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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park timeline (updated: April 2020)

July 2003

Atlantic Yards project details leak out; article in Newark Star-Ledger newspaper. New Jersey Nets basketball team would move to Brooklyn as part of a larger mixed-use project.

December 2003

Project officially announced by Forest City Ratner, with slogan “Jobs, Housing, and Hoops,” and designs by architect Frank Gehry. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is host, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, with Mayor Mike Bloomberg present. New York Times architectural critic Herbert Muschamp is enthralled.

January 2004

Investment group led by Bruce Ratner finalizes purchase of New Jersey Nets basketball team.

February 2004

Project opponents organize as Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), hire attorney Norman Siegel.

March 2004

First public meeting on Atlantic Yards plan, in Park Slope.

Council Member Letitia James sponsors workshop to develop alternative plan for the railyard.

May 2004

Forest City releases report on expected fiscal benefits to the city and state, by sports economist Andrew Zimbalist.

New York City Council holds hearing on Atlantic Yards; James reveals alternative plan, known as UNITY plan.

Forest City sends first mailer to residents promoting Atlantic Yards.

In a front-page article, the Daily News reports that nearly all owners at the condo building 636 Pacific, except for activist Daniel Goldstein, have agreed to sell their apartments to Forest City.

June 2004

Jung Kim and Gustav Peebles, an urban planner and an economic historian, respectively, issue a report that criticizes FCR consultant Andrew Zimbalist’s projections.

October 2004

Forest City sends second mailer to residents promoting Atlantic Yards.

November 2004

Three Community Boards (CBs 2, 6, and 8) hold informational meeting on the project.

January 2005

Forest City reveals that planned office space around the arena would be swapped for condominiums.

March 2005

New York City and New York State announce non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Forest City, promise capital contributions and other assistance.

The Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development (PICCED) issues an independent report (“Slam Dunk or Airball? A Preliminary Planning Analysis of the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Project”) urging caution, and criticizing Zimbalist's economic estimates.

May 2005

Forest City signs Affordable Housing Memorandum of Understanding with community group ACORN New York.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announces Request for Proposals for Vanderbilt Yard development rights; DDDB tries to recruit a bidder to rival Forest City.

New York City Council holds second (and final) hearing on Atlantic Yards.

June 2005

Zimbalist updates his report, estimating that potential project revenue would increase by nearly 50%, owing to additional housing.

Forest City distributes the first issue of the Brooklyn Standard, a promotional publication.

United States Supreme Court issues decision upholding eminent domain in Kelo vs. New London.

Forest City signs Community Benefits Agreement with eight groups, including ACORN and BUILD (Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development), most of which are astroturf.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC), in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from project opponents, releases a previously completed memo, “Estimated Fiscal Impacts of the Proposed Atlantic Yards Project,” which undercuts several of Zimbalist’s predictions.

July 2005

New project designs by Gehry released, as part of a front-page New York Times article.

Bids to MTA for Vanderbilt Yards released; rival Extell bids more cash ($150 million) than Forest City ($50 million); Forest City claims the overall value of its bid is greater.

MTA committee meeting and full board meeting on Vanderbilt Yard; MTA agrees to renegotiate exclusively with Forest City.

August 2005

Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn reveals second Memorandum of Understanding for the project, involving rights to build at Site 5, catercorner to arena block.

September 2005

New York City Independent Budget Office releases analysis of the project, projecting a small surplus to the city.

Forest City agrees to double its cash bid (to $100 million) for the Vanderbilt Yard; MTA approves deal, with one dissenter.

Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) release Draft Scope of Analysis, the first step in the environmental review process.

Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn releases documents suggesting that leaders of community group BUILD, a signatory to the Community Benefits Agreement, expect personal enrichment from the group’s contract with Forest City.

October 2005

ESDC holds hearing soliciting comments on Draft Scope of Analysis.

Mayoral challenger Freddy Ferrer emerges as belated opponent of Atlantic Yards; he is sabotaged by his ostensible supporter Al Sharpton; incumbent Mayor Mike Bloomberg cites Sharpton.

BUILD is being paid to distribute the second issue of the developer's Brooklyn Standard, which is the last issue produced.
A poll commissioned by the New York Observer and conducted by Pace University suggests that, in comparison with previous surveys, the tide has shifted, and a majority of New Yorkers favor the proposal.

November 2005

Mike Bloomberg re-elected as city mayor.

DDDB holds its first “Walk, Don’t Destroy” fundraiser.

The Times publishes an editorial on the Atlantic Yards plan, criticizing the use of subsidies, but declaring that "the borough deserves a sports team, so long as the price is not too high."

December 2005

Forest City announces that it plans to demolish six buildings on the site, claiming structural damage; Develop Don't Destroy sues to block those demolitions.

February 2006

State court judge upholds demolitions, disqualifies lawyer working for ESDC; that disqualification is later overturned.

March 2006

ESDC releases Final Scope of Analysis, reveals modest reduction in project’s size.

ACORN issues a report denouncing subsidized development of luxury housing in Brooklyn, and points to the Atlantic Yards project as an exception.

May 2006

DDDB announces new advisory board, with celebrities and activists.

New Gehry designs for project released.

Brooklyn elected officials propose that the project be cut by one-third, in exchange for free rights to develop over the railyard and new subsidies.

June 2006

Daniel Goldstein of DDDB is subject of an article claiming he made racially offensive statements in an email, using the term “wealthy white masters” regarding the developer’s relationship to community groups. Black leaders protest.

Municipal Art Society (MAS), a citywide group focusing on planning and design, proposes that the project be revised, with a smaller scale, new streets, and open space that is not behind towers. The group does not oppose the arena.

Nationally known community planner Ron Shiffman joins DDDB, protests project.

July 2006

Forest City and ACORN schedule two public information sessions on affordable housing, draw thousands.

DDDB holds rally at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.

ESDC adopts General Project Plan (GPP), including Blight Study and Design Guidelines. Releases Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

August 2006

Three community boards hold separate hearings to gather comments on Atlantic Yards.

ESDC holds epic public hearing on Atlantic Yards.

September 2006

ESDC holds two community forums to gather further public comment.

Forest City announces another small cut in project density, in a front-page New York Times article. New York City Planning Commission endorses that cut.

Municipal Art Society launches BrooklynSpeaks, new coalition to improve, not stop the project, in cooperation with several Brooklyn community groups.

October 2006

DDDB announces eminent domain suit, in federal court, with attorney Matt Brinckerhoff.

DDDB's second annual walkathon raises over $100,000 for lawsuits.

November 2006

ESDC releases Final Environmental Impact Statement, including responses to comments.

December 2006

MAS recruits two organization to warn about potential massive illuminated signage on “Miss Brooklyn” tower (B1) looming at Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.

ESDC votes to approve Atlantic Yards Modified General Project Plan, estimating that full project will be finished in ten years, by 2016.

Lowered expected tax revenues lead civic groups to ask Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) to not approve $100 million state contribution to the project, which would have killed the project.

PACB approves project; Forest City reveals minor concessions; ESDC releases financial analysis of project from consultant KPMG.

January 2007

Barclays is announced as naming rights sponsor for arena, which will be called Barclays Center.

Mayoral budget adds $105 million of city funds to Atlantic Yards, on top of previous $100 million.

February 2007

Project landscape architect Laurie Olin suggests that Atlantic Yards will take 20 years to build, and that Gehry will not design each building; Forest City says he’s wrong.

First hearing in federal eminent domain case, before Magistrate Judge Robert Levy; he recommends to Judge Nicholas Garaufis that case be dismissed.

Forest City begins demolition work at the Vanderbilt Yard.

March 2007

Executives at Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises, parent company of Forest City Ratner, acknowledge project will take longer than expected.

State lobbying report shows Forest City was the state's third biggest lobbyist, spending $2.1 million over the year.

April 2007

Federal eminent domain case resumes before Judge Garaufis.

DDDB and allies announce state lawsuit challenging the project’s environmental review.

May 2007

Oral argument before state Justice Joan Madden in lawsuit challenging environmental review.

After demolition work leads to fall of parapet from Ward Bakery, potentially endangering community, ESDC announces a new staffer—described as an ombudsperson—will work with elected officials, public agencies, and the public.

Architects and planners proposed revised UNITY plan.

June 2007

Judge Garaufis dismisses federal eminent domain case.

Forest City executive Jim Stuckey leaves abruptly; MaryAnne Gilmartin named new project overseer. It is later revealed that Stuckey faced allegations of sexual harassment.

State legislature approves 421-a tax break with special provisions for Atlantic Yards.

July 2007

Documents revealed to state Assemblyman Jim Brennan suggest that high costs and overoptimistic expectations of revenues make project financially precarious; Forest City disagrees.

September 2007

State and city funding agreements give Forest City far more than ten years to finish the project. (These agreements are not revealed until March 2016).

October 2007

Oral argument before Second Circuit Court of Appeals in eminent domain case.

January 2008

Justice Madden dismisses state lawsuit challenging environmental review.

February 2008

Judges on Second Circuit Court of Appeals uphold ruling by Garaufis dismissing eminent domain case.

March 2008

Developer Bruce Ratner tells the New York Times that the economy will delay Atlantic Yards, but claims the arena is on track.

May 2008

DDDB and BrooklynSpeaks hold a joint rally calling for a “time-out” on the project to reassess it.

In a Daily News op-ed, Bruce Ratner says the project is “anticipated” to be finished by 2018, a ten-year time period.

New designs by Gehry released; they concern only the arena block, not the full project.

MAS releases mock-up image of “Atlantic Lots,” suggesting the impact of lingering surface parking.

June 2008

Forest City and allies sponsor “Brooklyn Day” rally supporting the project.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to allow eminent domain appeal.

United States Treasury Department proposes disallowing certain forms of tax-exempt financing, which could jeopardize bond issue to build the Brooklyn arena.

August 2008

New eminent domain challenge filed in New York state court.

September 2008

Oral argument before Appellate Division in DDDB’s appeal of Justice Madden’s decision on case on environmental review.

Beginning of national recession.

October 2008

Stock market plunges. Forest City Enterprises stock drops. Company begins laying off staff nationally, including in New York.

Landscape architect Olin confirms he is no longer with project.

U.S. Treasury Department agrees to grandfather in financing plan for Atlantic Yards arena.

November 2008

Barclays recommits to naming rights deal.

Ratner drops Gehry plan (though the architect's departure is not publicly revealed for months); decides to build smaller arena, decoupled from towers around it.

December 2008

Forest City Enterprises announces it will slow nearly all development nationally and halt its dividend.

Gehry lays off nearly all his Atlantic Yards staff.

February 2009

State appellate court rejects challenge to Madden decision rejecting challenge to environmental review, though one judge files a scathing concurrence.

Oral argument in state eminent domain case; such cases begin in appellate court, not trial court.

March 2009

Forest City announces losses, but says arena will go forward.

May 2009

Appellate Division judges reject eminent domain case.

State Senate holds oversight hearing regarding Atlantic Yards; MTA executive reveals they will accept a smaller replacement railyard.

Forest City Enterprises raises more than $300 million by selling new shares.

June 2009

Frank Gehry officially dropped from project; new Ellerbe Becket-designed arena revealed.

MTA approves proposal for revised deal for railyard rights, requiring $20 million down, and allowing 21 years to pay the remainder of the $100 million.

ESDC approves revised project plan, allowing for delays in Forest City paying for private property acquired via eminent domain, and acknowledging the project could be delayed. New Technical Memorandum agrees that no Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is required.

State Court of Appeals agrees to hear appeal in eminent domain case.

July 2009

ESDC holds public question-and-answer session, with Forest City.

ESDC holds public hearing on new project plan; BrooklynSpeaks and elected officials call for a
supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS)—to assess project changes.

September 2009

Forest City releases new design for the arena, with SHoP wrapping the Ellerbe Becket design with a pre-rusted skin, and a new oculus; new arena plaza is said to be temporary.

New York City Independent Budget Office says revised project plan means net loss to the city.

Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, a community coalition, releases report by independent real estate analyst that says Atlantic Yards cannot be completed by 2019 and more likely will take until at least 2029.

ESDC approves revised project plan; cites new report by KPMG that says the project could be built in ten years, by 2019.

ESDC releases technical memo saying there's no need for a Supplemental EIS.

Mikhail Prokhorov announced as new majority owner of the Nets, minority owner of the arena operating company.

October 2009

Oral argument at New York Court of Appeals in eminent domain appeal.

DDDB and other community groups sue ESDC and Forest City in state court, aiming to annul the recent re-approval of the project and require a Supplemental EIS.

DDDB and legislators sue the MTA in state court, aiming to overturn its revision of the Vanderbilt Yard deal.

November 2009

BrooklynSpeaks and allies also file suit challenging the re-approval of the project. (The Municipal Art Society leaves BrooklynSpeaks.) The cases will be combined.

Mayor Bloomberg, after getting term limits overturned, is elected for a third term. Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz is also elected for a third term. Brooklyn Council Member Bill de Blasio is elected Public Advocate.

New York State Court of Appeals dismisses eminent domain challenge, 6-1.

New ESDC-created entity, Brooklyn Arena Local Development Corporation, approves bonds for the project.

December 2009

Justice Michael Stallman, with no oral arguments, dismisses case challenging MTA’s project approval.

Project documents, including Development Agreement, signed in master closing that involves Forest City and ESDC.

January 2010

State Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman hears oral argument in combined lawsuits challenging the ESDC’s re-approval of the project.

Development Agreement released, reveals generous deadlines for project phases, including 25 years to finish the project.

Those facing condemnation file suit in state court, arguing that changes in the project invalidate the eminent domain findings in 2006. State Supreme Court Justice Abe Gerges hears oral argument.

March 2010

Justice Gerges rejects challenges, says no new eminent domain findings are necessary. Eminent domain approved, so title to remaining properties goes to ESDC.

Justice Friedman dismisses challenge to project re-approval.

Forest City holds arena groundbreaking, with representatives of Barclays, Jay-Z and many more in attendance.

April 2010

At hearing regarding potential eviction of condemnees, Justice Gerges hammers out settlement in which Daniel Goldstein agrees to leave his condo within a month. His $3 million settlement is highly contested.

May 2010

National Basketball Association approves Prokhorov as majority owner of the Nets.

June 2010

Forest City announces concrete has been poured for the arena.

Justice Friedman hears oral argument as community groups aim to re-open the case challenging the project approval, based on the delayed release of the Development Agreement.

August 2010

Condemnees sue in state court, before Justice Gerges, asking for new eminent domain findings.

September 2010

Justice Gerges dismisses case requesting new eminent domain findings.

Bruce Ratner tells WNYC that the project would not be built in ten years. Deputy Gilmartin says the first tower will start in spring 2011.

Forest City, using a private entity called the New York City Regional Center, begins seeking investors in China who are willing to lend $500,000 each at a low interest rate in exchange for green cards, in an investor visa program called EB-5. The goal is to raise $249 million. (Eventually it's $228 million.)

November 2010

Justice Friedman rules that ESDC failed to analyze the impact of Development Agreement. She orders new findings on whether a Supplemental EIS is needed.

“In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards,” fact-based musical/theater project by The Civilians, debuts at a theater in Brooklyn.

December 2010

ESDC board agrees that no Supplemental EIS is needed, issues new Technical Analysis.

March 2011

Oral argument before Justice Friedman in case regarding need for a Supplemental EIS.

New York Times reports that Forest City aims to build the world’s tallest tower using modular technology, producing prefabricated apartment sections in a factory. Forest City aims to build the entire project this way.

May 2011

Civic groups announce Atlantic Yards Watch, a web-based effort to monitor construction and operational impacts. Forest City opposes a bill to create a state subsidiary overseeing Atlantic Yards, saying bureaucracy caused delays.

June 2011

Release of documentary film Battle for Brooklyn, chronicling challenge to the project.

July 2011

Justice Friedman agrees with challengers, orders ESDC to conduct a Supplemental EIS, but limited to the second phase of the project, excluding the arena block.

November 2011

Forest City releases renderings by SHoP for three towers (B2, B3, B4) flanking the arena. It seems clear that B1 (aka “Miss Brooklyn”), the giant tower planned for what is now the arena plaza, will not be built.

February 2012

Construction hours for the arena and infrastructure are extended, to meet the September 2012 deadline.

Forest City and ESDC challenge Justice Friedman’s ruling in appellate court.

April 2012

Appellate court upholds Justice Friedman, requires Supplemental EIS.

Brooklyn Nets reveal marketing plan, with #HelloBrooklyn hashtag and new logo.

July 2012

Brooklyn Nets spend big money, re-sign Deron Williams, trade for Joe Johnson, sacrifice draft picks.

September 2012

Barclays Center ribbon cutting event involves Prokhorov.

Arena opens with string of eight concerts by Jay-Z.

October 2012

Barbra Streisand concert is one of several major arena events.

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang says hockey team will move from the Nassau Coliseum to Brooklyn in Fall 2015 under an “ironclad” 25-year lease.

November 2012

Brooklyn Nets’ first home game is delayed by Superstorm Sandy, though team and arena executives aimed to hold the game even with the subway shut down.

December 2012

Groundbreaking ceremony for modular tower, B1, to be named 461 Dean Street. Forest City partners with Skanska on the modular factor at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Skanska will construct the building.

January 2013

City Council oversight hearing addresses modular factory; Council takes no action despite claim that Department of Buildings ignored licensing requirements.

February 2013

Public hearing on Draft Scope for a Supplemental EIS.

June 2013

Brooklyn Nets trade three first-round draft picks to acquire aging stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce; team will have the league’s highest payroll.

August 2013

MTV holds Video Music Awards at Barclays Center, uses surrounding streets as backdrop.

Forest City announces plan to sell at least half of the Atlantic Yards project to an outside investor.

Ratner’s group wins bid to modernize and downsize the Nassau Coliseum, which the hockey Islanders will be leaving.

September 2013

Justice Friedman grants attorneys’ fees to lawyers who brought case calling for a Supplemental EIS.

October 2013

Forest City says it will sell 70 percent of the project, excepting the arena and the modular tower, to Greenland USA, an arm of the Shanghai-based conglomerate Greenland Holding Co.

November 2013

Bill de Blasio elected New York City Mayor; Letitia James elected Public Advocate.

December 2013

Forest City Enterprises reports a $242 million impairment—loss in value—of its Atlantic Yards investment. Greenland will pay $200 million for its share, well below the cost to Forest City.

Justice Eileen Rakower dismisses legal challenge, by industry groups representing plumbing and mechanical contractors, to the Department of Buildings’ posture toward the modular plan.

January 2014

Forest City makes its second effort to raise money via EB-5, “Atlantic Yards II,” with the U.S. Immigration Fund/NY Regional Center as its partner.

February 2014

Final Scope for a Supplementary EIS released; delay seems aimed to accommodate Greenland deal.

March 2014

Draft Supplemental EIS released. It discloses that school will be built not on the railyard but on a site across the street from the arena, suggests that the project will not lead to indirect displacement.

Municipal Art Society announces that Bruce Ratner and MaryAnne Gilmartin have won the organization’s highest honor, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal.

April 2014

Forest City and Greenland say they will add install a secondary green roof on the Barclays Center to add an amenity and tamp down on noise escaping the structure from certain concerts.

May 2014

Public hearing on Draft Supplemental EIS.

June 2014

Greenland sale closes. Governor Andrew Cuomo announces settlement with community group that threatened lawsuit regarding the project timetable on fair housing grounds; announces new 2025 deadline for affordable housing; two “100 percent affordable” towers will start. Only later is it revealed that most of the below-market units will be for middle-income households.

The settlement also includes agreement to organize a new advisory body, the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC).

August 2014

Greenland Forest City renames the project Pacific Park Brooklyn.

Skanska threatens to stop building modular tower unless Forest City pays cost overruns. Skanska shuts down factory.

Mayor de Blasio leads a pep rally aimed to convince the Democratic National Committee to hold the 2016 presidential nominating convention at the Barclays Center. (Philadelphia is chosen.)

September 2014

Forest City, Skanska file dueling lawsuits over modular tower.

October 2014

Brooklyn Nets’ visit to China helps Greenland Forest City Partners raise more EB-5 funds, in “Atlantic Yards III,” again with U.S. Immigration Fund/NY Regional Center.

November 2014

Forest City buys out Skanska’s stake in modular tower.

December 2014

Groundbreaking for 535 Carlton, “100 percent affordable,” and 550 Vanderbilt, a condo building, both designed by CookFox.

February 2015

Forest City says it faces a $146 million impairment (loss in value) on modular tower.

Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation finally begins its quarterly meetings.

June 2015

Forest City unveils the design of the project open space, with master plan by Thomas Balsley.

August 2015

State documents reveal leaks and mold in modular tower.

September 2015

Greenland Forest City unveils plans for 615 Dean Street (B12), designed by KPF, but tower does not launch.

ESDC says it has begun the final condemnations, of Modell’s and P.C. Richard at Site 5, but the latter stalls the action in court.

October 2015

New York Islanders start play at Barclays Center. An off-center scoreboard, limited-view seats, and disrespect for the team's traditions, plus an awkward commute, provoke fans' ire.

December 2015

Greenland Forest City announces plans for 664 Pacific (B15), a tower that would include a middle school, designed by Marvel Architects, but the building does not start.

January 2016

Forest City closes sale of its remaining interest in the Nets and the arena to Prokhorov, with an implied value of $875 million for the Nets and $825 million for the arena.

Forest City Enterprises becomes a dividend-paying real estate investment trust, or REIT, and changes its name to Forest City Realty Trust.

February 2016

Greenland Forest City reveals plans to build giant office tower at Site 5, once it gets ESDC to transfer the development rights from the B1 tower (“Miss Brooklyn”) once slated for the arena plaza.

April 2016

Tobi Jaiyesimi, executive director of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, becomes ESDC’s Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Project Director, thus essentially advising herself.

Greenland Forest City announces plan to market three sites (B4, B12, B13) to outside investors.

July 2016

The Real Deal reports that Forest City Ratner has lost 20 percent of its employees, to layoffs or departures.

August 2016

ESDC/BALDC approves refinancing of the arena, bonds, saving Prokhorov $90 million, thanks to lower interest rates.

October 2016

Forest City sells the modular factory to former executive Roger Krulak’s firm, Full Stack Modular.

November 2016

Modular tower 461 Dean finally opens.

Forest City announces losses on Pacific Park, says it has stalled new vertical construction on Pacific Park, citing glut of rental housing, rising construction cost, and uncertainties regarding 421-a tax break. Greenland does not comment.

Hedge funds pressure Forest City Realty Trust to reform its dual class share structure and its family-controlled board, based in part on losses from Pacific Park.

December 2016

Forest City Realty Trust agrees to a single-class share structure and a board majority of non-family members.

March 2017

Forest City Ratner becomes Forest City New York.

April 2017

Nassau Coliseum reopens, as "NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented By New York Community Bank.” It has no anchor tenant, despite previous pledges to bring a minor league hockey team.

In the housing lottery for 535 Carlton, I find a huge mismatch between the small number of applicants for middle-income units and the enormous number of applicants for low-income units.

Less than two blocks northwest of the arena plaza, developer Alloy announces plans for giant 80 Flatbush project.

June 2017

Grand opening for "100% affordable: 535 Carlton.

July 2017

Greenland Forest City gets new broker, Nest Seekers International, to sell condos at 550 Vanderbilt, after a sales slowdown.

Three sites (B4, B12, B13) no longer being marketed to outside investors.

September 2017

Forest City Realty Trust announces strategic review to increase shareholder value, which could include a merger or sales of specific assets.

October 2017

Unable to fill middle-income units at 535 Carlton (and 461 Dean), Greenland Forest City opens marketing beyond the official housing lottery.

Billionaire Joseph Tsai agrees to buy 49 percent of the Nets, and then buy the rest in four years, at a valuation of $2.3 billion, a victory for Prokhorov.

November 2017

Forest City says it will sell the modular building, 461 Dean.

December 2017

The Islanders-Barclays deal has an opt-out clause. Islanders win bid to construct new arena at Belmont Park; it should open in 2021. Barclays Center, whose operators also operate the Nassau Coliseum, push for the Islanders to play all their games during the interim in Nassau.

January 2018

Forest City announces it will sell all but 5% of the project going forward to Greenland USA; deal expected to close mid-2018. It will retain its 30% of the three towers built by the joint venture.

CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin leaves Forest City to co-found new firm, L&L MAG, with two new deputies.

Forest City New York has third round of layoffs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces Islanders will split next three seasons at Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center, and offers $6 million in state funds to upgrade the Coliseum for hockey.

Developer Hope Street Capital announces 550 Clinton, 312-foot tower catercorner to northeast corner of Atlantic Yards site.

March 2018

Forest City sells 461 Dean to Principal Global Investors.

Forest City Realty Trust announces it has decided against selling the company, but it will revamp its board, with 9 of 13 board members being replaced. The extended Ratner family will have only two board designees, not four.

May 2018

First retail tenants at 550 Vanderbilt announced.

June 2018

No price announced for Forest City/Greenland deal, as it closes.

August 2018

Forest City Realty Trust to be acquired by Brookfield.

Renters at 535 Carlton can get two months free.

Developer admits Pacific Park should take until 2035.

September 2018

Drama and dissent at Forest City's board revealed over Brookfield deal.

New development partners, TF Cornerstone and the Brodsky Organization, will lease development rights at three sites: B12, B13, and B15.

October 2018

A reality TV show starring broker Ryan Serhant, Million Dollar Listing, distorts the story of 550 Vanderbilt.

Key member of founding Ratner family opposes Forest City's acquisition by Brookfield.

Two signs of change at the Brooklyn Paper: a pink cover, and a "Brownstoner corner." The loss of an editor and more Schneps-i-fication, as business networking events get big play.

November 2018

Forest City Realty Trust shareholders, by significant margin, approve acquisition by Brookfield. It will be the end of a standalone company founded in 1920.

December 2018

New York's bid for Amazon's #HQ2 in Brooklyn offered two Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park sites, B4 and Site 5, plus towers over Atlantic Center mall. Instead, Amazon chose to split its new campus between Virginia and Long Island City, before backing out of the latter.

My article details a claimed 20% off "flash sale" at 550 Vanderbilt.

New York Magazine's Justin Davidson, writing on potential development at Sunnyside Yard, suggests that the "perpetually troubled" Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park "offers another case study in what to avoid."

January 2019

NewYork-Presbyterian opens health center at 38 Sixth, but it doesn't really fulfill the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement, which indicated the health center was supposed to help the needy

Briefly, some middle-income units at "affordable" 535 Carlton come with three months free rent as a concession. One resident says she's happy, though not getting a great bargain.

February 2019

Where a substance abuse treatment program operated on Flatbush, now Brooklyn's first medical marijuana dispensary.

The Islanders will play home games for the playoffs' first round at the Nassau Coliseum, but any further home games will be played at Barclays Center, "reflecting that the Nassau Coliseum does not qualify as an NHL major league facility."

In a victory for P.C. Richard and a delay for a planned tower complex at Site 5, a state judge has rebuked original project developer Forest City Ratner, saying it reneged on a promise to provide the retailer replacement space at the site.

March 2019

With 25% affordability (at least) in four buildings starting in 2019 and 2020, still a heavy lift needed to meet May 2025 deadline of 2,250 total units.

Atlantic Yards CDC doesn't get chance to hire its own consultants on project changes, as per 2018 proposal. Advisory body can't get updated building-by-building timetable.

April 2019

My article in City Limits, Ever-Shifting Pacific Park Plan Highlights Uncertainty of Big Development Schemes, cites an unconfirmed plan to meet the affordable housing deadline with a "100% affordable" tower.

While Greenland is the majority shareholder, The Brodsky Organization “bought a significant piece and will manage development” of 18 Sixth Avenue, according to Greenland.

May 2019

Third act: Bruce Ratner as "developer and philanthropist," catalyzing major Holocaust exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Ball for Brooklyn: Barclays Center is site of Brooklyn library gala, where arena is honored; Ratner and BPL's Linda Johnson buy a Pierhouse condo.

Greenland USA executive says Vanderbilt Yard upgrade exceeds $200 million, as do projected platform costs.

June 2019

Three state legislators from Brooklyn write a forceful letter to state economic development chief Howard Zemsky, asking him to explain how Pacific Park will deliver the required 2,250 affordable units by the approaching deadline of May 2025. No answer.

At Fifth Avenue and Dean Street near the arena, a one-time location for accountants will be home to Insomnia Cookies.

For B12 and B13, a big boost in unit count planned: from 542 apartments to 800, which means smaller units.

461 Dean, with new owners, no longer promotes Pacific Park, but offers astoundingly whimsical Brooklyn map.

July 2019

In dramatic fashion, Brooklyn Nets re-set NYC basketball fandom, signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. (Was the accessible practice facility a factor?)

Surprise! ESD will allow 96,000 square feet new below-grade space for a fitness center and field house under the B12 and B13 tower, calling it "Clarification on Commercial Use on Residential Blocks." Shortly afterward, that's said to represent recreational space, replacing parking. Parking cut from 1,200 spaces to 1,000 provokes skepticism.

Instead of secured, indoor bike parking to serve Barclays Center attendees, new plan to add 56 outdoor, unsecured spaces to arena plaza, plus count existing 44 spaces at mall across the street.

August 2019

In The City, officials express doubts that affordable housing timetable will be met. I think it's possible, but more transparency is needed.

At Vanderbilt and Atlantic avenues, McDonald’s lot opposite Pacific Park flank eyed for high-rise; expected spot rezoning might exceed Community Board 8's still-significant broader plan.

Unusual Atlantic Yards CDC deadlock: board unwilling to recommend that parent ESD vote for (or against) new underground space. Is proposed below-ground "recreational" space really a swap for parking, as ESD claims? No way. ESD board predictably approves new space.

Tsai buys Nets, Barclays Center operating company, in faster-than-expected transaction. Yormark leaves. Slate's Ben Mathis-Lilly suggests Prokhorov did "almost nothing" to increase the value of the Nets franchise, while the state and city governments deserve some of the upside.

So, Greenland USA's parent company has $550 million in unpaid notes. Cash crunch could constrain Pacific Park ambitions (and raise timetable questions). Wall Street Journal says it's time to sell newly hamstrung, debt-burdened Greenland.

September 2019

Construction on two sides of Sixth Avenue, medical facility drop-offs, and scofflaw parking cause continued pedestrian safety issues.

School Construction Authority surprise: middle school at B15 tower won't open until 2023, will house 800 students (not 640). Middle-school classes have more students.

In railyard, how far along is the platform? Some preliminary work is done, but the state either doesn't know or won't offer an assessment.

October 2019

State document from 2018 offers new hint of affordability strategy: towers over railyard with 50% affordable units. No confirmation, no info on Site 5.

Before public meeting, Greenland tells New York Post it will start railyard platform in 2020. That makes 2025 affordable goal more plausible, but questions remain.

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park seems to be at an inflection point, presenters at a BrooklynSpeaks forum say, and that should offer leverage for improvements in public benefits and public oversight.

The Schneps-ification of local media continues, as Brooklyn Paper owner buys amNewYork, free commuter paper. Gothamist offers a sobering look at Schneps, which later will buy the free commuter Metro, and consolidate it with amNew York.

As big-ticket apartment prices drop, given larger state transfer tax, price cuts for Pacific Park condos.

In NBA firestorm over China, sparked by Houston GM's Hong Kong tweet, a reminder of the bottom line; Nets owner Tsai backs regime.

Barclays Center will get new (Tsai-owned) tenant: WNBA's New York Liberty, with at least 17 home games.

Brett Yormark joins twin Michael at Jay-Z's Roc Nation.

November 2019

New Nets/arena CEO David Levy claims Barclays Center will be active 285 days/year. But last 12 months had 146 ticketed events (and biggest year was 240+ events). Levy departs after two months, with enigmatic statement.

Revealed: NYC's "agreed-upon discounts" for city properties and streets within Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park means $2.3 million valuation for five parcels.

Is Pacific Park really on “fast track”? First phase of new platform, document I acquire reveals, should take three years. That squeezes affordable housing timetable.

Construction at Site 5, catercorner to arena, now on horizon after agreement with P.C. Richard enables state to re-launch eminent domain, so it says.

Parking garages on project's southeast block were once to have three entrances. Now one entrance to serve 758 spaces.

B12 & B13 design from Handel Architects reflects brick and masonry, with one shared lobby (?) and underground connection. Open space on southeast block shifts quarter-acre lawn to center, between mostly market-rate towers. Is a homage (!) to demolished Ward Bakery planned?

Curbed calls Barclays Center among NYC’s 10 most important buildings of the past decade.

December 2019

Pacific Park middle school due by summer 2023.

Documents show design of B6 and B7 towers shifted toward Atlantic Avenue from Pacific Street, given use of "bump" for residential cellars. Otherwise, the platform would not allow cellars.

Stalled Triangle Sports building across from arena sells for $7 million; any profit tempered by seven years of stasis.

Gilmartin's firm leaves alliance with L&L, will now be MAG Partners. Is that success, or spin?

Forbes: vault in Nets' value over the past decade is 773%, second only to that of the Warriors.

January 2020


The first group of EB-5 investors in Atlantic Yards has been repaid.

Yes, more Nets live in Brooklyn (and shop at Whole Foods).

Revealed: developer plans first three towers over railyard as "50% affordable." To meet housing deadline, that would be major challenge. So maybe one will be 100% affordable.

B12/B13 towers now said to start in spring; platform to start sometime this year.

February 2020

Second look: the flaw in the traffic/parking analysis was to focus on Nets games rather than smaller events drawing more vehicles.

As Forbes ranks Brooklyn Nets #7 in NBA value, team operating income ranks #25 and revenue/fan #29.

Slogans change: from a "diverse neighborhood" with a school and park to "urban oasis in the center of Brooklyn" (and no longer "A Vision for Downtown Brooklyn").

Venue operators (including Barclays) must be wary, as coronavirus concerns could lead to "canceling mass gatherings."

March 2020

The end of Isles' hockey at Barclays: team returning full-time to Nassau Coliseum next year and for playoffs.

Greenland says it's "close to being ready" to announce progress on first phase of platform.

Uncharted territory: NBA suspends season and college tournament at Barclays canceled, due to coronavirus. Hourly employees will be paid through May.

Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation meeting planned as teleconference, then postponed.

Site 5 is delayed, as P.C. Richard protests state condemnation claim, saying it wants issue of replacement space resolved first.

Gov. Cuomo shuts down construction, but leaves big exceptions, notably buildings with 20% or more affordable housing. Still, work at B4 (18 Sixth) and B15 (37 Sixth) is shutting down, out of caution.

April 2020

New York State gets 2,000 ventilators donated, thanks to Nets owner Tsai, helped by Alibaba co-founder and Chinese government.

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