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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)

Without fanfare, arena plaza section behind transit entrance finally reopens, 2.5 months late. Bike parking displaces some benches. Down escalator still balky.

How about that? 

On Wednesday, Dec. 14, the seating arena on the Barclays Center plaza--er, SeatGeek Plaza--finally reopened after a revamp, some two-and-a-half months late. (The escalator to the transit entrance, however, was still balky, as shown in the photo from Dec. 15.)

The overall work, which started in June, was initially supposed to be done by September, then, after an update from the arena operating company, by mid-October. 

The portion serving the arena entrance was, indeed, finished just before the Oct. 19 season opener for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, the building’s anchor tenant, allowing ticketholders to gather.

But the segment behind the subway entrance, where the general public sits on benches near the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, took much longer, until, well, it was no longer so comfortable to sit outside. #Youbelonghere?

Photo/Norman Oder. Dec. 14, 2022

Bike racks replace benches

As shown above, 62 bike coils have appeared toward the Atlantic Avenue side of the plaza, replacing seating for at least 18 people, as shown below, in a Nov. 2, 2021 photo. 

Photo/Norman Oder, Nov. 2, 2021. Annotations added.

Changing plans

As I wrote in July 2019, the original promise of 400 secure, attended indoor free bike parking spaces for Barclays Center visitors was attenuated to 100 outdoor unattended spots, 56 on the plaza, and 44 across Atlantic Avenue outside the Atlantic Center mall.

Today, by my count, there are 21 coils on Fort Greene Place outside the mall plus, plus 20 free secured spaces at the Oonee pod nearby. 

So that's a total of 103--plus 62 unrelated Citi Bike slots along Atlantic Avenue, near the Atlantic Terminal mall.

The Barclays Center website still states, without numbers, the opportunity for outdoor unprotected bike racks outside the mall, secure, weather protected bike parking at Oonee, and "Outdoor unprotected bike racks – Coming Soon!" at Flatbush and Atlantic near the arena.

(They should probably mention Citi Bike too, right?)

Why cut the requirement?

Outside the mall
In 2019, a representative of Empire State Development, the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project, said the reduced requirement reflected the experience at even the most publicized bike-valeted event, and the advent of other options, like Citi Bike.

Still, the project developers never offered consistent secured outdoor parking, and the promise to do so indoors was not taken seriously, since the planned 4,000-square-foot space has since been incorporated into project buildings.

That was a significant gift from ESD to the developers--originally Forest City Ratner and since 2014 owned in large part by Greenland USA, the arm of a Shanghai-based conglomerate. Meanwhile, the arena operating company, once owned by Forest City, was purchased by successive billionaires, Mikhail Prokhorov and now Joseph Tsai, who also bought the Brooklyn Nets.

2019 presentation suggested limited area
Unmentioned promise

Curiously enough, when Tsai's company in June informed neighbors of the expected plaza work, they simply said it would "upgrade the existing pavers and light fixtures."

That Community Notice didn't mention the bike parking, perhaps because its delivery had become so attenuated.

Or perhaps because the placement of the coils  does not reflect the plan suggested in 2019, as shown in the "for illustrative purposes" example at right.

In that presentation, the suggested location for the bike racks--for illustrative purposes only--was flanking the transit entrance, but not extended to replace actual seating. Then again, it should've been obvious that the zone highlighted could not have accommodated 56 bike parking spaces. 

Instead, as shown below, the bike racks extend far deeper into what was once the seating area.

The Oonee pod

The escalator, on video

As I've frequently noted, the escalators at the arena plaza are regularly balky. On Dec. 14, when I stopped by, the up escalator was functional, but the down escalator was not, as shown in the brief video below.

On Dec. 15, the down escalator was not only not functioning, it wasn't even usable as stairs, as shown in the photo up top.