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Thread: Atlantic Yards Development - Commercial, Residential, Retail, NBA Arena

  1. #2086


    No way he gets so many people to sell (almost 90%) without threatening eminent domain. Watch Columbia U: they are masters at it. No way they'll ever actually use it, but just the threat let's them bully a few owners into selling low.

    The benefits of power come from threats, not the actual use of it. The US Army is Exhibit A (stretching the metaphor a bit but you know what I mean).

  2. #2087
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Good point but I disagree with the selling low part.

    The intention, like you say, is probably to get people to sell but not necessarily sell low.

    I've read where people were compensated handsomely by Ratner, above their market value.

  3. #2088
    Banned Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    ^ It was mistaken and megalomaniacal Modernist planning that made them go for a tabula rasa. An incremental approach would have yielded better urbanism and speedier completion.
    Holy Jesus! We finally agree on the Atlantic Yards!

  4. #2089



    The opposition could have attempted to negotiate with Ratner on this issue.

    Agree to allow him to build the first stage then wait to see the results and the reality of the market to determine if high density for the next stage is needed or something downscaled would work better.

    Instead of anything like this they staunchly opposed the entire project.

  5. #2090
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Don't be naive Teno.

    The opposition don't care about waiting to see how things turn out.

    Their ulterior motive is more selfish and self-serving, that is, to stop development in their neighborhood and the increased population that comes along with it, not how successful a project will be for Brooklyn or the city.

    Of course, they'll tell you differently, like protecting the neighborhood, traffic, noise, light, pollution, quality of life, affordability, neighborhood character, etc. because that sounds better and makes a better argument for their case.

    After you build it and it turns out successful, they'll be just as against anything new as they would be now.

  6. #2091


    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    After you build it and it turns out successful, they'll be just as against anything new as they would be now.
    If Ratner had come out with a proposal at half the size of Atlantic Yards, you would have heard the same complaints. I only wish he hadn't reduced the height of Miss Brooklyn. Being a new tallest in Brooklyn added a little luster to the development. Instead, people want to stay in the last century. They have to be brought kicking and screaming into this one.

  7. #2092


    Quote Originally Posted by NYguy View Post
    If Ratner had come out with a proposal at half the size of Atlantic Yards, you would have heard the same complaints. I only wish he hadn't reduced the height of Miss Brooklyn. Being a new tallest in Brooklyn added a little luster to the development. Instead, people want to stay in the last century. They have to be brought kicking and screaming into this one.
    Agreed. Whatever the size of a project, it's too big for a NIMBY.

  8. #2093
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post

    Whatever the size of a project, it's too big for a NIMBY.
    ergo: Whatever the size of a project, it's too small for an anti-NIMBY

  9. #2094


    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider View Post
    Holy Jesus! We finally agree on the Atlantic Yards!
    We do indeed --on at least this point: that it should have been planned as bite size pieces on a more irregular and circumstantial field.

    That would have yielded enhanced urban variety and interest, quirkier juxtapositions, better integration with surroundings, no need for eminent domain, more of a challenge for the very talented architect, and a much speedier start to construction.

    If built, Atlantic Yards will be the borough's greatest boon since Brooklyn Bridge and Prospect Park, especially if it stays big and dense.

    Miss Brooklyn should be as tall as the dismal science permits --certainly MUCH taller than the paltry and easily dismissed Williamsburgh Bank. It's a sorry Brooklynite who thinks so little of his borough as to consider this piffling trifle to adequately represent its glories as an icon. If that's so, then Brooklyn belongs in a class with Toledo.

  10. #2095
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    East Midtown


    Yeah!! ^^

  11. #2096



    Earplugs, Anyone? Selling In Atlantic Yards’ Shadow

    By Matthew Schuerman

    Atlantic Yards stares down nearby Newswalk, above.

    Before the jackhammers, the bulldozers, the hoe rams and the cranes brought the borough’s largest real-estate venture to his Brooklyn neighborhood, Jacob Septimus wanted out. And so, last August, he put on the market for $1.5 million the 2,000-square-foot three-bedroom that he and his wife had bought just five years earlier.

    They dropped the price once and then finally, this week, closed on it—for “a little over” $1.3 million—and moved out of earshot of Atlantic Yards.

    “I waited as long as possible,” said the scruffy, leather-jacketed Mr. Septimus, 34, a filmmaker. (He recently finished a documentary, BIKE, about hard-core bicyclists.) “I didn’t want to leave. I was very happy there, but at the same time, I’m a realist. I have a lot of sympathy for the people trying to fight it, but I saw it was a great game, and there wasn’t anything to do except vote with your feet.”

    Mr. Septimus lived in Newswalk, a 10-story former Daily News printing plant that’s been converted into condominiums over the past eight years. It will essentially be surrounded on three sides by the 190- to 511-foot-tall towers of Atlantic Yards, the eight-million-square-foot project planned for Atlantic and Flatbush avenues. While the other warehouses and apartment buildings—including two that had also been converted into condos—will be demolished, developer Bruce Ratner spared Newswalk and some adjacent rowhouses, in a prudent move that lowers his cost of having to buy out the residents.

    “Ratner is literally going to build right outside what was my window,” Mr. Septimus said. “He is basically going to block the light of all of our sunsets. We didn’t want to live with that. We didn’t want to live with that construction.”

    A Newswalk board member counts nine residents of the building who have moved in the past year because of Atlantic Yards, including Mr. Septimus. They and other property owners nearby haven’t exactly lost money; the robust, if sputtering, real-estate sales market has made sure of that. (Mr. Septimus more than doubled the $500,000 he paid.) Some people even believe that the project will be good for the neighborhood in the long run.

    But sellers and brokers are warning that the prospect of 10-plus years of construction will complicate future sales, if it isn’t doing so already.

    Jan Lattey, a neighbor, put a brownstone that she bought 24 years ago around the corner from Newswalk on the market in January 2006. It just sold in December; she blames the fact that it took so long—and that it didn’t fetch the $1.5 million asking price—on the imminent project.

    “A lot of people were very, very hesitant because of what is going to happen across the street,” said Ms. Lattey, who is retiring and moving to a condo in nearby Park Slope. “They didn’t want to live with construction for 14 years.”

    With December’s approval by the state Public Authorities Control Board neatly in hand, Mr. Ratner’s company, Forest City Ratner, can begin demolishing the buildings that it owns as soon as it receives permits. To go further and seize another 22 properties through eminent domain to complete the planned footprint, Mr. Ratner must contend with a federal lawsuit filed by landowners and tenants.

    Once—or if—he prevails, Forest City would start with the environmental remediation of the eastern part of the 22-acre site, closest to Flatbush Avenue, where the Nets basketball arena will go, and prepare to move the Long Island Rail Road train yard further east.

    Then, as the arena, the train yard and five other commercial and residential buildings get underway late next year
    , as many as 470 trucks will make deliveries each day during the peak period, in winter 2009, according to the final environmental-impact statement issued in November. An average of once or twice a week, workers would be on the job until 11 p.m. For 10 months, one of the lanes of Atlantic Avenue would shut down. Side streets would close for longer periods, some of them forever. The levels of fine particulate matter—soot and dust—would exceed the threshold level that the Environmental Protection Agency considers dangerous to human health along two different stretches around the construction site (including down the street from Newswalk) for year-long periods.

    And the equipment would be noisy enough that, even with various technological (electric, not diesel) and geographic (move them farther away) mitigations, Forest City is planning on buying and installing air conditioners or double-pane windows for nearby residents in sensitive spots—a move that even ur-booster Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, told the state economic-development agency “is not a solution for these problems, only a way to mask them while residents are inside their homes.”

    It’s a wonder, given all of that particulate matter—and the draft and final environmental-impact statements and analyses and appendices—that anybody is buying anything at all anywhere near Atlantic Avenue. And yet they are.

    Nalani Clark, the co-principal broker and co-owner of the brokerage Brooklyn Properties, said her agency just set the neighborhood’s record for a brownstone sale about two and a half blocks away. William Ross, the executive director of sales for Halstead Brooklyn, said that his brokerage just sold four large apartments on Pacific Street for about $800 a square foot right across the street from a couple of commercial buildings that Mr. Ratner has planned.

    “Those are family-sized units,” Mr. Ross told The Observer. “Those are buyers who are going to be there for a long while. By the time they are sold again, the arena will be finished and the neighborhood will have improved.

    “If someone wants to buy there and sell in a year or two years,” he added, “they might be in trouble for all of the construction; but if you are planning on staying for five or six years, by the time you are ready to move, the construction will be complete.”

    Meanwhile, on the north (read: shady) side of Atlantic Yards, the Dermot Company is finishing up its conversion of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building, the once and (given a last-minute concession by Forest City) future tallest building in Brooklyn, at 512 feet. The Dermot Company has put about 35 percent of its 189 condominiums under contract since opening its sales office last July—right when the draft environmental-impact statement came out with images of a row of steel-and-glass buildings that would rise just 600 feet away from the former bank’s 78-year-old terrazzo lobby.

    “More than anything, that’s what people are coming in and looking at: what sort of views they will have,” Dermot principal Andrew MacArthur said. “One of the things we wanted when we bought the building was to have great views in every direction. We knew about the project then, and one of the things we considered was what sort of impact [Atlantic Yards] would have, and we decided it would have a very limited one.”

    Mr. MacArthur said that Atlantic Yards would be fully visible from just one out of four lines of apartments, and that those units had been selling just as quickly as any others—although, on second thought, maybe that wasn’t quickly enough.

    “The way the building was laid out, we had tight, efficient units on that end, so it is fair to say that people are hesitating when it comes to that line,” he said. “Those are tight, efficient two-bedroom units which we thought we would have sold more of.”

    Forest City Ratner wouldn’t comment for this story, but the final environmental-impact statement acknowledges: “Construction traffic and noise would change the quiet character of Dean Street and Pacific Street in the immediate vicinity of the project site.” As for longer-range impacts, the analysis, conducted by a private firm on behalf of the Empire State Development Corporation, the state agency that has both promoted and overseen the project’s creation, concluded that the project—some 6,430 rental and condo apartments, the basketball arena and 336,000 square feet of office space—would “not substantially affect residential property values in areas with at-risk population for several reasons.”

    Opponents have long argued the opposite: that Atlantic Yards will bring an influx of affluence into the mixed-income neighborhood because of its 3,980 market-rate apartments and another 900 or so aimed at households earning more than the region’s median income.

    What is more, the opponents in the eminent-domain lawsuit are using the strong sales at Newswalk and other nearby places as arguments against why a massive, planned, subsidized urban-renewal project is necessary to eliminate blight when, next-door, buyers are shelling out $800 or even $1,000 a square foot.

    In its legal response, filed in mid-December, the ESDC argued that the open rail yard, owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has blighted the adjacent three blocks (minus the part where Newswalk stands, apparently) to such a hopeless extent that eminent domain is justified, because “all prior plans to remediate the blight caused by this gaping hole in the Brooklyn landscape have fallen through.”

    Brokers tend to agree that decking over the train yards will do only good for the neighborhood—but beyond that, they are reluctant to take a position, because their clients are as divided about the project as the rest of the public. After all, Mr. Ratner isn’t merely bringing lots of people and lots of traffic—and, his supporters say, lots of jobs—to central Brooklyn. He is bringing a little Madison Square Garden, complete with 150-foot animated signs, to a neighborhood that is warming up to boutiques that sell $4 handmade greeting cards.

    “It is one of those things that is so hard to predict in the long term, frankly,” said Mr. MacArthur, the developer of One Hanson Place, the former Williamsburgh Bank tower. “I would like to stay out of saying whether things are going in a positive or a negative [direction]. It’s such a highly charged issue that we have nothing to gain from having an opinion.”

    Meanwhile, Halstead’s Mr. Ross has an idea for how to get potential buyers into the spirit, especially when that jackhammer goes off across the street right during your open house: throw in a pair of season tickets to the Nets.

    Or you could just buy them some earplugs.

  12. #2097


    NY Post


    January 15, 2007

    If 2006 proved anything, it's that Brooklyn's days of taking a back seat to
    Manhattan in the real-estate game are over.

    Bruce Ratner last month received final state approval to break ground on the
    largest development project in Brooklyn's history: a $4 billion plan to build an
    NBA arena and 16 skyscrapers along the Prospect Heights/Fort Greene

    Another hot-shot developer, Joe Sitt, continued to gobble up properties
    along the Coney Island boardwalk - including the famous Astroland Park - as
    part of his $2 billion bid to turn the rundown summer amusement area into a
    Vegas-style, year-round entertainment complex.

    And while Brooklyn's commercial real-estate market continued to boom,
    residential sales did even better - despite a market slowdown nationwide.

    "I don't think there's any question that Brooklyn has the hottest real-estate
    market in New York City, and there's no reason to think it won't continue in
    2007," said Brooklyn's biggest booster, Borough President Marty Markowitz.

    But some say there is too much Manhattan-ization going on in Brooklyn.

    Carolyn Konheim, an urban-planning consultant, said Brooklyn's roads,
    highways and subways aren't equipped to handle the flood of new commuters
    that projects like Ratner's Atlantic Yards and the planned Brooklyn Bridge
    Park would bring.

    "We're going to be hugely overcrowded," she said.

    Mark Kessler, interim president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, said he
    expects the borough's real-estate market to be even stronger in 2007.

    "Since 2003, we've outpaced Manhattan in the construction of residential
    units, and on the commercial side, projects like the Brooklyn cruise-ship
    terminal have added to the momentum," he said.

    Still, not every major development project had a rosy year.

    For Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA, 2006 was a complete dud with
    respect to plans for a new store along a historic drydock on the Red Hook
    waterfront. Preservationists are using the courts to continue the delays for
    IKEA's grand opening, which was initially slated for spring 2005.

    But company officials say they expect to begin construction this year and
    open in 2008.

    It was also a tumultuous year for Whole Foods Market in its effort to open an
    organic megastore in Gowanus.

    After potentially contaminated gasoline tanks were unearthed at the
    construction site during the environmental cleanup, the planned spring
    groundbreaking was pushed to November.

  13. #2098

    Default For the glory of NY...

    The fact that Brooklyn has finally, and indisputably, rounded a corner in its development is great news. It can never slide back into the backwater to Manhattan that it had become from 1960 until 1990. The true success of many great European cities is how much quality growth happened in their outlying areas (look at London's expansion east and south, for eaxmple). Soon, brooklyn is going to take up much more than a token 30 pages in the back of most tour books...

    I LOVE IT.

  14. #2099
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    ^ Another "feel good" article gets elfgam feeling good.

  15. #2100


    NY Post


    January 17, 2007

    The future Brooklyn home of the NBA's Nets will be named Barclays Center, in the most lucrative deal ever for an arena in the United States, The Post has learned.

    London-based Barclays Bank has agreed to pay the Nets "hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 20 years" for the naming rights to the planned 18,000-seat arena in Prospect Heights that will house the franchise once it moves from New Jersey to Brooklyn for the 2009-2010 season, sources said.

    The slam-dunk agreement is the "most expensive arena deal" in the country, exceeding the $9.3 million-a-year over 20 years that Royal Philips Electronics is paying to name Atlanta's Philips Arena, one source said. The exact dollar amount could not be learned last night.

    The Nets and Barclays Bank plan to announce the agreement tomorrow during a noon conference at the Brooklyn Museum. The Nets declined comment and Barclays did not return a phone message.

    Barclays is the largest bank in the world by total assets and is better known in England than the United States. It is also has operations elsewhere in Europe, and in Asia and Africa.

    The Nets deal allows Barclays to put a major flag in the ground in its U.S. operations and could be viewed as part of grand expansion plan.

    A confidential December audit conducted by KPMG indicated the Nets estimate earning $31.2 million annually through arena sponsorship and naming rights.

    The Nets deal blows away the agreement reached two weeks ago by Prudential Financial to pay $105.3 million over 20 years for the rights to have an 18,500-seat arena in downtown Newark called Prudential Center.

    Citigroup Inc. last year agreed to pay the most lucrative deal for naming rights to a stadium.

    It will pay the New York Mets $400 million over 20 years to call the team's new Queens stadium Citi Field.

    The $637 million Brooklyn arena is part of Nets owner Bruce Ratner's $4 billion Atlantic Yards project, which also includes 16 skyscrapers with residential and commercial space.

    The Frank Gehry-designed 22-acre project - with its monolithic brick, glass and steel high-rises - will create a new borough skyline and could have a groundbreaking as early as in a few weeks.

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