Development

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July 26, 2005, NY Times — The real estate investment group battling with the developer Bruce Ratner for control of the Atlantic railyard near Downtown Brooklyn offered a compromise yesterday that it said would allow both parties to declare victory: The group would incorporate Mr. Ratner’s plan to build a glass-walled basketball arena for the Nets into its project. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is scheduled to review the rival bids, and possibly select a winner, at its board meeting tomorrow. The investment group, led by Gary Barnett, president of Extell Development Company, has offered $150 million in cash for development rights at the 8.3-acre site, or three times as much as Mr. Ratner.

Knowing that the city and the state want to provide a home in Brooklyn for the Nets of the National Basketball Association, Mr. Barnett said yesterday that if he won, his company would resell a portion of the development rights for no additional cost to Mr. Ratner so that he could build the basketball arena, now expected to cost more than $500 million. But Mr. Ratner, who has worked for three years on a $3.5 billion proposal for the arena and 6,000 apartments at the railyard and on adjoining parcels of land, brushed off the proposal. He contends that the transit authority and the public will get far more from his project than the $50 million he bid, including a newly built railyard, affordable housing, transit station improvements and tax revenue from the arena.

Development Rival Offers Compromise [NY Times]
Blocking Ratner’s Shot [NY Post]
Pols: Don’t Take Either Offer [NY Daily News]

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At least someone’s paying attention! A reader alerted us to yesterday’s Times article reporting that Extell Development’s bid for the railyards is in fact $150 million–three times the amount Bruce Ratner submitted. The MTA board is supposed to decide the winner at its monthly meeting on Wednesday. Turns out, though, that both bids are shy of the value determined in a recent appraisal commissioned by the MTA. The contest is over the rights to an 8.4-acre parcel known as Vanderbilt Yards, a potentially valuable site opposite Atlantic Terminal, the city’s third-largest transportation hub, with 10 subway lines and a station for the Long Island Rail Road. The railyard now forms a waterless moat between the surrounding neighborhoods, but, according to the Times, the residential project proposed for the site could form a vibrant bridge between the communities. Only time will tell.
Rival Bid Tops Ratner’s [NY Times]

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Someone named the Big Baldman sent blogger Set Speed some stealth photos of the development at 35 Underhill Avenue in Prospect Heights. All we learn from the development’s website is that Aguayo & Huebener have been chosen to market the property, so we’d love to hear any tidbits of info on the project. Actually, info might be too strong a word: we’d like to hear unsubstantiated gossip about the project.
35 Underhill [The Washington]
Sneak Peek at Washington Condos [Set Speed]
Homepage [The Washington Condo] GMAP

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We drove past this large lot on Myrtle and Nostrand last week and were able to find a hole in the fence to sneak a picture. When we inquired at a store across the street, the extremely up-on-his-real-estate proprietor informed us that this was going to be a huge condo development. Lots of 1,000-square-foot two bedrooms for $450 a foot, he informed us. When we started asking around among brokers, we were quickly directed to the website below which was created by the previous owners who were looking to flip the site with approved plans. A tip that everybody’s favorite architect Scarano & Associates was behind the design led us to a treasure trove of info on what we’ve now learned is called Myrtle Place: 74,000 square feet of residential areas shared by 72 apartments, more than 14,000 square feet of commercial spaces, an underground parking garage for 42 cars and 2,500 square feet of medical offices. They have the brashness to claim that the site is located in Clinton Hill–probably the biggest reach we’ve heard yet. Large-scale luxury living in Bed Stuy is slated for November of 2006.
A rendering of the project on the jump…
Unique Development Opportunity [Bedfordcrown.com] GMAP
Myrtle Place [Scarano]

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We got an email this week from from a reader who checks Brownstoner once a week (that’s it?) to look for news on her home nabe of Cobble Hill. She’s particularly curious to find out what’s going to happen with the Strong Place Baptist Church on the corner of Strong Place and Degraw Street. She heard from some neighbors that the original buyers had so much trouble with Landmarks that they sold it and the new owners plan to turn it into a school. Anyone have the skinny? GMAP

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This property on the eastern side of the park’ll probably end up being our favorite, since it’s starting with a nice old shell. The developer is knocking out the old smaller windows and creating large floor-to-ceiling loft windows. And who’s in charge of marketing? Our friends at the Developers Group.