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

Did New York City ever get paid for development rights at Site 5? If building didn't start by May 2020 (& it didn't), developer had to forfeit rights, or pay.

Recently we've been reminded of lingering clauses in official Atlantic Yards documents that seem to have been forgotten by the government officials required to enforce them, such as the 5/12/22 deadline to build the Urban Room, with a potential $10 million penalty for delay--unless it's waved away by a renegotiation and amendment. Another is a requirement I  wrote  about in November 2019: how developer Greeenland Forest City Partners (GFCP) faced a 5/12/20 deadline—ten years after the project  Effective Date, 5/12/10 —to start construction at Site 5, longtime home of the big-box stores Modell's (now closed) and P.C. Richard. If not, the developer had to either pay New York City for its retained development rights or give up those rights, according to a document known as the Atlantic Yards City Participation Agreement. Construction, of course, has not started at Site 5; the developer has proposed--but not yet started--a plan to move most of the bulk of the unbuilt B1 tower

IBO confirms that 421-a has disproportionately incentivized "affordable housing" for the middle-class

In a report last week, How Many Units of Affordable Housing Were Built or Are Underway Through the 421-a Affordable New York Tax Exemption Program?  (also at bottom), the NYC Independent Budget Office confirmed what's been widely believed: the most recent iteration of the 421-a tax break has disproprotionately incentivized not-so-affordable income-targeted housing, serving the middle-class. The IBO notes: Most affordable units created under Affordable New York were part of projects where the developer received no additional public subsidies. But about 21 percent of units, spanning 23 buildings, not only received the 421-a exemption, but also subsidies in the form of city capital funds, loans, tax credits, grants, or public land. These were overwhelmingly the units serving the lowest income bands. In fact, all of the units for extremely low-income households also received other subsidies; almost half of the units for very low-income and more than a third of those for lowincome house

Three years after "Clean Sweep," Nets set to lose stars Durant and Irving, must rebuild from "organizational catastrophe." So much for owner Tsai's profit plan?

Just three years after snagging superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a player-driven surprise (which, um, also brought the duo's over-the-hill chum, DeAndre Jordan), the Brooklyn Nets are in turmoil, with Durant requesting a trade and Irving, who couldn't reach agreement on a contract extension, expected to be traded, too. If original Atlantic Yards developer (and arena builder/Nets owner) Bruce Ratner once said there were "black swans" in everything, and "we will figure it out," his record was mixed.  He was able to rescue the arena design after downsizing from Frank Gehry's original template, by hiring SHoP to wrap the EllerbeBecket design in pre-rusted metal, but he wasn't able to launch a successful, money-saving modular construction business--and had to sell the project at a loss, after selling the Nets/arena company to Mikhail Prokhorov, who turned out to be the big winner so far. Alibaba billionaire Joe Tsai, bought the team/arena comp

Former Nets/arena company CEO Yormark named Commissioner of Big 12 college league, must sell media rights. His Brooklyn career gets buffed.

Now Brett Yormark will be marketing college sports, notably football. The news first surfaced in a 6/27/22 Sports Illustrated article,  Sources: Big 12 Aiming to Hire Roc Nation Executive Brett Yormark as Next Commissioner : Brett Yormark, the COO of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, is finalizing a deal to be the new leader of the Power 5 league, sources tell Sports Illustrated, a stunning move that brings yet another outsider into college sports’ most exclusive and powerful group. Yormark, 55, has spent the last three years at Roc Nation, originally as co-CEO with twin brother Michael.... In the Big 12, Yormark has big shoes to fill. He replaces a legendary figure in college athletics in Bob Bowlsby, and he must navigate a rapidly changing world in a conference dealing with incredible change itself. Its two richest members, Texas and Oklahoma, are bound for the SEC in 2025. Their exit timing and fee are essential issues on the new commissioner’s to-do list, as well as renegotiating the league’s me

Barclays Center releases July 2022 event calendar: only six ticketed events

It's a typically slow July for the Barclays Center, wtih only six ticketed events, including four WNBA New York Liberty games, plus a comedy show (with Chris Rock and Kevin Hart) and a boxing card. There are no events until July 14, which presumably allows the arena operators to make progress in revamping the plaza, which is currently truncated. July 2019 comparison For July 2019 , the last comparable month pre-pandemic, the arena had only four ticketed events, plus three in-house events--auditions for the Brooklynettes cheerleaders and the Team Hype Dance Team--and two outdoor public events, Summer Sessions at the arena plaza.  (This month, there are no private or in-house events, or they're just not being announced.)

At northeast corner of Vanderbilt and Atlantic, The Axel emerges, at 29 stories, with "low-income" units ranging from $1,320 to $2,229

The first large new building along Atlantic Avenue, albeit not within Community District 8, is set to open soon, and the affordable units have entered the city's Housing Connect lottery system , with the deadline closing next week. The 29-story building (plus a four-story addition) previously known as 809 Atlantic Ave. or 550 Clinton Ave. is being marketed as 539 Vanderbilt Ave. for the affordable units). For the market-rate units, the address is 545 Vanderbilt Ave. and it's being marketed as The Axel , though no market-rate units are yet available. (The lowest price category for inquiries is $2,000-$3,000. The building promises "over 30,000 square feet of unrivaled amenities.") That suggestes the housing lottery started earlier than, say, with the more recent Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park buildings, as market-rate tenants at 662 Pacific St. and 18 Sixth Ave. moved in first. Affordable configuration Looking east from Sixth Ave., The Axel center-left The Axel contains 26

Greenland Holding gets S&P credit rating lifted from Selective Default, but "high repayment risk" persists

Just a week after downgrading Greenland Holding Group (aka Greenland Holdings) to SD (Selective Default), ratings agency Standard & Poor's has upgraded the Shanghai-based conglomerate three notches to CCC-, but said the outlook remained negative. Greenland is the parent of Greenland USA, which owns nearly all of Greenland Forest City Partners, the master developer of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, and has funding responsibility for nearly all going forward. And default might --though that's unclear--stall the project. In a 6/29/22 announcement , S&P based the upgrade on Greenland's completion of a "distressed maturity extension," which means the company has one more year, until 6/25/23, to pay back $500 million in bonds. Risks remain But it warned that the company still "faces high repayment risk," given general lack of available cash and other debt due this year. CCC- is an "extremely speculative" low grade of "junk" bonds, d

With limited options, mercurial Nets star Irving "blinks," chooses another season in Brooklyn

Well, the melodrama around the Brooklyn Nets' mercurial star Kyrie Irving has subsided, for now, as Irving--recognizing his limited options for a trade, a new contract, or a departure--opted into a one-year extension, gaining $36.5 million to "run it back" with fellow star Kevin Durant (who signed for four years). That means, on paper, that the Nets have three stars, assuming former Philadelphia 76er Ben Simmons returns to form after well over a year off in injury rehab, and the team--at least if it can upgrade a few roster spots--might compete with the Eastern Conference elite, like the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Milwaukee Bucks. It also means that, should Irving have a year without major injuries and volitional absences, and delivers his dazzle, he could earn a giant contract from the Nets, and/or a welcomed landing spot elsewhere as a free agent. (Had he opted out, he could only have earned $6 million at a new team.) One sticking point, according to second-hand r

From the latest Construction Update: platform work ahead, still pending; bus stop to be removed. No mention of reconstruction of arena plaza.

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, June 27, was circulated yesterday at 11:29 am (late) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners (GFCP), which is dominated by Greenland USA. There's not much new compared to the  previous update , and the document somehow excludes the most dramatic change around the project footprint--the fencing around the arena plaza for revamping of the pavement and other features. (See separate article .) Atlantic Avenue, east of Sixth Avenue As stated two weeks ago, the preparatory stage of platform work, putting up a fence and eliminating parking, is again expected to start, pending receipt of necessary permits.  The work will occur at the street level around Block 1120, which is bounded by Sixth and Carlton avenues, and Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue. As shown in a photo below right, parking persists on Pacific Street east of Sixth Avenu

Photos: arena plaza significantly truncated for renovation work, which should finish by October. Flatbush Avenue access blocked through July.

As planned , renovation work at the Barclays Center Plaza--er, SeatGeek Plaza--has begun, with limited access to the MTA transit entrance.  The aim is to revamp the pavers and lighting, with the work finished by October, before the NBA and events season ramps up. There will be no access, as shown in the photo at right (taken around 6 pm yesterday), until the end of July. Access remains available from Atlantic Avenue. That makes the "We belong here/You belong here" art/advertising signage ever more ironic. Those exiting from the transit hub face a fence that extends across a good portion of the plaza, forcing potential arenagoers to the entrance doors at the side closest to Atlantic Avenue. As shown in the photo below, yesterday the area at/around the fence had been commandeered by the joint campaign of Jumaane Williams and Ana Maria Archila, running as Democrats in today's primary for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively. Closer to Atlantic and Flatbush As show

Atlantic Yards down the memory hole: Gilmartin, pitching project in Richmond, suggested "public trust" in Brooklyn has been honored

It's Atlantic Yards down the memory hole, yet again. In  N.Y. developer MAG Partners co-leads team pitching for Diamond District project , Richmond BizSense reported 4/19/22 on the bid (one of six) by "New York-based MAG Partners and Seattle-based MacFarlane Partners... for the mixed-use redevelopment of city-owned land that would include a replacement of The Diamond baseball stadium." MAG Partners, of course, is led by MaryAnne Gilmartin, former CEO of Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York. Another partner on the team: MSquared, a firm founded by Alicia Glen, who as deputy mayor under Bill de Blasio worked with Gilmartin. The Brooklyn effect MAG Partners' bid was not among the three chosen as finalists, as announced in early May. Still, that April interview is worth a deeper look: While different in market and scale, Gilmartin said the 67-acre Diamond District project is similar to the 8-acre Pacific Park Brooklyn development that’s anchored by Barclays Center, ho