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

At brief Quality of Life meeting, not much news, but 6 am start of work on Dean Street explained as helping maintain schedule (despite claim of "public safety")

Images from meeting presentation
This is the first of two articles on the 5/11/21 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting.

The online meeting via Zoom last night was brief, less than 30 minutes, and drew a maximum of 21 people, according to organizers, though as per typical, attendees could not see questions and chat posted by others.

There was no big news, or even answers to some of the big questions posed before the meeting, such as plans for the two-block platform over the Vanderbilt Yards, crucial to the construction of two sets of three towers.

Scott Solish of master developer Greenland USA shared a slide showing the arena block, with the facade of the B4 tower, 18 Sixth Avenue, fully installed. Work on the interior of the building continues, with an opening expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

He had no information on the planned affordable housing--30% of the next four buildings--despite previous evidence that it would be geared to middle-income households.

The B15 tower, 662 Pacific Street, is in a similar stage, but on track for a summer opening. (He didn't mention its new branding as Plank Road.)

Regarding affordable housing, he said, "The development team and the leasing team are working with are working with HPD [the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development] on finalizing the marketing plan and advertisements and expect that to be completed in the next few weeks, so there'll be a summer lottery for this project."

In response to a question about the construction fences coming down, Empire State Development's Tobi Jaiyesimi said "we'll be sure to follow up the construction team, and to ensure that there are flaggers in place" to ensure a safe passage.

The railyard

Regarding the revamped Vanderbilt Yard, used to store and service Long Island Rail Road trains, Solish said the final track work planned as been completed and reviewed by the LIRR, which may have to make "some final adjustments."

He said they have not received the official Final Completion notice yet.

On Dean Street

Amir Stein of TF Cornerstone, which is developing B12 and B13 (615 Dean St. and 595 Dean St.), said "We're fully excavated and will shortly be moving into our superstructure phase of the project."

The slide he shared showed a general site view, the beginning of the crane installation, and the permanent power supply installed.

Coming soon is a tower crane. "You'll see the beginning of the superstructure phase of construction in June, and we'll be at the sidewalk elevation this summer," he said. "We remain on track to deliver the project in spring of 2023.

Part of that "remain on track" apparently relates to the developer's recent decision to gain after-hours variances to start work at 6 am, an hour early, even as the 7 am start has disturbed neighbors.

"This is just to help us maintain our schedule and to ensure that we're going to be able to deliver the project in the spring of '23," Stein said.

As one person pointed out in the chat, the justification to the Department of Buildings--which seems to grant such variances quite readily--was "public safety" (see screenshot at right) rather than the schedule.

Stein's response was not quite an answer: "The justification given to DOB was specifically to allow us to continue with certain formwork, rebar installation, and specifically we're looking to get the crane to begin powering up so that we can start work, you know, across the site around 7 am."

Other pending questions

Jaiyesimi offered no update on plans for Site 5, the parcel opposite the Barclays Center and long home to P.C. Richard and Modell's (which is now closed). P.C. Richard and Forest City/Brookfield are still in litigation over the claimed promise from the latter to deliver space for the retailer in the future building.

Once that's resolved, the state could pursue condemnation, she said. The condemnation was filed before the end of a ten-year time limit, so even though the action is stayed, it got in under the wire, she said.

She said there are no plans yet for a quarterly meeting of the advisory Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC).

Asked if the state could ask the Long Island Railroad to clean their sidewalk on Pacific Street, Jaiyesimi said she'd follow up with the LIRR "and note the community's frustrations with the current condition."