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Showing posts from April, 2021

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

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. pic.twitter.com/S9Hrg9YMib — 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 pic.twitter.com/B6AT15ksMP — 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 be start next weekend at 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

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