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

Project Update for tomorrow's Atlantic Yards CDC meeting shows schematic for platform at B5 site, but other details vague. (Comments due 4:30 pm today.)

Well, unusually, an Atlantic Yards Project Update (bottom) is posted on the page for the 3 pm meeting tomorrow of the (purportedly advisory) Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC). The webcast will be here.

That Project Update might typically be part of a President's Report, but there's no President, as far as I know, given the departure of Marion Phillips III, an executive for the parent Empire State Development, the state authority that oversees/shepherds Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park.

The document offers a few details, which expand on the typically vague agenda, though, as I explain below, it show some new schematics for the site of B5, 700 Atlantic Ave., the first tower (of six) over the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard, just east of Sixth Avenue between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street. 


See screenshots at right and below, as well as the presentation at bottom.

Notably, the number of concrete foundations will increase significantly to support the platform that will protect Long Island Rail Road operations and support the tower and adjacent open space. 

(The platform should be in two phases, over two separate blocks, though it's possible that B5 will be a separate sub-phase.)

There's still limited opportunity for members of the public to submit comments today by a 4:30 pm deadline, since it's required to anticipate the content of the discussion: AYCDCBdMtg@esd.ny.gov.

Also being shown--though it's been revealed before--is the expected pattern of fencing around that first railyard block. Work was scheduled to begin this week.

Affordable housing? 

The summary of a previous Quality of Life meeting indicates one topic was the "Project’s Affordable Housing Obligations." 

But there's no indication we'll get an update on the likelihood, ever diminishing, that the master developer, Greenland Forest City Partners (GFCP), will meet its obligation to deliver 2,250 units of affordable housing by the May 2025 deadline, with 876 units yet to start.

Will we get any update on plans to start the B6 and B7 towers, also over the first railyard block? What about B8/B9/B10, which would require a more extensive, and costly platform?

Other details: new AY CDC director

The document indicates a new appointment to the AY CDC, but not the person's name, or what slot is being filled. (Currently, ten names are listed, out of 14 seats, with vacancies among the gubernatorial appointments, plus the mayoral one, as far as I can tell.)

Other details: building progress 

The document also indicates updates on the B4 (18 Sixth Ave.) and B12/B13 (615 Dean St./595 Dean St.) projects, with photos from March and more recent photos.

Click to enlarge
Other details: Greenland Qs

There's no mention, by the way, of the recent sale of two "100% affordable" buildings, 535 Carlton Ave. and 38 Sixth Ave., to California-based Avanath Capital. But perhaps that will come up.

That's relevant to the financial condition of Greenland USA, which owns nearly all of GFCP going forward.

Greenland needs funds to build the platform over the Vanderbilt Yard, and whose parent company, Shanghai-based Greenland Holdings Corp., has seen its credit rating plummet as it seeks to extend loan obligations.

B5 site update

As shown in the screenshots at right, the presentation shows how the B5 site will be transformed with a significant number of new concrete foundations, to support the platform.

The use of green in the designation is unclear to me; I suspect it does not reflect the expected pattern of publicly accessible open space at the exterior of the building.

Rather, that open space should extend to the Atlantic Avenue curb.

Similarly, it's not clear what the blue in the designation refers to.

The document, below, also shows the expected pattern of fencing around that first railyard block, as well as an image of the three towers projected over that block.

Will the developer get foundations in the ground before June 15, the deadline to take advantage of the current 421-a tax break, which provides significant savings in exchange for the provision of income-targeted "affordable housing"? 

Surely GFCP is aiming to do that, since the obligation can be met by supplying 30% middle-income units aimed to households who earn six figures, a general provision that would have been curtailed under Gov. Kathy Hochul's proposed revision to the law, which was not passed by the state Legislature. 

That said, don't rule out an attempt to resurrect some form of revisions to 421-a.

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