540 vanderbilt avenue prospect heights

Forest City Ratner has filed new building applications for a third, conventionally built building at 540 Vanderbilt Avenue. The development comes hot on the heels of filings for a second new building, 535 Carlton Avenue, the state’s plans to seize seven Atlantic Yards properties under eminent domain, and lawsuits over the first tower, B2.

The complex between Pacific and Dean Streets will rise 17 stories and house 282 units. Designed by Cook+Fox, the project will include 326,047 square feet of residential space and 4,731 square feet of ground floor retail. (more…)

535-carlton-avenue-091014

As Forest City and Skanska wrangle over the stalled B2 modular tower, Forest City and partner Greenland are losing no time getting the next projects going. Permits have been filed for the second Atlantic Yards (now renamed Pacific Park) tower. This one will be at 535 Carlton, at the corner of Dean Street, and will be 100 percent affordable rentals.

The building will be 19 stories with 298 apartments, as New York YIMBY was the first to report. The architect of record is Cook+Fox. The project is supposed to break ground in December, Forest City Ratner promised.

Permits Filed: 535 Carlton Avenue, Pacific Park [NYY]
Rendering by Cook+Fox

B2-042214

Late Friday Forest City Ratner issued yet another salvo in the war with Skanska over their jointly operated and now-shuttered modular factory. “FCRC Modular representatives tried to enter the factory today and were barred by Skanska,” said a press release we received.

So, the release goes on, yet another lawsuit has been filed — this one by FCR Modular, the Forest City half of the partnership that with Skanska Modular runs the joint venture called FC+Skanska, according to the release.

To make a long story short, it alleges breach of contract by Skanska for shutting down the factory and asks the court for an injunction to reopen the factory “immediately.” Perhaps last week’s request to take over the factory was laying the groundwork for this suit?

In any case, it occurs to us that the merits of the case — even if, say, the allegations of both parties are true and they are both at fault — Skanska for poor management and Forest City for a non-workable modular design — may not matter. The winner may well turn out to be the one who can prove breach of contract.

Photo by Curbed

B2-042214

Forest City Ratner and Skanska are at it again… This time, Forest City sent out a letter asking to take over Skanska’s modular factory at the Navy Yard. They say it’s for the good of the 157 workers! We reached out to Skanska for comment, and they called the proposal “a propaganda exercise.” Click through to see the letter and Skanska’s response. (more…)

atlantic-yards-modular-building-b2-flatbush-brooklyn

The mudslinging has begun over construction delays at Atlantic Yards, with Skanska and Forest City Ratner trading lawsuits today over issues at the first tower, B2. Forest City accuses Skanska of massive delays and cost overruns amounting to tens of millions of dollars, according to a complaint filed today in Manhattan Supreme Court. Last week, Skanska shut down its modular apartment factory at the Navy Yard and halted construction on Dean Street. Work began on the 32-story, 363-unit modular B2 tower in December 2012, and it’s risen to about 10 stories so far.

Forest City wants a judge to order Skanska to restart construction and re-open the factory. The work suspension has left 150 union employees out of work and — here’s a juicy detail revealed in the lawsuit — the project’s construction lender has temporarily stopped giving funds for a loan until it receives a new anticipated completion date, the Daily News reported. (more…)

535-carlton-avenue-090414

Well, here’s something we weren’t expecting: Forest City Ratner has rebranded Atlantic Yards. The new name of the development is Pacific Park. Forest City gave an interview to Curbed, which has a huge story, then sent us a press release this morning.

“While the development will forever be known as Atlantic Yards — there is a movie about it, after all — Pacific Park will be the new community that’s being built. Probably doesn’t hurt that a new name also sloughs off associations with past lawsuits, controversies over eminent domain, and visceral community opposition,” said Curbed. (more…)

atlantic-yards-site-plan-070714

Check out this updated map, which shows where the affordable and market rate housing at Atlantic Yards will go. The Atlantic Yards Report’s Norman Oder published it Thursday in City Limits and again on Atlantic Yards Report.

Pay no attention to the legend on the graphic — the important part is the outlines he added to the map. The two buildings outlined in yellow will be 100 percent affordable. The buildings outlined in red will be 50-50. The buildings outlined in green — six of them, apparently — will be market rate rentals or condos. That’s a lot of market rate apartments.

B4, incidentally, which is outlined in both green and red, will have a mix of 50-50 rentals and 100 percent market rate condos. (more…)

atlantic-yards-tower-yimby-062714

State officials, the de Blasio administration and local community groups have wrangled a deal with Forest City Ratner to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing at Atlantic Yards or pay a fine as high as $5 million, The New York Times reported. The agreement calls for all 2,250 affordable apartments to be built by 2025, and for the second and third buildings — a total of 600 units — to be 100 percent affordable. The old timetable was 2035, according to the Times.

“We are determined to jump-start affordable housing at Atlantic Yards,” said Mayor de Blasio. “And what’s remarkable is that we’ve secured nearly twice as many affordable units for our city investment,” he said.

Progress on the first apartment building, B2, pictured above, which is being built with modular methods that were supposed to speed things up, “has been painfully slow,” said the Times. (It started in December 2012 and will wrap in late 2015.)

The Times outlined a new construction schedule: The second building, at Dean and Carlton, must start by December 30. Then another tower next to the arena is planned. In addition, FCR said, it will start two luxury condos by July and December.

FCR is going to get a cash subsidy from the city of $11.75 million for each of the affordable towers. (The city paid $11.6 million to secure B2′s 182 affordable units.)

The agreement also spells out the income levels the subsidized apartments are aimed at. We find the definitions quite interesting. “The new agreement specifies that a portion of affordable units would be for low-income families of four that make $48,000 or less, moderate-income families earning up to $88,000 a year, and middle-income families earning up to $104,000,” said the Times.

Atlantic Yards Report took issue with the Times’ claim that 2035 was the “schedule.” AYR said 2035 would be permitted by state documents, but a “ten-year buildout” was always the plan:

As the project approvals were pending in 2006 and 2009, Forest City long pledged a ten-year buildout, and project benefits were always calculated on that timetable. Company CEO/Chairman Bruce Ratner later claimed that ten years “was never supposed to be” the timetable, as the buildout was market-dependent.

So if AYR is correct, the latest agreement just resets the timetable. What do you think of the announcement? Are you impressed with what de Blasio has accomplished?

Plan Expedited for Affordable Units at Atlantic Yards Near Downtown Brooklyn [NY Times]
Forest City Agrees to Accelerate Affordable Housing to 2025 [AYR]
Photo by Colin Miller for NY YIMBY

Five architecture teams have reimagined Forest City Ratner’s controversial plan for Atlantic Yards with creative and cutting-edge designs for an exhibit opening next month at a Prospect Heights gallery. Each proposal had to incorporate 4,728,000 square feet of housing, 156,000 square feet of retail, and 1,234 parking spaces — numbers drawn from FCR’s master plan. The architects hope to spark a public debate and find a more contextual, less problematic way to develop the site.

OperA Studio designed a futuristic, twisting structure (pictured) where angled planes meet to create lots of public green space on top of the buildings. It links the high-rise residential towers with ground-floor commercial space, the Barclays Center and the Atlantic Terminal Mall. Then Amoia Cody Architecture takes on the problem of private green space with tetris-like “vertical lots” that include a terrace “yard” for each floor.

In a plan called “Quilted City,” Joshua Zinder Architecture examines how “layering” high-rise apartment towers around the Barclays Center and a relocated Atlantic Terminal could create several public spaces. And a fourth series of renderings from Matthias Altwicker and Farzana Gandhi envisions eight-story, movable blocks in a huge grid. Essentially, the blocks could become commercial, housing or manufacturing space, depending on the need. The fifth proposal, from David Cunningham Architecture Planning, isn’t described on the exhibit’s website.

“Five Proposals for the Future of Atlantic Yards” opens June 5 at Warehouse 623 at 623 Bergen Street.

We’ve included more renderings after the jump. What do you think of the renderings and proposals? Are they realistic?

Rendering by OperA Studio

(more…)

atlantic-yards-042314

Three community boards are fighting over jurisdiction of the 22 acres that make up the Atlantic Yards development. Most of the complex, which runs along Atlantic Avenue near the intersection of Flatbush Avenue, is technically in Prospect Heights, with a small section in Park Slope. But the community boards don’t exactly follow neighborhood lines, so bits of it belong to CB 2, 6, and 8.

Why it matters is not really clarified by a story examining the matter in detail in The New York Times. The CBs are responsible for things like trash pickup, liquor license reviews and noise complaints. Developer Forest City Ratner says “all the districts would share local hiring and affordable housing opportunities regardless of what happens.” A few observers say it would be easier to oppose the development if responsibility for it were concentrated in one community board.

Click through to the story for a helpful map showing exactly where Atlantic Yards is going to go. Above, the rail line portion that runs along Atlantic Avenue from Barclays Center to Vanderbilt Avenue in the snow in February. It’s eventually supposed to be covered by a platform and six towers.

A Community Tug of War in Brooklyn [NY Times]

B2-042214

Forest City Ratner and Greenland Holding Group will break ground on three more residential towers this year, even as the first Atlantic Yards tower, B2, is woefully delayed, The New York Times reported over the weekend in a story we missed. The towers will be built with conventional, not modular means.

Two will be rentals and one a condo. Forest City is having trouble with the modular process, which was supposed to speed construction and reduce costs, the Times said. Only five of the planned 32 stories at B2 have risen so far, as others such as Atlantic Yards Report and Curbed had recently noted. The developer has stepped up its pace to install three modules a day, according to Atlantic Yards Report.

The date to finish up B2 is now late 2015, more than a year behind schedule. One of the apartment buildings, a rental, will go up next to B2. The other two will be located at the “eastern end of the site,” said the Times.

Slow Start Spurs Shift for Towers Near Arena [NY Times]
Photo by Curbed