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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

Atlantic Yards down the memory hole: a brief summary in a new book on gentrification

A few recent books I've been reading--including Neil deMause's The Brooklyn Wars: The Stories Behind the Remaking of New York's Most Celebrated Borough and Kay Hymowitz's The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back--say interesting (and contradictory) things about Brooklyn, and deserve a longer assessment, along with a third book, Peter Moskowitz's How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood.

Moskowitz's overall arguments are worth engaging, but for now I'd like to address one specific paragraph regarding Atlantic Yards. (deMause's book more extensively addresses Atlantic Yards, if inevitably tilted to the early part of the controversy, while Hymowitz's book goes elsewhere.)

Moskowitz's brief focus on Atlantic Yards is another example of how (inevitably?) complex things get boiled down awkwardly or incorrectly for future consumption. I've seen this in other books, as well. It's unfortunate…

Two books and some advice on "being a better gentrifier"

In an interview headlined Toward Being a Better Gentrifier, CityLab's Brentin Mock interviewed the (out of NYC) academics (two white, one black) who wrote the new book Gentrifier about their experiences. And the interview complicates some easy bromides.

"The problem isn't gentrification: It's that my neighbors are getting locked up, or they are being over-policed, or there aren't any schools, or there’s lead poisoning in the neighborhood, or there aren’t any long-term rentals anymore," says Jason Patch. Those are things to organize about. (Or, I'd suggest, any social action that leads to solidarity and more civic and communal resources.)

"Evictions can happen due to disinvestment in a neighborhood, and [they can also] happen because of over-investment," says John Joe Schlichtman. " Eviction happens because of disconnection from the rest of the city and a neighborhood’s reconnection to the rest of the city. Militarized policing can happen du…

Given lack of walkable land in NY region, a new push for greater density outside NYC

In an April interview, New York magazine critic (and author) Justin Davidson, asked about New York City's future, responded:
The immediate question is how it can cope with an affordability crisis. I wish I knew the answer, but I emphatically don't. I think that the solutions to the question are largely out of local control. I think we're talking about large-scale economic mechanisms and national, international policy. And, perhaps, regional policy, a focus of the Regional Plan Association and other planners. The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: New York, released recently by the George Washington University School of Business's Center for Real Estate & Urban Analysis in partnership with Smart Growth America, recently pointed out that "just 2.4% of the total regional land mass in New York is considered 'walkable urban.'" The full report is embedded at bottom.

And that scarce land is far more valuable than the suburbs. According to the announcement:
Despite the…

From the latest Construction Update: median restoration on Atlantic Avenue opposite arena could begin Tuesday

According to the latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update (bottom), covering the two weeks beginning August 14, median restoration work on Atlantic Avenue between Fort Greene Place and Sixth Avenue will likely begin during this week.

That's one block, bordering the Barclays Center and also the perimeter of the Atlantic Center mall (but not the Atlantic Terminal mall).

The MPT (maintenance and protection of traffic) will be shifted, according to approved plans (presumably by the Department of Transportation), starting on or about Tuesday 8/15/17 ,to accommodate the median restoration work. However, the traffic flow will still contain three westbound and two eastbound lanes. The time frame to complete the work was not stated.

Also, relocation of the Vanderbilt Yard site access ramp on Pacific Street will begin during this reporting period. Contractor and LIRR access to the site will be via the LIRR Entrance on Atlantic Avenue.

The update was circulated Friday at 10:18 …

Which Brooklyn are we talking of? At least four.

We all hear about "Brooklyn the brand," or casual references to "Brooklyn" in popular culture. Remember, marketing for 550 Vanderbilt claims "Everything you love about Brooklyn."

But that "Brooklyn" is only a piece of the larger borough.

A new effort to reframe how we think about the borough--all the boroughs--comes from the urban-focused artificial intelligence studio Topos, in this Medium post (and described in FastCoDesign):
With the exception of Queens/Brooklyn, all boroughs are separated from one another by water. The implications and limitations of this physical partitioning of land have changed considerably since the initial formation of the boroughs. New York City is now connected by over 2000 bridges and tunnels, the vast majority of which were built after 1898.
...Furthermore, we were interested in going beyond more familiar demographic viewpoints to capture the personality of a place, and what it feels like to actually be there. In a s…

Yes, the concessions are here for new Brooklyn rentals

Well, Forest City Ratner's 461 Dean market-rate units are not alone in offering significant concessions on leases.

As reported by The Real Deal and The Bridge, the competition among new buildings has led to a glut. The Real Deal:
In July, concessions at residential rental buildings in the borough were the highest they have been in the seven years that they’ve been tracked, according to Douglas Elliman’s July rental market report for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. This demonstrates how protective landlords are of base rents at their buildings, according to Hal Gavzie, executive manager of leasing at Douglas Elliman. That means that some 22.1% of new leases involve concessions, versus 9.5% a year before, with concessions averaging 1.4 months of free rent. (Longer leases get bigger concessions.)

As Miller Samuel’s Jonathan Miller observed, this current percentage is a new but uncertain situation, because at a certain point tenants can't afford the base rents.

The question, not y…

Brooklyn population growth and poverty demographics from the Chamber

A September 2016 report ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT OF THE BROOKLYN ECONOMY – 2016 UPDATE, prepared for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, offers some perspective on both gentrification and the market for new housing.

The statistics it offers are through 2015, and I have not been able to find 2016 statistics. Notably, a 1.1% population growth from 2010-2014 turned into a .6% growth in 2015, largely attributable to a net loss in domestic migration (more people moving out).

The report is optimistic about growth and, indeed, there is evidence. Consider that a 2013 report from the Department of City Planning (DCP) predicted (p. 3) that Brooklyn's population would reach 2.68 million by 2020. However, DCP estimated the population at 2.63 million by 2016.

But if the rate of growth continues to be slow, that would raise questions about the market for luxury housing, including in projects like Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park.

Demographic trends

Note growth in white and Asian residents, and zero growth i…

A key stat from the Furman Center: as housing cost rose, incomes did not

A very important piece of context regarding affordability in New York City is often ignored.

A year ago, on 8/15/16, the Furman Center announced, Report: More Than Half of New York City Homes Unaffordable to the Majority of Households, suggesting that even those earning up to six figures had trouble buying homes in the city:
While roughly half of the city’s households (51%) earn $55,000 or less annually, they could afford just 9% of 2014 home sales. Even households earning up to $114,000 annually could only afford 42% of home sales in New York City. Only 22% of the city’s population earned upwards of $114,000 in 2014.
“Since 1990, incomes have stagnated while the costs of housing—both rental housing and home sales prices—have skyrocketed,” said Mark Willis, Senior Policy Fellow at the NYU Furman Center and co-author of the study. “As a result, there are not enough homes available for purchase at prices affordable to the vast majority of New Yorkers.” (Emphasis added)

This is stunning:

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment moving from MetroTech to Industry City

s noted yesterday by the Commercial Observer (Brooklyn Nets’ Parent Company Moving to 70K SF at Industry City) and other sources,  Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, operates the Barclays Center (and other venues) and the Brooklyn Nets, is moving its corporate offices to Industry City in Sunset Park from MetroTech.

That makes sense, as the company, no longer needing to be yoked to Forest City Ratner, its former partner, can move one floor below the Nets' practice facility. The Commercial Observer quotes a spokesman as estimating that the move should be accomplished by June 2018, and will  involve 350 employees. No terms were announced.

The press release, verbatim, below

August 10, 2017

New Sales Office Opens in Manhattan
BROOKLYN – Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment is expanding its corporate footprint with new office locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Since launching Barclays…