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

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 between 840 Atlantic--which also would be stepped down along Atlantic--and the adjacent B10 to the west and 809 Atlantic to the north, both about 312 feet tall.

Rendering by ARCHIMAERA.

What's approproate bulk?

“All of these proposals are influences by the proximity to Pacific Park, which was implemented by New York State without regard to New York City’s zoning regulations,” observed Community Board 8 Chair Ethel Tyus during the meeting. In other words, the locals never got a say.

In its proposed M-CROWN rezoning east of Vanderbilt Avenue, CB 8 proposes a maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 7-- the ratio of total building floor area to the area of its zoning lot. The the applicants for the different projects, going east, seek FARs of 8.83, 8.5, and 7.93. 

Such proposals may be, as is often with development proposals, aggressive "asks," with a planned, calculated modification to be presented as a compromise. (That said, they also apparently represent what the Department of City Planning deems appropriate.)

As I noted, by way of comparison, the Floor Area Ratio on the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park site east of the arena block--east of Sixth Avenue--would be 7.4—or 8.2 without counting the streetbeds demapped for the project.

How to assess that? Does Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park deserve more? It's closer to transit, and would deliver open space, infrastructure, and a greater percentage of affordable housing. 

But the latter would be disproportionately for middle-income households, at least so far, and has taken far longer than expected. The original developer--though not the current one--lost a lot of money, which suggests that Atlantic Yards was less than a slam dunk than expected.

(Who made the most profit? The second owner of the Brooklyn Nets and the arena company, Mikhail Prokhorov, who bought out original developer Forest City Ratner and later sold to Joe Tsai.)

Oh, and Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park also gets various tax breaks, a land assemblage thanks to eminent domain, and what seemed--at least according to the appraisal and the one rival bid--like a sweetheart deal on railyard development rights.

Local clout

As I noted, the 840 Atlantic proposal, in the meeting’s chat, got backup from not just public housing residents, but also from 16 residents of the catercorner 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, which has 278 units and is the only condo building in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park.

Is 16 a lot? No, but it's not nothing either, and it indicates that 550 Vanderbilt may go its own way in some neighborhood disputations, as others within Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park buildings join groups that express wariness toward these new proposals.

Note: one signatory was Ashley Cotton, who formerly was the external affairs chief for Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York, who bought one of the first condos at 550 Vanderbilt. She left to work for boss MaryAnne Gilmartin and L&L MAG and now MAG Partners.