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|A model shown to potential immigrant investors in China in 2014,|
though not shown publicly in Brooklyn.
This watchdog blog, by journalist Norman Oder, offers analysis, commentary, and reportage about the $4.9 billion project to build the Barclays Center arena and 16 high-rise buildings at a crucial site in Brooklyn. Dubbed Atlantic Yards by developer Forest City Ratner in 2003, it was rebranded Pacific Park in 2014 after the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group bought a 70% stake in 15 towers. New York State still calls it Atlantic Yards. Contact: AtlanticYardsReport[at]hotmail.com
|A model shown to potential immigrant investors in China in 2014,|
though not shown publicly in Brooklyn.
Greenland Holding Group steers clear of Hollywood [Los Angeles] and other communities where the company may face protracted opposition, said Ifei Chang, chief executive officer of the U.S. unit of the Shanghai-based development company.
"We want to invest in a city that's more forward-thinking," said Chang, whose projects include the $1 billion Metropolis in downtown Los Angeles and the $5 billion Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn. "Communities that say 'not in my backyard' might not welcome us. Those cities aren't in the picture."
Give Brooklyn back its street
Brooklyn: I feel harassed, betrayed and exhausted trying to live and work in the borough where I grew up. In 1999, I purchased the building that houses my business in Prospect Heights. When the Atlantic Yards project came on the drawing board, I thought of it as a positive proposition for jobs and the community.
Fast forward to today. I don’t have a problem with any part of the construction project, now called Pacific Park. I have a huge problem with the fact that the city gave the developer half of Dean St., literally. The street now has a 16-foot construction wall, one lane of traffic and no parking lane. My business’ five trucks must park all over the neighborhood during the day and indoors at night.
In one week, we have received six parking tickets — all from the same police officer — for parking on the sidewalk while in the process of bringing trucks inside. It is so unfair to the working guy that there seem to be more obstacles in our way every day in this city. Jack Ippolito
Um, #AtlanticYards developers had already demolished a lot, right @threecee? http://t.co/tn6qNryeqb #FBF @pacificparkbk @barclayscenter
— Norman Oder (@AYReport) January 23, 2015
|The photo circulated by Pacific Park Brooklyn|
|By Tracy Collins|
On Monday morning contractors associated with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park apparently hit a tree on Carlton Avenue. I was called by a Carlton Avenue resident who forwarded me the following text and the attached photographs.
The tree has grown on a lean so the width of the street is narrower at the top of the height of a truck and wider at street level. The tree has been damaged recently in more than one spot suggesting it has been hit more than once. There is what appears to be plastic stuck in one of the damaged areas of the tree. I agree with the person who forwarded me the complaint that Carlton appears to have been narrowed too much. It is an old, beautiful tree and I worry the tree will be damaged more.
On Monday morning I heard a horrendous noise from the street and rushed to my front window to discover that an EJ Electrical contracting truck was stuck by the tree in front of my house. This happened numerous times since the green wall was put up in the middle of the street. The sidewalk side of streets were to park cars and not for carrying traffic. As the streets are constructed for the rain water to run to the side gutters where normally cars are parked now with the green wall blocking the center of street all trucks and cars are forced to use the leaning gutter side of street and all cars and trucks lean toward the sidewalk which has out trees and when the trucks are loaded improperly they hit the trees. EJ Electric just removed a street light on the corner of Carlton and Dean and instead of following truck route via Dean/ Vanderbilt/ Atlantic they took Carlton to pick up and remove the street light post on the corner of Carlton/ Pacific.
I rushed outside and told the men that they were not supposed to go on this block, but they said they just wanted to go to the next corner ( not wanting to go the assigned route).
And another report
It is outrageous for the city to refuse to put up a no trucks sign as we suggested to them some time ago. Why can the green wall not to be moved back by just a couple of feet?
The street was closed off for over 1/2 hour !!!!! and this was not the first time!!!!
The construction fencing on Carlton Avenue is pinching the street too much and creating an ongoing unsafe condition. Taller vehicles like trucks and buses cannot pass through the Avenue without hitting a tree. The tree is old and beautiful and should be preserved. The damage is both to the tree and the vehicles that pass.
Today I witnessed and videotaped a truck hitting the tree while I passed by. The truck hit the tree hard, and the video turned off as I ran forward to see if the driver was alright. This is the same situation I filed an incident report about on Tuesday. The tree shows fresh signs of being hit regularly.
For the 3rd time this week a truck got stuck under the tree on Carlton Avenue. This morning the truck wasn't just too tall, it was also too wide. According to the resident who forwarded me the information, the truck hit the tree because of its height, and the green wall because of its width. There are fresh scratches on the green wall across from the tree.
Obviously, the risk is to the tree, the owner of the truck and the drivers, because some trucks barrel down Carlton as they do Dean. When the trucks get stuck, they block traffic. Assuming the fence is built as approved, I think DOT has approved an unsafe and non-functioning condition.
DOT should make sure Carlton Avenue is well posted with "no truck" signs and the sign on Dean Street at 6th Avenue should finally get fixed. As has previously been filed here, that sign is pivoted, making it look like trucks are banned northbound on 6th Avenue from Dean. But because I think it will be hard for the NYPD to commit the resources to guarantee no trucks or buses come down this stretch of Carlton, I think DOT should be reassessing the amount they have reduced Carlton Avenue. Right now the width causes a regular blockage.
We had fun this AM, heard truck motor too long, went to window and a huge, long, very wide yellow truck with a huge street roller piggy back on stuck between Dean and my tree. went out in robe..... told driver he was not supposed to be on Carlton as it is no trucks... he said: Miss I just came down on Carlton and could not make the turn onto Dean"
"why are you taking pictures I am a city truck we do street resurfacing" I said "that does not give you the right to use no trucks streets" and he said " I am not talking to you, I am the city" I called 911 and another neighbor did the same, police took a while to show, they all blamed the Mayor for doing nothing, they had to send for a crew, dismanteled the convoy and piec by piece pulled it to the bridge where they assembled it again. This huge heavy truck had to ride on the sidewalk and at certain area the curb stone is damaged including by the fire hydrant.
Please be advised that ConEd will be conducting work related to the decommissioning of power lines on the north side of Pacific street, between Carlton & Vanderbilt Avenues. Work is slated to take place during the weekend of January 23rd . Actual work hours are dependent upon the availability of work crews & subject to emergencies
The crosswalk on this intersection has been unsafe and continuously shared between cars, trucks, bikers , construction trucks and pedestrians. The authorities, DOB, or the developers did not even bother painting a new crosswalk in a more safe location, indicating where pedestrians should cross to stay safe and away from cars. Several times a day there are no workers helping and indicating the way.Nicole Jordan, community relations manager for Empire State Development, filed a response that said, in part:
Pictures from a high floor on the Atlantic Terrace residential building on Atlantic Avenue between South Oxford and South Portland Streets show the exact intersection of 6th Avenue and Atlantic Avenue and the sequence of events of cars and pedestrians sharing the crosswalk.
Per the previous construction alert (Two Week Look Ahead) and the one circulated on January 20, 2015 the pedestrian pathways will remain closed while steel trusses work is being conducted on Sixth Avenue. Forest City Ratner Companies will continue to have flagmen present to direct pedestrians away from the work area.The flagmen don't fully help
I happened to be passing through this intersection on foot today and saw the situation the person filing the incident report is describing first hand.
There were flagmen when I passed through, and NYPD had also posted an officer at the location. The officer focused on the pedestrians while the flagger focused on getting the construction equipment out into traffic. Thanks are due the 78th Precinct once again!
There is a lot of traffic moving through Atlantic Avenue and 6th Avenues most times of the day. Both have been narrowed, squeezing volume into a few lanes. In the meantime, there are also a lot of pedestrians, even with all the sidewalk and crosswalk closures. The pedestrians don't really have a clearly delineated path how to cross Atlantic. It is unsettling because the traffic traveling down 6th Avenue actually passes directly over the area delineated as a crosswalk, plus construction equipment is entering and exiting onto the crosswalk from both sides.
I think what the filer of the incident report is writing is correct: even with properly trained (and let's hope paid for by the for profit developer, not taxpayer!) help, pedestrians still need clear visual clues how to pass through the intersection. If the construction vehicles can be directed a different way, I would also try that.
Federal authorities are expected to arrest Sheldon Silver, the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, on corruption charges on Thursday, people with knowledge of the matter said. The case is likely to throw Albany into disarray at the beginning of a new session.Could it reach Ratner?
The investigation that led to the expected charges against Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who has served as speaker for more than two decades, began after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission he had created in 2013.
Details of the specific charges to be brought against Mr. Silver were unclear on Wednesday night, but one of the people with knowledge of the matter said they stemmed from payments that Mr. Silver received from a small law firm that specializes in seeking reductions of New York City real estate taxes.
Silver is old. He’s rich. And he’s been at the very nexus of Albany corruption for years. Silver knows where all the bodies are buried, so to speak. And it definitely looks like Bharara has the goods on him for real this time. Does Silver roll? Does he save his ass whilst doing an enormous public service to the State of New York and all of us who have suffered such corruption for so long?
I think we’re about to find out.
But months later, he and Mr. Rapfogel quietly put their weight behind yet another new plan, from a handpicked developer who included no housing. According to official memos, Mr. Silver asked city officials to approve a “big box” store, like Costco, on the site. The developer, Bruce Ratner, would build it. The sponsor would be the South Manhattan Development Corporation, which Mr. Rapfogel then headed.
What do you get when you combine a massive new $24 billion television contract, a nearly six-year bull market in equities creating tremendous wealth, and cheap credit? You get a massive rise in sports franchise values, with the NBA serving as ground zero for the current boom. The average NBA team is now worth $1.1 billion, 74% more than last year. It is the biggest one-year gain since Forbes began valuing teams in the four major U.S. sports leagues in 1998.The shared league revenue contributes $298 million of the value of the Nets today, up hugely from $141 million, which itself was way down from $292 million a year earlier.
The Nets present an even trickier valuation proposition. Mikhail Prokhorov paid $365 million in 2010 for 80% of the team and 45% of the operating rights to its home arena, Barclays Center. The club lost an NBA-record $99 million last season thanks to $206 million in player costs from salaries, benefits and $91 million luxury tax bill, another NBA record. The Barclays Center was the busiest arena in North America in 2013 and the first half of 2014, but the new owners would be on the hook for $50 million annually in bond payments, plus another $15 million to operate the building. Even so, the Nets will be valued like a trophy asset, as the rare sports property put up for auction in the biggest market in the U.S. We value the Nets and the operating lease to Barclays at $1.5 billion, sixth among NBA franchises.(Emphasis added)
Paying $1.5 billion or more for a business losing $100 million a year doesn’t make a lot of economic sense. But in addition to joining an ultra-exclusive club, new NBA owners also benefit from hefty tax breaks. Owners can deduct the value of the intangible assets in the deal over 15 years after a transaction. This deduction can offset earnings for the NBA franchise or other businesses the owner may control. This part of the U.S. tax code applies to all business and not just sports. But the NBA and sports teams reap significant benefits because 90% or more of the purchase price can typically be deemed an intangible asset with a sports team. It is a major factor as hedge fund titans and billionaires swirl around the Nets in the coming months.On the Nets
Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov hired investment bank Evercore Partners in January to sell his majority interest in the Nets. Forest City Ratner Companies enlisted Evercore last year to sell its 20% stake in the team. The team is bleeding red ink due to its high payroll, enormous debt and low local television deal. Some of the Nets losses should be alleviated when the NHL's New York Islanders move into the Barclays Center for the 2015-16 season. The Nets' luxury tax bill last season was a record $90.6 million leading to the biggest operating loss in NBA history.(Emphasis added)
|From Cuomo's Opportunity Agenda|
Ratner needs about 5,000 parking spots but construction of a multi-story parking garage adjacent to the arena would liberate dozens of acres of blacktop for additional development.
"A state investment in this facility would complement the current private investment and drive hundreds of millions of dollars of additional private investment at the site," Cuomo's office said in a statement.
..."This initiative will assist in creating jobs and opportunities while complementing the redeveloped Coliseum and surrounding sports-and-entertainment district," said [Nassau County Executive Ed] Mangano.
Ratner said in a statement: “We welcome the state’s investment in parking infrastructure at the Nassau Coliseum site and thank Governor Cuomo for his efforts to spur economic development in New York.”
De Blasio spokeswoman Marti Adams responded by email with the following comment: “For months, the Administration has been engaging with residents, business owners, elected officials community and civic leaders and organizations, including the Barclays Center Impact Zone Alliance. Mayor de Blasio has been clear that this will be a collaborative process and our door remains open. We’ll continue to engage with community members as we work together to build a convention that will bring maximum benefit to the City as well as the Democratic Party. Additionally, we will name a community liaison when selected as the host city. From UNGA to the Super Bowl to the Thanksgiving Day parade, we have a long history of executing high profile events with minimal disruptions to the lives of everyday New Yorkers, and the convention will be no different.”The Brooklyn Paper's coverage added a quote from a merchant support of the convention:
About six dozen businesses, from the neighborhood and beyond, signed onto a letter of support on Friday, telling Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic committee chairwoman, that they want to bring the convention here.
Francine Stephens, who owns Franny’s and Bklyn Larder, both on Flatbush Avenue, said she does see an uptick in business during big events, such as during the Video Music Awards.
“That night was very good for us,” Stephens said. “The people who would normally be attracted to my businesses, there were just more of them.”
She does acknowledge that during many events at Barclays people tend to go straight to the arena and then straight home. She said the mayor’s office will have to come up with a plan to encourage convention-goers to explore the area around the arena if local businesses are going to benefit.
Since Talking Heads broke up in the early ’90s, David Byrne’s eclectic projects have focused on everything from visual art and musical theater to bicycles and gentrification. His latest obsession? Color guard.
...This summer, Mr. Byrne will present “Contemporary Color” in Toronto and Brooklyn, pairing 10 teenage color guard teams from Canada and the United States with musicians including Kelis, St. Vincent, Devonté Hynes and Nelly Furtado.
...A co-commission of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Toronto’s Luminato Festival, the show will premiere at the Air Canada Center on June 22 and 23. The show will come to Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 27 and 28, in the Academy’s first partnership with its neighboring arena.
Because this work conflicts with bracing blocks for the 16 foot fence for the Block 1129 construction, lower fences, varying in height from eight to twelve feet, have initially been installed in front of the work zone. The work zone is approximately 150 feet long and about 125 feet west of Vanderbilt Avenue. It is expected that the full 16 foot fence will be constructed and in place by January 23rd. This work has been delayed due to weather conditions and is currently anticipated to be completed by mid-February. Once completed, the 16’ fence will be installed along Dean Street.Other new work going on at that building site:
• Excavation and hauling of soil from site. Soil that has been classified as clean, contaminated or hazardous will be removed from the site as part of the excavation activities and brought to appropriate disposal locations. Protocols for the trucks entering and exiting the site have been put in place. These protocols provide instruction on roadway routing to and from the project site, queuing of trucks while on site and vehicle idling restrictionsRegarding B14, the rental tower at 535 Carlton Avenue, beyond continuing excavation and foundation activities, with a support of excavation (SOE) drill rig, the document indicates the following new information:
• Installation of support of excavation (SOE), including pouring of concrete piers and installation lagging will commence during this reporting period.
o Site mobilization will continue, consisting of electrical work to power contractor field office and relocation of light poles to outside of site fence.
|Pollstar 2014 results|
|2013 results, Billboard|
|2014 results, Billboard|
However, at businesses like Yayo’s Restaurant, located two blocks from Barclays Center, its owner said that not luring the convention to New York would make a trying situation even worse.
“It’s not the way we thought it would be,” said Geronimo Diaz, regarding his receipts since Barclays opened three years ago. He said there was a need for more hip hop and Latin music concerts, as well as other major events, including the DNC. He described his business this way, “It’s not been happening like it was the first year.”