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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)

As events return to Barclays, the plaza returns as checkpoint. Greenland USA exec deflects question about garage preparation for arena events.

This is the third of three posts on the 9/14/21 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, held on Zoom, sponsored by Empire State Development (ESD). The first concerned construction progress at four towers. The second concerned accountability issues.

Barclays Center representative Mandy Gutmann noted that the first concert at the arena will be this Sunday, Sept. 19, with Mark Anthony. The first Brooklyn Nets pre-season game is Oct. 8, and opening night is Oct. 24 against the Hornets.

Asked about crowd control for these next events, which likely will have larger crowds than previous, she said that “the perimeter of the arena will return to what it typically is during a normal concert or basketball game similar to what we had during playoffs where we will be using part of the plaza as a checkpoint to get our fans in the building as quickly as possible, while still providing a pathway to ensure that pedestrians can cross.”

“And then, with regards to the other areas [Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street], those will be similar to what they have been historically in terms of their usage,” Gutmann said. Of course “historically” for the past year, which requires far more crowd management because of Covid-19 checks, has extended the perimeter.

Note: no one at the meeting brought up incursions from MTV's Video Music Awards, which, unlike in 2013, did not shut down a residential street for filming. Most of the complaints, as far as I can tell, came from drivers and others who were inconvenienced by the traffic jams. (Small sample size: I had my bus diverted at the last minute.)

Parking questions

From Barclays Center web site
Asked if the Barclays Center would consider omitting references to two nearby garages, given backups and traffic jams during past events, Greenland USA’s Scott Solish responded with indignance, saying that, as the landlord of garages run by iPark, "one of the leading three garage operators in the city,” that have staff who’ve worked hard during the pandemic.

That was a little deflecting. 

One of the two garages cited in my June coverage, at 535 Carlton Ave., is indeed run by iPark. (It also runs the smaller garage at 38 Sixth Ave.)

But the other is unrelated, at 700 Pacific Street, at the Newswalk building, (The ESD's notes refer to 670 Pacific Street, which is a separate garage.)

So that was a question for arena operators, not Solish.

He added, “As we prepare for another exciting season of events at Barclays Center, I will remind them of the schedule and make sure that they're ready, with the right staff to do so.”

In response to futher complaints in the chat, he said, "I will share these" with iPark management.

Outreach efforts

The arena's Gutmann again cited the three-day show at the arena atrium of student work inspired by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. She said the student program will continue, and some student work will remain on display at Barclays in a more permanent exhibition on the concourse.

She also cited a partnership with the New York City Parks Department in which the Nets participated in 17 basketball clinics.

Gregg Bishop, Executive Director of the Tsai Foundation’s Social Justice Fund, discussed the fund’s $2.5 million loan program for BIPOC-owned small businesses, which requires character references rather than collateral guarantors or credit scores. The fund is working with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; loans up to $15,000 have no interest rate, while loans $15,000 to $100,000 have a 2% interest rate.

(Of course, as I've noted, the Nets' owners are less concerned with social justice in China, the source of Joe Tsai's fortune.)