundreds of candidates for NYC City Council and it’d be hard for the NY Times to interview even half of them. But we’re about to replace almost the entire city govt! The Times edit board could make a bigger impact in these races than on e.g. the presidential primary. — Seth Pollack (@sethmpk) April 15, 2021 I appreciated that they endorsed most IDC challengers in 2018. good things can happen when they deign to engage with local issues! — Seth Po

Ok, My Chemical Romance tour stopping at Barclays Center pushed back a second time, to 2022. Other postponements coming?

Earlier this week, I wrote that the Barclays Center was selling tickets to some scheduled musical performances, but also that a music booker  said that tours won't run until venues are at 100% of capacity. Indeed, My Chemical Romance, previously scheduled for a 9/11/21 performance at Barclays, will be pushed back exactly a year, with tickets to the original show honored.  Presumably they projected that their tour would not be able to perform at capacity, and recognized the enduring risks, stating , "We just want to be as sure as we can be that everyone is safe." This, actually, has been a double postponement , first from 2020 to 2021, then from 2021 to 2022. Stay tuned to see if the first listed Barclays show, Justin Bieber on 7/20/21 , actually goes forward.

From the latest Construction Update: more overnight/weekend work (but not noisy) at the Vanderbilt Yard, starting Monday. After-hours work 7 am today at B12/B13.

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning April 19 was circulated yesterday at 12:35 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.  From Monday April 19 though Friday April 30, according to the Update, the Long Island Rail Road has "has tentatively scheduled track alignment and geometry testing and verification of the recently completed Yard Storage Tracks."  This would presumably achieve Final Completion and make it easier for developer Greenland Forest City Partners to advance plans, presuming they're The wor--not expected to be noisy or disruptive--is expected to be done during nights and weekends when trains are not present in the Yard. But the specific dates aren't certain, because the work depends on availability of personnel and equipment. Ther was no mention of overnight track remediation work, scheduled to last through at least this weekend and

Nassau County Executive calls for 50% arena capacity. Concert booker says tours won't run until venues are at 100%. So stay tuned.

As I've recently written, there's a lot of uncertainty about venue capacity as vaccinations for COVID-19 ramp up, and there are no tickets yet for New York Liberty games at Barclays Center, and (seemingly) tight capacity for some other events . Well, it must be a moving target. As Patch reported yesterday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran called for 50% capacity at the Nassau Coliseum for New York Islanders games, saying 46% of the population in the county had been vaccinated: "As you know, the Islanders are ingrained in the fabric of Long Island," Curran wrote in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "With this being the last season at the Coliseum before the big move to Belmont, my hope is that by increasing capacity to 50 percent, we can give more Isles fans the opportunity to safely 'Rock the Barn' one last time." Her letter cited the requirements for masks, and the use of the Excelsior Pass to register vaccinations. Still, it's not about fan

Mobile sports betting in New York State is coming, maybe by next February. NBA owners and arena operators must be pleased.

A press release yesterday from Queens state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.,  Addabbo hopes mobile sports betting begins before next year's Super Bowl , hailed legislation he championed: With New York State facing a major economic deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and witnessing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and educational funding flowing to the New Jersey and illegal sports betting markets, by legalizing mobile sports betting, New York is expected to bring in around $99 million in Fiscal Year 2021-2022. That estimated figure then jumps to approximately $357 million in FY 2022-2023, eventually reaching over $500 million in FY 2025-2026, most of which will fund education in the state. Mobile sports betting will allow people to place wagers on sporting events through their mobile phones or other internet-connected devices. Thirteen other states and Washington D.C. also have legal mobile sports betting. That, of course, can create collateral damage for gambling addicts-

WNBA's New York Liberty to open season at Barclays May 14, but tickets not available yet (because guidelines are expected to change?)

Yesterday, the WNBA released its 2021 schedule, with the 12 teams playing a 32-game season starting May 14, which is when the New York Liberty make their full-season  Barclays Center debut . As ESPN reported , WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert was asked about attendance: "I think it's right now nine of our 12 markets, but we're negotiating on the 10th because you have to negotiate locally as well as with the local health officials," Engelbert said, although the league didn't identify which markets those were. "It'll be reduced, and we're hoping as we go into the Olympic break and come off of that, maybe we can have more full arenas." Right now New York State is allowing 10% attendance, as I wrote yesterday , which suggests 1,773 max capacity at Barclays for basketball. But the arena operator and team, owned by Joe Tsai, are surely hedging their bets, since tickets are not available just yet. Surely they hope protocols will change, if not by May

Yes, the Barclays Center is selling tickets for scheduled events. Total unclear. Capacity may increase--but some seats look pretty close already.

OK, now that people are allowed back in arenas, at least in limited numbers, the Barclays Center is listing new events , but--understandably--being cagy about the precise location and number of tickets available. As of February, venues were allowed to open at 10% capacity--that's  about 1,773 for Brooklyn Nets games and up to 1,900 for concerts, according to the arena web site --but surely the Barclays Center operators are expecting bigger growds. Besides Nets games, which do not include the inevitable playoffs, right now there are nine events listed, several of which have been rescheduled. Bieber comes first The first event is the Justin Bieber World Tour , scheduled for July 20, 2021, a concert that likely would have sold out before the pandemic and surely now would benefit from the tamped-up demand built over the past year.  (That, I suspect, would outweigh the number of potential ticket-buyers still wary of attending such an event, given the youthful demographic.) Click throug

A few Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park angles on the latest Atlantic Avenue development proposals

As I noted two days ago, I'd just published an article in Bklyner, Developers Propose Two 17-Story Towers in Prospect Heights/Crown Heights. CB 8 Says Whoa, Gets Backing From Cumbo , regarding towers on Atlantic Avenue east of the recently-proposed 840 Atlantic Ave., which would be just across from the not-yet-built B10 tower of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. The 870-888 Atlantic Ave. tower would be just a few parcels east of 840 Atlantic, proposed for a site today mainly occupied by a drive-through McDonald's. All three proposals need an upzoning from the city, while Council Member Laurie Cumbo indicated willingness to modify the scale of that upzoning. Shifting perspective In the rendering below, the 175-foot tall 870-888 Atlantic looks considerably smaller than 840 Atlantic, which would be 195 feet tall but was, at least according to another rendering in the slideshow, then assumed to be 250 feet tall.  In other words, this isn't precise. There would be a greater contrast

"The Nets Are Pushing Regular Season to Its Limits," as stars haven't played together. A (cynical) NBA trend?

The Nets Are Pushing Regular Season to Its Limits , Rohan Nadkarni wrote 4/9/21 for Sports Illustrated, noting that Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving "have appeared in only 186 minutes together across seven games in 2021," likely the most extreme example of a title-contending team to wait to gel. He writes: All of this is setup for one of the most intriguing title chases in recent history. Can a team, during a pandemic-affected season with nearly no practice time, finally roll out its stars for a sustained period of time only weeks before the playoffs and still be taken seriously as a contender? Right now it’s hard to argue against the Nets. They’re the No. 1 seed in the East entering Friday despite all the injuries. Their offensive rating is the best in the NBA and would be the best in league history if it stays at 117.5. And Durant, their best player, is back on the floor after appearing in only 19 games before Wednesday’s win against the Pelicans. The reasons fo

From Bklyner: Developers Propose Two 17-Story Towers in Prospect Heights/Crown Heights. CB 8 Says Whoa, Gets Backing From Cumbo

I have an article yesterday in Bklyner, Developers Propose Two 17-Story Towers in Prospect Heights/Crown Heights. CB 8 Says Whoa, Gets Backing From Cumbo , which begins: Auguring a striking remake of dowdy, underutilized Atlantic Avenue east of Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, developers have proposed two 17-story residential towers, one nearly adjacent to the previously proposed 18-story tower planned for a site occupied mainly by a drive-through McDonald’s. Such spot rezonings, unveiled at the Community Board 8 Land Use Committee meeting on April 1, have been encouraged by the Department of City Planning (DCP) to deliver significant housing, including affordable units, in an area currently constrained by antiquated manufacturing zoning, Savvy investors have anticipated—or as one board member put it, speculated—that rezonings would boost land value. But the configuration and scale of the proposed towers—one 21% bulkier than contemplated under the Community Boa

If "Shrinking Need for Office Space Could Crush Landlords," then (I speculate) new work-from-home plan--and platform--nudged by embattled governor?

For the nth time, another warning, on today's New York Times front page,  After Pandemic, Shrinking Need for Office Space Could Crush Landlords : Businesses have discovered during the pandemic that they can function with nearly all of their workers out of the office, an arrangement many intend to continue in some form. That could wallop the big property companies that build and own office buildings — and lead to a sharp pullback in construction, steep drops in office rents, fewer people frequenting restaurants and stores, and potentially perilous declines in the tax revenue of city governments and school districts. In only a year, the market value of office towers in Manhattan, home to the country’s two largest central business districts, has plummeted 25 percent, according to city projections released on Wednesday, contributing to an estimated $1 billion drop-off in property tax revenue. Notable, the city's largest private employer, JPMorgan Chase, expects office "seats&q

At former Triangle Sports building, no retail tenant--but a James Harden billboard

Yes, there's a James Harden mural, sponsored by Adidas, getting painted across from the Barclays Center, as NetsDaily tells us . Adidas is putting up the James Harden mural across from Barclays, I can confirm. The Nets star will be featured on multiple sides of the building. — Alec Sturm (@Alec_Sturm) April 7, 2021 While it's a smart use of available space--once occupied by a Kyrie Irving mural from Nike--it's also a reminder that that seemingly valuable (and high-priced ) piece of real estate, once occupied by Triangle Sports, still hasn't worked for a retail tenant. For now, it's a well-situated billboard.

After Miami, won't more arenas devote sections limited to fully vaccinated fans? In New York, watch as state guidelines evolve.

The Brooklyn Nets already--albeit informally, since it's not on the arena web site --have announced that those who are fully vaccinated, two weeks after their second shot, need not take a COVID-19 test. Big deal! @barclayscenter will no longer require COVID-19 test if you’re “fully vaccinated.” This will encourage fans to get vaccinated. H/T to @dbearak — NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) March 26, 2021 But another trend was recently launched at American Airlines Arena in Miami, which, according to a 3/23/21 Associated Press article , announced two sections of the lower bowl dedicated to fully vaccinated fans. This allows people to sit closer together, and requires new protocols: The Heat are devoting two sections for the fully vaccinated fans, where pods of groups will be separated by just one seat. Those fans will be admitted through a separate gate and required to show their Centers for Disease Control vaccination card, or proof thereof, along with valid ident

Will sports-and-entertainment arenas get federal grants as "Shuttered Venue Operators"? Unlikely, but...

Live-event businesses will be able to apply for a relief grant program starting April 8 , the New York Times recently reported, which made me wonder: will operators of sports-and-entertainment arenas like Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program? I have no information either way--stay tuned--but the answer is.... unlikely but not impossible, at least for venues like Barclays which are not operated by publicly-traded corporations. According to the Small Business Administration : The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established through the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act to provide over $16 billion in economic relief to target industries. The SVOG application is slated to open April 8, 2021. For an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019, grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue or $10

The pre-backlash to the Nets' potential title, and the (limited) backlash to star Durant's nasty words

The Brooklyn Nets, assuming they return to full strength with Kevin Durant and James Harden back on the court--they lost yesterday with "only" Kyrie Irving--are a fearsome basketball team and clearly a title contender, perhaps a favorite. They also represent a smart, unsentimental sports entertainment corporation with global ambitions, and they have outperformed the "Manhattan Knicks" (Marty Markowitz's phrase ) not only in the league but via other metrics that measure attention. And now, even, there's a pre-backlash to their potential title. Newsday sports columnist Neil Best--who by affiliation has to feel a pull to the New York Islanders, Long Island's only team--on 4/2/21 wrote  Nets shouldn't be the team to break New York's pro title drought , arguing: But these Nets feel . . . off. Having them win it all would make for a clunky dramatic narrative. Would seeing Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden lift the trophy at Barclays Center —

Uncertainty remains regarding fan return to live sports events; music venues consolidate, with 2022 recovery expected, 2022-23 for major tours

Post-UMD poll: Fewer than half of Americans feel comfortable attending sports in person , the Washington Post reported 3/31/21: While 42 percent of Americans are comfortable attending a live, ticketed sporting event in general — compared with 40 percent who are not and 18 percent who are unsure — people say their own comfort levels vary widely based on conditions. About two-thirds say they would feel comfortable attending an outdoor event such as baseball (66 percent), but fewer than half as many (32 percent) feel comfortable attending an indoor event such as basketball. Nearly 2 in 3 people (64 percent) say they would feel comfortable if all attendees were required to wear masks, compared with 22 percent who would feel comfortable if there was no mask requirement. Note that the wariness toward attending live sports events does not fully undermine them, since the leagues and teams have large TV contracts. It's much more a question regarding other events, notably concerts, which rel

From the latest Construction Update: overnight work starts next weekend--but maybe tomorrow night (!?). Now Saturday work at B12/B13 starts 7 am.

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning April 5 was circulated yesterday at 1:46 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners. Notably, weekend overnight work at the Vanderbilt Yard will start next weekend and last three weekends: the weekends of April 10, April 17, and April 24, 2021.  This work will start at 9 pm Fridays and finish by 4 am Mondays. It also "might" happen 8 pm to 4 am for three consecutive nights starting tomorrow night (April 4 through April 6), which would avoid the third weekend of work. There's no indication of when residents might be alerted that the schedule would shift to start tomorrow night. Note that work starting April 4 should have been noticed in the previous Update. "The work may require the use of portable light towers," the document says, stating that "the light towers will be positioned to illuminate only t

With medical marijuana already on Flatbush Avenue and legalization enabling consumer sales next year, a change coming near Barclays?

I wrote two years ago about the emergence of Citiva, Brooklyn's first medical marijuana dispensary, on Flatbush Avenue a half-block below the Barclays Center. Well  Citiva has apparently rebranded as Be. , at least locally , and says it's "trusted to partner for the medical cannabis patients and caregivers throughout the state." Now that New York State has legalized adult use of marijuana, existing providers, including Citiva, are poised to cash in . As the New York Times reported 3/31/21, though dispensaries are a year away (though individual possession is now legal), "The state’s medical cannabis operators, capped at 10 companies, will be able to enter the more lucrative recreational market by paying a one-time fee." I have no knowledge of their plans, but I'd bet that Citiva/Be. will take advantage of the opportunity, given the highly-trafficked location. And the Barclays Center, already known for not always policing pot smoking--check Yelp referen

New housing initiatives in Biden's American Jobs Plan mean help for NYC, and maybe indirectly for projects like Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park

President Joe Biden yesterday proposed  The American Jobs Plan , aimed to "create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China." It contains an enormous number of provisions, surely to be debated and revised in Congress, but notably it contains a section related to housing, proposing $213 billion to "Build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings to address the affordable housing crisis." What this means to New York City, and projects like Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, is unclear--the document cites "targeted tax credits, formula funding, grants, and project-based rental assistance"--but even if direct assistance is not available, it could lessen pressure on city and state resources, leaving more left for such projects. As to "Build and rehabilitate more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income homebuyers," notably in "underserved comm

Views of the four towers at or near the arena block (and the likely temptations of Flatbush Avenue sites)

On Monday, 3/29/21, I walked around the arena block and got the following photos, which show the towers all at their full height, though two--B4 (18 Sixth Ave.) and B15 (662 Pacific St.)--aren't finished yet. They should open, at least initial floors, later this year, though it should take a long time to fill the 860-unit B4 and the middle school at B15 is not due until fall 2024 . A view from Flatbush Avenue just east of Atlantic Avenue shows the arena flanked by three towers (from left: B4, B3, B2)--and the crucial role of the plaza, rather than the once-posited "Miss Brooklyn" tower-plus-atrium, in serving arena crowds. The view below from Sixth Avenue and Flatbush Avenue shows not only B15 at far right but the significant contrast with Flatbush, where lower-rise buildings are likely eyed by property owners and investors for larger replacements. Note that B15 is approved at 272 feet and B4 at 511 feet; this view will change if and when the large B5, approved at 397 fe

Retail tenants announced, finally, for 38 Sixth (Wonderforest Nature Preschool, opening in fall) and 535 Carlton (Cain Sloan shop, opening unclear).

Fulfilling the hints dropped in previous public meetings, developer Greenland Forest City Partners yesterday announced two tenants for long vacant retail spaces within buildings they've developed. One space will open in the fall, while the other's opening date is unclear. In both cases, the tenants are occupying their first brick-and-mortar spaces. At 38 Sixth (and Dean) From Wonderforest Nature Preschool At 38 Sixth Ave. (B3), in a space destined for an announcement just as the pandemic began, Wonderforest Nature Preschool , a forest/nature preschool provider for children in Prospect Park, signed a 3,629-square foot lease for a space apparently viewable from Sixth Avenue, as shown in the rendering at right.  The school is expected to open in Fall 2021 , as construction continues.  Note that an announcement of a new retail tenant at that building was imminent as of March 2020 , but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. While the press release (below) says the retail space a