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

Welcome to "Brooklyn Crossing," new branding for 18 Sixth Ave., avoiding mention of Pacific Park. Yes, "affordable" = "middle-income." A 1-BR for $2,838 (or less)?

The 858-unit 18 Sixth Ave. (B4) tower has a name, and a branding effort: Brooklyn Crossing. Leasing starts this fall; as stated separately, move-ins begin in the fourth quarter (which also includes the beginning of winter).

The building--the largest planned so far in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park--likely won't be finished for another year. It flanks the northeast corner of the arena block, and is at the southwest corner of Atlantic and Sixth avenues.

As with Plank Road, the branding for the catercorner 662 Pacific St. (B15), the Google ads, at least, emphasize the location in Prospect Heights, not the chimerical neighborhood of Pacific Park, as noted below.

The "park" relies on open space that will be, in large part, one long block away, and remain incomplete until possibly 2035. 

Nor are developers of 51-story Brooklyn Crossing emphasizing, as during the run-up to approval of Atlantic Yards, the project's location in Downtown Brooklyn. Note that the black-and-white color scheme does--and it can't be unconscious, can it?--reflect the Brooklyn Nets' unusual (for the NBA) uniform colors. (Plank Road is multi-color.)

The Google ads


Some contrasts

Unlike Plank Road, though, Brooklyn Crossing will offer an open-air rooftop, outdoor pool, and sky lounge as amenities--presumably with a fee.

Brooklyn Crossing is a joint venture between master developer Greenland Forest City Partners and The Brodsky Organization. Plank Road is a Brodsky project.

The second slide on the web site (above right) offers the somewhat confusing "Look Around" in bold type and "Don't (Look) Down" if you read it another way.

Rather than show a gallery of potential renters, the one person pictured is an athletic Asian-American man, in runner's motion. Is that a way of avoiding an emphasis on the mostly-white population that is likely to rent there, or a pitch to Asian-American (and simply Asian) renters? Is it a nod to Greenland as part of a company based in China?

The pitch: amenities plus location

The pitch for Brooklyn Crossing involves the building's amenities, plus access to culture and food, from BAM to Barclays. The text:

Brooklyn Crossing offers 51 stories of custom-appointed residences and amenities to create the next chapter in your life story. Studio and 1- to 3-bedroom apartments, with resident amenities designed for being still or being in the center of the action, whenever you choose.

Here, space abounds to stretch solo or spin with friends in the expansive fitness center, make it a movie night in the resident Screening Room, or people-watch on the open-air rooftop complete with a Sky Lounge, outdoor pool, and 360-degree views stretching from the Manhattan skyline to Rockaway Beach.

Situated in prime Prospect Heights, you’re minutes from epic culture and culinary fare in every direction, including historic landmarks like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and dynamic new destinations like Barclays Center. Add to that 10 train lines one block away, and really, you can go anywhere you want from here.

About the name

"Brooklyn Crossing" seems both anodyne and somewhat on-point, given that the main selling point for the arena-flanking tower is location, not its proximity to future open space. It also has echoes of the generally well-regarded Essex Crossing development on the Lower East side.

That said, while Atlantic Avenue is a major road, Sixth Avenue is not. The branding "Brooklyn Crossing" makes more sense for the potential two-tower project at Site 5, longtime home to P.C. Richard and (now-closed) Modell's, which is bounded by three major avenues: Atlantic, Flatbush, and Fourth (plus narrow Pacific Street). 

But that project needs special approvals--transfer of bulk from the unbuilt "Miss Brooklyn" tower once planned for the arena plaza--to move ahead.

Yes, the "affordable" units are middle-income

I reported in March that convincing evidence--from the building's lender!--indicated that the 30% affordable units would all be for middle-income households at 130% of Area Median Income (AMI), even though the developer professed that nothing was final, and refused to confirm.

The website confirms that all the affordable units would be middle-income, offering, on the request for information page, an option "Interested in middle income housing," as indicated in the screenshot at right.

So they're not using "affordable," since perhaps that's seen as more reflecting low- or moderate-income housing, or it puts off the middle-income people they're trying to attract.

Note that Atlantic Yards, via the Affordable Housing Memorandum of Understanding and the Community Benefits Agreement, was supposed to have 50% affordable units among the rentals, with a total of 2,250, divided among 40% (900) low-income, 20% (450) moderate-income, and 40% (900) middle-income. 

So far it's been skewed middle-income, thanks to a generous provision in the implementing Development Agreement, which defines affordable housing as participating in a government-regulated program.

Rent & income levels, city guidelines: $2,838 1-BR?

As of March, that meant a studio could rent for $2,155, a one-bedroom for $2,700, and a two-bedroom for $3,235, according to 2020 city guidelines. 

But the AMI has risen, so that now means, according to 2021 city guidelines (screenshot at right), that a studio could rent for $2,263, a one-bedroom for $2,838, a two-bedroom for $3,397, and a three-bedroom for $3,918. 

That, of course, is not where the need is greatest even if, as with some other buildings, the developer does not seek the maximum possible rent.

What are the income guidelines? 

According to the same page of city guidelines, the maximum incomes are, for a one-person household, $108,680; a two-person household, $124,150; a three-person household, $139,620; and a four-person household, $155,090. 

Note that the minimum income can be significantly lower; for example, in the current housing lottery for Two Blue Slip in Greenpoint, the guidelines for a one-person studio are $81,258 - $108,680; for a two-person one-bedroom $87,155 - $124,150; and for a three-person two-bedroom $105,018 - $139,620.

Studios there are listed as renting for $2,370, which is above the guidelines (allowable?), but the rest are below: a one-bedroom for $2,542; a two-bedroom for $3,063; and a three-bedroom for  $3,530. 

That suggests that the Blue Slip developers--part of the Greenpoint Landing project--have calculated that, at least for now, renting at the maximum allowable levels there won't fly in today's market. 

The location offers better waterfront and open space access than does Brooklyn Crossing, and likely more quiet, but it's a lot farther from the subway. So let's see if Brooklyn Crossing seeks the maximum possible.

Detached from Pacific Park

When I noted that Plank Road, developed by Brodsky after leasing the site from Greenland Forest City, omitted mention of Pacific Park on the initial web site, I wondered if it was because Brodsky has no allegiance to the larger project.

But Brooklyn Crossing is a joint venture involving Greenland Forest City and Brodsky, and maintains the same omission, again at least on the initial web site. Again, it's likely because the notion of Pacific Park doesn't mean a positive yet, and may even be a negative or considered neutral or confusing. (Surely someone's done focus groups.)

Note that, while both company's logos are at the bottom, the marketing is copyright Brodsky, which seems to be taking the lead.

A note on the URL

Note that the website URL is BrooklynCrossingNY.com, not BrooklynCrossing.com, since the latter is registered in China and seems to be owned by a Chinese liquor company.

Comments

  1. Wow highest income needs affordable housing, so I wonder where I fit in and other people who earn in the 50,000, meaning 52,000 thru58,000 the in between AMI

    ReplyDelete

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