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Showing posts from August, 2021

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

Belatedly, ESD offers notes from past two Quality of Life meetings, but evades some tough questions (sidewalk parking, after-hours work, disclosure of such work)

Well, Empire State Development finally posted promised notes (bottom) from the bi-monthly Quality of Life meetings 5/11/21 and 7/13/21. (They went up sometime between Aug. 27-28.) At the latter meeting, we had been told they'd be posted as "quickly as possible." The next meeting is Sept. 14; it's unclear whether it will be held in person, on Zoom, or as a hybrid. The notes are mostly summaries of the fairly bureaucratic and not terribly informative discussions raised at these Zoom meetings, which drew only about 20 participants and--unlike with some other Covid-era public meetings--did not allow participants to see who else was there or see their posted chat comments and queries. But a few omissions and obfuscations point to the essential role of ESD as more enabler than overseer of the project--as I point out in a few comments below. So accountability suffers. From the May meeting: Dean Street parking Questions: How is it that the arena encourages parking on the De

Summarizing Sportico's friendly, not-so-deep dive into BSE Global: focus on international (Chinese) media rights, new digital revenue streams, and younger Nets fans

Last week, the sports business website Sportico published "a five-part series of news features and columns taking a look inside  Joe Tsai ’s and  BSE Global ’s sports ventures." It wasn't that deep. While two articles offered some insights, there were no tough questions or deep analyses. (Will they re-market arena naming rights ? Why has the arena's financial performance--even before COVID, and separate from the Islanders-- lagged so much? Was the team sale really a record ?) Beyond that, Sportico published three self-serving BSE-submitted columns, verging on advertorial. It looks like they'd rather curry favor with, rather than probe, that big a figure in sports. A "sports empire" The main article --here's the Yahoo Sports version--was headlined HOW JOE TSAI AND HIS ‘RAG TAG TEAM’ ARE BUILDING A SPORTS EMPIRE , published 8/23/21. It leads by describing how Tsai had been approached in 2017 by representatives of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, and how

Fund-raisers for Adams include Atlantic Yards lobbyist Kasirer and booster/neighbor Cohen

 Well, an Atlantic Yards lobbyist, and a booster, will have the ear of mayor-in-waiting Eric Adams. #AtlanticYards connections.... Among her clients, Kasirer reps @pacificparkbk (and has lobbied Adams) Cohen's office on Dean Street is across the street from the project's SE block — Norman Oder (@AYReport) August 27, 2021 A comment on the New York Times article from AH2: It is sad and disappointing that Eric Adams did not use this opportunity to clearly prove he will be different than other Mayors. Adams does not need to raise any additional campaign funds none at all his election by a landslide in November's is absolutely assured. So what is Adams doing. If anything he is more aggressively raising large donations from the rich and the powerful and lobbyists and influence peddlers in New York City and far beyond than any candidate for Mayor before him. He is clearly positioning himself as the candidate of the rich and

Barclays Center/78th Precinct announce street closures/restrictions, starting today, for Sept. 12 Video Music Awards (and two days of pre-production). A "privacy fence" at arena plaza.

Yesterday, the Barclays Center announced an extensive series of street closures and restrictions nearby, starting today, for the 2021 Video Music Awards, which are being held on Sunday, September 12th.  Note the announcement below, and a separate announcement yesterday from the 78th Precinct, which adds some details not mentioned by the arena, such as "privacy fence" at the arena plaza during the event, and the closure of additional streets, such as Pacific Street. "To facilitate the vast production needs, the perimeter of the arena’s streets and sidewalks will be restricted or closed," the Barclays Center announcement stated. "Pedestrians will be rerouted to the sidewalks across from the arena on Show Day." (Of course the "vast production needs" have spillover impacts on the immediate neighborhood, but does the arena offer any giveback? Apparently not.) Closures today As indicated below, pieces of Dean Street, Flatbush Avenue, and Atlantic Avenu

With departure of ESD head Cohen (also Chair of advisory AY CDC), a chance for Gov. Hochul to shape Atlantic Yards? Not just affordable housing, but accountability.

Longtime Cuomo advisor resigns from top economic development job , Spectrum News Nick Reisman reported 8/25/21: Steve Cohen, a longtime advisor to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo who had been appointed to lead the state's chief economic development arm is resigning from the post, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Wednesday said.  Cohen was among the Cuomo advisors and aides named in a report released this month the state attorney general's office as part of an effort to allegedly retaliate against Lindsey Boylan, one of the women who accused the former governor of sexual harassment. Cohen had recently taken the reins of Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversees/shepherds Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. He also was an ex oficio member of the Atlantic Yards Community Development (AY CDC), which is supposed to meet quarterly, but hasn't met since March. The AY CDC is supposed to have 14 members, but has only 11, according to the web site, and, with Cohen's d

Plank Road marketing ramps up: high rents, no 3-BR units (or, yet, affordable listings). Dubious claim of views thanks to "lack of competition for high-rise buildings"!

The rental launch for 27-story Plank Road, aka 662 Pacific St. (B15), began yesterday, with an expanded web site (and digital brochure ), plus a promotional article in New York YIMBY headlined Leasing Launches For Plank Road At 662 Pacific Street In Prospect Heights, Brooklyn . The first set of units, in the lower half of the building, are for rent , with availability Oct. 1: Plank Road at left. Behind it, 38 Sixth Ave. At right, 18 Sixth Ave., Brooklyn Crossing. studio $3,430 1-BR = $3,575-$4,550  2-BR = $5,725-$6,000  The 30% affordable units have not been listed yet on the city's Housing Connect lottery list , but likely will be geared to households earning 130% of Area Median Income, which could mean rents of : studio = $2,263 1-BR = $2,838 2-BR = $3,397 Somtimes, though, developers don't seek the maximum. No high-rises? The Plank Road promotion emphasizes the building's copious amenities (fitness center, lounge, kids' playroom, rooftop grilling stations, and pool)

In 2013, incoming Mayor de Blasio said of Atlantic Yards, "On my watch, [the affordable housing] will happen." It's not close to complete (or at income levels promised). Now what?

Two days ago, as I wrote , lame-duck Mayor Bill de Blasio sounded all gung-ho about the Barclays Center, though there was reason to be a little more tempered.  For example, even after the current four towers under construction are completed, 876 more affordable housing units are required to be delivered in less than four years, by May 31, 2025, and that seems unlikely. Plus the definition of "affordable housing" has been stretched so the units delivered serve a far greater percentage of middle-class residents than initially promised. A too-sunny profile So eight years later, let's look back at a 10/31/13 New York Times profile of Public Advocate and Mayoral front-runner de Blasio, hadlined On Council, de Blasio Blended Idealism With Push for Power . It ended with the following paragraphs, which I reproduce in full, with some comments: But it was the Atlantic Yards project, a gigantic housing and arena development at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, that

As Barclays Center--for the first time since debut--advertises significant job openings, a $25K prize for vaccinated workers

Yesterday the Barclays Center announced a $25,000 prize for non-management vaccinated employees, with an entry for each shift they're available to work, which was saluted--see this post --by Mayor Bill de Blasio. A message from Adina Erwin, General Manager of Barclays Center. — Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) August 23, 2021 And while it seems an enlightened gesture, it also signals that the arena--for the first time--needs workers.  Rather than having large pools of part-time workers to choose from, sometimes generating frustration and protests , the arena now has a significant number of job openings . That seems likely related to general wariness about working in a crowded indoor environment, given the lowered but still existing risks among fully vaccinated visitors, as well as the options for other jobs that may be paying higher salaries than before. As I wrote earlier this month, a significant percentage of Barclays Center employees have been youn

Announcing Barclays Center's incentive for (needed) workers to get vaccinated, de Blasio salutes arena as "incredible success" and predicts "great parade" next year for the team "they gave us"

Yesterday's announcement by the Barclays Center of a $25,000 drawing and other prizes for vaccinated workers wasn't just a press release. Arena/team CEO John Abbamondi joined Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press event in Staten Island, and was saluted by the mayor. Lame-duck de Blasio--after often seeming testy, disengaged, or under-informed during his term--was in happy-summer mode, with some high praise for the arena, calling it "an incredible success," and for the team "they gave us," saying the Nets would've been a champion but for injuries. He predicted a "great parade" next year after the team's championship. He (of course) didn't mention little things like the lack of the affordable housing he promised , the rising price of tickets, or the question of public support for sports facilities. The video, embedded below, shows the exchange starting about 9:56. de Blasio said: And now, speaking of vaccination requirements, I want to say,

Brooklyn Nets tickets now start at $70/game, at least for season-ticket plans. Times have changed. Shouldn't public support for Barclays Center (& MSG) be revisited?

Remember the promise, nine years ago, of $15 tickets to Brooklyn Nets games (and how it was rarely   fulfilled )? And remember that tickets soon rose to $25 and $45, then went back to $25 (and went lower on the secondary market), once the novelty wore off--after three years--and the team struggled? Well, those days are long in the past, now that the Nets have superstars. Game tickets are now on sale, at least for full- and half-season plans, with individual ticket sales--presuming some are being held back, for premium pricing against top rivals--announced at a later moment.  Season tickets for 43 games (41 regular season, plus two pre-season) cost a minimum $3,010, or $70/game, as shown in the screenshot at right. When I checked two days ago, however, there were no tickets available at that price, but rather a handful at $80 and $90 per game in the upper (200) section, at $3,440 and $3,870 (see screenshot) for the season. Tickets in the 100 section started at $5,590 , or $130/seat. S

Goodbye Brooklyn Style, enter Brooklyn Fanatics: growing digital sports company Fanatics taking over Nets' e-commerce & arena store

Goodbye  Brooklyn Style , how briefly we knew ye. Barely three months after the Barclays Center team store became Brooklyn Style --after stints as the Nets Shop by Adidas and the Swag Shop at Barclays Center--enter  Brooklyn Fanatics , the recently renovated Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty store.   Brooklyn Fanatics, Aug. 21. Photo: Norman Oder It's all part of "an exclusive, multi-year omnichannel retail partnership with BSE Global," which owns the teams, and is surely about the Benjamins. Fanatics is a sports merchandising and marketing company that has been galloping through the sports "space," as noted in the press release: Fanatics is the official e-commerce partner of both the NBA and WNBA. The Nets are Fanatics’ 13th NBA e-commerce partner, with seven of those teams also partnering with Fanatics to operate in-venue retail to create an omnichannel experience. Brooklyn Style, Aug. 9. Photo: Norman Oder And BSE Global is part of the Fanatics-related bid