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Showing posts from April, 2022

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

From the latest Construction Update: first block of crucial platform finally set to start within next two weeks, will focus on first of six railyard towers

Well, maybe Pacific Park is getting on track, even if it's not the "fast track" announced by the New York Post 9/30/19, citing Greenland USA's unreliable claim that it would in 2020 start the first of two segments of the platform needed to cover the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard and remove the "blight"--remember, the justification of eminent domain--of an uncovered railyard. That platform is finally set to start, building on precursor work near Sixth Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, as shown in the photo at left. The news came in the latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, May 2. It was circulated yesterday at 4:41 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners, which is dominated by Greenland USA.  The big news--though there's been  ample precursor evidence --is that first block of the two-block platform over the active railyard should start w

Atlantic Avenue rezonings officially approved; CM Hudson press release & ANHD statement; note rising Area Median Income

Yesterday, the City Council officially approved the rezonings ( announced 4/12/22) of 870-888 Atlantic Ave. and 1034-1042 Atlantic Ave., in what's known as the M-CROWN district, which starts east of Vanderbilt Avenue, the eastern end of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park site. I'll write separately with more analysis but first will share the press release from Council Member Crystal Hudson, with quotes from Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and others, and a separate supportive statement from the city's umbrella organization of nonprofit housing groups. Not yet released--and I've requested it--is the separate documentation that binds the developers to promises of 35% affordable housing and $200,000 for anti-displacement efforts.  Affordable housing and rising AMI When Hudson earlier this month announced the resolution, she said, "After extensive negotiations, the developers agreed to provide 35% of the floor area for affordable housing, including 15% at 40%

Digging on lot adjacent to McDonald's seems aimed at getting 840 Atlantic foundations in the ground before 421-a deadline June 15

Guess what--there's drilling equipment in the storage lot on Atlantic Avenue immediately adjacent to the McDonald's lot, which is the largest component of the 840 Atlantic project, approved last year. And that, I suspect, is an effort to get foundations--some foundations--in the ground by June 15 to take advantage of the current, and not yet renewed, 421-a tax break. The City reported 4/26/22, in Hochul Honeymoon Is Over for Livid Albany Lawmakers : In a blow to [Gov. Kathy] Hochul, a controversial tax abatement program that gives developers tax breaks in exchange for setting aside affordable housing seems likely to expire in mid-June, with no replacement. The governor had proposed a reformed version of the so-called 421-a program and assured the influential real estate industry — a major source of her campaign donations — that it would be re-upped in some form, according to several people familiar with the situation. But the votes needed to extend the program, or craft a ne

Rising 2022 AMI means potential (but unlikely?) $3,035-$4,509 "affordable" units, thanks to 421-a. Perplexing leap for low-income units and middle-income studios.

Area median income (AMI), the baseline calculation from which to calculate income and rent levels for "affordable housing," relies not just on New York City but also on suburban counties , no it's no surprise that figure continues to rise. Well, 2022 AMI statistics recently posted by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development show an 11.8% increase in baseline AMI. For a four-person household, for example, the figure went from $119,300 in 2021 to $133,400 in 2022. (As of 4/19/22, the HPD page was still showing 2021 statistics, according to the Wayback Machine . Scroll down for screenshots of the past four years.) 2022 rent levels for stu/1-BR/2-BR/3-BR What's perplexing, however, is a disproportionate increase in rent levels for both middle-income studios and an array of low-income units, which is either a miscalculation (unlikely, right?) or an adjustment in the formula.  The guideline for rent is 30% of income, but has not always been met

After former title favorites Nets lose in first-round sweep, tabs proclaim "Broke-lyn" and "Netmare"

Though the Brooklyn Nets were title favorites for 2021-22, their season came to an ignominious end last night at home, after they were swept 4-0 by the Boston Celtics in a first-round playoff series.  Though the games were close, the formidable Celtics--now a title favorite--found ways to take advantage of Nets' deficits. Here are summaries from NetsDaily: Eliminated: Nets suffer first-round sweep, losing to Celtics, 116-112 Kyrie Irving hopes to ‘manage the franchise’ with Kevin Durant alongside Joe Tsai, Sean Marks Stamp of Approval: Steve Nash wants to return as head coach ... and Kevin Durant wants him back The year was full of drama, starting with the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving, banned from playing at home, required by the team to sit out road games--until they reversed that policy, to take the load off fellow star Kevin Durant. Oh, and the loss of injured sharpshooter Joe Harris.  Then third star James Harden, disgruntled by Irving's absences, wangled a trade to Philadelph

TrueHoop: NBA expansion seems likely, new media deal means "the value of every team will double"

The Brooklyn Nets are struggling, down 3-0 in their first-round playoff series against the formidable Boston Celtics, and, even in the unlikely case of a victory at home tonight, no one expects them to beat Boston in four consecutive games. That means the loss of potentially 6-10 more home playoff games, should the Nets proceed and meet their pre-season hype, and the attendant revenue from sellout crowds, bolstering both the team and the arena operating company. But don't cry for billionaire Joe Tsai, who owns the team and the operating company; he's winning the long game. In his valuable TrueHoop newsletter, Henry Abbott wrote 4/21/22,  Odd silence around NBA expansion to Las Vegas and Seattle , noting that the well-connected arena developer/operator Oak View Group "appears to be well positioned in Seattle and Las Vegas to host the NBA’s next expansion teams." Seattle already has an arena, and Las Vegas is getting another one. No longer are there worries about diluti

My Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park tour, as part of Jane's Walk weekend of free tours, will be May 6 (Friday) at 6 pm

Jane's Walk , the annual weekend of free tours (#janeswalknyc) inspired by the urbanist and author Jane Jacobs, has returned for in-person tours on the first weekend in May, so I am again offering a tour of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park & Barclays Center , at 6 pm on Friday, May 6.  It should last 90 minutes to two hours. Unlike in previous years, you can't just show up-- an RSVP to the organizer, the Municipal Art Society, is required and capacity is limited. Meeting location, ending location, and directions will be provided via email before walk date. (By the way, if any groups/classes ever want to hire me for a separate tour, I'm available .) From the blurb: Hugely controversial when proposed (in 2003) and approved, the megaproject Atlantic Yards (in 2014 renamed Pacific Park Brooklyn), still deserves attention. See what’s been built (the Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets; plus 6 of 15 towers), what’s coming (2 more towers), and what’s left (decking the raily

As Brooklyn Nets return to Barclays Center for first home playoff game tonight, arena is draped in new "NetsLevel" promotions (+KD/Nike ads)

The Barclays Center on 4/21/22 issued an updated April 2022 event calendar, indicating the scheduled first home playoff game, tonight, as well as the fourth game of the Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtic series, on Monday, and a potential sixth game on Friday, 4/29/22. The latter depends on whether the Nets, who are down 2-0, can start winning.  As shown at right and below, the arena--including the "public" plaza--has been draped in new promotions for the series, tagged as "NetsLevel."  (The team has applied for a trademark, according to NetsDaily.) The advertising space at the transit entrance to the plaza, sometimes used for other products, is now all Nets-related, even if Nike appears to be the sponsor.

Next Quality of Life Meeting to be held May 10, virtually; time to discuss construction of B5, and the first phase of platform over the Vanderbilt Yard?

The next bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life Meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, May 10, at 6 pm, hosted by Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that oversees and shepherds the project. B5, center left, across from B4, flanking arena. Image: Dattner Architects Important information sometimes surfaces at these meetings, and representatives of developer Greenland Forest City Partners (and other developers, like TF Cornerstone) are supposed to answer questions, as is a rep from ESD, though the virtual format, with no chat and no opportunity to ask live questions, stymies follow-up. There's no agenda yet, and those agendas are typically anodyne, but it could be the time to talk about construction of B5 and the first phase of the platform over the Vanderbilt Yard (between Sixth and Carlton avenues)--which seems set to start in May, though it's unclear whether that will be before or after May 10. Other questions include: prospects for the sec

Second (and most expensive) of three penthouses at 550 Vanderbilt finally sells, for $6.7 million, a 13% discount; another sponsor unit sells, leaving just one left (so sponsor remains in control)

Nearly seven years after the 550 Vanderbilt condo building launched pre-sales for the 277 apartments (plus a super's unit), developer Greenland Forest City Partners is nearly at a sellthrough, thanks to the sale of the most expensive listed apartment plus one of the other two remaining units. The second of three penthouses, Penthouse South , has sold for $6.7 million, a 13.2% discount off the $7,715,000 asking price/ offering price . (The first penthouse to sell, Penthouse West, sold for a 14.7% discount, as I reported .) The sale, with mention of the list price but not the contract, was cited in the 1/7/22 Marketproof column in amNY. It was then updated with the closing price in the 4/7/22 Marketproof column . The buyer of Penthouse South, by the way, is already an owner in the building, and is now selling Unit 1619 for $2,675,000, after buying it in May 2019 for $2,370,288. Another unit sells Subsequently, Unit 1601, a two-bedroom once offered at $2.33 million, has now,  acco

With DOB approvals, construction of 682-unit B5 tower (700 Atlantic), plus railyard platform, seems imminent. Unclear: affordability level, prospect for adjacent towers, & plan to meet 2025 affordability deadline.

The construction of the platform over the first block of the Vanderbilt Yard seems ever closer, as does construction of the first tower, which will be partly over that platform, as both last week were granted official permits from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB). (Remember, the platform was supposed to start in early 2020, with the New York Post unwisely proclaiming the project was on the fast track. Greenland USA, which owns nearly all of master developer Greenland Forest City Partners, said in December 2020 that they had a contractor.) B5 center-left, plus (built) B4; Dattner Architects In one of the DOB filings , excerpted at right, we got our first image of B5 (700 Atlantic Ave., to be built just east of Sixth Avenue, between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue. The cubic, T-shaped building, standing some 40 stories (plus two for mechanicals) and including 682 apartments, is pictured at right opposite B4, 18 Sixth Avenue, which is more of an extruded rectangle and c