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April 15, 2010

Big finish

Mega-projects forge ahead

NY Post
by Max Gross

In just about every real estate cycle, you’ll find the wild-eyed dreamer — the person who makes the case that the moment is ripe to try something new. Something expensive. Something labor-intensive. Something that will change the face of the city as we know it.

Of course, these dreamers only get a hearing during the boom years. Everything changes with a bust. But, yes, we admit that these visions can get pretty far afield before their patriarchs are led to a padded cell.

Our most recent real estate cycle was no different.

Some huge projects got under way over the past decade. Many of them involved hundreds of millions of dollars (in some cases, billions) in investment and years of work. And a surprising number are soldiering on — economy be damned.


Yes, the Nets are getting their arena.

It’s been a long time coming. There were a lot of disruptions along the way. “Obviously, the timing of Atlantic Yards, that’s been deferred,” says Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “The original plans that we were so excited about back in 2004 — obviously the world’s changed.”

But after court challenges, protests and a deal with Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, ground was broken last month on the Nets’ Barclays Center, set to open in the spring of 2012. (Jay-Z and Beyoncé were in attendance.) The Barclays Center is the crown jewel in the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project, which will include 6,430 new housing units (2,250 of which will be affordable). And Atlantic Yards is its own jewel in Downtown Brooklyn’s crown.


NoLandGrab: The Nets are getting their arena if Mikhail Prokhorov didn't violate U.S. sanctions against Zimbabwe's Mugabe regime.

Additional coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Post real estate section says Atlantic Yards is among megaprojects that "forge ahead"

What? How can the Post be sure it will include everything they say? I guess there was no reason to read the Development Agreement that 1) gives the developer 25 years to build the project, 2) offers the option of building the project 44% smaller, without penalty, and 3) provides for ample extensions if there's a lack of affordable housing subsidies.

The implies less a jewel than an ongoing construction site.

If Atlantic Yards is a jewel in Downtown Brooklyn's crown, it's a jewel off a dogleg, since it doesn't even fit into the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership's map.

Posted by eric at April 15, 2010 11:33 PM