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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)

Daily News gets a vague quote from Gov. Hochul re Atlantic Yards, cites "myriad complications," uses stale photo of pre-arena railyard. Backroom deal coming?

There wasn't much new in the Daily News article yesterday, With the Atlantic Yards project stalled, Gov. Hochul offers scant details about a path forward:
“Any way that the influence of the state will result in the building of more housing, I’m all in,” Hochul said at a press conference Thursday, when asked about the status of Atlantic Yards.
That could mean anything. 

What next?

In 2014, the state, under pressure from the coalition BrooklynSpeaks regarding a threatened fair-housing lawsuit, agreed to a new 2025 deadline for the 2,250 below-market, "affordable" units, with $2,000/month fines for each missing apartment.

There are 876 left to build, and the deadline won't be met. Developer Greenland USA faces a thrice-postponed foreclosure auction of its development rights to build six towers over the Vanderbilt Yard, but a new developer must factor in the fines as well as the cost of the platform that precedes vertical construction.

 From the article:
“The practical problem is that the project right now isn’t marketable … and it can’t become marketable until there’s some kind of renegotiation,” said Gib Veconi, chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council [and a leader in BrooklynSpeaks].
“It’s difficult right now to see how any other developer would be willing to take on the project with that deadline out there,” he said, adding that it would likely be up to Hochul to change the terms so that Atlantic Yards can move forward.
Yes, some kind of renegotiation--or public intervention--is inevitable, but any reconfiguration of project terms should not be a backroom deal negotiated by the governor.

Time for a re-think?

Veconi also tweeted that, with "3,200 apartments approved, we need more leadership from Hochul and fewer excuses" from Empire State Development, the state authority that oversees/shepherds the project.

Surely, though I'm not so sure that the remainder of the project doesn't need a re-think. So Ben Keel's renderings, which I published in January, should be a start.


View of Atlantic Avenue, starting with B10 at left (east), just west of Vanderbilt Avenue, and ending just west of Carlton Avenue with a piece of B7

Down the memory hole

Note the irony in the photo used in the article and the Daily News's tweet: it shows the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard before the western third of the three-block railyard was subsumed into (half of) the arena block, with the railyard function moved two blocks east.


Moreover, the building in the photo has long since been demolished. It's "Atlantic Yards down the memory hole" or, in another way of putting it, a lack of institutional memory.

"Myriad complications"

From a Daily News caption: "It brought the Barclays Center and thousands of new homes to the Prospect Heights area, but many of the assurances made around housing and open space remain unfulfilled due to myriad complications."

Another way of putting it, as I wrote in my Atlantic Yards overview last week for Urban Omnibus:
Despite Atlantic Yards’ stalled status, some focus on the achievement: having delivered major league sports and a striking venue, hailed by architecture critics, without detracting from neighborhood life as much as was feared or deterring development nearby. Others see developer hubris and broken promises, and what I have called a “culture of cheating.”

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