Modular New York
Published reports indicate that next week Forest City Ratner will ship and begin stacking modular units next to the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn to create the first Atlantic Yards residential tower, a 32-story building dubbed B2.
The 363-unit tower is set to become the tallest modular building in the world when construction wraps up, estimated by Read More
Apparently, $761 million in subsidies and tax breaks isn’t enough for Forest City Ratner. The Atlantic Yards developer is thanking the city for its generosity by suing the Department of Finance for a lower tax assessment.
The developer has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Finance, in an attempt to knock down the market value assessment on block 1129, which comprises the southern section of the development site, from $11.2 million to a scant $1.6 million, DNAinfo reported today.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced two new tech initiatives to expand the city’s access to wireless and broadband connectivity, one of which encourages the deployment of leading broadband technologies across its commercial real estate buildings.
The Wireless Corridor Challenge will establish new public WiFi corridors in each of the five boroughs, while WiredNYC, described as LEED Read More
bring in 'da noise
Nassau Events Center LLC, an affiliate of Forest City Enterprises, has been awarded the rights to develop the site of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, County Executive Edward Mangano announced today. The Forest City bid beat out a rival effort from the Madison Square Garden Company.
“I am pleased to announce that Nassau Events Center, LLC is the successful proposer to transform the 43-year old Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Plaza into an attractive, first class destination for family fun, sports and entertainment,” Mr. Mangano said in a prepared statement. “This is also the unanimous recommendation of the County’s RFP Committee.”
Rihanna brought down the house at her concert at the Barclays Center on Sunday night, taking the entire neighborhood with her, according to Prospect Heights residents.
But the loud, booming bass rumblings that disrupted the neighborhood on Sunday night were nothing new for people who live in the direct vicinity of the Barclays Center. These complaints come less than a week after Barclays Center developer Forest City Ratner Companies was ordered to pay the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) a $3,200 fine for violations after a Swedish House Mafia concert in early March.
Even though Forest City Ratner made sure to tout the groundbreaking of the first housing tower at Atlantic Yards late last fall, few would have described the developer’s approach towards housing, particularly affordable housing, as passionate. Forest City Ratner itself has made no secret of the fact that its focus was on the arena, the linchpin of the development site and the first and only building to be completed up to this point.
Apparently, though, newly appointed president and CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin is now thrilled about affordable housing. As she told a crowd of urban planning gurus, developers and real estate powerbrokers at a CURE. (Center for Urban Real Estate) dinner at Columbia University Wednesday night, while all of the positive feedback on the arena had been nice, “it is the housing component that will truly revolutionize the project.”
When Forest City Ratner executive vice president—and soon to be CEO, once Bruce Ratner steps down—MaryAnne Gilmartin spoke to Westchester Magazine, she was asked for “the most baseless criticism” leveled against her. She responded, “That I don’t really know Brooklyn, so I’m not qualified to develop a project there. I lived in Brooklyn from 1988 to 1993.”
That criticism is about to get a little more baseless: Ms. Gilmartin and her husband, James, just bought a townhouse in Park Slope, according to city records. The couple paid $3.85 million for the four-story, 20-foot-wide brownstone at 113 St. John’s Place, and will presumably be moving from their home in Edgemont, New York.
In the last few months, the battle cries of the Atlantic Yards opponents have quieted—or been drowned out by the hubbub of basketball games and concerts at Barclays. There has been a subtle shift in tone and subject matter, with the conversation turning away from Atlantic Yards and the bitter debate that has characterized so much of the development’s history.
But despite the shift in focus, the eastern end of Downtown Brooklyn remains scarred by an open railyard—an 8.5-acre tear in the urban fabric that Forest City Ratner is supposed to someday heal.
The platform over Vanderbilt Yards, as it’s known, is the difference between a highly challenging “blighted” development site—arguably deserving of special subsidies, tax breaks and the seizure of private land through eminent domain—and a prime development site in a plum location.
The City of New York, like many other large landowners, has been selling its land for centuries. However, these last few months have brought what many consider to be a disconcerting flurry of real estate transactions as the city, citing a cash crunch, moves to sell off a number of schools, libraries and municipal buildings.
The city and others have lauded the sell-off as a way to bring much-needed monies to institutions that are in dire need of help. Trading in valuable real estate, we are told, will keep the city’s civic institutions afloat. If only it didn’t have the vaguely desperate vibe of a pawn shop swap.
The Brooklyn Public Library is looking to sell off two of its branches near downtown Brooklyn to developers, the New York Daily News reports, and what do you know—both of them are right next to Forest City Ratner-owned properties.
The first library on the block is the Brooklyn Heights branch, a squat 1960 building. It sits on a triangular parcel directly north of Forest City Ratner’s One Pierrepont Plaza, a late ’80s skyscraper that pierces the Brooklyn skyline with its green faux-mansard roof, virtually indistinguishable from those of la Ville-Lumière.