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|A model shown to potential immigrant investors in China in 2014,|
though not shown publicly in Brooklyn.
This watchdog blog, by journalist Norman Oder, offers analysis, commentary, and reportage about the $4.9 billion project to build the Barclays Center arena and 16 high-rise buildings at a crucial site in Brooklyn. Dubbed Atlantic Yards by developer Forest City Ratner in 2003, it was rebranded Pacific Park in 2014 after the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group bought a 70% stake in 15 towers. New York State still calls it Atlantic Yards. Contact: AtlanticYardsReport[at]hotmail.com
|A model shown to potential immigrant investors in China in 2014,|
though not shown publicly in Brooklyn.
Preparation may require 5-10 business days depending on how difficult the work is as well as weather conditions. These preparation activities will be to focus on tightening up the tolerances of the 10th floor modules that are in place in preparation for setting the next floors. Work shall include re-aligning modules in plan [sic; surely: plane] and elevation using bolt on adjustment plates and/or possibly lifting some modules with the crane and re-setting. Other activities on site that may be performed during this time will be to prepare temporary sprinkler standpipe and the metal stairs for the setting of the 11th floor.In other words, they either don't plan--or don't want to be calling attention to the plan--to re-align modules on the 10th floor, which implies there's a problem. Note that the previous plan makes no mention of misalignment in the floors below.
o To facilitate placement of equipment that will be required for the excavation, foundation and superstructure phases of the construction, the Parks Department has approved the removal of 1 tree and the transplanting of another 3 trees along the Dean Street side of the project site within the MPT fence. These trees will be replaced with new ones during the final site work phase for this project. *
o During this reporting period, plastic surface (Plexiglas) will be installed within the fencing at the Dean Street and Vanderbilt Avenue intersection to improve visibility for vehicles approaching this intersection. The existing plywood will be replaced with Plexiglas which will be installed within the first 16 feet along both the Dean Street and the Vanderbilt Avenue sides of the fencing and will extend to a height of 8 feet. This modification is being made per the request of the FDNY.*
William Rapfogel, the city’s legendary giant of the Jewish nonprofit world and good friend of indicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, is in prison for looting $9 million from the organization he ran for two decades, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.The rest of the piece is here.
A reverse Robin Hood for poor Jews, the 59-year-old Rapfogel, who pocketed $3 million and was caught with $420,000 in cash, appeared unlikely to prompt much support when he pled guilty last year. Exploiting a mine lode of public subsidies funneled mostly through Silver, Rapfogel admitted to financing what court papers called “a lavish lifestyle” by taking up to $30,000-a-month from an insurance company his organization deliberately overpaid. Every dollar consumed by this scam was a dollar less for services to the poor.
Nonetheless, 70 Rapfogel backers, including 19 rabbis, several politicians, and some of the city and country’s most prominent leaders of Jewish organizations, petitioned Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to go easy on Rapfogel, who the New York Times said was frequently called the “prince of the Jews.” The letters—sent shortly before his April guilty plea—were obtained by City & State under the Freedom of Information Act. They are a triumph of congeniality over conscience, with the call of the club taking precedence over the betrayal of the mission. The Jewish poor are invisible in this correspondence.
..Developer Bruce Ratner attended Rapfogel’s son’s bar mitzvah, partnered with a Rapfogel housing company, gave a million dollars to Met Council on Jewish Poverty, and hired Rapfogel’s son at the same time that Silver and Rapfogel supported his effort to take over a prize Lower Eastside site.....At least two of the letter-writers were major donors to Schneiderman: Bruce Ratner and his wife gave $37,500...
Rapfogel, who is in Wallkill medium security prison until at least December 2016 (when he gets his first parole hearing), was not compelled to forfeit from his own pocket the equivalent of the $3 million he stole. He instead raised the bulk of the restitution from supporters who gave to a fund whose donors remain shrouded in secrecy. [Defense attorneys] Shectman and Vinegrad refused to say anything about where these contributions came from, how they were collected or what percent of the total was anonymously donated.
Since Sheldon Silver was still Speaker of the Assembly when the restitution was solicited (he has since been indicted on corruption charges and stepped down) and Rapfogel’s wife Judy was, and still is, Silver’s chief of staff, good-government crusader Schneiderman surely must have understood that contributors to the fund might be seeking favor with two of the most powerful people in Albany. In fact, had Rapfogel been unable to raise much of the millions from supporters, he and his wife might have lost their valuable Grand Street co-op, their modest Monticello cottage or other assets, surely making the effort to collect these undisclosed donations a family imperative.
Schneiderman’s restitution remedy actually opened the door to the kind of insider horsetrading that the Attorney General has long condemned and that still dominates the state capital. The Rapfogel fund is so insulated from oversight that Schneiderman’s office claims it has no documents related to it and did not answer numerous questions about it—such as whether the prosecutor had the power to require disclosure of donors. (A top former state prosecutor says he did).
The office could have attempted to collect the full restitution by seizing Rapfogel's assets or forcing him to sell them. Instead, all it did was secure what [AG spokeswoman] DeBold said was a “significant portion” of the $3 million from Rapfogel’s “personal assets.” At another point, she said it was “substantial,” carefully chosen words that conceal more than clarify.
In a 5 minute walk, hampered by rain, 11 limos found parked and /or idling at the following addresses:(Some typos cleaned up)
27, 37, 53, and 66 Fifth Avenue. These are known problem spots. Most are hydrants. Two limos in bus stop. Also 2 cars parked in bus stop at 429 Bergen, and 2 in No Standing zone at 446 C Dean. Worst offenders were two limos parked in travel lane in front of former Triangle Sports building (27 5th Avenue) between Dean and Flatbush. Photo attached. 311 complaint made for these two (other ones not done on 311 due to rain).
Numerous other limos and cars parked and idling on other blocks.
Neil Diamond pulled out all the stops at Barclays Center Thursday night for his first public concert in his native Brooklyn.
Reggae version of "Red, Red Wine"? Check.
"Sweet Caroline" sing-along? So good. So good. So good.Heartbreaking version of "Love on the Rocks"? Ain't no big surprise.
But the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also took time to savor his return to Brooklyn. As he showed off his dance moves during "Red, Red Wine," adding that he learned the box step at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio on Flatbush Avenue. The detail-filled ballad "Brooklyn Roads" provided poignant moments, as home movies from his childhood in Coney Island rolled behind him.
They crossed the river and hit the ground bragging. They came to New York with high-minded intentions of taking ownership of it from the Knicks and walked the low road by placing a “Hear Ye” mural down the side of a building a few dribbles away from Madison Square Garden.One enduring question is whether Prokhorov had to sacrifice the future--trading away draft picks--to seize attention, and Araton, unlike some, believes it was "an imperative that Prokhorov created, nothing that the Brooklyn market demanded." (Sports scribes disagree.)
Their owner, Mikhail D. Prokhorov, handed over his checkbook to his general manager, Billy King, who seized the money and the moment to pursue deliverance of Prokhorov’s introductory 2010 promise of an N.B.A. championship “in one year minimum, and maximum in five years.”
The guarantee will expire this spring, with the underachieving Nets possibly excluded from the playoffs. As for city ownership, the Knicks are a joke but the Nets are the butt of it. Catastrophes are compelling. Moribund is monotonous.
Arena Green Roof:
On Saturday, March 28, 2015, T2 Truss installation will take place. Similar with weekday work, lifts will take place from both the Dean Street and Atlantic Avenue crane locations; there will be no steel deliveries. Work will be taking place during the hours 7 AM to 3:30 PM pursuant to the Department of Buildings weekend work permit.
The iconic, state-of-the-art arena will be the centerpiece of a vibrant sports and entertainment district, which will replace the current concrete-covered plaza, consisting of approximately 150,000 square feet of new sports, entertainment and retail facilities as well as a variety of restaurants. SHoP Architects... has designed both the new exterior of the arena as well as the surrounding retail to create an integrated and complementary entertainment complex. The sports and entertainment district is anticipated to include a movie theater, bowling alley, indoor sports facility, indoor skydiving facility and/or a fitness center.I don't see how that adds up to 300,000 square feet, but it's more than 100,000 square feet. According to a 9/20/13 memo from the Nassau County Legislature's Office of Legislative Budget Review:
The lease proposes a 145,000 square foot dining and entertainment complex in the Coliseum plaza. According to Schedule G of the lease agreement, a 10-12 screen movie theater would account for 60,000 square feet of the complex, and another 60,000 square feet of the complex would be devoted to a variety of dining options. The remaining 25,000 square feet in the complex would be dedicated to a recreational anchor (bowling, bocce, dining, etc.). Schedule G notes roughly a 2,500+/- seat theater based on the House Office of Legislative Budget Review 3 of Blues or Fillmore Theater concept to host regional, national, and international musical acts. A space would serve as an ice rink in the winter and a performance lawn for cultural and musical events in the summer.Then again, given Forest City Ratner's track record, we shouldn't be surprised if a deal changes.
An eye-catching new 23-story residential tower is joining the arena block. Light, pattern, and texture play across the gleaming façade; a traditional covered entrance provides comfortable access to the 300 residences, which will be affordable to low-, moderate-, and middle-income New Yorkers. Designed by SHoP Architects, 38 Sixth Avenue will house Pacific Park Brooklyn’s health care center, as well as retail behind full-height glass storefronts and an underground parking facility.Note that the building, as of a couple of years ago, was supposed to be built via modular construction, which would save time and money, and reduce trucks, deliveries, and noise.
Changes to the Green Construction Fence at the corner of Vanderbilt Avenue & Dean Street Starting on Friday, March 27th
We wanted you to be aware that after consultation with the Fire Department of New York we will be making some minor modifications to the construction fence that surrounds Block 1129 bounded by Carlton Avenue, Vanderbilt Avenue, Dean Street & Pacific Street.
We will be adding Plexiglas windows to the fence at the corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and Dean Street to allow for a better sight line. While there have not been any issues to date, the Fire Department feels that this change is important and we are working to quickly implement it.
The height of the fence will remain unchanged and we expect the work to take 2 to 3 days to complete.
As always, please feel free to reach out to our office with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your time.
Pacific Park Brooklyn Community Liaison Office
Empire State Development
The goals of the video challenge are: 1) To help dissipate the overwhelming pessimism that often accompanies living in NYC 2) To acknowledge the impact words have on how we view life and what they inspire us to do 3) To build a sense of camaraderie amongst Brooklyn-based not-for-profit organizations.I suspect there are a couple of other goals: 1) get more use of and attention for the Meditation Room (despite the contradiction of filming a video in a place of quiet); 2) provide videos for the DBNA to use to promote its work.
The $100 million real estate deal that led to the Barclays Center being built over a century-old rail yard is beginning to pay dividends for the Long Island Rail Road and its Brooklyn commuters, officials said.Well, wait a second. It's not free. The improvements are part of a deal in which the MTA/LIRR sold 3.6 million square feet of development rights to Forest City at a figure well below the appraised value of $75 per buildable square foot.
Seven years into the construction of a state-of-the-art new storage facility to replace the original Vanderbilt Yards, workers will soon punch through a 171-year-old rail tunnel to provide trains, for the first time, a direct path between the yard and Atlantic Terminal.
It's one of many improvements to the LIRR's Brooklyn operation that are being delivered to the railroad free of charge by Greenland Forest City Partners, a joint venture between Greenland and Forest City Ratner, developer of the Barclays Center and adjacent Pacific Park residential project.
"A project like this has to be a win-win for everybody," said Ratner vice president Thomas Bonacuso, who heads the project. "Brooklyn has become a brand. Brooklyn is hot. We and the railroad capitalized on that and were able to bring improvements to their rail yard that wouldn't have been possible under their own resources."