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Showing posts from 2021

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

You belong here? Premium courtside lounge opens with two-day promotional viewing of Warhol's ($20M?) Basquiat. Plus "massive vinyl boards" at Atlantic/Flatbush.

Below, a press release from the Brooklyn Nets headlined BARCLAYS CENTER TO DEBUT NEWEST PREMIUM COURTSIDE LOUNGE WITH TWO-DAY VIEWING OF ANDY WARHOL’S JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT .  This more exclusive viewing contrasts with the public "You/we belong here" art installation debuting today . But there's also some big advertising/promotional signage coming (or already there--I haven't checked yet), as noted yesterday by Artnet in  Warhol’s Portrait of Basquiat Will Go on View in an Unlikely Place—Brooklyn’s Barclays Center—to Promote Its Upcoming Christie’s Sale : The two-day viewing of Warhol’s Jean-Michel Basquiat will take place in the new VIP luxury lounge called Crown Club. The venue’s name is a nod to the artist’s recurring crown motif, a version of which also appears on the Barclays Center court whenever the team plays home games while wearing the Basquiat-inspired jerseys it adopted for the 2021 season. Christie’s will also install two massive vinyl boards depicting th

So, how big are tax deductions for Tsai from (mostly questionable) losses on Barclays Center operating company? My guess: very big.

Within the FY 2021 annual report for the Barclays Center operating company there are signs of a huge tax deduction for billionaire Joe Tsai, owner of the Brooklyn Nets and that operating company, Brooklyn Events Center.  (We haven't seen his tax returns, which surely are prepared by sophisticated accounts and lawyers, so my speculation is based on extrapolating from other coverage of such issues.) As I wrote , with revenues of $35.9 million and operating expenses of $58.9 million, the arena suffered a net operating loss of $23 million--and that's before having to pay another $19.4 million in interest on construction bonds, part of a larger payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) package. In a non-pandemic, "normal" year (at least, as forecasted), the arena cash flow would be in the black, and offer enough cushion to not only pay off the bonds but deliver a profit. (That's a modified view of EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, sin

Even artist behind "You/We belong here" recognizes the phraseology's ironies; beyond question of belonging, it's a governmental gift of new promotional space

Yesterday, Gregg Bishop of the Joe & Clara Tsai Foundation's Social Justice Fund spoke at a nonprofit summit sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. He invited all attendees to Saturday's "unveiling of an art installation at the Berkeley Center plaza," referring to the "You belong here/We belong here" neon sculpture by Tavares Strachan, currently being installed on the exterior of the transit entrance. The event, with free food, from 4-7 pm. (Note that Bishop described it colloquially as the Bartclays Center plaza, though it has had a series of sponsors, and is today the SeatGeek Plaza.) An article in CityLab last week suggested the artwork could read both "like an expression of solidarity" with protesters who gathered frequently at the plaza last year and "a pointed rebuke" to those who once opposed the arena. I pointed out , though, that commerce takes precedence, given that protesters were barred from the plaza last May w

Forbes: thanks to patch deal and rising NBA tide, Nets/arena company leaping ahead--and now worth $3.2B, about what Tsai paid. Still 7th in league.

The NBA’s Most Valuable Teams 2021-22: New York Knicks Lead A Trio Now Worth Over $5 Billion Each , Forbes reported 10/18/21, with the summary "The average NBA team value has risen 13% since February, to $2.48 billion, behind record sponsorship revenue and high expectations for the league’s next media rights deal." One key is jersey patch deals, which have particularly boosted the Brooklyn Nets, which remain ranked seventh in the league: NBA owners booked an estimated $1.46 billion in sponsorships last season—a record—with much of the increase in this category coming from jersey patch deals. First introduced during the 2017-18 season and hovering about $150 million in total for the past couple of years, the agreements are expected to bring in well over $225 million across the league’s 30 teams in 2021-22. What began as nickel-and-dime advertising has rapidly increased into lucrative marketing agreements. For example, last month the Brooklyn Nets landed a jersey patch deal r

Barclays Center operating company, after deep losses in FY 2021, relies on $52M from billionaire Tsai to pay the bills, and debts. (But he'll do fine.)

On 9/30/21, Brooklyn Events Center, which operates the Barclays Center, released its FY 2021 financial report, confirming a brutal year in which the arena was largely shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. (The fiscal year ends June 30.) Net Operating Income: $23 million in the red With revenues of $35.9 million and operating expenses of $58.9 million, the arena suffered a net operating loss of $23 million--and that's before having to pay another $19.4 million in interest on construction bonds, part of a larger payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) package. In a "normal" year--though the goal hasn't always been met--the arena is supposed to have sufficient net operating income (NOI) to not just pay off the bonds, but deliver a cushion of profits. No wonder billionaire Joe Tsai, who owns the Brooklyn Nets and the arena operating company, had to pony up $52 million to bolster the arena's finances--nearly four times as much as the $13.5 million that he contributed in t

The Times assesses Nets fandom, as de Blasio channels Markowitz, and team brass aim beyond NYC

Let's note a few things from  the lead story in New York Times Sports section yesterday,  The Nets Had a Chance to Win Over New York. Now, They’ll Try Again. , with the subheading, "Viewed by some as gentrifiers, the Nets finally may have the starpower to win a championship and loosen the grip the city’s other N.B.A. team has on the region." The Nets' abortive title run last June generated a very Marty Markowitzian quote from the mayor to writer Sopan Deb: “I really feel like this is the final act in the renaissance of Brooklyn and giving Brooklyn its rightful place in the world, and that has tremendous importance for the city going forward,” Mayor Bill de Blasio, a longtime Brooklyn resident before his 2014 inauguration, said in an interview before Game 3 of the semifinals series, when the Nets were up 2-0 and a championship run seemed inevitable. But the Nets are after something bigger: “We don’t want to be just the most popular N.B.A. team in New York City,” John A

From the latest Construction Update: B15 (662 Pacific) is "substantially complete"; B4 (18 Sixth) exterior done; crane jump next weekend on Dean St.

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, Oct. 18, was circulated Friday Oct. 15 at 5:39 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners. There were several changes freom the previous update . B15 (662 Pacific Street) Interior & exterior construction of the building is substantially complete. The hoist run is being enclosed and permanent sidewalk work has been initiated. Project completion is anticipated by the end of December 2021. Note that, despite substantial completion and marketing of residential units, the affordable housing lottery hasn't launched. B4 (18 Sixth Avenue) The exterior façade of the building is substantially complete. The hoist disassembly will begin in late 2021 and the façade completed at that time. Interior construction of the residential units continues. The first Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) is anticipated in the 4th qu

In advertisement, Brookfield pitching former Forest City office space (big vacancies) and crediting arena for helping form "desirable" neighborhood

In an ad on page 21 of the Sept. 14 Commercial Observer , Brookfield--which absorbed Forest City Realty Trust in 2018 --touts office space "at the Center of Brooklyn's most Desirable Neighborhoods." Those towers, originally developed by Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York, include 1 Pierrepont Plaza at the edge of Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights and 2 Hanson Place, rising over the Atlantic Terminal mall. And there's a lot of space available. (The retail at the mall is owned by Madison International now.) Below the images of those two towers, as well as one at Forest City-developed MetroTech, is a statement about "Reimagining Real Estate": At Brookfield Properties, we look behind what is to see what could be. We work closely with communities, tenants, and residents to understand what makes them unique. We build and manage to standards of quality and design that enhance entire neighborhoods, elevate entire cities, and raise the bar for real estate e

Neon artwork at arena plaza will be lit 6 am-midnight, for 3+ years. No DOB permit needed. Will "You belong" apply to (oft-faulty) elevator, Hong Kong protests?

So, we've learned a little more about the illluminated artwork planned to be mounted over the Barclays Center subway entrance sometime next week, which I wrote about yesterday.  I noted that it's hard to dissociate anything the arena does from a search for commercial/reputational benefit--and that the privately controlled public space, the sponsored SeatGeek Plaza, doesn't accommodate protesters if they interfere with an event crowd. Note advertising. Photo: N.O. The neon messages, "We belong here" and "You belong here," will be illuminated from 6 am to midnight, just as with the arena's oculus. They could last at least three years. And no city permit was required. "We do not expect that the installation process will have any effect on traffic flow or pedestrian access to the subway station," said a message the arena circulated yesterday from Gregg Bishop, Executive Director of the Joe & Clara Wu Tsai Foundation's Social Justice Fu

"You/We belong here." New neon artwork planned for Barclays Center subway entrance. But commerce wins, and philanthropy doesn't make up for unfulfilled Atlantic Yards promises.

(Deceptive) official rendering, via CityLab Forgive me for being a bit cynical about the illluminated artwork planned to be mounted over the Barclays Center subway entrance sometime next week, as a friendly article in Bloomberg CityLab yesterday disclosed, headlined A Charged Message for Brooklyn, in Neon . Who could quarrel with the welcoming messages, "We belong here" and "You belong here," from (Black, Bahamian-born) artist Tavares Strachan, which reflect the spontaneous use of the plaza for social justice demonstrations starting in 2020? (The "roughly 45-by-18-feet signs" have not been installed yet--just the brackets--and the official unveiling is supposed to be Oct. 23, part of a 4-7 pm celebration with free food and entertainment. Meanwhile, I'm checking on whether permits or permissions were gained--or required--and for what time period the artwork will be up, as well as its daily schedule of illumination.) Advertising on subway entrance. Photo