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

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A 550 Vanderbilt footnote: the Development Agreement is expected to be modified (for Site 5, most likely)

Stay tuned, all of those waiting for action on the seemingly stalled Site 5 project. Well, a change was (seemingly) contemplated as of June 2015, when the Offering Plan for the 550 Vanderbilt condominium was filed with the New York State Attorney General.

As excerpted below, it indicated that there would be a modification to the project's governing Development Agreement, to be approved at a later date.

The most obvious candidate is Site 5, given that it requires first a revision to the project's guiding Modified General Project Plan, in order to move bulk approved for another site, B1 (aka "Miss Brooklyn") across the street, and then surely an amendment to the Development Agreement between the state and developer.

From the 109th page of this document, part of the Offering Plan:
WHEREAS, in order to effectuate the intent of the MGPP, Declarant and affiliates of Tenant entered into: (i) that certain Development Agreement, dated March 4, 2010, as first amended by the Om…

ANHD chart: affordable housing still threatened in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights (Brooklyn CBs 3 & 8)

Recently, the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) released the 2018 edition of their annual housing risk chart, How is Affordable Housing Threatened in Your Neighborhood?

As the organization explains, each year, it collects a variety of indicators of key threats to affordable housing in the city that illustrate issues and patterns that are specific to each community district, as well as the city as a whole.

This year’s housing risk chart shows displacement is a growing crisis. The neighborhoods losing the most affordable rent stabilized units between 2015 and 2016 are Astoria (634), Central Harlem (500) and Bedford Stuyvesant (460), or Brooklyn Community Board 3.

In Brooklyn, Bedford Stuyvesant had the most new residential units approved, with over 1,000 new units in 2017. It also had a dramatic decline (-81.8%)  in home purchase loans made to low- and moderate-income buyers, as did Brooklyn Community Board 6, Park Slope/Gowanus/Red Hook (-85.7%).

I've an…

Yes, Gilmartin says she expects Site 5 to be built, rejects her company's original "urban planning decision"

So, former Forest City Ratner/Forest City New York MaryAnne Gilmartin, whose new company L&L MAG has a service contract to represent Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, wants to see Site 5 built.

Of course. As reported yesterday by The Real Deal, Adding some zeroes: Is Pacific Park ready for a 1M sf office tower?:
Building a 1 million-square-foot-plus tower with significant office space at site five — occupied by P.C. Richard & Son and a Modell’s — would help amend that, she said during a panel at TerraCRG’s Only Brooklyn conference on Wednesday.
Such a building would require public approvals and the transfer of air rights from the arena. Those rights were once pegged for a 62-story skyscraper next to the arena, designed by Frank Gehry and dubbed “Miss Brooklyn.”
“To me, at the end of the day, it seems to me a much better urban planning decision to put more density on that site than to muck up our beautiful arena by landing a building in front of it,” she told The Real Deal after the …

Developer debuts West Portal, easing LIRR path to terminal; upgrades said to be worth $500 million!

Newsday and two TV stations seem (so far) to be the only news outlets covering the unveiling of the operational West Portal to Atlantic Terminal, an upgrade to the Vanderbilt Yard that allows trains being stored and serviced to go directly to the commuter tracks rather than perform a more time-consuming and awkward maneuver.

(I wasn't invited to the press event.)

Newsday reported yesterday, in LIRR: New path to Atlantic Terminal may ease commuter delays
For more than a century, routing a train from Atlantic Terminal into the yard, where it would be cleaned and serviced, required a complicated and time-consuming set of movements. Trains would have to travel east from the station about three-quarters of a mile, and then back west again through the only portal leading to the adjacent outdoor rail yard.
The movement, which takes about three minutes to complete, would block all train traffic into and out of the station until the tracks were clear.
That should ease potential and actual d…

Sports betting legalized, as NBA sought; now it's up to the states; Nets looking forward

Sports betting is coming, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, and it will have to affect sports fandom in New York City, as well as the atmosphere around venues like the Barclays Center, which, after all, already has the Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza.

It is legalizing what is now an underground economy, and, as in London, there may be numerous legal betting outlets, with the ability to bet on various aspects of the game (quick: how many assists will LeBron get?) and gambling companies will be advertisers and sponsors.

Gambling and the point spread will be part of game analysts' discourse. And there will be the collateral damage of problem bettors and, perhaps, some shady behavior (though there will be new safeguards).

Nets are poised to cash in on new sports-betting freedoms, the New York Post's Brian Lewis reported yesterday, noting that the recent high valuation for the Nets reportedly agreed to by Joe Tsai, who just bought 49% and will buy the rest, is bolstered by gam…

From the latest Construction Update: potentially disruptive railyard work continues (document's a week late)

The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning Monday, May 14, was circulated at 12:58 pm yesterday by Empire State Development (ESD) after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.

That seems only slightly late to alert people to construction work, but, actually, they missed a week. The previous two-week Update was issued for April 23. Why were they so sloppy? I don't know; my query about the delay hasn't yet gotten an answer. But there's no new vertical construction or much, if any, new infrastructure work.

Some of what was predicted in the previous Update regarding potentially disruptive work at the Vanderbilt Yard continues, though it appears in red in the document below, which indicates new work, though it's not.

Much concern was raised about Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) construction impacts at the recent Quality of Life meeting; a representative of Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority that…

How Trump lawyer Michael Cohen played EB-5 intermediary for major middleman (that's also worked on Atlantic Yards investor visas)

The original 5/9/18 Wall Street Journal article, Trump Lawyer Helped Recruit Corporate Client With Ties to Kushner Probe, subtitled "U.S. Immigration Fund LLC, which supplied Chinese investors to Kushner Cos., is among clients Michael Cohen delivered to Squire Patton Boggs," is paywalled, but it's a doozy.

The gist: the EB-5 investor visa program is just as sketchy as we suspect, and a key national figure in it--who's raised money for Atlantic Yards--is at the heart of it.

(Also see derivative coverage in The Hill, Cohen referred client with Kushner ties to lobbying firm, and the New York Times, How Michael Cohen, Denied Job in White House, Was Seen as Its Gatekeeper.)

From the WSJ lead:
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen helped a law and lobbying firm land a corporate client with ties to Kushner Cos., the family company of White House adviser Jared Kushner that is currently the subject of a federal probe.
Under a 2017 contract with Squire P…