Forest City Enterprises is selling its 55 percent majority stake in Barclays Center, according to Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal. Possible candidates include Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who already owns 45 percent of the arena, or the new owners of the Islanders. No price has been named, but investment banking sources quoted by SBJ speculated $750,000,000 would be the top valuation, based on an estimated $30,000,000 in annual cash flow.
Atlantic Yards Report called the sale “curious,” considering the center cost more than $845,000,000 to build, according to various estimates. What do you make of it?
In the two years since Barclays Center opened its doors, 100 local businesses have closed, and chains like Shake Shack have arrived on Flatbush Avenue and nearby. (Opening soon: Doughnut Plant and Patsy’s Pizza). But some small businesses have survived and prospered by learning how to capitalize on game nights and concerts, according to a report in the Commercial Observer.
The owner of Cake Ambiance, the five-year-old dessert spot at 452 Dean Street, said the shop has gotten 20 to 40 percent more foot traffic since Barclays Center opened. He lures customers from the arena on game nights by offering free samples.
Two doors down, the little Italian cafe Broccolino has seen more business before and after events at the arena. Owner Giuseppe Piazzolla claims his local customers don’t mind the crowds from the stadium, because they come between 7 and 10 pm — when the game or the concert is happening. Business has been so good that he plans to open a pizzeria in the vacant storefront next door.
Brooklyn could be the location for the next Democratic National Convention, in 2016. Mayor Bill de Blasio has submitted an official bid to hold it at Barclays Center, the Times reported.
New York was one of 15 cities asked to submit bids to host the convention, including Phoenix, Miami, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. A shift from Madison Square Garden, where Bill Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination in 1992, to Barclays “would be freighted with symbolism,” said the Times.
Barclays is planning to replace its roof with a green one, which will also deaden sound from concerts, The Wall Street Journal reported. The green roof was part of the initial plan for the center but was nixed years ago to rein in costs, according to the paper.
Had a judge known Forest City Ratner changed its Atlantic Yards construction timetable from 10 years to 30 years in 2009, Barclays Center may never have been built, according to a ruling in a legal case about the controversial development made public yesterday. In her decision, she said that the Empire State Development Corporation owes community groups legal fees incurred during a lawsuit to compel an environmental impact study for the second phase of the project. Because of an agreement with the ESDC, Forest City Ratner will have to pay the costs, according to a press release about the matter put out by one of the plaintiffs, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn. “We’re gratified by today’s decision, but the fact remains that, as Justice Friedman suggests, had the ESDC and Forest City Ratner not knowingly misrepresented the facts to the court, the entire Atlantic Yards project, including the heavily subsidized Barclays Center, would never have gotten off the drawing board,” said Candace Carponter, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s legal director, in the release.
Retailers and restaurant owners near Barclays Center told The New York Daily News their businesses have seen a boost from Barclays. Diners, bars, and sports-themed businesses such as Modell’s Sporting Goods benefited the most. Business has also been good at The Hungry Ghost cafe on Flatbush, but that has little to do with Barclays, said the owner. Rents near the arena are now double what they are slightly further away, the story said. Outgoing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz “acknowledged that rising rents are becoming a problem throughout Brooklyn, leading to an influx of banks and franchise stores,” said the story. But that’s not Barclays Center’s fault, he said.
Local Brooklyn Businesses Feel Barclays Boom [NY Daily News]
The McCarren Park pool restoration has Barclays beat in terms of stimulating commercial real estate activity and prices nearby, according to a report out yesterday and a story in Crain’s that covered it. Here’s some of the fine print from the study, by real estate firm Eastern Consolidated: In 2012, near McCarren Park, 14 parcels of land or development sites changed hands at an average of $10,800,000 each. Near Barclays Center, 10 development sites traded for an average of $2,600,000. At the same time, Barclays outshone McCarren in retail property sales, with more of them and at a higher asking price, the study said. Anyway you slice it, prices and trades are up in both areas. We thought former Brownstoner columnist Chris Havens, director of commercial property at aptsandlofts.com, summed it up best for Crain’s:
Chris Havens, director of commercial property at aptsandlofts.com, predicts that ultimately Barclays will be more transformative, but he said that both projects showed the value of major infrastructure investments in these neighborhoods. “Brooklyn is the place to be these days, it’s popping off, and these projects will only help keep it that way,” Mr. Havens said.
Do you agree Barclays and the McCarren pool, both huge infrastructure projects, boosted real estate development in the two locations? Or was real estate taking off in both places anyway? What other big projects should Brooklyn invest in?
A proposal for a Business Improvement District around the Barclays Center will not become a reality. The Commercial Observer reports that the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, who first proposed the BID, just couldn’t figure how to spread the burden fairly on property owners. The BID, after some adjustments, would include the Barclays Center, the Atlantic Terminal and Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Cultural District and commercial blocks on Flatbush. The DBP runs three other BIDs in the area and expected to establish another one by the end of the year, coinciding with the end of Bloomberg’s term. But after delays in the process, the DBP announced it just wouldn’t be moving forward. In a letter they sated “we have been unable to arrive at an equitable assessment formula.” As the Commercial Oberserver points out, the proposal, if it ever resurfaces, will have to wait until the next administration. The BID That Wasn’t: Barclays-Area Effort Dissolves, For Now [Commercial Observer] Photo by Animcolate
Barclays has increased business at nearby restaurants and bars during events nights, but not so much at other shops, The Wall Street Journal found. Concert goers are bigger spenders than sports fans. “How much boils down to whether the main act is a Barbra Streisand concert or a Brooklyn Nets basketball game. The bottom line: Streisand fans are much heavier spenders than Nets fans,” said the Journal. But even if a place is packed, that doesn’t necessarily mean higher receipts for the business owner. When there’s an event on at Barclays, “my customers who would normally have come in will look and say, ‘It’s too busy in there, let’s find some other place,’” said Andre Jordan, a co-owner of German beer hall Die Koelner Bierhalle. The area is still changing, but vacancy rates declined this year on the blocks closest to the stadium, said the Journal. The retailer study was done by Forest City Ratner. Barclays Arena Gives Some Assist to Retailers [WSJ]
The National concert, held this Wednesday night at the Barclays Center, was a big night for biking. The National rode to the concert on bicycles and then met up with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to promote the Barclays Center’s new bike valet service, as well as the Citi Bike launch. Over 100 bikers took advantage of the valet service on Wednesday night, and you can see the pictures right here.
This Thursday, June 6, Planet Brooklyn Academy will open its flagship store at 517 Atlantic Avenue, close to Barclays Center. The company, founded in 1997, specializes in Brooklyn inspired streetwear and related merchandise. The store will also feature an in-shop lemonade bar, run by The Twisted Lemonade Factory Co., which was originally based in Queens. The founder, Rob Norman, hopes his brand will appeal to both Brooklyn locals and visitors. He’s holding the grand opening party this Thursday at 7 pm. GMAP
Today the Barclays Center announced that it would host a gathering of Brooklyn food trucks for three Saturdays this summer and fall — June 1, July , and September 7. The trucks will park around Daily News Plaza, right outside the entrance of the arena, from 11 am to 5 pm. The trucks lined up for June 1 include the Kimchi Taco Truck, the Treats Truck, Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches, Mamu Thai Noodle, Frites’N’Meats, and Taim Mobile. Photo by kthread