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Showing posts from May, 2022

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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)

ANHD risk chart: threats to affordable housing rising citywide, including Crown Heights/Prospect Heights (Community District 8)

The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD), which includes non-profit affordable housing groups, recently released its 2022 Housing Risk Chart , which highlights and ranks 19 indicators of risk to affordable housing in each of New York City's 59 community districts. Our annual analysis helps community-based groups, government officials, and other stakeholders determine where to direct resources to stabilize communities. The 2022 edition of ANHD’s Housing Risk Chart demonstrates the diverse and multifaceted threats to housing stability for communities of color, low-income households, immigrants, and other marginalized groups. Near the bottom of the excerpt below, I've highlighted, in blue, Brooklyn Community Districts 2, 3, 6, and 8, the four CDs where residents have a 50% preference in the affordable housing lotteries that have a local preference.  (Lotteries for buildings that take advantage of city subsidies/programs have the preference; those that rely

As ticketholders exit Barclays Center boxing match, stampede injures 10 after false report of gunshots. No statement from arena yet.

The return of big-time boxing to Brooklyn was marred by chaos, as ticketholders exited. After a Saturday night (May 28) boxing match at the Barclays Center, loud noises outside--still unidentified, but who knows, maybe engines?--were identified as gunshots, causing a stampede, at a time when mass shootings in America have put people on edge. Ten people were injured. (The time of all this was actually early Sunday morning.) Here's a report from CBS:   Notably, the arena itself hasn't issued a statement, though yesterday tweeted an image of celebrity Madonna at the sold-out fight night, as seen below. The incident obvious raises questions about how well the arena is prepared for such incidents, and what it might do differently in the future. Ten people were injured at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn early Sunday when a loud noise heard on the street sent people running to escape what they thought was a gunman. Police said no shots were fired, but they couldn't say what c

Madison International head, owner of Atlantic Terminal/Atlantic Center, now says "We are not investing in malls."

Last October, Madison International Realty's Ron Dickerman, whose firm bought the Atlantic Terminal and Atlantic Center malls from Forest City Realty Trust in 2017, sounded a little frustrated, in an interview with The Real Deal: We’ve got unbelievable frontage on Atlantic Avenue directly across from Barclays Center. And yet, because the leases are so long, it limits our flexibility in terms of leasing these assets up and making them interesting and exciting. So what we’ve been doing is trying to move the tenancy into the current century. Now he's far more enthusiastic about other product lines.  Retail going down In a 5/24/22 interview with the Commercial Observer, Madison International Realty’s Ron Dickerman On the Great Retail Pivot , Dickerman sounded more modulated about retail: I think retail is becoming an asset class that people are considering revisiting, based on how frothy other asset classes are. In the midst of COVID and what’s happening with the rising interest r

More evidence of unseemly ties between Mayor Adams and Chief of Staff Carone (who wound up working on Site 5 litigation)

It's worth cataloging the mounting evidence of shadiness, if not illegality, around the relationship between Mayor Eric Adams and his chief of staff, Frank Carone, long a key ally while Adams was Brooklyn Borough President.  Remember, Carone represented the scofflaw nightclub Woodland, which Adams defended to the hilt. He and his firm also represented Forest City, developer of big-box stores at Site 5, in its battle, now resolved, with P.C. Richard, which claimed it was promised space in the future tower across from the arena. A Times scoop In a thorough and damning investigation,  As Adams Praised a New Police Tool, a Close Ally Had a Stake in the Maker , the New York Times reported 5/18/22 that BolaWrap, a Kevlar tether that immobilizes suspect, was boosted by the Borough President multiple times: What was not widely known as Mr. Adams lauded the device was that his friend, political benefactor and current chief of staff, Frank Carone, had a significant financial stake in the c

With a budget lower than expected and staffing shortings, questions mount about Adams's housing plan

Eric Adams Faces Pressure on New York’s Housing Crisis as Rents Rise , the New York Times report 5/24/22, noting the delays in the mayor's plan to deliver more housing and more affordability. Rather than coming shortly after taking office, it's coming in June. The City Council has proposed a larger allotment for building and preserving affordable housing than Adams has. As Gothamist  summarized  it 5/22/22 In the mayor’s executive budget proposal, made public in April, he said he wanted to spend roughly $22 billion on housing over the next 10 years, which housing advocates said worked out to be an average of about $2 billion a year, far short of the $4 billion a year the mayor promised on the campaign trail. ...Of the $4 billion addition to the city’s capital budget, the speaker said she wants to direct $2.5 billion to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and $1.5 billion to New York City Housing Authority... And the crisis mounts. From the Times: The survey o

From the latest Construction Update: platform work still supposed to start soon, pending permits. (B5 tower needs to start by June 15, too.)

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, May 30 (or maybe the next day, if they're taking Memorial Day off), was circulated Friday at 2:21 pm (lead time) by Empire State Development after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners, which is dominated by Greenland USA.  There's no new work--hence nothing in red type in the document below, though apparently the Atlantic Avenue permanent sidewalk outside the B4 tower has been installed, since it's no longer listed as ongoing work. But the essential message remains hurry up and wait, as I wrote two weeks ago. Though four weeks ago I wrote ago that work on the Block 1120 platform--between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, and Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues--was supposed to start within the two-week period, that was subject to the receipt of necessary permits. And the new document similarly says that such work would start, subject to permits. We learned at

Well, 421-a is likely to lapse. But it may not be buried. That's a big question for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park.

Why a Lucrative Tax Break for Developers Is Likely to Die in Albany  is today's New York Times headline about the unwillingness of state legislators to renew the 421-a tax break--actually, to replace it with Gov. Kathy Hochul's proposed 485-w legislation, which would trade tax benefits for a percentage of affordable housing less costly than currently enabled. However, as noted, it may not be dead: The current tax break essentially freezes property taxes on new projects, including luxury developments, for up to 30 years, only requiring owners to pay the property taxes that were owed on the site before construction. Lawmakers have allowed the subsidy to expire in the past, only to revive it soon after. While "there were no immediate signs that could happen this time," things could change after the 2022 elections. Crucial to the project The tax break, or some form thereof, is crucial to the development of future Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park towers.  That's why develo

Brodsky says market-rate units at Plank Road (662 Pacific) fully leased. (There were discounts.) Brooklyn Crossing (18 Sixth) said to be 35% leased. (Affordable move-ins yet?)

From Real Estate Weekly, 5/23/22, The Brodsky Organization Announces Full Lease Up of Plank Road at Pacific Park , surely a press release regarding 662 Pacific Street (aka B15): The Brodsky Organization today announced that Plank Road , one of the latest residential developments within Pacific Park in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, is 100 percent leased. Offering well-located rentals, a full suite of amenities and incredible views — coupled with peak market demand — the 27-story, 312-unit luxury rental building has fully leased its market-rate apartments. This is a special milestone as Brodsky completed Plank Road during the pandemic and finished leasing just seven months after receiving its first temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO). So that means 218 units have been leased. Note: we haven't heard about how many, if any, tenants of the 94 middle-income "affordable" units have moved in.  Applications for those income-linked units were due by 1/18/22, three months after

Water and sewer work around project site now projected to start in fall, last 3 years. Aimed to support new buildings, which open next year. At least city agency will have onsite liaison.

The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) last night made a presentation to Brooklyn Community Board 8's Environment, Sanitation and Transportation Committee on what's called Pacific Park Project Phase I, involving a combined sewer installation and water main replacement, expected to start this fall and last three years. (I first wrote about it last month.) Some key details were scarce, but it seemed clear that work along Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, and then up Dean one block and Vanderbilt up two blocks, would intersect with, and impact, construction in the neighborhood. Though one reason for the project is to support newly constructed buildings, it won't be completed until well after the B12 and B13 towers (615 Dean/595 Dean) open in mid-2023, raising questions about why it didn't start sooner. ( Update : those buildings will rely on existing infrastructure installed by the developers; this new work will add support.) A DDC rep said

Avanath said to pay $315M for 535 Carlton & 38 Sixth. "100% affordable" towers cost $370.8M to build. Includes "market-rate" units "adjacent" to arena?!?

We have some more news about the latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park transaction, the sale of "100% affordable" (but mostly middle-income) 535 Carlton Ave. and 38 Sixth Ave., which I reported on four days ago. A posting yesterday, surely based on a press release, in the real estate platform Connect CRE, was headlined  Avanath Snaps Up Brooklyn Apartment Portfolio for $315M : Irvine, CA-based Avanath Capital Management, LLC has acquired a mixed-use portfolio containing two multifamily properties with ground-floor retail in Brooklyn for $315 million... The portfolio, comprising 601 affordable and market-rate residential and commercial units, qualifies for New York City’s Rent Stabilization program. “This acquisition allows us to provide high-quality housing in an area of the country where market-rate rents are notoriously high and the demand for budget-friendly apartment homes is rising,” said Daryl Carter, founder, chairman and CEO of Avanath. With 82,681 square feet of park

Foregone property taxes for Barclays Center continue to rise, now reaching $85 million. It's all part of "NYC's Perpetual Corporate Tax Break Machine."

The new web site Hell Gate on 5/16/22 published  Albany Problems: NYC's Perpetual Corporate Tax Break Machine , by Doug Turetsky, formerly of the city's Independent Budget Office (IBO). Starting with the 421-a tax break, he notes that "tax expenditures, or tax dollars the City forgoes, make up a sizable hunk of the City's budget—about $7 billion this year." And while some "seem intuitive, like forgoing property tax from the city's public housing authority," others are far more questionable. One prime example: Take Barclays Center. The arena hasn't paid property taxes since it opened in 2012. It's a tax expenditure that will cost the city $85 million this year alone, according to the City's Department of Finance Annual Tax Expenditure Report . Barclays' property tax break is part of a financing scheme that helped the arena's developers get around a 1986 federal law aiming to limit the use of tax-exempt bonds to finance stadium cons

In final redistricting, new 10th Congressional District will include Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. Is Bill de Blasio the front-runner?

I wrote in February that, thanks to Democratic Party-controlled redistricting, Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park would have some new Democratic legislators representing it in Congress--assuming no successful legal challenge. Excerpted from  The City Well, that challenges has produced a new set of maps--and that means the project site will have a single new representative, surely a Democrat. Oddly enough, it might be former Mayor and Council Member Bill de Blasio, who enters the race for the new non-incumbent 10th District with the most name recognition, plus, of course, the most negatives. (It would be pretty rich to see Congressman de Blasio at, say, a groundbreaking.) The district stretches from Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and the East Village/Lower East Side through Lower Manhattan to DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and Sunset Park. So Rep. Yvette Clarke--a Flatbush resident--is losing Atlantic Yards, as her 9th District boundary moves east of Washington Avenue. Rep. Nydia Velazquez

Advertising: "All roads lead to Brooklyn Crossing." Prices may vary.

From a recent Brooklyn Magazine newsletter, as excerpted at right: All roads lead to Brooklyn Crossing Welcome home to light-filled warmth, brought to you by high ceilings, expansive windows, custom climate controls, in-unit washer-dryer and wide-plank custom flooring. This is your place, perfect for those solo or “just us” days, and beautifully ideal for intimate gatherings And the link goes here .  It's an anodyne enough campaign, I guess, and the word "roads" does have a connection to "crossing." But "All subways" would be more precise, if we're being literal. The view from that window sure isn't toward Downtown Brooklyn, though. Availabilities As to availabilities , studios start at $3,385, 1-BRs at $3,995, and 2-BRs at $6,700.  But in some cases that's "Net Effective Rent," or indicates price reductions.  Let's go to StreetEasy, which shows that one studio with a $3,395 Net Effective Rent is listed at $3,638, with one mo

Exclusive: Greenland Forest City sells two "100% affordable" buildings to CA-based Avanath Capital, which touts "Barclays I" and "Barclays II" in "Pacific Heights." Funding to help build railyard platform?

Developer Greenland Forest City Partners (GFCP) has sold leases to two "100% affordable" towers, 535 Carlton Ave. (B14) and 38 Sixth Ave. (B3), to Avanath Capital Management, an Irvine, CA-based investment firm that "acquires, owns, renovates, and operates affordable, workforce, and value-oriented apartment communities across the U.S." No public statements have been issued, and  Sale prices have not been announced; the transactions have not yet entered the city's  ACRIS system .  ( Update May 23 : Avanath did, two days before my original post, announce vaguely on Twitter that it has "added two new affordable housing assets in New York," with its Executive VP for Acquisitions quote-tweeting it to cite "601 units in two, Affordable towers adjacent to the Barclays Center." So I was wrong to originally state that no public statements were issued; there were no official press releases.) Avanath's web site  includes pages for each building,