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Showing posts from May, 2021

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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

This week, at least one more first-round home playoff game for the Brooklyn Nets, tomorrow at 7:30 pm

After a blowout last night, the Brooklyn Nets now lead the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs 3-1, so they have a chance to close out this round in one home game, scheduled for tomorrow, June 1, at 7:30 pm , at Barclays Center. The next game after that, if necessary, will be in Boston on Thursday, June 3, and the seventh game, if necessary, will be on Saturday, June 5, with a  time  not yet set. If the Nets win, they'll play the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the home-court advantage. As stated , if the Nets win in five, they'd start playing the Bucks on Saturday, June 5; if the series goes six or seven games, the Bucks would host the debut on Tuesday, June 7. So there's a lot of fluidity--and that's why the Barclays Center calendar , for now, has gaps.

As the notion of Nets fandom gets ventilated, one fan reports: season tickets next year will cost two to three times more

Who Are the Brooklyn Nets Fans? , asked Cam Wolf for GQ 5/20/21, with the subheading "The Nets have assembled one of the most talented teams in NBA history. Does anyone care?" The article referenced embarrassingly mild support during the 2014 playoffs, and subsequent, ongoing disparagement from the sports press. The summary: The Nets fanbase is a piecemeal bunch that includes locals, Knicks converts tired of the team’s owner James Dolan, and NBA star-followers and League Pass-jumpers, the sort of folks who merely want to watch an entertaining and winning product. Notably: One quirk of the modern NBA is that plenty of fans, like Patarata, seem to have internalized Jerry Seinfeld’s famous gripe that rooting for a sports team is like rooting for laundry. Instead, they follow stars—and in Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets have three. That means the Nets are, technically speaking, popular. The team’s jerseys are the second best-selling in the NBA , and the team’s Ins

From the latest Construction Update: crane installation (rescheduled to) next weekend at B12/B13 site; open space at 550 Vanderbilt closed June 7 for two weeks; after-hours work (6 am start) again omitted

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning May 31 (yes, they work Monday, though it's a holiday), was circulated yesterday at 1:45 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.  One main contrast with the previous Update regarding expected work: at the B12/B13 site on the southeast block of the project, between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, "East Tower crane set up and installation scheduled for Saturday, June 5, 2021 and Sunday, June 6, 2021. Tower crane will be set up from Pacific Street and access to Pacific Street will be limited due to crane operations." Unmentioned: this had already been scheduled for last weekend, May 22-23, but didn't happen. Another new piece of work, at the long-completed 550 Vanderbilt (aka B11): "Exterior inspection on the west elevation will be performed using hanging scaffold from the roof. B11 open space will be c

The passing of James Caldwell, leader of the 77th Precinct Council (and of BUILD)

I’m saddened to learn of the passing of James Caldwell. As President of the @NYPD77Pct Community Council, James worked tirelessly for the Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Bedford Stuyvesant communities. May he rest in peace. — Tish James (@TishJames) May 27, 2021 From Stephen Witt yesterday in Politics NY,  James Caldwell, Pillar of Brooklyn’s Black Community, Dies at 69 : Mr. Caldwell, as I called him, was a mentor, source and friend. He trusted me to report on crucially important issues to his community such as the Third Party Transfer stories , which wound up saving millions of dollars of Black generational wealth . He also advised me on many personal and professional issues. I am devastated. But as devastated as I am personally, it pales in comparison to what his loss means to Brooklyn’s Black community. For nobody, bar none looked out for and helped his community more selflessly than Mr. Caldwell. He knew all the politicians and supported a good many of them. But if push cam

At "Plank Road," aka 662 Pacific Street, new advertising for apartments; StreetEasy's withdrawn listings show studios starting at $3,452, well above market nearby

The view from Sixth Avenue OK, the new 662 Pacific Street (aka B15) residential tower has a name and website, Plank Road , with leasing starting in July. And the building, just east of Sixth Avenue between Dean and Pacific streets, now boasts posters in the window advertising availabilities, as shown in the photos. While the building does not at the moment offer active listings , StreetEasy offers "past rentals," apparently hasty or test listings posted on May 13 but not currently available. So while we should take the numbers with a grain of salt--perhaps the sticker prices will change, or the incentives--they also offer some ballpark information about the market-rate units. As the screenshot below shows, the lowest price listed was a one-bedroom for $3,375 a month, which was oddly less than the cheapest studio, listed for $3,452 a month.  Other one-bedrooms start at $4,221 a month, while the three two-bedrooms start at $5,876 a month. As described below, those prices seem

No "accidental town square," last night Barclays Center was in playoff (business) mode, with protest shunted across the street and new commercial signage activated at plaza and on Flatbush Avenue

Last night, on the anniversary of George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis, a march was planned to start at 5 pm from Barclays Center, but that intersected with a Brooklyn Nets playoff game against the Boston Celtics (which the Nets won handily ), with gates opening at 5:30 pm, two hours before game time. @barclayscenter plaza is extremely well defended on playoff night. No surprise that this would *not* be a time when arena operators welcomed protest. Which is gathered across the street on the (privately controlled) plaza outside Atlantic Terminal mall — Norman Oder (@AYReport) May 25, 2021 The photos in my initial tweet were taken at about 5;30 pm, while the photo at left was taken close to 7 pm. Nonetheless, several news reports used "Barclays Center" as a general gathering locations. From the New York Times , "At Barclays Center in Brooklyn, family members of people who were fatally shot by the police turned out." From News12 , &

Tonight at the Barclays Center: a protest, then a playoff game (and maybe an intersection?)

Today, the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police, widely believed--and subsequently confirmed at trial--to be a murder, there will be several protests around the city, with a "March for Safety & Justice" scheduled for 5 pm at the Barclays Center. That is one-half hour before the doors open at 5:30 pm--two hours before game time--for the Brooklyn Nets' second playoff game against the Boston Celtics. The first game, which the Nets won handily, drew a significant crowd, 14,391 , thanks to the state's relaxed protocols.  That, combined with the typically truncated (by fencing) arrangement on the plaza for both protests and game crowds, suggests potential congestion. The Nets' Jeff Green told the Daily News there may be an act of solidarity by players.  "We haven’t talked to Boston as far as what they’re trying to do,” he said. “But we’ve had a lot of conversation within the last couple hours just at practice abo

In Coney Island, the baseball stadium gains its third name in 20 years. A renamed arena at Atlantic and Flatbush would be a bigger deal.

Sports facility names often change, related to the length of a naming-rights contract or, in some cases, shifts in corporate identity or news of corporate perfidy. Last week came news that the Brooklyn Cyclones' stadium in Coney Island, originally KeySpan Park and latterly MCU Park, has been renamed Maimonides Park--from a utility company to a credit union to a hospital, Maimonides Medical Center. That's three names in 20 years--and an escalation of syllables. As explained via Wikipedia , the KeySpan name evaporated after the utility's purchase by National Grid, and the Municipal Credit Union deal was only 11 years. The Cyclones' official notice says the new deal is for ten years, through the 2031 summer season. Though the announcement (unsurprisingly) doesn't mention a dollar figure, it did come with typical boosterish talk: The name reflects a new partnership that unites two of the borough’s iconic institutions – a team celebrating its 20th anniversary season an

Barclays Center, a little late, sends end-of-May calendar to neighbors, with past LIU graduation, Nets and Liberty games

Okay, the Barclays Center, now with expanded capacity, is back to circulating event calendars to neighbors, but a little late. Listed in the notice sent yesterday (below) are two Long Island University commencement ceremonies two days previously, plus last night's Brooklyn Nets game, two New York Liberty games, and two more Nets games. The third Nets game, scheduled for Tuesday, June 1, is unscheduled and--unmentioned--might not be necessary, because it's the fifth game of the series, and the Nets, who won the debut last night, could sweep the Boston Celtics. It might not be simple to circulate these calendars, given the late-breaking news of the NBA playoffs schedule, but the Nets-Celtics series schedule was set Wednesday night , before the LIU ceremonies. On Thursday, I tweeted that the LIU ceremonies should've been announced.

Nets expecting 13,000 at Barclays Center tonight for first home playoff game; arena retail expanding

The New York Knicks expect 15,000 fans at Madison Square Garden for their first playoff game tomorrow, while Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks expects more than 13,000 fans in the somewhat smaller (17,732 capacity for basketball) Barclays Center for tonight's playoffs opener, according to the New York Post. Meanwhile, NetsDaily quotes the arena operator as saying that yes (as reported here ) the team store will now be Brooklyn Style, along the arena's Flatbush Avenue flank, opening today: Brooklyn Style was designed with a retail-first approach and minimalistic aesthetic, putting an enhanced focus on the products, and giving the space an elevated look. Additionally, the store’s interior layout design and fixtures were built for ease of shopping during anticipated high-traffic, sold-out basketball games and other events. Brooklyn Style was designed by architects from Food New York, whose notable work includes Off-White stores in New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

Yes, 2022 looks to be a boom year for arenas and stadiums. The NYC-area offers an interesting test case, with the new UBS Arena opening.

ARENAS, STADIUMS EXPECT RECORD-SETTING 2022 FOR THIRD-PARTY EVENTS , Sportico's John Wall Street reported 5/19/21: SeatGeek reports that in 2019 NBA and NHL buildings hosted on average between 80 and 90 third-party events. It’s believed that those same venues (at least the ones with just a single team) could book as many as 160 shows in 2022 as artists/athletes/entertainers—and the pro sports teams that own or operate the buildings—all look to make up for the revenues lost over the last 18 months. One senior live event industry insider (who asked to remain anonymous) said the number of booking inquiries and “soft commits” that pro sports venues have received in recent weeks “is a multiple more than what they have received in the past.” Eventellect co-founder Patrick Ryan said he has been hearing the same, projecting 2022 would be a “record-setting year for [live entertainment] tours.” The article notes that this refers to not just concerts but family and sports shows. The reasons b

The Barclays Center team store moves to Flatbush Ave. and changes its name: from "Nets Shop by Adidas" to "Swag Shop" to (apparently) "Brooklyn Style"

The store area along Flatbush A new Barclays Center team store, apparently called "Brooklyn Style," is emerging along Flatbush Avenue, occupying most of the Flatbush Avenue retail frontage previously--and briefly--occupied by a WPIX studio and a sales office for the 550 Vanderbilt condos.  Note the area outlined with blue tape, which appears to be waiting for new signage, at least as of Tuesday afternoon, 5/18/21, when I took the photos. It no longer occupies the section closest to the arena plaza and arena ticket office, which currently has black-and-white images pasted over the glass. See photo below right. And while that site has been--and is apparently still--used for administrative purposes, including those related to COVID-19 testing/screening, it's a reasonable bet that the section, including a revolving door, may serve as a supplementary entrance/exit. In photo below left--sorry about the reflection--you can see some of the merch. Perhaps it all will be upgraded b

As de Blasio touts Brooklyn Nets, he becomes a meme; team partners on vaccination, with drawings for playoff tickets

De Blasio becomes instant meme after donning Brooklyn Nets gear — New York Post (@nypost) May 18, 2021 Nets CEO John Abbamondi -- who is offering incentives to get vaccinated--has a fabulous fake Zoom backdrop — Dana Rubinstein (@danarubinstein) May 18, 2021 It's the Crown Club @BarclaysCenter , aimed at high rollers — Norman Oder (@AYReport) May 18, 2021 After last week's burger-eating awkwardness, it only gets worse. 32 more weeks to go. — Reza Chowdhury (@RezaC1) May 18, 2021 Get vaccine, win Brooklyn Nets tix, says ridiculously dressed De Blasio , summarized the New York Post, covering a meme-creating press conference in which the mayor donned a James Harden jersey and Nets hat to announce a new a new pop-up vaccination site near Barclays Center--actually, across Flatbush Avenie at the Modell's site--starting Saturday, plus a drawi

From Bklyner: 80 Flatbush Project Swaps Office Space for Mostly Market-Rate Housing in First Tower As It Begins Construction

Yesterday Bklyner published my article about a project very near Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park that I wrote about a lot in 2018,  80 Flatbush Project Swaps Office Space for Mostly Market-Rate Housing in First Tower As It Begins Construction . From the lead: The 80 Flatbush project, in Downtown Brooklyn at the edge of Boerum Hill, is set to finally start construction on the first phase of the project, a 44-story, 480-foot tower. Thanks to the post-pandemic realities, it will be different from what was presented to the City Council in September 2018. Questions remain about when the affordable housing component of the project, its main selling piece, will be fully delivered, whether there are any meaningful penalties associated with ensuring timely delivery, and what they may be. Here's one of the rubs: But transparency regarding a delayed start remains lacking. Aiming to learn more about such penalties, this journalist on Oct. 16, 2018, filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request

With new state policy assigning at least 50% of seating for vaccinated fans, arenas can fill up a lot more for the NBA playoffs; but what about concerts?

Well, the capacity at the Barclays Center (and other arenas) for the NBA playoffs won't be 25% or 30% --it looks to be well more than 50%, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement yesterday regarding revamped rules in the wake of new federal guidance on COVID-19. "I'm going to root for NY," Cuomo says of NBA playoffs. There will be a vaccinated and unvaccinated section at the Garden and Barclays Center. 50% capacity for vaccinated sections — Joseph Spector (@GannettAlbany) May 17, 2021 As Newsday reported : Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan estimated the Knicks would be able to bring approximately 13,000 fans into the arena... BSE Global CEO John Abbamondi said, "We are thrilled that more Nets fans will be able to experience NBA playoffs in person." So that's well more than half for the Garden, and probably for Barclays.  "You can go to 100-percent vaccinated," Cuomo said, according to Patch. After

Not one but three journalistic investigations of BP Adams's charity shows dubious practices (self-promotion, entanglement with real-estate projects)

So the New York Times today has a deep dive on Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams's relationship with donors, How Eric Adams, Mayoral Candidate, Mixed Money and Political Ambition , which sounds a lot like a deep dive the Times did on his predecessor, Marty Markowitz. 10/24/11, From Brooklyn Office, Mixing Clout and Charity . It's unfortunate that such investigations--which rely not only on significant reporting chops but access to documents that are not simply online--come so late in their administrations. (As noted below, The City and Politico previously published their own investigations.) After all, this comes after numerous institutional endorsements of Adams, which can of course be transactional, as well as a full-throated New York Post endorsement of him, and a second-place nod from the New York Daily News . While the latter did cite his "entanglements" with those doing business, both should have had to reckon more with his record. And it's confounding

While (truncated) open space at two Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park towers is barely used, the Vanderbilt Avenue open streets are bustling

Yestderday, I walked around Prospect Heights at about 3 pm, and decided to check out the limited extant open space outside the two Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park buidlings that have it, B14 (535 Carlton) and B11 (550 Vanderbilt). It was a lovely day, but there was literally no one in the 535 Carlton open space. See below the view looking south toward Dean Street, after entering from Carlton Avenue. This was notable because, at least compared to 550 Vanderbilt, less of the open space is truncated. Meanwhile, entering the 550 Vanderbilt open space from Dean Street and looking north toward (closed) Pacific Street, the fencing from the B12/B13 sites encroaches significantly on one segment of benches. As shown in the photo below--and it's a littler harder to see--there were some parents at a table in the 550 Vanderbilt courtyard, and a couple of kids bounding about in the main section of the open space. (The bike belonged to another guy who was chilling. The rules say no bicycle use, by t

From the latest Construction Update: crane installation next weekend at B12/B13 site; somehow, 6 am weekday work at that site goes unmentioned

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning May 17 was circulated yesterday at 3:01 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners. There's only one contrast with the previous Update regarding expected work: at the B12/B13 site on the southeast block of the project, between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, "East Tower crane set up and installation is scheduled for Saturday, May 22, 2021 and Sunday, May 23, 2021 – work hours will be determined by NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). Tower crane will be set up from Pacific Street." Misleading the public Something more significant was not mentioned in the Update, however. As shown in the screenshot, the Update does not mention the belatedly successful effort to start weekday work at 6 am at the B12/B13 sites, which are designated 615 Dean St. and 595 Dean St. Though the purpose is purpotedly safety--see the screensh

At one commercial storefront, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Barclays Center serve as "Urban Market" bookends

Choices by commercial entities are based on market research, right? So if the Brooklyn Bridge was the original (and enduring) symbol of Brooklyn, a key new symbol is, apparently, the Barclays Center. This is Key Food's Urban Market at 653 Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights, between Prospect Place and St. Marks Avenue, where I took the photo earlier this month. Google Street View suggests that this once-generic Key Food was upgraded sometime in 2019-20; the first example with the Barclays Center image is from November 2020.

Barclays Center: Dean Street sidewalk parking not encouraged but used by "our K-9 unit." ESD: (illegal) parking on Atlantic Avenue "supporting arena operations."

This is the second of two articles on the 5/11/21 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting. The first mostly concerned construction progress and a dubious claim about after-hours work. Mandy Gutmann, Senior VP, Communications and Community Relations, spoke regarding the Barclays Center. "It's been very, very, very good at Barclay Center," she said. "We are looking forward to increasing our fan attendance on May 19. Per Governor Cuomo, we are going up to 30% [capacity], and the Nets are in the playoffs, so we're incredibly excited about that." Note that that seems a stealth increase in capacity, since an increase from 10% to 25% as of May 19 was announced last month .  That said, it's getting around, since a big New York Times Arts section article yesterday on The Brooklynettes and how they've adapted to smaller crowds and social distancing also mentions an increase to 30%. Gutmann noted that the WNBA's New York Liberty will begin th