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Showing posts from July, 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)

Eric Adams, once happy to cheerlead for the Nets & arena, while BP helped get his son a job with the former CEO of the Nets & arena

It helps to know the right people, doesn't it? From  NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ Son on Rapping, Drill Music, More: ‘You Can’t Ban a Genre of Music’ , a 7/28/22 interview in Complex, which covers a lot of interesting topics. Jordan Coleman, in addition to rapping, told interviewer Andre Gee he works as "a creative coordinator for the film department at Roc Nation... reading over scripts...  brainstorming creative ideas." How did he get the job? There was something on Indeed talking about Roc Nation films and I applied for it. I was waiting to hear back for some time. And then obviously my dad being the mayor of New York City, he meets a lot of interesting people. He was saying that he had dinner with Brett Yormark of Roc Nation. He was the COO at the time, and I asked if I could join him along for dinner. The funny thing with that story is: We get to dinner and I’ve got my laptop, my notepad, and my hat, ready to go, like, “Sir, it’s an honor...” And he’s just looking at me lik

Real Deal: projects from Greenland et al. threatened by "China's debt cataclysm." Now: financing challenges, development partners, & a bailout from Shanghai?

China’s debt cataclysm threatens US real estate projects , the Real Deal published yesterday, citing several firms, including Greenland USA, master developer of the Atlantic Yars/Pacific Park complex in Brooklyn and owner of the Metropolis complex in Los Angeles. The parent companies are struggling in China, defaulted on or postponed debt,  and have seen their credit ratings plummet--Greenland Holding Group has flirted with default--which constrains their ability to invest in their overseas projects. So such "desperate" (according to the publication) firms have cut prices and sold assets. As cited in this article and previously noted , Greenland USA has put a hotel in Los Angeles up for sale; it had previously been marketed for $280 million. And in Brooklyn Unmentioned by the Real Deal, but clear to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park watchers, Greenland USA has raised money by selling assets: development leases to the B12/B13 sites (615 Dean St./595 Dean St.) to TF Cornerstone and a

Though construction of the middle-school was supposed to start this month, no signs yet. Completion target of 2025 still viable, but keep watch.

Sixth Ave. entrance, July 26, 2022 So, when is the middle-school at the base of the B15 tower (662 Pacific St., aka Plank Road) coming?  When I walked by three nights ago, it didn't look like anything was happening, as shown in the photo at right, though construction was supposed to start this month. Remember, everything has taken longer than expected, with the start and completion date pushed back steadily. As I wrote 6/15/22, according to the latest update , from February 2022, to the School Construction Authority/Department of Education Five-Year Capital Plan, the school, known as I.S. 653, is due in March 2025. The school's address likely will be 491 Dean St. See screenshot below, which also indicates that construction was supposed to start July 2022. (Here's the  overall page  for updates.) A March 2025 completion implies a September 2025 opening, with ample flex in the schedule. Still, there's a lot to be done, as shown by the raw basement in the photo below. Note

"We belong here"? At arena plaza, with escalators out (how long? for renovation work?), the elevator's not quite a substitute.

July 22 In my 6/4/22 report conveying the Barclays Center press release regarding renovation work on the arena plaza, I skipped over one part without sufficient skepticism. "The construction will NOT take both the elevator and escalators out of service at the same time," the press release stated. The implication was that people who really need to get upstairs without climbing stairs will have an option.  That may be so, though do keep in mind that it's tough to get a stroller up the escalator when the elevator's out. But that glosses over the vastly different capacity between escalator and elevator; the former, of course, has far more capacity.  Outage persists July 26 When I exited the subway hub on Friday, July 22,  both escalators were down, as shown in the photo above, without any signage suggesting the elevator as an alternative.  Like everyone else I saw, I climbed the stairs. Note: there was no work going on at the plaza near the escalators, so it was unclear

The biggest beneficiary of the unbuilt Urban Room and arena plaza? The arena company. Which has no obligations. Was there a deal with original developer?

As I wrote in my recent FAQ about the kerfuffle over the missing Urban Room--the unbuilt atrium that was to be part of the unbuilt flagship tower--the defense of the status quote, and the avoidance of talk about fines, came from two sources. Those are the project's master developer, Greenland Forest City Partners, and the state authority overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, Empire State Development.  July 26, 2022 Missing was the arena company, controlled by Joe Tsai. They're sitting pretty.  They benefit from the unbuilt structure and the presence of a plaza, which they're currently revamping, after ten years, as shown in the photo at right. They're surely not expecting it to go away. The plaza allows for advertising, and is sponsored by SeatGeek. The original developer, Forest City Ratner, controlled all the sites on the project, as well as the team and arena company.  Was there a deal? When Forest City sold the arena company, in phases, to Russian oli

Brooklyn Bear's Garden tells BrooklynSpeaks: don't agree to developer's plan for giant two-tower project at Site 5 across from arena; recognize a transitional block

The main public discussion about the future of Atlantic Yards, beyond the private talks and plans between the developers and governmental agencies, has come from the BrooklynSpeaks coalition, as in the Crossroads series of four online charettes last winter, as I described yesterday in my FAQ regarding the kerfuffle over the unbuilt Urban Room. But BrooklynSpeaks, which in 2014 got the developer and state to agree to a 2025 deadline for affordable housing (while unable to address the level of affordability or achieve the new governance structure it had sought), does not necessarily reflect the full spectrum of local opinion.  That's important because plans for a giant new tower (or towers) at Site 5 (a development parcel catercorner to the Barclays Center), expected to be proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners, were not fully addressed at the Crossroads series.  While participants generally supported more deeply affordable housing, they didn't address the tradeof

FAQ on the Urban Room kerfuffle: it's about the affordable housing deadline, the configuration/scale of Site 5, & getting electeds behind BrooklynSpeaks

Urban Room at Flatbush & Atlantic, from  2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement So what was the BrooklynSpeaks -called press conference on July 14 regarding the missing--and largely forgotten--promised Urban Room atrium really about?  What does it mean?  To summarize: the public pressure seems aimed at a larger issue of accountability: the expected failure to deliver 877 more units of affordable housing by a May 2025 deadline, which comes with $2,000/month fines for each missing unit.  Upon reflection, the press conference also struck me as a move for negotiating position regarding future changes in the project, allowing the BrooklynSpeaks coalition to consolidate support from some key elected officials. I'd warn, though, that future changes--notably the size and scope of proposed huge two-tower project--should not be a binary dialogue between a group representing the "community" and, on the other side, the developers, their backers, and the state. It's unwise

Nassau County Executive also not optimistic about the Nassau Coliseum's future

In the wake of influential Long Island newspaper Newsday's editorial exhortation  to demolish the Nassau Coliseum, now comes amNY with  EXCLUSIVE: County Executive Blakeman says ‘it would be difficult to keep Nassau Coliseum in its present form’ , published 7/21/22: Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman told amNewYork in an exclusive interview Thursday that it would be “difficult” to keep the Nassau Coliseum — the former home of the New York Islanders — “in its present form.” Thouth the Coliseum still hosts "the NBA G-League’s Long Island Nets, the New York Riptide of the National Lacrosse League, and the occasional concert," nothing is scheduled until October 1--despite the recent renovation that downsized the arena.  That left it vulnerable to what  Blakeman called "tremendous competition," especially the New York Islander's new home in nearby Elmont, UBS Arena. From the article: Blakeman, who is in the first year of his term as county executive, and his

From the latest Construction Update: again platform work depends on permits. SE block work today until 5:30.

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, July 25, was circulated 7/22/22 at 5:23 pm (early) 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 again excludes the most dramatic change around the project footprint--the work at the arena plaza for revamping of the pavement and other features.  Again they seem more confident that the preparatory stage of platform work will finally start, but it still requires, as stated for two months, permits to constrain sidewalk access and traffic. As stated in red in the document below: Pending receipt of all necessary permits, Platform MPT [maintenance and protection of traffic] erection and site mobilization is expected to begin. MPT erection will occur at the street level surrounding Block 1120, resulting in sidewalk closure.

80 DeKalb, first Brooklyn residential tower from Forest City, is sold again, by Brookfield. Rising rents, but also construction site next door.

Forest City Ratner's first residential building in Brooklyn, the 36-story 80 DeKalb (aka DKLB BKLN) flanking Fort Greene Park near Downtown Brooklyn, has been sold again, for $190 million. The 365-unit building, with 20% affordable units, was finally completed in 2009, according to this 3/30/11 Forest City credit agreement , which cited $200.2 million in total requisition costs. Separately, this Forest City Enterprises annual report , dated 1/31/10, cites a $163.3 million expenditure, with 80% ownership. That translates to $204.1 million. The news KKR, Dalan buy Downtown Brooklyn rental tower from Brookfield for $190M , the Real Deal reported yesterday. That involves not just the investment firm KKR--which, fun fact, just bought Atlantic Yards in Atlanta--but also Dalan Management. It's not the first transaction. As I reported in June 2018, Forest City Realty Trust--the successor to Forest City Enterprises, parent of Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York--along with Madison

Atlantic Yards (office project in Atlanta) fully leased, and newly purchased

Atlantic Yards in Atlanta seems a more successful--and less ambitious--project than the earlier-named Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, which in 2014 was renamed Pacific Park. From a 7/19/22 press release,  KKR ACQUIRES ATLANTIC YARDS IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA : ATLANTA & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– KKR, a leading global investment firm, today announced that Global Atlantic Financial Group (“Global Atlantic”), a majority-owned subsidiary of KKR, has acquired Atlantic Yards, a Class A trophy, two-building office asset located in Midtown Atlanta, from global real estate firm, Hines, and its institutional joint venture partner advised by Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager. Atlantic Yards consists of 523,511 square feet (SF) of Trophy Class A office in two towers. The buildings were built in 2021 and are located within Atlantic Station, a 12.5 million SF master planned sustainable mixed-use development in Atlanta’s Midtown submarket....  [Roger Morales, KKR Partner and Head

On Flatbush Ave. & sidewalk outside Chick-fil-A & Shake Shack opposite arena, pick-ups cause bottleneck for traffic & pedestrian access; DOT says solution is coming

June 27: looking north, no barriers Perhaps the most consistent challenge to road and sidewalk flow near the Barclays Center is not connected to the arena--except indirectly, since the central locations has attracted two high-volume restaurants popular--one acutely so--with delivery services. Outside Chik-fil-A and its neighbor Shake Shack on Flatbush Avenue just below Pacific Street, delivery guys on e-bikes cluster on the sidealk and, sometimes, in the parking area.  Drivers heading south along the contested Flatbush corridor double-park so they can pick up their orders, causing traffic to back up. Pedestrians face increased risks both on the sidewalk and crossing the street. An official request, last year In July 2021, Eric McClure, then Co-Chair of Brooklyn Community Board 6's Transportation Committee, asked the city Department of Transportation (DOT) to address what has been "a  constant issue since the Chick-fil-A opened in September 2019," , copying local elected o