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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)

Coming to 18 Sixth Ave. (Brooklyn Crossing): "crazy luxe" fitness chain Life Time, plus Spear Physical Therapy, part of NY-based chain; one more space left

There's no timetable or signage yet, but the high-end, Minneapolis-based chain Life Time gym will occupy two floors, plus part of the ground floor, at 18 Sixth Ave., aka Brooklyn Crossing, the Commercial Observer reported 1/9/23. The building flanks the Barclays Center at the northeast corner.

Life Time--which, upon a 2016 announcement of its first outpost in Manhattan was described by one publication as "crazy luxe"--opened a club in 2021 at Front & York in DUMBO, with membership starting at $259/month.

Life Time also will operate a gym, plus a co-working space, at the Brooklyn Tower, the borough's first supertall, at 9 DeKalb. This would be the tenth location in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

A restaurant on Sixth Avenue? (Photos/Norman Oder)
The Commercial Observer said Life Time leased 36,470 square feet for 20 years. That represents--apparently--the full second and third floors, plus one of the three ground-floor retail spaces. 

Here's the building plan. The building, including walls, occupies a 19,782 square-foot parcel (62% of a 31,906 square-foot lot area).

So, it's not inaccurate, but it is imprecise, for the Commercial Observer article--which was picked up by The Real Deal--to state that Life Time "will occupy the ground, second and third floors." 

One of the ground-floor retail spaces, as shown in the photo above, is awaiting a restaurant or other tenant, while another, as shown in the photo below, will be a physical therapy office.

Note one but two big fitness centers 

Previously, as I wrote in May 2019, one person associated with the 18 Sixth Avenue project once described space destined for a Equinox fitness club. Life Time may be even higher-end. Note: there's also a gym for residents on the fourth floor.

Note that a far larger fitness center and field house, nearly triple the size and mostly below-grade, is coming in June nearly two long blocks away at 595 Dean (B12/B13), operated by Chelsea Piers. 

Physical therapy on Atlantic Ave.
The Life Time lease surely signals that the company considers the two locations separate markets, with Brooklyn Crossing more focused on those using the Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr subway complex. 

Also coming: physical therapy

As shown in the photo at right, Spear Physical Therapy, a New York City-based chain, with 35+ locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Hoboken, Long Island, and Westchester, is coming to one ground-floor retail space at Brooklyn Crossing, along Atlantic Avenue.

Rents surely aren't low near the Atlantic Av.-Barclays Ctr subway complex, so it's not surprising that the tenant isn't a mom-and-pop.

So it's worth going back to recall the various promises of "neighborhood retail," which, not surprisingly, is not fully being honored.

They don't necessarily represent the "neighborhood retail"--as noted in a January 2018 press release from the project developer--that's typically been used to describe what's planned for the project.

Opening on Flatbush Ave. today
As I wrote in October, the long-awaited first tenant at 461 Dean, the modular building at the arena's southern flank, will be the local chain Just Salad. It's opening today.

Was "neighborhood retail" a dodge?

Was "neighborhood retail" or "local retail"--such as Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream and Cafe Gloria at 550 Vanderbilt, or Brooklyn Clay and A Mano (formerly Cain Sloan) at 535 Carlton--only meant to apply to the project beyond the arena block? Maybe, maybe not.

Consider the original public relations packet, from December 2003, which noted that four office buildings around the arena would contain commercial space, with no mention of retail--though, of course, such buildings would have had retail at their base.

The document said that 300,000 square feet of retail would be "interspersed within the residential areas," with the "retail spaces woven throughout the residential areas... proposed to be community-oriented."

According to the 2006 Modified General Project Plan and then the 2009 Modified General Project Plan:

A new arena (the "Arena") for the New Jersey Nets National Basketball Association Team (the "Nets") and five other buildings (with commercial office and retail, residential, community facility and potentially hotel uses and a new subway entrance) would be built on the Phase I Site... Eleven buildings would be developed on the Phase II Site with primarily residential uses and a number of local retail and community facility uses.

(Emphases added)

A February 2011 FAQ from the developer stated:

The first phase of the project includes the arena and five other buildings, most of which will be residential with market-rate and affordable housing. The second phase includes 11 residential buildings, 8 acres of open space and neighborhood retail.
In 2021, announcing new tenants at 38 Sixth Ave. (on the arena block) and 535 Carlton, an executive at Greenland Forest City Partners stated, "Wonderforest Nature Preschool and Cain Sloan are indicative of the kind of locally-owned, New York based small businesses we are looking to support at Pacific Park." (Those buildings have since been sold to Avanath Capital.)

Then again, the 96,000 square feet of below-ground space, plus 9,000 feet at street level, for Chelsea Piers, is hardly "local" or "neighborhood" retail. But that was dubiously approved as a never-before-acknowledged category of "recreational space," so maybe it doesn't qualify.