Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2022

Featured Post

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

Along constrained Sixth Avenue outside school construction site, routine congestion (on video) means close calls, points to possible bigger traffic problems

With Sixth Avenue between Dean and Pacific streets constrained to two lanes to accommodate construction of a middle school at B15 (662 Pacific St., aka Plank Road), there's little margin for error. As I like to say about Atlantic Yards (and especially the arena), it's a very tight fit. According to the School Construction Authority, if traffic must be temporarily halted to allow large deliveries, flag persons will be stationed to stop traffic and assist pedestrians. But Sixth Avenue is already congested, and when even a van is stopped for a delivery for 38 Sixth Ave. across the street, that narrows the street to less than two lanes. So without a flag person, as shown in the videos below, it's touch and go. Oct. 26, from street level In the video below, looking north on Sixth Avenue, it's fortunate that there is little northbound traffic, because the southbound traffic--including, as we see later in the clip, a fire truck returning to its Dean Street station--must veer

With Chinese stocks tanking after Xi consolidates power, a rough ride for master developer Greenland, as well as Alibaba (original source of Nets/ArenaCo owner Tsai's wealth)

The Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project, including the Barclays Center, is significantly dependent, directly, and then more indirectly, on the wealth and performance of Chinese companies. The master developer, Greenland Forest City Partners, is owned, nearly in full, by Greenland USA, an arm of Shanghai-based Greenland Holdings Corp. And their stock is tanking, most recently closing at a low, 2.67 yuan, according to Yahoo Finance .   2 Week Range 2.6700 - 5.545 Meanwhile, the yuan has weakened considerably in the exchange rate with the dollar.  Combine that with the company's junk-bond credit rating--CCC-, according to  ratings agency Standard & Poor's last June, up three notches from Selective Default--and it's tougher to raise money and not necessarily wise to pursue new investments.  That's part of the mystery as to why Greenland hasn't started the platform over the Vanderbilt Yard, as it said it intended as of May. Default  might --though that's unclear

So how much of that $250K donation for new tech hub from Nets/Liberty/Webull did team actually contribute? They won't say.

Digital Girl, Inc. Unveils New Technology Hub Made Possible by the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty and Webull , the Brooklyn Nets stated in a 10/18/22 press release, in full below. That generated coverage, such as: BK Reader,  After $250K Donation from Brooklyn Nets, BK Nonprofit Unveils Updated Technology Hub NetsDaily, Nets, Liberty, Webull gift $250,000 to Brooklyn’s DigitalGirl for tech center NY Daily News,  Assisted by Nets, Liberty, Digital Girl aims to erase disparity in STEM Neither the press release nor the press coverage specified exactly how much each of the contributors gave, and my query to the Nets was not answered. After all, despite the conclusory headlines emphasizing the role of the Nets (and Liberty), it's certainly possible that Webull, a Nets/Liberty sponsor, contributed the lion's share of the total, but agreed to let the teams get equal credit. After all, Webull's deal apparently includes other obligations. The press release also discloses that "

Forbes: despite losses, Brooklyn Nets (with arena company) now worth $3.5B, up 9%; league-wide gains lift all boats. Component values curiously recalculated.

From Forbes It's astounding, really. Yesterday, Forbes Sports Money  reported  that, though the Brooklyn Nets were the only team in the NBA to lose money during the 2021-22 season, their value still went up, to $3.5 billion, given the rising value of all NBA teams. That includes the combination of the Nets with the arena operating company, both owned by Joe Tsai. (Note that Sportico last December valued the combo at $3.61 billion, which indicates that this is not a fully scientific enterprise.) The Nets remained at 7th in the league, as per Forbes. Ahead were  the Golden State Warriors at $7B, the New York Knicks at $6.1B, the Los Angeles Lakers at $5.9B, the Chicago Bulls at $4.1B, the Boston Celtics at $4B, and the Los Angeles Clippers at $3.9B. As noted by Mike Ozanian, "the average NBA team is now worth $2.86 billion, 15% more than a year ago, an impressive feat considering the stock market is down more than 15% over the same span." That results from "aggregate

So, when will arena plaza revamp be completed? October goal unlikely, as much work remains, especially near benches behind transit entrance.

Oct. 26 photos by Norman Oder Everything always takes longer, right? And that includes work to replace the pavers and lighting at the plaza--er, SeatGeek Plaza--outside the Barclays Center, which has been truncated since early June. The Barclays Center operating company did not meet its  initial goal  of completing the plaza revamp by September, nor its updated (as of September) goal  of mid-October.  Thanks to a surge of workers, they did get the key section of the plaza--where arenagoers enter--finished just in time for the Brooklyn Nets' Oct. 19 season opener. But much work remains, especially in the area between the transit entrance and the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, and that doesn't look to be done by the end of the month, another stated goal . That's where benches are supposed to serve the public. More work near transit entrance I asked arena spokeswoman Mandy Gutmann for an update on the current targeted completion date, but didn't hear back.

The Brooklyn Way? The "traditional way in which large projects are done" is the dubious legacy of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park and the Barclays Center

We're hearing a lot about The Brooklyn Way , the decade-later update of #HelloBrooklyn, the Brooklyn Nets' attempt to glom onto borough cred if nothing else. Well, it reminded me of another phrase from 2012: "the traditional way in which large projects are done." So let's go back to the 10/01/12 Charlie Rose interview with Atlantic Yards/Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner. The summary: Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the Brooklyn Nets, Irina Prokhorova, director of the Prokhorov Fund, Karen Brooks Hopkins, president of BAM, and Bruce Ratner discuss the development, design, and cultural impact of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A civic developer? As the host fawned over Forest City's marquee projects and asked about “Atlantic City Yards,” a beaming Ratner contrasted himself to rivals, claiming they eschewed "civic" development but instead "look at more, I think, the economics." At 22:05 of the full video (excerpted below) Rose tossed Ratn

Post: Raising ticket prices 50%+, Brooklyn Nets have seen slump in season tickets. Single-ticket sales solid. Last year's paid tickets 15.9% off reported attendance.

Brooklyn Nets ‘dead last’ in NBA season tickets sales as prices soar: sources , the New York Post reported yesterday, and though it was framed as bad news, it deserves some context and caveats.  The bottom line, though, is that the bottom line rules #TheBrooklynWay . After all, the Nets, a "sports entertainment corporation" (to use subsidy skeptic Bettina Damiani's piquant phrase ), are still looking to hire a  Senior Pricing Analyst , to "monitor and price inventory with a focus on revenue optimization." For this year, the Post's unnamed sources report, the Nets have sold some 5,500 season tickets, versus between 8,000 and 9,000 last year at the Barclays Center. That means the Nets are last in the league, and have to fill more than 12,200 seats as single sales--which in the first home games they have done. As Evan Roberts of WFAN  commented  on Twitter, "Not doubting this, but Ive noticed the secondary market is hotter than I’ve ever seen as a Nets se

Outside 461 Dean, a "temporary" boiler has occupied the street for months. What went wrong and when will it be fixed? Owner has no comments.

So, what's up with that temporary emergency boiler that has been stationed outside 461 Dean Street (aka B2) for many months?  I asked this question at the bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting in July, and couldn't get an answer from Greenland USA's Scott Solish, the representative of master developer Greenland Forest City Partners. Solish said he didn't know and that the owner/operator should be contacted directly. After all, it's not their building, having been built--remember, it's the only modular tower--by original developer Forest City Ratner and then sold in 2018 to the Iowa-based Principal Global Investors. Now 461 Dean has so little to do with "Pacific Park"--after all, it's far from the future open space--that the owners don't bother to mention it . I first queried the contact person on the building website, a leasing agent, then the corporate media office for Principal Global Investors.  I asked when the t

550 Vanderbilt update: one penthouse left unsold (marketed at 14% off), so sponsor's still in control. A $50K dispute between sponsor and board.

I recently had a look at the 20th Amendment to the 550 Vanderbilt Offering Plan, regarding the only condo building in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, at 550 Vanderbilt Avenue. Filed 8/19/2022, the key information from previous filings sustains, though as of 1/19/22, the building got its Final Certificate of Occupancy. Notably, though the previously designated Sponsor Control Period is no longer in effect , the Sponsor still controls the condo board. That's because residential unit owners, who own nearly all of the overall building, control four of seven seats on the board, and as long as the Sponsor still owns at least one unsold apartment, it can designate one of those seats. And the sponsor controls the three seats designated for the building's three retail spaces. A financial dispute One not insignificant--though not enormous--financial dispute has emerged: Purchasers are advised, however, that as of the date hereof, there is a dispute between Sponsor and the Board regarding ap

Barclays Center: "large number" of attendees at private event ("I Will Graduate Day") Monday will be on buses; number of buses unclear, but will impact traffic/parking

The Barclays Center, in its monthly event calendars circulated to neighbors, in the first few years used to announce the specifics about private events (not available to the public via tickets) as well as anticipated crowds. See graphic at right. That fell by the wayside, and now they're parsimonious with information, simply stating "private event." An email yesterday from the arena offered "pertinent information about the Private Event at Barclays Center on Monday, Oct. 24 from 12 to 6 pm." What it didn't say, as I  wrote  earlier this month, that the Oct. 24 private event, is  I WILL GRADUATE DAY NYC , a youth empowerment program and celebration of education aimed at those in grades 7-12. Yesterday they suggested the anticipated crowds might be significant: Due to a large number of attendees arriving via bus, we anticipate that traffic and parking in the vicinity surrounding the arena will be impacted. Buses will drop-off and stage for pick-ups on the stre

School Construction Authority tells neighbors Sept. 2025 is opening for new middle school in base of 662 Pacific (aka 491 Dean); noisier work starts after 9 am.

I wrote last week that the public deserved some answers about the delays in the middle school, I.S. 653, planned for the B15 tower, which has the residential address of 662 Pacific Street and is marketed as Plank Road.  A construction trailer has been placed on Sixth Avenue and there's evidence of some, if not heavy, ongoing work on the interior buildout. The school, with the address 491 Dean Street, will open in September 2025, a representative of the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) confirmed in a message recently circulated to neighbors. That's not a surprise, since the SCA's latest  five-year Capital Plan , updated in February 2022, indicates that the school should open in March 2025. Since they wouldn't open the school mid-year, that points to September 2025 The  capital plan  should be updated by December. But this update should at least clarify for those who should know--representatives of master developer Greenland Forest City Partners and the

In time for the Brooklyn Nets' season opener, the plaza pavement near arena entrance is nearly revamped. But the zone behind the transit entrance needs much work.

Well, they made it--almost. While a week ago I observed that the area of the arena's SeatGeek Plaza under renovation seemed likely to be ready by the Brooklyn Nets' home debut yesterday, on Tuesday, as shown in the second tweet below, there were some 25 workers feverishly trying to make it happen. Yesterday, when I walked by before the game, the plywood fencing was all gone in the area where fans are supposed to line up, but a relatively small rectangle was cordoned off by metal fencing, given the need to finish installing the pavers. That said, fencing still surrounds the triangle behind the transit entrance, which contains the benches where the public can sit. In other words, serving the arena--of course--came first. The plaza repaving is almost complete in front of #BarclaysCenter SeatGeek Plaza A fairly small segment remains. But the area behind the transit entrance, with seats for the public, isn’t close to finished —

Does it really cost minimum $419.50 (inc. $73/ticket) for a family to watch the Brooklyn Nets? Maybe not. But the cheap(er) seats are in the sky or on resale.

Remember when developer Bruce Ratner promised affordable $15 seats for the Brooklyn Nets? Well, those days are long gone. That lasted one season , and they weren't that available anyway . As then-arena/team CEO Brett Yormark put it, 'we are a business." So, how many of those endearing 10-year-old (purported) fans--with syntax signaling a range of classes-- featured in the Brooklyn Nets' manipulative anniversary video are going to games today? Well, the ones with money might be going on their family's dollar. The ones without might be going only if and when their school or organization gets cheap seats or giveaways . In other words, in the era of Kyrie and KD, Nets tickets are as expensive as the team can algorithmically calculate, and it's not a venue for the masses. After all, as tweeted yesterday, citing, the cost for a four-person family to see the Nets, with refreshments, is purportedly $419.50. That said, not everyone will spend $57.50 on park

"The Brooklyn Way"? Nets feature endearing kids (whose bromides kinda sound like Jay-Z!) to mark a not-totally-celebratory ten-year anniversary.

From the Brooklyn Nets The tenth anniversary of the Barclays Center came and went on Sept. 28, and it was no time for celebration, perhaps because the revamp of the arena's SeakGeek Plaza still wasn't finished.  (Presumably most of that work will be ready by the Brooklyn Nets' home debut tomorrow.) But there's no way that Joe Tsai's Brooklyn Nets--he also owns the arena operating company--would let the ten-year anniversary go unremarked, so yesterday they announced ... The Brooklyn Way. Or, maybe, #HelloBrooklyn ten years later, again leaning on the borough's brand, inflected by hip-hop. What's notable, though, is what the "sports entertainment corporation" (in the piquant phrase of subsidy skeptic Bettina Damiani) can't celebrate (um, basketball success ), and what they leave out (the rest of the project that was supposed to serve Brooklynites with jobs and affordable housing). Brooklyn identity The new campaign echoes that Biggie Smalls li