September 29, 2012

Under Barclays Center oculus, groups challenging Atlantic Yards call for reform, joined by Occupy and two who "drank Ratner's Kool-Aid" but changed their minds

Atlantic Yards Report

Five groups challenging the Atlantic Yards project, bolstered by some Occupy Wall Street participants and two former project supporters, held a press conference this morning on the Barclays Center plaza, moving under the oculus (which dripped somewhat) to get out of the rain.

"Welcome to the tale of two Brooklyns," said Candace Carponter of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, leading off the event and citing the arena as an example of "crony capitalism." The groups' goals include a plan that prioritizes "the creation of housing affordable to working families in Brooklyn" (for which, however, Ratner's modular plan may be billed as a solution) and to reform project oversight.

"Many Brooklynites may attend events here," Carponter declared, but profits will be reaped by the developer Forest City Ratner and the retail chains. She didn't mention Mikhail Prokhorov, majority owner of the Nets and 45% owner of the arena.

(Videos by Jonathan Barkey.)

Drinking "Ratner's Kool-Aid"

Carponter introduced two people she described as having drunk "Ratner's Kool-Aid," including "my friend" Kathleen Noreiga, who demonstrated for the project as a supporter of BUILD (Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development), the controversial job-development organization.

Noreiga (video start) is one of seven people (of 36) who went through BUILD's highly competitive 15-week, pre-apprenticeship training program lawsuit and filed suit last November regarding what they say were guaranteed jobs and union cards at the arena.

"Instead of providing us with jobs and training, we were made to do heavy labor, including demolition and debris removal, at a private house in Staten Island for our instructor's private company," she said. The seven plaintiffs have sued for payment for their unpaid training.

A message to Jay-Z from a Marcy neighbor

Umar Jordan, he of the dramatic pro-project testimony in August 2006--"If you haven't been to the Marcy Projects, you haven't been to Brooklyn"--was introduced by Carponter as having "since determined that Brooklyn has been played."

Jordan was forceful but brief: "I need you to call the police and tell them that we've been robbed. Brooklyn's been robbed. This is not a personal attack on you, Jay-Z. We've been robbed, and I've seen people go to jail for less."

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NoLandGrab: You know what they say — if you haven't somehow been screwed by Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards boondoggle, you ain't from Brooklyn.

Posted by eric at 12:29 PM

Occupy TV: Barclays Center Candlelight Vigil

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

Highlights from the moving speeches at last night's candlelight vigil at Barclays Center where clergy, elected officials and community organizations emembered the people and families displaced by the Atlantic Yards project’s use of eminent domain, as well as recognized those at risk of displacement today, and families still in need of affordable housing.

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Posted by eric at 12:14 PM

Barclays Center debut: no traffic nightmare and empty (paid) parking spaces (on a work night), but still reasons for concern: narrow sidewalks mean paparazzi gridlock and later a flood of people blocking Atlantic Avenue

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder serves up a typically comprehensive report on last night's opening of the laser-shooting Barclays Center.

Traffic flowed fairly well outside at the Barclays Center debut with Jay--Z last night, and the event appeared relatively orderly, given the sold-out house, which drew a crowd wearing everything from flashy nightclub duds to Brooklyn Nets gear.

Though he'd been on many stages around the world, Jay-Z told the crowd, "Nothing feels like tonight, Brooklyn." (While the fans I spoke to all said they enjoyed the show, and people chanted "Hova" as they left--and, of course, inside--I heard multiple secondhand reports, including this tweet, that said that Jay-Z's performance, actually, was subpar.)

"Welcome to the house that Bruce built" was flashed across the arena screen, as reported on Twitter; I countered that developer Bruce Ratner had a "wee bit" of government help.

Perhaps the most prominent disorder, according to reports on Twitter, was lots of pot-smoking inside the arena, as well as a wait, which lasted until about 8:45, just to get past security into the building.

The vigorous promotion of transit coupled with mostly pleasant weather and the generally young audience meant few drove automobiles--at least to paid parking. (Watch out when Streisand appears.) The surface parking lot, in fact, was perhaps 20 percent full.

Lots, lots more if you click through.

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Posted by eric at 12:05 PM

September 28, 2012

As 40/40 Club opens the night before arena debuts, a vigil and march draws 150 people, James, Montgomery

Atlantic Yards Report

Michael D.D. White, in the photo at right, captures an image from the vigil last night that drew about 150 people to gather outside the Barclays Center and then circle it twice in fairly quiet protest. Inside Jay-Z's 40/40 Club was opening for a private, pre-arena-opening party, as detailed in the New York Post video at bottom.

White's photo captures the "Boondoggle Basics" flyer given out by protesting groups (more events today and tomorrow; rain venue 669 Atlantic Avenue, corner of S. Portland Avenue) framed by the digital advertising in the arena oculus for the 40/40 Club.

The main sponsors are Brown Community Development Corporation, BrooklynSpeaks, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), the Fifth Avenue Committee, and Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), which took different postures on Atlantic Yards before it passed, with only DDDB going to court to try to block the project.

Since then, for example, DDDB and BrooklynSpeaks were joined in a successful lawsuit challenging the inadequacy of the environmental review, given that 2009 deal revisions gave developer Forest City Ratner 25 years to build the project. A Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) has been ordered but has not yet begun.

Perhaps two dozen people came from Occupy Wall Street; some intended to sleep overnight, but the police seemed unwilling to allow that.

Below, there are several more videos, most of them brief, that I shot.

Click through for more coverage of last night's protest.

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Posted by eric at 11:52 AM

Scene in Ratnerville

NoLandGrab's Senior Asian-American Correspondent, Lumi Rolley, filed this report from NLG's Mobile One at 5:45 this morning from Brooklyn's Flatbush and Fifth Avenues:

Security presence in the now un-cordoned plaza. Occupy tenants sleeping in front of Nets shop. Four news vans, that weren't there yesterday, already parked in unloading zone and one talking head getting ready in the media bullpen.

Posted by eric at 11:45 AM

WNYC on arena opening: ACORN's Lewis claims CBA was legitimate (but where's the compliance monitor?)

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder cleans up a flawed WNYC report on the opening of the Barclays Center, and the controversy surrounding it.

As Barclays Opens, Neighbors Still Grumble, reports WNYC. Those grumbling neighbors--could it be that Bruce Ratner doesn't keep his promises (as noted by the Observer).

The most interesting part of the article concerns the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), which prompts Candace Carponter of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn to call it unenforceable, and Gib Veconi of BrooklynSpeaks to point out the inherent conflicted role of signatories, which rely on Forest City Ratner for support.

Why can't neutral experts on CBAs make this point as well?

Ratner's support

WNYC reports:

As of 2005, Forest City Ratner provided more than $100,000 to BUILD to begin to develop community outreach. The developer also committed at least $50,000 in funding to DBNA.

Hold on--these groups have received hundreds of thousands of dollars--surely over $1 million for BUILD, which in the most recent year got $340,000--from Forest City.

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NoLandGrab: BUILD apparently could use another $115,000, toot sweet.

Related content...

WNYC, As Barclays Opens, Neighbors Still Grumble

Here's the best part, regarding the much-derided (and totally worthless) Community Benefits Agreement...

The document even called for a meditation room to be built inside the arena.

“I can’t tell you exactly where it is, but there is a meditation room [in the arena], that will be open during events, a non-denominational quiet space for people to get away from the arena,” said Ashley Cotton, executive vice president of External Affairs for Forest City Ratner Companies.

As Norman Oder writes: "The arena's opening tonight, so perhaps they will find it by then."

WFUV, Some Brooklyn Advocacy Groups Upset with "False Promises"

With the NBA gearing up soon, a lot of hoopla is surrounding the Barclay's Center and the Nets first season in Brooklyn. Michelle de la Uz says that's not helping. She says too many people are focusing on the entertainment side of the stadium, and ignoring the needs of local residents.

"We're not hearing about when is the housing going to be built, to what extent is it going to be affordable, or what size families will be able to live in the properties," she said.

Posted by eric at 11:25 AM

Times: Barclays has undercut Garden's high prices for performers, though doesn't always pass on the savings

Atlantic Yards Report

The New York Times continues Synergy Week™ with an Arts section report on its Development Partner's new arena.

In Barclays Arena Rivals the Garden’s Glow, a New York Times Arts piece today reports that the Brooklyn arena has already established itself by booking some major acts and offering dates, and rates, unavailable at the busy, expensive Madison Square Garden:

“I consider it a godsend Barclays arena is there,” said Randy Phillips, the chief executive of AEG Live, one of the largest promoters in the country. “Prior to this we were really kind of held hostage on a tour to the availability of Madison Square Garden.”

The new $1 billion arena rises at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues like a modern sculpture, evoking a crashed alien spacecraft with its rusted-steel-and-glass facade and swooping lines. Inside, it is a sleek study in gray and black broken only by bright digital banners, with steeply raked rows of black seats that descend from the street level into the arena’s bowl. With clear sightlines and acoustic panels over hard surfaces to minimize reverb and noise, the space seems intimate yet open. For some, it is a symbol of Brooklyn’s cultural and economic renaissance, a sign the borough has come back from the long slide that started when the Dodgers left in 1957. But it is also a symbol of the borough’s growing stature as center for the arts.

It's also a symbol of the Culture of Cheating.

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Related content...

The New York Times, Barclays Arena Rivals the Garden’s Glow

Posted by eric at 11:13 AM

Post: many more food and beverage spots moving near arena

Atlantic Yards Report

Anyone walking around and near the Barclays Center, especially on the Flatbush Avenue side, can see there are empty retail spaces--or non-consumer ones--that are surely to be transformed. The New York Post reports, in Eateries in mad dash to Barclays ’hood:

With rap mogul/Nets co-owner Jay-Z christening the venue with an eight-night concert run starting tonight, Danny Meyer burgers-and-fries joint Shake Shack plans to soon move into prime Flatbush Avenue real estate across the street from the 18,200-seat arena, sources said.

Landlord Michael Pintchik refused to comment on the deal but confirmed two other restaurants were coming to nearby Flatbush Avenue property he owns by Dean Street that should also have foodies salivating.

The owners of super-trendy Delicatessen and Macbar in Manhattan are opening an offshoot eatery called Elbow Room a block away on Flatbush Avenue that also specializes in gourmet mac-and-cheese dishes.

Moving in next door will be a Texas-style barbecue joint “featuring a top pitmaster from Austin, Texas,” Pintchik said.

More than a dozen other new eateries are also in the works within three square blocks of the arena.

That's a little confusing, because there's a place called Elbow Room in the arena, on Atlantic Avenue.

See the Post for more, including reports of a tripling of retail rents.

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Related content...

NY Post, Eateries in mad dash to Barclays ’hood

Yearly leasing rates on commercial space near Barclays Center ran about $55 to $65 a square foot when the arena broke ground in 2010, but now runs roughly $160 to $200, local brokers and property owners said.

“Every landlord was of the firm belief that the Messiah was coming and [Barclays Center] would drive up property values,” recalled Timothy King, a managing partner at CPEX Real Estate Services.

NoLandGrab: They were expecting the Messiah and all we got was Bruce Ratner?

Posted by eric at 11:03 AM

"Prime Brooklyn Retail" still available on Flatbush Avenue side of Barclays Center

Atlantic Yards Report

Is the arena finished? Well, on the day the Barclays Center opens, they're still looking for a tenant on Flatbush Avenue, toward Dean Street below the Nets Shop.

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NoLandGrab: Perhaps the rent is too damn high?

Photo: AYInfoNYC

Posted by eric at 10:53 AM

Noticing New York Public Comment At Today’s MTA Board Meeting On the Subject Of MTA’s Devoting Public Assets To Advertising

Noticing New York

Following up on three Noticing New York articles on the subject I appeared at today’s MTA board meeting and gave comment about revisions reportedly under consideration by the MTA to revise its policies about how freely its public assets are used to promote or promulgate questionable or embarrassing messages the MTA might not want to be seen as implicitly endorsing.

I was the first of nine speakers this morning, eight of which spoke about the subject of advertising. The other, in a wheelchair, spoke about accessibility of the system to the wheelchair-bound. The subject of the use of the MTA system’s assets for undesirable advertising had been brought to the fore and covered in the press because Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative won a case against the MTA wherein the MTA was recently judicially ordered to run ads from her organization that include anti-Arab slurs and tell subway riders to “Support Israel” in the Middle East conflict. I have made the point in Noticing New York that the MTA’s very costly devotion of assets in the promotion of “Barclays” is comparably, and in several ways more, embarrassing.

The MTA is more intricately involved in the Barclays promotion and, given the record, its complicity is easier to argue and seem to have been more premeditated.

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Posted by eric at 10:45 AM

Two Competing Messages, Differently Illuminated: Announcement of Opening of Jay-Z 40-40 Club And Candles Walked Around “Barclays” Arena In Protest

Noticing New York

The above image (click to enlarge) is a photograph taken at tonight’s Candle Light Vigil led by local politicians and clergy: A mega-bright Barclays “oculus” promotion for the opening of the Jay-Z 40-40 Club, the mega-wattage illuminating it paid for by the tax bills Jay-Z and the “Barclays” Center don’t pay . . . and candles walked counterclockwise twice around the arena in community protest illuminating the alternative message for the evening.

The community events protesting the arena's opening continue tomorrow and Saturday.

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Posted by eric at 12:16 AM

September 27, 2012

The laser lights on the roof of the Barclays Center

Atlantic Yards Report

The Barclays Center's anti-missile defenses seem to be up and running.

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Photo: AYInfoNYC

Asked for comment about the lasers emanating from the roof of the Death Star arena, and this evening's planned candlelight vigil, Bruce Ratner had this to say...

Posted by eric at 11:53 PM

At Barclays Center plaza, sponsored by the Daily News, a Daily News banner

Atlantic Yards Report

A reward for their unflagging, unquestioning, unholy and unhinged support for Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project.

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Photo: AYInfoNYC

Related coverage...

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, Two Dailies Partnered Now With Forest City Ratner. Rupert, Whatcha Waiting For?

So the New York Times Company partnered with Forest City Ratner, using eminent domain, to build the paper's new headquarters. And now the plaza in front of the arena is proudly sponsored by the Daily News.

Does this mean Murdoch will now be friends with the enemy of his enemies? If so, see you at the AYCrimeScene events tonight.

Posted by eric at 6:19 PM

Hey, you shouldn't go underground (and pay a subway fare) to get to the LIRR

Atlantic Yards Report

Great moments in urban planning!

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NoLandGrab: Hey, why make provisions for patrons to be able to connect underground when you could have them cross the half-dozen lanes of Brooklyn's Avenue of Death?

Photo: AYInfoNYC

Posted by eric at 6:10 PM

It looks like the arena perimeter is getting fortified

Atlantic Yards Report

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Photo: AYInfoNYC

Posted by eric at 11:05 AM

Nets Helped Clear Path for Builder in Brooklyn

The New York Times
by Charles V. Bagli and Joseph Berger

Shark Synergy week continues in The New York Times!


Look at that determination and resolve!

Bruce C. Ratner did not pretend to be much of a basketball fan when he paid $300 million in 2004 for the New Jersey Nets. Before long, the team had the worst record in the National Basketball Association, and he had a reputation as one of the worst owners in professional sports.

But he also had the leverage he needed to pull off a real estate megadeal.

The purchase was the most glaring demonstration of Mr. Ratner’s single-minded dedication to a goal: building a 22-acre, $4.9 billion project in the heart of Brooklyn, the largest development project in the borough’s history. Though the Atlantic Yards plan also called for residential towers, a significant portion of which will be subsidized, he sold it to the public as a way to finally bring professional sports back to the borough.

“So, how did we get here?” Mr. Ratner asked last week, almost giddy, at the ribbon cutting of the nation’s most expensive basketball arena, the Barclays Center. “We first needed to buy a basketball team, and against all odds we did it.”

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NoLandGrab: "Against all odds?" He must be delusional. The game was rigged in Ratner's favor from day one. "How did we get here?" You lied, cheated and connived your way, that's how.

Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report Front-page New York Times profile of Bruce Ratner buries the lead: "promising anything to get a deal, only to renegotiate relentlessly for more favorable terms"

In which we leave the dissection to Norman Oder...

A front-page New York Times profile of Bruce Ratner, headlined Nets Helped Clear Path for Builder in Brooklyn, contains enough criticism (and one new revelation about Ratner tactics) to avoid being a puff piece, but it barely touches on all the reasons for criticism.

But what if the article had proceeded from the observation lower down in the article, regarding "his reputation for promising anything to get a deal, only to renegotiate relentlessly for more favorable terms"? That might have led to the Culture of Cheating.

Ratner claims “We’ve kept every single promise we’ve ever made,” which is simply a lie.
...

His new mantra, apparently, is "they said we'd never build" the arena. No one ever counted that as a promise. Rather, he promised, "Jobs, Housing, and Hoops." He got rid of the office jobs, plans to cut down the construction jobs, fudged about the arena jobs, etc. Culture of Cheating.

Posted by eric at 10:41 AM

Barclays blastoff

NY Post
by Rich Calder

Barclays Center opens tomorrow with the first in a series of eight concerts by rap mogul Jay-Z — and city, MTA and arena workers are working overtime to prepare for the mobs of people heading there.

The MTA on Monday opened its new $76 million subway entrance in the plaza of the 18,200-seat arena, providing swift access to the main entrance at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues. After the concerts, Nets games and other arena events, the agency says, it will add service on many of the 11 lines that stop there and will double LIRR service from Atlantic Terminal.

Fans planning to drive to the arena got good news Monday with the long-awaited reopening of the nearby Carlton Avenue Bridge, which closed for renovations in 2008.

Traffic agents and cops will be in full force near the arena to help ensure that pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow smoothly.

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NoLandGrab: We fully expect a traffic disaster, so please, prove us wrong and don't drive. Here's some help...

Related coverage...

NY Daily News, Park Slope-based programmer helps arena fans make quick departure from Brooklyn

Spectators will be able to time their exit from the new arena thanks to software that pinpoints the location of their train, allowing them to avoid the unpleasantries of being cooped up like a sardine on a crowded platform.

Once events at the new arena come to a close, schedules and service updates for subways and Long Island Rail Road trains will be beamed to hundreds of TV screens throughout arena.

The feature — provided by the Park Slope-based mobile app company Roadify — is part of a push to encourage arena-goers to use mass transit.

Posted by eric at 10:32 AM

Promoting Obfuscation of What Government Does and Doesn’t Do To Give The Private Sector (Including Ratner) More Credit

Noticing New York

The main problem when government gets enmeshed in advertising, lending out public assets as vehicles for corporate advertising and corporate promotion, is that it obfuscates what government does and doesn’t do.

Notwithstanding how promotional advertising images are seemingly plastered everywhere in the transit system these days, anyone who thinks that corporate advertising and promotions pay for any substantial portion of government services isn’t keeping track of their decimal points. The public pays for virtually all of what government provides; in the MTA’s case that's more than 99%.

Yet the MTA bends over backwards to accommodate the 1%.

. . . Does the MTA endorse promotion of the Barclays Bank, virtually synonymous with the LIBOR scandal in connection with which the MTA, amongst other New York government entities, may be suing Barclays for losses? The MTA has deeply subsidized the Ratner/Prokhorov “Barclays” Center basketball arena that promotes that bank’s name and the MTA has named two subway hub stations in Brooklyn after the bank. No! The MTA says that it similarly disavows such promotion of the bank. . . .

. . . But, if that’s so, why does MTA Chairman Joe Lhota show up at the heavily promotional hoopla event celebrating the opening of that “Barclays” Center arena?

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Photo: Tracy Collins

Posted by eric at 10:22 AM

The Barclays Center Gets Illuminated By The Illuminator: "World's Most Crooked Bank"

Atlantic Yards Report

From Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, The Barclays Center Gets Illuminated By The Illuminator: last night the Illuminator came to the side of the Barclays Center and projected several messages.

Below is one of them, declaring the scandal-enmeshed Barclays, which bought arena naming rights, "World's Most Crooked Bank."

Go to DDDB for the rest, including "Eminent Domain Abuse" and "Occupy."

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Posted by eric at 10:14 AM

Prokhorov not ready to score hockey team for Brooklyn until Nets win title

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com]
by Rich Calder

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov says he won't consider buying the Islanders or another NHL team and moving them to Brooklyn until he first makes good on a promise to deliver the borough an NBA championship by 2015.

"First I need to have a championship, so after this I can think — but not before," Prokhorov told the Post following Friday’s ceremonial ribbon-cutting of the new Barclays Center.
...

When asked if it’s important to have a second pro team playing in Barclays Center with the Nets, Prokhorov said he only has 45 percent interest in the arena and that arena developer Bruce Ratner "knows best."

"If [Ratner] wants to, it’s great, but it is better for him to make the decision," Prokhorov said.

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NoLandGrab: In that case, abandon all hope, ye Nyets fans! Since the Barclays Center is not compatible with NHL hockey, we guess that means the Nyets will never win a championship.

Posted by eric at 9:49 AM

Ads at the oculus and arena entrance: lots of sound (and maybe crowd dispersal capacity)

Atlantic Yards Report

Just in case you're wondering what the oculus might sound like... take a look at these videos. And in case there's a need to disperse a crowd, they can turn up the volume.

(Videos by AYInfoNYC)

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NoLandGrab: But don't worry — it'll be turned off from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Posted by eric at 9:26 AM

ESD names Derek Lynch for long-open position as Government and Community Affairs Manager

Atlantic Yards Report

Just before the Barclays Center opens, Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing Atlantic Yards has finally hired a Government and Community Affairs Manager for the position long left open by the June 2011 departure of Forrest Taylor, once billed as an ombudsman but more of a disempowered facilitator.

The position was left open as neighbors endured a steady stream of untoward impacts--violations of construction and traffic protocols or procedures with too little safeguards. Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, ESD, said in August 2011 that she hoped to hire someone soon and that that person could be more proactive and responsive in community engagement.

New hire

Today Hankin circulated a message:

This past Monday, Derek Lynch started at Empire State Development as the new Government and Community Affairs Manager for the Atlantic Yards Project. He will be working in Brooklyn helping to mitigate the impacts of the Atlantic Yards Project while ensuring that the local community benefits from the jobs and affordable housing created.

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NoLandGrab: That job description sets Mr. Lynch up for major failure.

Posted by eric at 9:10 AM

In the shadow of the Barclays Center, a multifamily passive house retrofit

Just a few blocks away from the controversial new home of the Brooklyn Nets, the country's first multifamily passive house project has officially hit the market. Thank goodness for triple-pane windows, right?

Mother Nature Network
by Matt Hickman

Unlike a certain LEED Silver-seeking arena up the road that’s due to officially open in a couple of days with a series of sold-out Jay-Z concerts, Haus 96 doesn’t stick out like a rusty, rubberneck-inducing sore thumb.

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Posted by eric at 9:04 AM

September 26, 2012

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: A Farewell to Terrorism — and a Welcome to Drunk Drivers

by Alan Rosner (co-author of a white paper on arena security and terrorism issues published in 2005)

The Barclays Center will be opening in a matter of days. Different critics who had different thought experiments regarding how Atlantic Yards would play out will now get to see it all happen in real time. I wish us, especially those living nearby, the best.

With this post for NoLandGrab today I’m closing the book on my thought experiment — institutional responses to Atlantic Yards in a post-9/11 environment. It seems the Barclays Center will be opening with Department of Homeland Security approval. Writing about this just after the 11th anniversary of 9/11 feels as surreal as seeing the design for the original Frank Gehry all-glass arena trotted out just three years after the attack, with plans to site it a scant 20 feet from the curb.

Interestingly, shortly after the Gehry hoopla, there was a major delay at Ground Zero. The plans for redevelopment had to be redone to relocate the Freedom Tower further away from the street and remove all street level glass, replacing it with stainless steel.

Well, that’s Manhattan. Here in Brooklyn, despite a post-Gehry redesign, the street-level glass stays, and the Atlantic Avenue side of the arena gets cantilevered outwards, making it twelve feet closer to the street. Go figure… be happy. We missed having Mayor Bloomberg's (and Dan Doctoroff's) Olympics, but we’ll soon have our circus opening… the 1%’s gift for public spectacle and their own profit, per usual, at our expense.

So time to move on, say, to thinking about how the absolute scale of alcohol sales at the arena — regardless of the hour such sales end — will effect our surrounding communities.

Consider: arena liquor sales will supply local streets with a wave of energized, above- or near-over-the-legal-limit drivers with ample opportunities to purchase more alcohol going to their cars. The ongoing surge of liquor license applications, happening for good reason, makes the problem worse. Size, or more politely, scale, matters.

So will the NYPD and Forest City Ratner increase the number of random sobriety checkpoints and make a concerted effort to publicize that they will enforce drunk driving ordinances as strictly as they will parking violations? And will our local elected officials and community groups hold city officials & the NYPD to their public safety responsibilities to keep drunk driving to a minimum? Stay tuned….


For the record… beyond the relocation of One World Trade Center, the City of Newark, since 2007, has closed local streets for every Prudential Center event due to fears of terrorism. Meanwhile, last year my homeowner’s insurance renewal, for the first time, had a mandatory terrorism rider. We predicted this in 2005, and while currently cheap, the Feds can stop underwriting terrorism insurance in 2017, at which point local redlining issues very well may come into play.

Posted by eric at 12:47 PM

Brooklyn’s Barclays Center: First visit to the “brutalist dog turd”

Field of Schemes
by Neil deMause

I paid my first up-close-and-personal visit to the Brooklyn Nets‘ Barclays Center on Monday, and … well, suffice to say that the giant Barclays logo on the roof is the least remarkable element of the place (click on photos to enlarge):
...


It’s very brown. Or browns.


The roof of the subway entrance is covered with environmentally friendly sod seeded with plants. Which is already peeling off.

Other than that, the main impression I came away with was “Man, that’s a lot of brown.” It definitely makes a major architectural statement; whether it’s the kind of statement the neighbors will ever grow to love is an open question, and probably one that will depend less on architecture than on whether arenagoers take the train as hoped, or insist on driving around in circles for an hour looking for parking. I expect that large numbers of Jay-Z attendees this weekend will be able to handle public transit; when the Barbra Streisand fans descend after that, though, watch out.

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Related coverage...

Bloomberg Businessweek, Jay Z Concerts to Open Rusty $1 Billion Barclays Center

Unlike its namesake Mayor, Bloomberg's architecture critic is unimpressed.

A huge frog has landed in Brooklyn.

It’s the exceedingly strange $1 billion Barclays Center opening on Sept. 28. Rapper Jay-Z leads off with eight sold-out shows in the 19,000-seat concert hall.
...

As we've been saying...

Designed to favor basketball, Barclays wraps faceted seating tiers tightly around the court. That means the arena can’t accommodate the longer playing surface of professional hockey, said Stephen J. Duethman, the Kansas City-based managing principal of AECOM, on a walk-through.

NoLandGrab: That's interesting. The arena does have a regulation-sized rink, but the seating configuration for hockey is awful. But Bruce Ratner, Brett Yormark and company have repeatedly claimed they're trying to lure the Islanders — who were scheduled to play an exhibition game there on October 2nd before the NHL locked out its players — to the Barclays Center come 2015. Ain't gonna happen.

Brownstoner, Architecture Critics Turn Eye Toward Barclays

Posted by eric at 12:20 PM

Bike parking installed at southeast side of arena

Atlantic Yards Report

There should be 400 spaces, attended during events. The parking would be indoors only when Building 3 is constructed.

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Photo: AYInfoNYC

Posted by eric at 12:12 PM

Barclays Center Developer Bruce Ratner Talks Brooklyn, Jay-Z, And New Arena's Cultural Impact

Billboard.biz
by Ray Waddell

Not content with assaulting us with an interview with Brett Yormark, Billboard now brings us a equally fawning sit-down with Bruce Ratner.

Brooklyn has also become important in contemporary culture, and the Barclays Center will add a lot of juice to that process.
Yes. The arena is kind of the heart and soul of this tremendous culture that has, frankly, been in Brooklyn for 150 years. It's the right exact time for it. The arena will have the Nets, shows for children, boxing, cultural events, tennis, college basketball, amazing artists from Jay-Z to Barbra Streisand, from Brooklyn to all over this country. The amazing thing is we've already booked 200 of our 220 dates. This is the place to play.

Nothing says culture like Disney on Ice or Loverboy.

But it gets better.

I've seldom seen a building with a design so integrated into the community. Clearly that was important to you.
It was very important. This could have been built in a very different way. There were originally railroad tracks there, which had to be moved at a tremendous cost, and a rail yard relocated. The Garden in Manhattan makes sense-it's the right height-but in Brooklyn, it's pretty much low-rise. We made an intentional decision to move the rail yards and basically sink [the arena] so that when you enter you're on the main concourse, half the seats are above grade and half are below grade. When you live in an urban environment, you want to have beautiful surroundings-it really makes the experience that much better. We really paid attention to the architecture and we had an architectural firm in SHoP, which did an amazing job. It's got the steel on the outside, which gives a certain grittiness much like Brooklyn. The colors blend in with Brooklyn, yet it's so contemporary. It has that sleek look that says, "I'm taking off into the 21st century."

Egad.

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Posted by eric at 10:47 AM

Barclays Center Opens in Brooklyn with Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The Jewish Voice
by Dr. Dan Miller

We celebrate Yom Kippur by celebrating The Jewish Voice's celebration of the Barclays Center, brought to us by Brooklyn's two greatest Jews.

The visions of a prominent Jewish family, a popular longtime popular borough president, a Russian billionaire and the mayor of New York City—not to mention myriads of local sports fans—came to fruition last Friday at the ceremonial ribbon cutting for the new Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn. The auspicious event was hosted by visionary real estate developer Bruce Ratner, who was joined by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Barclays Executive Chairman of the Americas Thomas L. Kalaris, senior executives from Forest City Enterprises including Charles Ratner, Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark, and Lt. Governor Robert Duffy.
...

Bruce Ratner, the Chairman and CEO of Forest Ratner Companies (FCRC) was humbled, visibly showing tears during his highly emotional speech as well as during his introductions of the dignitaries who sat on the stage. It was obvious that this new venture was a dream come true for Mr. Ratner as it was for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, the leading cheerleader for Brooklyn, whose 2.6 million residents making it the fourth largest city in the United States. The project itself began almost a decade ago as an idea discussed between Ratner and Markowitz.

Sure it did. We all know that it was Stephen Witt who hatched the idea.

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Posted by eric at 10:30 AM

September 25, 2012

Barclays Center appoints Community Affairs Manager: Terence Kelly

Atlantic Yards Report

Forest City Ratner has hired a Barclays Center Community Affairs Manager: Terence Kelly, formerly Outreach Manager, Benefits Access & Social Media of the NYC Coalition Against Hunger. The announcement comes just three days before the arena opens Sept. 28.

Ashley Cotton, External Affairs VP, shared a message she sent to various stakeholders:

Arena opening is coming up fast and in anticipation of opening day I am proud to announce that Forest City Ratner Companies has hired Terence Kelly to be Barclays Center’s Community Affairs Manager.

Terence’s office will be located at Barclays Center and he will be available to the community to help with any concerns they may have.

As part of his duties at the Barclays Center, Terence will partner with community-based organizations and provide information on the arena’s upcoming events. A resident of Brooklyn, Terence is involved in a number of local community initiatives, including the Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill Community Food Council and Hillstock Music Festival.

You can reach Terence at 917-618-6136 or communityaffairs@brooklynse.com. In addition, we will be setting up meetings with many of you over the coming days to introduce him to key stakeholders.

As a reminder, our Community Liaison Office will continue to operate and can be reached at (866) 923-5315 and communityliaison@atlanticyards.com.

link

Posted by eric at 11:04 PM

A Treat Grows in Brooklyn

NY Observer, Editorial

The Observer should've quit while it was ahead.

The new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn has become a reality after nearly a decade of discussion, debate, compromise—and hard work. The neighborhood, the borough and indeed the entire city will reap the project’s benefits for decades to come. Developer Bruce Ratner deserves congratulations for his determination and his vision, now realized.
...

The owner of the Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, said the arena could become a milestone in Brooklyn history—like the famous bridge that bears the borough’s name. That claim might sound outlandish, but remember that the arena is part of a larger, even-more ambitious plan to redevelop Downtown Brooklyn. When the entire Atlantic Yards project is done, Mr. Prokhorov’s boast could easily become reality.

That's odd, 'cause they located the project in Prospect Heights.

The Barclays Center will get another burst of attention on Nov. 1, when the Nets play their first regular-season NBA game against the Knicks. But as the season wears on, attention will focus on the rest of Mr. Ratner’s vision. He plans to build a series of more than a dozen buildings on 22 acres surrounding the arena. Ground will soon be broken for a 32-story skyscraper that will be home to more than 350 apartments—and half of them will be reserved for tenants with low or moderate incomes.

We've been hearing the "ground will soon be broken" line for at least three years. And only a literal handful of the apartments planned for the first tower will be big enough, or cheap enough, for families earning the borough's median income.

The development will continue to create hundreds of construction jobs in the years to come, and when the project is complete, Downtown Brooklyn will have a new look and a new vibe.

That's too bad, because Ratner promised thousands of construction jobs, not hundreds, and when — or more accurately — if the project is completed, it'll still be in Prospect Heights.

link

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Observer: A Treat Grows in Brooklyn (and forget our reporting)

Norman Oder points out that the Observer is run by a real estate magnate. Surprise, surprise.

Posted by eric at 10:51 PM

From the latest Atlantic Yards Construction Alert: final rounds of work at/near arena, but unclear exactly when done

Atlantic Yards Report

With the Barclays Center nearly done and having a temporary certificate of occupancy (TC), and the new subway entrance open, the latest two-week Atlantic Yards Construction Alert, dated 9/24/12 but distributed a day later by Empire State Development (after preparation by Forest City Ratner), is a lot shorter than usual.

It's not clear exactly what will be done by Sept. 28, when the arena opens, since the alert refers to "this period." So there's a good bet work will continue even after the arena opens. After all, punch list work is expected to continue through 4/30/13.

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Posted by eric at 1:37 PM

The branded Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Bridge

Atlantic Yards Report

Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov in his remarks at the Barclays Center ribbon-cutting 9/21/12, observed, "Not everyone, in their lifetime, gets to witness a project that changes the face and the destiny of the city. Maybe those who were at the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, they could say it."

Yes, those who were at the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge could in fact say that.

Could the Barclays Center compare to such a epic achievement? No.

Could the arena change the face of Brooklyn? Surely. The destiny? Well, we'll see.

The Brooklyn Bridge was a triumph of technology, of connection, enabling the development of new parts of Brooklyn and linking Manhattan (then all of New York City) and Brooklyn. The Barclays Center, so far, is many things, but it is one thing the Brooklyn Bridge is not: a triumph of branding.

(Here's a list. Note that, according to the Nets, Prokhorov spoke in the Geico Atrium.)

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Posted by eric at 12:25 PM

No 'Brooklyn Water' and bagels for Brooklyn Nets arena

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com]
by Rich Calder

A deal that would've brought Brooklyn Water and bagels to the new Barclays Center – by way of Boca Raton, Fla. – is toast.

Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company, a subsidiary of Florida-based Brooklyn Water Enterprises, had planned to open its first metro-area restaurant at the Nets’ new arena and bake on-site.

But the deal, cut this spring, fell apart a few months later after the company determined the arena's heating and ventilation system wasn’t conducive to baking their products on-site, Steven Fassberg, founder and CEO of Brooklyn Water, told the Post yesterday.

All that technology and they can't bake a bagel?

The Brooklyn Water and bagels deal was part of the arena’s glitzy campaign to make the culinary experience at Barclays Center -- as "quintessentially Brooklyn as it gets."

But arena officials were criticized by some for choosing the out-of-state bagel franchise over the Big Apple’s more than 440 bagel shops, which include at least 115 in Brooklyn, according to Yelp.com.

article

Related coverage...

Grub Street New York, ‘Brooklynized’ Water Bounced From New Nets Arena

Norman Oder dons his restaurant-critic disguise...

The issue isn't locavore loyalism but is instead the arena's HVAC system, which won't allow for on-site baking, thus nixing the bagel deal. That's probably why, at the arena ribbon-cutting Sept. 21, attendees were given boring old Dasani, a product of the Coca-Cola Company, an arena "legacy partner."

Signs at the arena's concession stands simply list "bottled water." It costs $4.50.

Posted by eric at 12:17 PM

Video tour of the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets

When the Nets move into their new home, the Barclays Center, they'll be setting up residence in sports' most hi-tech arena. Join Nilay Patel and Amy K. Nelson for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour

SBNation.com

That would be something like the 2,117th "exclusive" behind-the-scenes tour to date.

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NoLandGrab: To paraphrase Mike Bloomberg, it doesn't matter how much technological smoke and mirrors you toss around, people are still going to remember the corrupt way that the deal got done.

Posted by eric at 12:02 PM

Want To See Great Art? Go To Brooklyn's Barclays Center

Forbes.com
by Lynn Douglas

Yes, it's a regular Metropolitan Museum of Corporate Welfare.

Brooklyn’s brand new, but rusting (on-purpose), Barclays Center is investing in a lot more than just basketball…

This week, the Center announced that three inaugural art commissions will be installed throughout the new arena—hopefully by the time the building opens for Jay-Z’s upcoming eight-night stand.
...

Can all this local-inspired art help to bridge the divide with those who spent years trying to block the sports arena from the heart of Brooklyn? “My guess is yes,” said [Barclays Center and Brooklyn Museum board member David] Berliner, “In terms of the arts community, people think it’s awesome.”

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NoLandGrab: You're guess is wrong.

Posted by eric at 11:55 AM

September 24, 2012

Will Barclays Center wreck surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods?

Crain's NY Business

The arena at the centerpiece of the Atlantic Yards project opens Friday with a series of Jay-Z concerts, and more superstar performers and the Brooklyn Nets will arrive in the coming weeks. Since the Barclays Center was proposed in 2003, critics have been predicting that traffic, noise and drinking by patrons will destroy the quality of life nearby. Supporters say people will quickly realize that it’s easier to take mass transit than to drive and find parking, and that drinkers will have no reason to wander through the neighborhoods.

Will Barclays Center bring chaos to Brooklyn?


Take the poll.

Posted by eric at 8:29 PM

Ratner and Prokhorov's Arena is Built for a Bank, Not Brooklyn

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

Some of the press gets it. Barclays Center was built for a bank, a scandal ridden one at that, and one which Mark Jacobson describes thusly in his excellent NY Mag cover story, "The Nets are owned by a Russian oligarch and will play in an arena named for a bank (which reportedly paid $200 million for the naming rights) whose senior officials in France voluntarily handed over names of its Jewish employees to the ­Nazis, a hedge just in case the Germans won the war. Oh, yeah, let's go bang a thunderstick for them."

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NoLandGrab: Yay, team?

Posted by eric at 8:02 PM

Nets Store Opens at Barclays Center

Enthusiastic fans line up for opening of team's new retail location.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

The Nets Shop by Adidas opened early Monday to lines of eager basketball fans looking to get the first peek at jerseys, basketballs, sneakers and other apparel emblazoned with the team's black and white logo.

Outside the store, Bed-Stuy resident Winston Gladstone proudly displayed his haul: A $30 basketball signed by Brooklyn Nets player Brook Lopez and a $32 tank top for his 18-year-old daughter.

"I think I made out pretty well," Gladstone said.

link

NoLandGrab: No, chief, no you didn't. But Bruce Ratner, the Russian Oligarch and the owner of the Chinese factory who manufactured your swag did just fine.

Posted by eric at 7:56 PM

The Barclays Center: Open for Business

WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show

The ribbon was cut last Friday on the Barclay's arena in Brooklyn. Charles Bagli, New York Times reporter, looks at what it means for the economy, the neighborhood and the borough.

link

Posted by eric at 3:13 PM

Up Close: Atlantic Yards Project

7online

Tish James and DDDB's Candace Carponter offer a little reality to offset Marty Marowitz's fantasy version of Atlantic Yards and the Barclays Center.

link

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, In rebuttal to Markowitz, CM James and DDDB's Carponter appear on Channel 7

Would you ever set foot into that arena, asked Williams.

James said, "I was invited [to the opening], and I respectfully declined. I want to hold true to my principles." She then segued into campaign mode, saying she wanted to "make sure we can address the poverty we continue to see in the city of New York and provide jobs..." I suspect she may have to leave herself an out to visit the building.

"I'll never go there," Carponter said. "And it's heartbreaking to me, I understand its important to a lot of people in Brooklyn. For me, what's more important... to allow the project to go forward the way it's designed at this point is just wrong... What we hope is they allow more developers to come in... so whatever gets built gets built a little more organically, a little less high rise, more open space... certainly lots more affordable housing."

Of course there's a tension there too, because Forest City Ratner argues that only by building big can they build the subsidized housing.

Posted by eric at 3:07 PM

Up Close: The Barclays Center

7online.com
by Diana Williams

Boondoggle apologist Marty Markowitz shovels a huge heap of nonsense about the Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards.

The new arena in Brooklyn, the Barclays Center, is finally open for business.

But what about the rest of the Atlantic Yards project, and the thousands of jobs and affordable housing promised by Mayor Bloomberg and the developer, Forest City Ratner?
...

Joining us this week is someone who is a believer in the Atlantic Yards project, and who took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony: Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

We will also hear opposing views on the project from New York City Councilwoman Letitia James and Candace Carponter of the group 'Develop, Don't Destroy'.

link

Posted by eric at 2:40 PM

Haunts

What does the Brooklyn of the new Barclays Center have to do with the Brooklyns that came before it? A native son walks among the ghosts.

New York Magazine
by Mark Jacobson

This week’s big Brooklyn branding moment is the opening of 18,200-seat Barclays Center, which will begin its run with over a week of performances by the Marcy projects’ favorite son, Jay-Z. There was some New-Old Brooklyn symmetry to that. In the early nineties, not counting the Pepper and Potter car dealership (“Picky People Pick Pepper and Potter”) and the Dime Savings Bank sign on which the E was always burned out, the first thing the Brooklyn traveler saw upon exiting the Manhattan Bridge was a billboard for Kool G Rap’s current knowledge drop, Live and Let Die. The poster featured a pair of men hanging by the neck as other thugs in ski masks fed what looked like slices of pizza to Rottweilers—like, welcome to the BK, baby!

This was when Jay-Z was still Shawn Carter, going to school on Kool G Rap’s multisyllabic rhyming technique. Amazing how far a brother can go in this land of milk and honey if he manages not to get shot or put in jail. The synergetic J not only “inspired” the ambience of Barclays Center’s premier luxury suites, the Vault ($550,000 per year apiece, with a three-year minimum purchase), but he is also credited with helping design the stark black-and-white branding logo for the arena’s lead tenant, the Brooklyn Nets.

“Jay-Z’s design is the Brooklyn Brand!” declared Marty Markowitz, the blustery borough president, whose main claim to fame may be that any Brooklyn comic, living or dead, can “do” him in their sleep. Jay-Z’s logo was “the absolute distillation of the borough’s ability to charm you off your feet and be in your face at the same time,” Markowitz proclaimed. “Simple, classy, and tough, with a big B in the middle. It says: Brooklyn! Everyone understands that.”

Well, maybe not everyone. By the thrum of the BQE, a member of the Satmar Hasidic sect peered up at a large billboard done up in the Jay-Z design featuring a picture of Joe Johnson, the Nets’ recently acquired shooting guard. “Hello Brooklyn,” the ad said. “I’m No. 7, Joe Johnson … six-time NBA all-star and lifelong Razorback.”

“Vat is this razorback?” asked the Satmar, furry shtreimel on his head in the August heat. Given the answer, he said, “Trayf from Arkansas, this is basketball, this is Brooklyn?”

article

Posted by eric at 2:29 PM

Nets arena opening, Brooklyn braces for arenapocalypse

Field of Schemes
by Neil deMause

The Barclays Center is a bit of an anomaly among recent “downtown” sports facilities: Rather than being built in an underdeveloped area with the hopes that it will kick-start development (or on the fringes of a slowly developing area with the hopes that it will capitalize on interest there), the Nets arena is jammed into a crease between three boiling-hot Brooklyn neighborhoods: Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Fort Greene. It’s one reason why so many residents are worried about what the nightly influx of 18,000 ticket buyers (and nightly outflux of the same, likely many of whom will have partaken of the arena’s champagne bars and beer taps) will mean for the surrounding blocks. Already, rents and sale prices of land near the arena are way up, reports the Times, and the state liquor board has granted about 40 new liquor licenses to businesses near the arena over the past year. (The promised housing that was to accompany the arena has yet to arrive, though given that most of the “affordable” units wouldn’t actually be that affordable anyway, it’s hard to say how much of a loss this is.)

Whether the flood of new thirsty patrons materializes, and whether they end up taking people’s parking spaces and puking all over their brownstone stoops as some fear, remains to be seen: A busy arena like Barclays certainly can have more impact than, say, a 10-games-a-year football stadium, but as sports economist Brad Humphreys predicted to me earlier this year, “A lot of existing bar and restaurant owners in the area are going to be unhappy when they actually lose business,” thanks to all the spending opportunities inside a modern arena.

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Posted by eric at 2:24 PM

The Barclays Center: Built for a Bank, Not for Brooklyn or the Nets

NY Observer
by Kit Dillon

The Observer doesn't buy the hype.

Welcome to the grand opening of the Barlcays Center—through the Calvin Klein VIP entrance, past the American Express box office and into the Geico atrium—the sometimes home of the Brooklyn Nets. Because in truth, this is the bank’s home and everybody else are its guests. Today it is the press corps’ turn, and we have been welcomed in the grandest of style. Fresh orange juice, hot quiche and chocolate-covered strawberries abound, though none of the twee Brooklyn food that will soon be sold at the very Brooklyn concession stands.

As one reporter mentioned to another, “Remember the good ol’ days?” Would that be when Brooklyn had a team or when journalists could afford their own meals, or even a few sweet years ago, when this was still a hole in the ground, neighbor fought neighbor and the banks were booming?
...

But it was Charles Ratner, the chairman of Cleveland’s own Forest City Enterprises and cousin of the man behind the Barclays Center, Bruce Ratner, who thanked Barclays most openly for being so steadfast a partner even in these difficult economic times. “Can’t say enough about Barclays bank,” he crowed. One can only imagine that it is easier to remain steadfast in troubling economic times when you’re helping to manipulate international interest rates.

Singlehandedly bringing hope back to Brooklyn, Bruce Ratner declared, “Championships will be won here!” He does know which team he bought, right?

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NoLandGrab: Let them eat [a Barclays Center] cake!

Photo: Kit Dillon/NY Observer

Posted by eric at 1:54 PM

Stephen Witt lets us in on some spoilers from his new novel

MEET THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING THE NETS TO BROOKLYN

Brooklyn Daily
by Will Bredderman

Here's a new take on the Atlantic Yards creation myth, courtesy of the man who never let reality get in the way of his "reporting" on Atlantic Yards.

Former Courier Life reporter and longtime busker Stephen Witt says he is responsible for bringing the Nets to Brooklyn, but that doesn’t mean his second novel, “The Street Singer,” the tale of a subway performer who gets an arena built in his home town, is the story of his life . How do we know? Because reporter Will Bredderman had a chat with him about his new tome. Here’s how it went down:

Will Bredderman: So how did you get the Nets to come to Brooklyn?

Stephen Witt: I covered Borough President Markowitz’s first state of the borough address, and he talked about getting a basketball team to move to Brooklyn. So I took it upon myself to call the NBA to see if the Knicks had an exclusive on Brooklyn. I asked if there could be a new team in Brooklyn and the NBA said no, there could only be a move. But at that time, the Nets were in the finals, and they weren’t filling their stadium, so I called the Nets owner, Lewis Katz, and I asked if he’d be willing to move the team. He said he wasn’t against it, so I called Marty and I said, “Call this guy, I think he’ll move the team.” And I gave Marty the guy’s number. Marty gave me a call in February of 2003 and told me “I really think I hooked a big fish.” I wrote an article for the Village Voice about it, and that’s how it all got started. A couple months later they made the big announcement.

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NoLandGrab: Norman Oder might have to start referring to him as the "delirious Stephen Witt."

Posted by eric at 1:19 PM

Brooklyn Paper/Courier-Life publish special section: "Brooklyn welcomes its new arena"

Atlantic Yards Report

Both the Brooklyn Paper and its sibling Courier Life/Brooklyn Daily, both owned by Rupert Murdoch's Community Newspaper Group, offer a 24-page special section saluting the Barclays Center.

(I believe it's also in Murdoch's New York Post.)

Yes, there's a big ad from the arena, as well as from local businesses. Yes, there's a big ad from the arena in the regular issue of the weeklies, as well.

So it's not surprising that the content is celebratory.
...

Flashback

Could you believe that the Brooklyn Paper published a 1/24/04 editorial by its founder, Ed Weintrob, headlined The real story is the land grab, not the Nets:

That the Nets are coming is beside the point. And that is the real story, a story masterfully buried by developer Bruce Ratner and his media shills. (When the New York Times is your real estate partner, it’s amazing the story its pages will tell — more than three pages featuring nine upbeat, luciously illustrated stories in Thursday’s edition.) The real story is that the Atlantic Yards project — and its companion Downtown Brooklyn Plan — is not about the Nets (whose stadium would occupy a tiny part of the massive site), it’s about a land grab by Ratner and his political clients, the largest, most expensive government seizure of private property for private benefit ever in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn Paper was sold in 2009.

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Related coverage...

Noticing New York, Isn’t That Cute?: Cover of Brooklyn Paper Special Section Fawning Over Ratner/Prokhorov “Barclays” Arena Feints At Mention of LIBOR Scandal

The cover of a “special 24-page section” the Rupert Murdoch-owned Brooklyn Paper issued today to fawn appreciatively over the Ratner/Prokhorov “Barclays” basketball arena feints at mention of, and almost seems to refer to, the LIBOR interest rate-fixing scandal for which the Barclays Bank name is a virtual synonym.- And then it actually doesn’t- Just the reverse in fact.

The plastered headline “Banking on Barclays” punningly/cunningly (?) evokes the presumed reliability of the banking practices behind the “Barclays” name. It does that notwithstanding that most people who actually read real news should think of LIBOR instead.

But, in truth, the Brooklyn Paper is probably not thinking in this vein: The Brooklyn Paper has never devoted one jot of ink, or even a few electrons of its web edition articles, to spelling out the acronym LIBOR and that includes the nine new feature articles inside the “special section” all of which mention “Barclays” repeatedly. . .

. . . One of them is appallingly titled: “The People’s Arena!”

Atlantic Yards Report, The "Barclays countdown" in this week's issues of Metro

Let's take a look at this week's installments of the "Barclays countdown" in the free weekly Metro. Is it just a coincidence that editorial content is coupled with copious Barclays Center advertising?

Posted by eric at 1:06 PM

Park Slope, Prospect Heights Precinct Reshuffle Set For Sept. 25

Boundary changes meant to streamline policing at Barclays Center.

Prospect Heights Patch
by Paul Leonard

It's hard to miss most of the happenings in and around the just opened Barclays Center.

However, at least one change will be much harder for most people to detect.

On Tuesday, Sept. 25 at midnight, Park Slope's 78th Precinct will formally take over policing at the 18,000-seat arena in a rare shift that city officials said was necessary to keep visitors and residents safe.

The new borders puts Park Slope's 78th Precinct in charge of the entire Atlantic Yards development area and also gives it jurisdiction over over the area between Vanderbilt Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, from Hanson Place in Fort Greene, all the way to (and including) Plaza Street East. The 77th Precinct's border will begin with the East side of Vanderbilt Avenue. In Fort Greene, it will also cover the Atlantic Center.

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Posted by eric at 1:02 PM

Barclays Center oculus: now featuring McDonald's advertising

Atlantic Yards Report

Tasteful...

A lot of people think the Barclays Center oculus is innovative and cool--that's their judgment. But views may vary depending on what people see. This morning it's a delivery device for McDonald's advertising.

link

Posted by eric at 12:55 PM

In Brooklyn, Bracing for Hurricane Barclays

The New York Times
by Liz Robbins

They talk about it as if it were a force of nature.

“We’re bracing ourselves, almost like hurricane preparedness, where you go out and tape the windows and buy the candles and you are not sure if it’s going to come — and if it does, if it’s ever going to get back to normal,” said Susan Doban, an architect who lives with her family on Bergen Street in Park Slope.

“It’s like a volcano,” said Lenny Goodstein, taking a break from renovating his brownstone in Prospect Heights. “We don’t know where the lava is going to land.”

For some, the uncertainty is almost apocalyptic. “It’s the end of the community as we know it,” said Michelle de la Uz, the director of a nonprofit housing organization in Brooklyn, “and the beginning of something new. What that ‘new’ is, we don’t yet understand.”

On Friday, the Barclays Center arena, wedged into the borough’s busiest intersection like a giant, rusty bread basket, will open after nine years of operatic disputation and delays: community lawsuits over New York State’s ability to seize private land and over the developer’s obligations; the collapse of the real estate market; the replacement of a star architect; the rescue from a Russian oligarch; racial friction; rats; traffic; and unfulfilled promises.

Into this den of contention move the Brooklyn Nets, a professional basketball team (with its own pockmarked past) that once again gives the borough a reason to cheer.

Amid the festivities, though, the arena stands as an island, a reminder of what is missing. The 16 surrounding towers — primarily residential — that were originally planned by the developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, for the 22-acre, $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project have yet to be built. The 10,000 or so jobs promised have not materialized. Of the 2,250 affordable housing units pledged out of 6,300, only 181 are planned for a first tower, and ground for the building has yet to be broken.

article

Photo: Victor J. Blue/The New York Times

Related coverage...

The New York Times, Ready or Not

Prospect Heights Patch, Barclays Center Opens With Pride and Protests

NY Daily News, Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center opens for business with a ribbon-cutting ceremony

Crain's NY Business, Mayor: With Barclays, Brooklyn has 'arrived'

NoLandGrab: Huh? Sure, Mike, Brooklyn didn't earn the "tres" label until we got this rusty hunk of boondoggle.

NY Daily News, Brooklyn Nets finally feel at home as Bruce Ratner cuts ribbon and Mikhail Prokhorov basks in opening of Barclays Center

Meadowlands Matters [NorthJersey.com], Musings on the Barclays Center ribbon-cutting ceremony, inside and out

Grantland, Brooklyn's Barclays Center Opens for Business (and Basketball)

Architizer, It Really Got Built! A Grand Opening For Brooklyn’s Barclays Center

Can't Stop The Bleeding, Monument To Bruce Ratner’s Avarice & Greed, Stil Not Universally Embraced

Gideon's Trumpet, The Atlantic Yards Redevelopment — An Arena for the Nets But Not Much for Anybody Else

The Atlantic Yards redevelopment project thus bids fair to join the list of other manifestly private projects that were poorly disguised as “public uses” for which private land was taken by eminent domain, only to fail either altogether or by producing something different than what the cities and the redeveloper-clients promised the voters and sold to judges.

Reason Hit & Run, Reason TV Replay: Billionaires vs. Brooklyn's Best Bar: Eminent Domain Abuse & The Atlantic Yards Project

After nine years, numerous lawsuits, and one egregious case of eminent domain abuse, Brooklyn's Barclays Center officially opened on Friday. Two years ago Reason TV covered the neighborhood's fight against the stadium and talked with the owners of Freddy's bar about their efforts to save their business.

amNewYork, Barclays center expected to have huge opening despite polarizing boro

New York Amsterdam News, An arena's grown in Brooklyn

Gib Veconi, treasurer of the Prospect Heights Development Council, spoke with the AmNews after the protesters held a news conference of their own. He had something to say to those who file Ratner's baby under the label of capitalism.

"It's not capitalism when the public money is being spent," said Veconi. "Capitalism is using my money to build something. Not using your money. The public put $300 million of direct aid into this project...Not only that, but the value of the tax-exempt bonds, the value of the zoning overrides, the value of the other tax breaks that the project has received, it runs into billions of dollars." Veconi said that money could've been better used to help with job creation or housing.

"The people have a right to be outraged," Veconi said.

The Brooklyn Paper, It’s open! Ceremonial ribbon-cutting marks Barclays Center debut

“Brooklyn has arrived,” Bloomberg said. “It’s a great day.”

Posted by eric at 11:29 AM

Hoopla in the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn

The New York Times, Editorial

With an official ribbon-cutting on Friday, Brooklyn celebrated the opening of a lavish sports and entertainment center featuring the Brooklyn Nets (formerly of New Jersey). This is generally good news for the borough and the city. It elevates what had been an underdeveloped area into a vibrant hub for basketball fans, shoppers and followers of such superstars as Jay-Z, who owns a club in the complex. For an older generation, the arrival of a major-league sports team may help fill the emptiness left by the departure of the Dodgers for Los Angeles in 1957.

Amid all the razzle-dazzle, however, it is worth reminding residents as well as the Barclays Center developer of promises made nine years ago. Forest City Ratner Companies, which is building the $4.9 billion project, originally sold the city on the arena plan because it would provide at least 2,250 affordable apartments, 8 acres of open space in the 22-acre project and 10,000 jobs.

Company officials said this week that they would, at some point, make good on those promises. The recession and numerous lawsuits from opponents have slowed down their progress, according to MaryAnne Gilmartin, an executive vice president of the company.

On Friday, Bruce Ratner, chairman of the development company, announced that he would break ground on the first of 14 residential buildings in December. The first building is supposed to offer 181 units of affordable rental apartments, which leaves more than 2,000 affordable units to be finished by 2031.

In some ways, it feels as though the developers got their dessert first — the splendid arena that will draw crowds and superstars starting on Friday night. Now for the meat and potatoes.

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Posted by eric at 11:09 AM

September 22, 2012

The Barclays Center ribbon-cutting: big win for Ratner, as media focus on impressive building, not broken promises

Atlantic Yards Report

The Barclays Center ribbon-cutting event yesterday, with self-congratulatory speeches by developer Bruce Ratner, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and allies, was a big win for Ratner, especially as most media outlets treated it as a story about an impressive new building and about sports, disregarding or downplaying the protests and choosing not to examine the larger Atlantic Yards promise of "Jobs, Housing, and Hoops" (much less the Culture of Cheating).

The dailies, for example sent mostly sports reporters and columnists, so no one played up the rather small turnout of Brooklyn elected officials, and Mikhail Prokhorov, the charismatic Russian billionaire who owns most of the Brooklyn Nets and has finally backed up his promises of success by opening his wallet, got significant attention (and equated the arena to the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge).

...

It was still surprising to see a semi-tough Times editorial this morning, coming after a predictably laudatory New York Daily News editorial, one which revealed that the newspaper will be sponsoring the Barclays Center plaza, an apparent conflict of interest that may have only marginal effect, given the newspaper's record. (Does this mean the tabloid rival New York Post will become more critical of the arena?)

The Times editorial, Hoopla in the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, stated:

Amid all the razzle-dazzle, however, it is worth reminding residents as well as the Barclays Center developer of promises made nine years ago. Forest City Ratner Companies, which is building the $4.9 billion project, originally sold the city on the arena plan because it would provide at least 2,250 affordable apartments, 8 acres of open space in the 22-acre project and 10,000 jobs.
Company officials said this week that they would, at some point, make good on those promises. The recession and numerous lawsuits from opponents have slowed down their progress, according to MaryAnne Gilmartin, an executive vice president of the company.
On Friday, Bruce Ratner, chairman of the development company, announced that he would break ground on the first of 14 residential buildings in December. The first building is supposed to offer 181 units of affordable rental apartments, which leaves more than 2,000 affordable units to be finished by 2031.
In some ways, it feels as though the developers got their dessert first — the splendid arena that will draw crowds and superstars starting on Friday night. Now for the meat and potatoes.

The Times didn't mention that it would be impossible to provide the promised 10,000 office jobs, since the developer changed the configuration. Nor did the Times mention that the developer promised 15,000 construction jobs, which would likely be curtailed by the planned use of modular housing.

Nor did the Times mention that the starting date for that first tower has been pushed back at least a dozen times. (Ratner's public statement was almost an afterthought, and he didn't mention whether or not the building would use modular technology.)

Nor did the Times mention that there would be far fewer family-size subsidized units than promised in the first tower, or that those units would skew dramatically toward better-off households, with a plurality of the two-bedroom apartments renting for at least $2,700 a month.

And while the Times clearly queried Forest City's Gilmartin for an explanation of delays, it left out the fact that the developer long promised to build Atlantic Yards in ten years, but was given 25 years by the state. (That's 2035, actually; the 2031 date refers to the deadline to acquire Vanderbilt Yard development rights.)

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Posted by steve at 12:12 PM

September 21, 2012

Before the Barclays Center ribbon-cutting, a protest casts harsh light on Atlantic Yards' broken promises (though most media steer clear)

Atlantic Yards Report

The elaborately staged Barclays Center ribbon-cutting event this morning, a testament to political power, corporate might, legal muscle, and significant chops regarding architecture, design, and construction--and, I'd contend, the "Culture of Cheating"-- drew a huge media crowd for what was more a celebration than anything else.

But the loyal opposition--a coalition of five organizations, best-known of which is Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB)--was there to protest the broken promises regarding jobs and affordable housing and to remind people how the deal got done. In other words, the ground sure has shifted, but there are still grounds to not forget.

The 8:15 a.m. protest initially gathered catercorner to the arena at the northeast corner of Atlantic and South Portland avenues, but moved across the street to the sidewalk outside the arena. Some 40 local residents and "bobblehead" figures representing the project's powerbrokers cast harsh light on Atlantic Yards, though, as the Record's John Brennan observed, "with a line already building, most media members kept their spots rather than get close to the 'performance art."

Indeed, as Brennan suggested, there was some loss of energy compared to the March 2010 groundbreaking; I think that's not only because of the indubitable fact of the arena, but also because too much of the press has lost interest.

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Photo: Adrian Kinloch

Posted by eric at 10:20 PM

The LIBOR Fixer Center (aka Barclays Center) Ribbon Cutting

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

The Land Grab Players present the LIBOR Fixer Center (aka Barclays Center) Ribbon Cutting:

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Posted by eric at 10:07 PM

Political Turnout for Barclays Center Ribbon Cutting Pretty Pathetic

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

So, Brooklyn is 1000 percent behind Atlantic Yards, right Markowitz? And it has widespread political support? Right?

Wrong. Besides Bloomberg and Marty Markowitz, and Lieutentant Governor Duffy (not even Gov. Status Cuomo would show his own face, on this the day that Brooklyn "arrived," as Mayor Bloomberg declared at the ribbon cutting), the only Brooklyn elected officials that came to the hoopla ceremony at the Barclays LIBOR Fixer Center were:

Assemblymembers Lentol, Camara and Brook-Krasny, Senator Golden, and Councilmembers Vann, Gentile, Recchia, Mealy.

Eight Brooklyn elected officials. In a borough of 2.6 million.

Pretty telling wouldn't you say?

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NoLandGrab: Here's the latest Vegas line on the chances of these Assembly and Council members ending up indicted. Lentol, 7-1. Camara, 4-1. Brook-Krasny, 8-1. Golden, 5-2. Vann, 4-1. Gentile, 6-1. Recchia, 2-1. Mealy, 8-1.

Posted by eric at 9:59 PM

Video: The Barclays Center Opens

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Michael Galinsky

Protesters and politicians gathered at the Barclays Center this morning for the arena’s formal ribbon-cutting and Michael Galinsky, filmmaker and contributor to The Local, captured the scene on camera.

Mr. Galinsky is one of the co-directors of “Battle for Brooklyn,” a documentary which examines Atlantic Yards project development and the local opposition to it.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Battle for Brooklyn director's take on arena ribbon-cutting, with animated Markowitz in an interview

The video gives a flavor of the arena interior, shiny and new and getting high marks, as well as the animated, and almost-frothing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

"It was the right thing to do for Brooklyn and New York," he declares. "I never ever, for one moment, no matter what names I was called, no matter the disgusting, despicable emails and letters and personal, direct innuendos that I had to read over the years, no matter what, that was yesterday, this is today. Done! It's over. Here it is, it's open, it's gone." He claps his hands. "You can look for all the controversy you want--I look for the beautiful things."

NoLandGrab: Stay crazy, Marty.

Posted by eric at 9:44 PM

Photos from the Barclays Center event: the triumphant trio; scrolling thanks, "neighborhood" food, and a CBA tribute

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder posted a handful of photographic round-ups of today's arena desecration dedication.

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Photo: Nancy Seisel

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Approaching the Barclays Center for the ribbon-cutting event: photos

Atlantic Yards Report, The Barclays Center exterior: finished from one angle, not quite from another

Posted by eric at 9:29 PM

2012 Barclays Center Arena Ribbon Cutting

threecee via flickr

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Posted by eric at 2:41 PM

Barclays Center

JonathanBarkey.com

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Posted by eric at 2:34 PM

Officials Mark Completion Of Barclays Center At Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

CBS New York

After much delay, officials marked the completion of the Barclays Center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called it “a great day for Brooklyn and a great day for New York City,” while Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov promised a top-notch product for Brooklyn’s new hard court.

I can assure you: we are bringing a team worthy of this great arena and worthy of Brooklyn,” Prokhorov said.

We've been assured of a lot of things, and we expect the same result from Prokhorov's assurances. Speaking of which...

Demonstrators from the group Develop, Don’t Destroy Brooklyn held a protest at Friday’s ceremony.

They claim Ratner has not followed through on promises to provide good jobs and cheap apartments to residents displaced by the mega-project.

"Claim?" It's not a "claim." It's fact.

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Mounted police delivering horse s**t to augment bulls**t being served up to media (Photo: Jonathan Barkey)

Related coverage...

ESPN New York, Mikhail Prokhorov vows title sooner

Later, he added that "I still expect a championship within three years." When he bought the team in 2009, Prokhorov said the Nets would win a championship in five years.

AP via NorthJersey.com, Brooklyn has its own pro team again with opening of Barclays Center

Cue the Dodgers faux-nostalgia...

The Nets will be the borough's first big-time sports team since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles 55 years ago.

That departure is still a sore point for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who was a boy at the time the Dodgers left town.

AP via Time, Decades Later, Brooklyn Has Its Own Pro Team

It was like a death in the family for Brooklyn baseball fans when their beloved Dodgers left the borough behind in 1957 for the California coast.

Times were grim for Brooklyn back then. Residents were leaving en masse for the suburbs. Crime was on the rise. And there was little hope that the borough’s plight would improve.

“When the Dodgers left, it was another punch in the face to the fact that Brooklyn’s best days may not be ahead, but may have been behind us,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who was 12 years old at the time. “It was depressing.”

"Depressing?" Not nearly as depressing as Bruce Ratner getting away with a subsidy-stuffed land grab. Not by a long shot.

Bleacher Report, Exploring the Barclays Center and New Home of the Brooklyn Nets

The Barclays Center emerges from the corners of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues like a hulking ship moored on an urban island, surrounded on all sides by steady flows of two-way traffic.

Like many New Yorkers, I was waiting for something more to be done with the building’s façade, but have since grown to embrace the Center’s off-color aesthetics.

CNBC, New Arena, New Brand: NBA's ‘Brooklyn’ Nets Are Cool

Brett Yormark know he can always count on CNBC...

"Jay and I collaborate on a lot of different things," said Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets and the Barclays Center. Yormark admits, he actually has him on speed dial.

What's cooler than that?

Gothamist, Sneak Peek: Barclays Center Opens Today

Posted by eric at 1:48 PM

Barclays Center, the new jewel in New York's crown, opens its doors

Brooklyn arena is a landmark in the borough's rebirth

NY Daily News, Editorial

The editorial page of the Daily News, responsible for so much cheerleading Atlantic Yards drivel over the past nine years, delivers again.

Nine years in the making, a world-class sports and entertainment arena known as the Barclays Center is officially open at the heart of Brooklyn. How sweet it is!

The venue’s handsome presence at Flatbush and Atlantic Aves. is testament to New York’s vitality, to the dramatically rising spirit of the city’s most populous borough and to the perseverance of developer Bruce Ratner.

Now, New York has two baseball stadiums still in their infancy, a refurbished Madison Square Garden and a home for the pro basketball Brooklyn Nets — all built without the heavy public subsidies other cities have laid out to play host to teams.

OK, that's where we stopped reading. "Built without the heavy public subsidies?" They must've forgotten about the $726 million in subsidies that New York City's Independent Budget Office calculated.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Daily News, in (predictable) cheerleading editorial, reveals it will sponsor Daily News Plaza outside Barclays Center

In the midst of yet another cheerleading editorial for the Barclays Center, the New York Daily News today reveals that the plaza outside the arena will be called the Daily News Plaza. (It was earlier supposed to be the ADT Plaza.)

Who knows the actual business arrangement, but if there's been good reason to believe the Daily News--especially the editorials--has been compromised regarding coverage of Atlantic Yards, this provides more fodder.

(It has also periodically provided relatively more coverage than its rivals, such as mention yesterday of today's arena protests, though that's not saying much.)

Posted by eric at 1:35 PM

Protest Planned Prior to Barclay’s Ribbon Cutting Today

Only The Blog KNows Brooklyn

This morning is the official ribbon cutting and press tour of the Barclay’s Center, that big rusty waffle iron of an arena that was built on Atlantic Avenue in the site of the former Atlantic Yards.

Prior to that event, at 8:15 am (at 669 Atlantic Avenue) members of a consortium of Brooklyn community organizations that opposed the arena will display giant bobbleheads of Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo, Borough President Markowitz, Bruce Ratner, Mikhail Prokhorov, and Senator Schumer.

In effect, these community groups including Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, Brown Community Development Corporation, BrooklynSpeaks, Fifth Avenue Committee, are creating an alternate ribbon cutting ceremony and press conference.
...

Of course it’s too late to try to prevent the arena which is built and ready to open. But it is pertinent to vocally protest the many unfulfilled promises, among them affordable housing and local jobs.

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Posted by eric at 1:22 PM

Post-game specials from the LIRR, but who pays?

2nd Ave. Sagas
by Benjamin Kabak

My unintentional week of coverage concerning the new Barclays Center wraps up today with a look at an announcement from the LIRR. The MTA, as we know, will run extra service along the 2, 4 and Q lines after events at the Barclays Center in order to clear out the crowds, and this week, the agency announced plans to increase LIRR service out of the Atlantic Avenue Terminal as well. With extra train service and a dearth of easy parking in the area, everyone from the MTA to Brooklyn residents are hoping that relatively few people will drive to the Barclays Center.
...

I was curious about the extra service. Who pays for it all, I wondered. The issue isn’t without controversy as the WMATA and Nationals have run into a dispute this season over service for games that run late. Metro has asked the Nats to pony up nearly $30,000 per hour when the team wants the D.C. subway to run later than normal. In New York, the system’s closing too early isn’t the issue but frequency is.

In New York, the MTA picks up the bill for extra service.
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I’ll leave you then with a question: Should the MTA pay for this service? It comes, after all, out of taxpayer and fare-payer pockets, but at the same time, the extra service goes a long way toward keeping cars off the road. One of the reasons why the Yankee Stadium parking lots, for instance, have been so empty is due to the increased Metro-North and subway service. It seems then that the few extra trains are beneficial to everyone. It’s a win-win a relatively marginal cost.

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Posted by eric at 1:01 PM

ArtBridge is back, putting art on fences outside arena and TV van parking lot

Atlantic Yards Report

The organization ArtBridge, which a year ago spruced up some Atlantic Yards construction fencing by curating original art to be placed there, is back with the obliquely titled new installation, Intersections:

ArtBridge is pleased to return to the site of the Barclays Center with its latest installation, Intersections. In the works by the eight artists featured in the exhibition, lines meet, colors collide, and patterns form and break apart. Some are orderly, others unpredictable and at large scale in the public realm, can be seen as artful, if not playful interpretations of the varied rhythms of the urban environment that surrounds us.

The title may also conjure up thoughts of the less than salubrious intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

However the fences are the Sixth Avenue side of the arena near Dean Street and also outside the parking lot for TV trucks.

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Photo: Atlantic Yards Report

Posted by eric at 12:39 PM

September 20, 2012

Round-up: Crain's says environmental review may begin soon; Yormark says arena will be 100% complete (nah); Times touts arena food as hyper-local; Veconi on affordable housing

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder wastes no time stepping into the void about to be left by NoLandGrab.

Crain's New York Business reports, in Many crises later, Barclays Center to open:

Perhaps the most interesting news [sic] to expected to emerge from the event will be the date for breaking ground on the first of the 16 residential towers Forest City plans for the site. Sources said that although the date would be announced Friday, the company has not yet decided whether to use modular or convention construction to build it. Forest City had promised to break ground by the end of the year. It wants to use modular construction to save money, but first needs to reach a deal with the unions to go down that path.

The article recognizes that Forest City and the state lost a lawsuit, and the latter is required to do a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate the impacts of a 25-year project buildout:

Opponents are wondering why that study hasn't started, and they're hoping that government officials will put more pressure on Forest City to move at a faster pace to provide the jobs and affordable housing that were promised as a part of the project...

"There has never been enough supervision of this project," said Gib Veconi, treasurer of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, a preservation group that opposed the project. "We need more transparency."

A spokesman for the Empire State Development Corp. said environmental consultant AKRF will conduct the environment review. He noted that the agency has been working on a draft scope of the review with hopes of beginning the public scoping later this fall.

So get ready for another round of public meetings.

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NoLandGrab: Another round of public meetings? Homey don't play that. If there's one thing we learned from the Atlantic Yards approval "process," it's not to play the game when someone else makes the rules. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more politely stopping when our allotted three minutes are up. Mic check? MIC CHECK!

Posted by eric at 9:49 PM

Many crises later, Barclays Center to open

The 675,000-square-foot arena at the center of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn will host its first event Friday. Watch for possible news on the 16 planned residential towers.

Crain's NY Business
by Theresa Agovino

Um, the arena opening is the crisis.

Nearly nine tumultuous years after it was first announced—a span of time marked by multiple protests, at least seven lawsuits, a global financial crisis, the involvement of a Russian tycoon and the firing of a star architect—the Barclays Center at Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards is slated to be officially unveiled on Friday.

The 675,000-square-foot arena at the center of Forest City Ratner Co.'s massive project is set to host its first event when Jay-Z, the Brooklyn native and minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets, opens a sold-out concert series in the venue that will serve as the home of the basketball team. Various officials will be on hand Friday to cut the ribbon on the arena, including Forest City Ratner chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who bought the majority of the team and 45% of the arena in 2009.

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Posted by eric at 9:42 PM

Capital New York's McGeveran: phase 1 of Ratner's rehabilitation is successful, but next phase will be harder; also, Hamill's "two-page gloat"

Atlantic Yards Report

Capital New York co-founder Tom McGeveran, who opposed the Atlantic Yards arena, writes in an email to subscribers (not on the web, thus reproduced in full), a thoughtful, more supportive-than-not essay, headlined "Bruce Ratner's apology to Brooklyn, Part One":

The builders of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will have much to celebrate at tomorrow's ribbon cutting, having made it through legal battles, financing troubles and architectural disputes to get to the opening of the giant arena.

The mood will be different outside, where some vocal Brooklynites who opposed the arena will gather. They're the ones who protested first the seizure of property to cobble the site together and then the effect the arena would have on the sensitive intersection of residential neighborhoods like Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, Park Slope and Boerum Hill, at the crossroads of which Barclays sits.

As it turns out, the arena itself is a beautiful structure, in stark contrast to developer Bruce Ratner's previous building forays in the neighborhood. Both 1996's Atlantic Center mall and 2004's Atlantic Terminal Mall are blights, and did much to make the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues feel like some windswept highway off-ramp halfway through Connecticut, in some exurban nowhere.

I'm not totally shocked that this Ratner project came out so differently because Ratner went, in the end, with SHOP, a local architectural firm that's big on both ambition and humanness. Partner Gregg Pasquarelli has the kind of genuine excitement for this project that you just don't see with rabid capitalist-architects who want to build houses for banksters.

The arena is striking, sure, and memorable. Beauty, of course, will be in the eye of the beholder, and I've heard a real spectrum of opinions already.

There's more.

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Related content...

Capital New York, Bruce Ratner's apology to Brooklyn, Part One

Posted by eric at 9:28 PM

Will Gov. Andrew Cuomo attend Barclays Center ribbon-cutting tomorrow? At very least, a Cuomo bobblehead at counter-ceremony (and maybe a housing announcement)

Atlantic Yards Report

The Governor of New York State is the key public official in charge of Atlantic Yards: because it's a state project, overseen and promoted by Empire State Development, the gubernatorially-controlled state authority, the buck stops at the governor's desk.

Gov. George Pataki was a crucial early booster, attending press conferences in support of the project, Gov. Eliot Spitzer maintained support, and Gov. David Paterson attended the March 2010 arena groundbreaking and famously pronounced that Atlantic Yards would have "job creation the likes of which Brooklyn has never seen."

In the media advisory announcing the official arena ribbon-cutting, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was not listed as among the attendees, which include Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Borough President Marty Markowitz. I queried the Governor's office and got no response.

That doesn't mean he's not coming. Cuomo's schedule seems to be updated day-to-day. He's in Albany today. I'd bet he wants to make it; elected officials tend to think such events provide good publicity.

Then again, given that Cuomo is ultimately responsible for the very limited oversight of Atlantic Yards, he couldn't be thrilled about facing questions about reforming project governance--or seeing himself as one of the two officials targeted as responsible for the project's failure to deliver promised benefits.

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Posted by eric at 11:44 AM

Success of Brooklyn's Barclays Center Will Be in the Eye of the Be-Hova

As the controversial arena nears completion, a SHoP-designed weathered steel facade—and the involvement of the hip-hop mogul Jay-Z—will influence its success.

Architectural Record
by Fred A. Bernstein

New York City felt “baited-and-switched,” says Gregg Pasquarelli, the principal of SHoP Architects, explaining how his firm came to design Barclays Center, the 675,000-square-foot arena in Brooklyn, home to the Brooklyn (formerly New Jersey) Nets. The arena will open with a Jay-Z (aka Hova) concert on September 28. The bait-and-switch occurred when Bruce Ratner, the developer of the arena, dangled a design by Frank Gehry, helping him win city approval for the project, then dropped Gehry after the financial meltdown of 2008. By spring of 2009, Ratner found himself with no design for the building, and a looming deadline: a tax law change that would have cost him hundreds of millions of dollars if the building wasn’t “in the ground” by the end of the year.
...

The SHoP partners envisioned a weathered steel façade that Pasquarelli describes as “snakeskin designed by Richard Serra and Coco Chanel,” which would cover the arena and a large oculus that projected out over the triangular plaza in the front of the building, like a giant, pierced tongue.

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Posted by eric at 11:01 AM

September 19, 2012

What Comes Second: The Lesson of the Barclays Center

Culture Desk [NewYorker.com]
by Alexandra Lange

After nine contentious years, it is here. My first reaction, standing opposite on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues is: it is big. Much bigger than I expected. The only arena that I am familiar with as a pedestrian is Madison Square Garden, a circular box in a forest of surrounding towers. You never see the bulk of it plain. On television, the cameras shoot arenas from above, turning surrounding parking lots into wallpaper, and emphasizing the shape and edge. But here there’s nothing to obscure, soften, or relate to the arena, which occupies more than a city block. The width of the surrounding streets allows the Barclays Center to stand in relief as the alien presence it is. The architect Gregg Pasquarelli recently described the arena to the New York Times as what might happen if “Richard Serra and Chanel created a U.F.O. together.”

My second reaction was dismay. I do not think the arena’s architecture should relate better to the context. The immediate context is the developer Forest City Ratner’s two cheaply clad, faux-historicist malls across Atlantic Avenue. The larger context is the lowrise brownstone neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights. To relate to the first would be depressing; to relate to the second, impossible. The real building is an exact analogue to the renderings of this site, which, like so many other renderings, blur and dematerialize the neighbors. All you can see is the Barclays Center, because it is big, because it is dark, because it is without scale.
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The arena was always a Trojan horse: its stars (Jay-Z), its original starchitect (Frank Gehry), and its semi-public function (bringing pro basketball to Brooklyn) have been used to make the development of the Vanderbilt rail yard seem like a reward rather than an imposition.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, A grim arena assessment by critic Lange in the New Yorker: "What the Barclays Center does is create a whole new context"

Brooklynite and critic Alexandra Lange, she of the epic Nicolai Ouroussoff takedown, pens a grim view of the (outside of) the Brooklyn arena, in a New Yorker Culture Desk blog post headlined What Comes Second: The Lesson of the Barclays Center:

As you walk east along Atlantic Avenue, the new Barclays Center appears first as a dark shape on the horizon... The wrapper was designed by SHoP Architects, and the tough mesh speaks of the industrial past and the digital present, an image reinforced by the pulsing screens lining the cut-out entrance canopy. The Barclays logo speaks only of corporate branding, without a lilt. Given the bank’s recent scandals, it may be helpful that the signage can be switched out.

It's notable that Lange commented on the corporate branding and the cloud over Barclays; I suspect that most sports fans and sports scribes will pay it no mind. But critics shouldn't.

She's somewhat generous to the pre-weathered steel: as online comments suggest, some people love it, some people hate it.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, First Review of the LIBOR Fixer Center (aka Barclays Center) Is In. It's Not So Good

Though architectural criticism of a boondoggle is kind of besides the point, we know that there is a coming barrage. Critic Alexandra Lange takes the first critical look at the arena exterior and finds it alien to its surroundings, dark and, like renderings, "dematerializes" the neighbors. And the "The Barclays logo speaks only of corporate branding, without a lilt."

That's true.

Her overall thesis is that housing should have come first. And she is right.

Posted by eric at 10:20 PM

Video: Oculus goes fully live, with bright signage and rapid changes visible from a good distance away

Atlantic Yards Report

Until today, testing of the digital signage inside the Barclays Center oculus has been limited to a half-circumference or so. Today, the whole circle went live, and the photographer known as AYInfoNYC was there to capture it, from various angles.

The digital signage is supposed to be less obtrusive than, say, Times Square, and that's surely so. But the brightness and rapid changes may be disorienting for some drivers. (It's not clear whether/how it will be visible to any on residential streets.) The signage will go dark only from 1-5 am daily.

Click through for several more views.

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Posted by eric at 10:02 PM

Devils/Islanders in Brooklyn officially canceled

SNY Devils Blog

The Devils/Islanders preseason game at Barclays Center in Brooklyn was officially canceled today, according to Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal.

The exhibition game scheduled for Oct. 2 was supposed to be the first sports event at the new arena in Brooklyn.

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NoLandGrab: If this report is accurate — the NHL has officially only canceled games through September 30th — it's Bruce Ratner's lucky day. Because it will push back the exposure of the Barclays Center's complete incompatibility with professional hockey.

Posted by eric at 9:50 PM

Alternatives To The Scandalously Spawned, Scandalously Named Ratner/Prokhorov “Barclays” Center: Protest & Locally Nurtured Concerts

Noticing New York

The kleptocratic story of how the Forest City Ratner/Mikhail Prokhorov “Barclays” Center Brooklyn basketball arena was spawned and inflicted through to its imminent completion is an ugly one. And then there's the name. . . The arena could have been named after any corporation ponying up some advertising dollars. . and whatever name the arena, squeezed into its Brownstone Brooklyn location ultimately brandished, it was likely to be deemed an irksome synonym for ignominy. Nevertheless, the demon gods overseeing the project’s incubation managed to short-cut more directly to ensure that result: This public-paid for piece of Brooklyn sports the name of “Barclays,” the bank whose association with the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal appropriately evokes the arrogant primacy our society puts on having the interests of the 1% supersede those of the 99%.

There Are Alternatives!

It's good to know that there are alternatives when the onslaught of publicity for the arena makes it seem almost obligatory for every citizen to celebrate the arrival of this first slice of the Forest City Ratner/Mikhail Prokhorov mega-monopoly conceptualized as "Atlantic Yards," nominally 22 newly-bequeathed acres but actually a monolithic total of 30+ developer-controlled contiguous acres. No, Not so . . There are clearly superior alternatives to feeling obligated to join the celebration or start attending arena events: The arena’s arrival can be protested, and in preference to the arena’s plans for what sounds like some overgrown concert performance confections there are enticing homegrown local alternatives that offer the more intimate embrace of time spent with performers who may actually be more moral and truer to their roots.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Atlantic Yards: "Culture of Cheating" or an actual "crime"?

Michael D.D. White writes in Noticing New York:

Mr. Oder takes issue with whether Atlantic Yards can be technically described as a “crime,” suggesting that, more accurately, it is just part of the “culture of cheating,” the rubric under which Mr. Oder has been running a series of articles summing up how the mega-project has, across the board, been based upon strategies of deception and bad faith. But denying the crime here overlooks how the government, itself, was used as an instrument of theft which is, after all, the definition of “kleptocracy,” where a politically connected elite steal from the less advantaged.

Those keeping careful score as to what defines a “crime” will tell you that in these situations the real crime isn't what is technically illegal, it is what gets redefined as legal in order to permit such behavior. To give just two examples: That kind of redefining is what happened when the state and federal constitutional prohibitions on seizing private property for private benefit (including constitutional protections recently voted upon by New Yorkers) were rewritten out of existence by state agency skulduggery supported by judicial fiat (meaning that property that neighbor and senator Charles Schumer clearly knewwasn’t “blighted” was pretextually deemed to be so by collusive government officials so it could be taken by Ratner). And that kind of scrapping of laws on the books is what happened when the MTA decided that it didn’t have to comply with recently enacted public authority reform legislation designed to prohibit its rigged deal with Ratner because it was sure no one was going to make them follow the law.

So the real crime is what gets defined as legal? I get his point, but Michael Kinsley famously observed that the real scandal in Washington is what's legal, not illegal.

So as long as "crime" retains an actual relation to the criminal code, I'll stick with "cheating."

Posted by eric at 9:23 PM

Coming to the Barclays Center plaza: a flagpole representing Ebbets Field (so I hear)

Atlantic Yards Report

A flagpole (right) was installed Monday on the plaza outside the Barclays Center arena, near the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues. It's obviously meant to be a beacon of sorts.

There's space on the flagpole base for a plaque.

What's coming? There's no official announcement yet, but I hear that the flagpole is supposed to represent the flagpole at Ebbets Field, home of the baseball Dodgers until they left Brooklyn after the 1957 season. And that means the flag will either be vintage or a copy.

(Yes, I know this is not officially sourced, but I had the Barbra Streisand news right.)

Linking the Nets and the Dodgers

It's another effort to link the Nets and the Dodgers, a connection important mainly to men of a certain age--like Borough President Marty Markowitz--and a connection easily grasped by media outlets.

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Posted by eric at 12:17 PM

Billionaires and Millionaires to Cut the Ribbon at Barclays Center on Friday

mcbrooklyn

Two multi-billionaires and two multi-millionaires (plus some politicians) will be cutting the ribbon at the Barclays Center arena this Friday.

Presiding over the ceremony will be Mayor Michael Bloomberg (worth $22 billion); Brooklyn Nets owner and Russian Mikhail Prokhorov ($18 billion), Forest City Ratner CEO Bruce Ratner ($400 million), part-owner Jay-Z ($480 million) and Borough President Marty Markowitz (priceless).

That's about $41 billion dollars worth of humanity on stage Friday morning, not counting the little people.

link

Related coverage...

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Ribbon-cutting for long-awaited Barclays Center

Interestingly, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn and several other groups that took part in the opposition to the Atlantic Yards plan – especially its use of eminent domain – plan a series of protest events.

While the arena itself is a done deal, they contend that Forest City Ratner has not followed through on initial promises of jobs and affordable housing.

Among these events are a candlelight vigil on Thursday night at the nearby Brooklyn Bears Community Garden; and a press conference, also at the community garden, at 11 a.m. on the morning of the ribbon-cutting.

Posted by eric at 12:12 PM

Jay-Z's place: He opens Barclays Center

Newsday
by Glenn Gamboa

The tourists asking for directions in a part of Brooklyn that hasn't seen tourists in years are looking for the same thing. They want to see "Jay-Z's Place."

That's not factually correct, of course.

In fact, it's total bulls**t. Tourists don't ask for directions to "Jay-Z's Place," and they've been flocking to Brownstone Brooklyn for years.

The massive new arena at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues isn't actually called that, and the rapper from nearby Bed-Stuy isn't really responsible for building it, though he did help out occasionally. Nevertheless, when the Barclays Center, the home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, opens Sept. 28, it will be Jay-Z doing the honors, with the first of eight sold-out concerts.

Though Jay-Z owns only about one-fifteenth of one percent of the Nets franchise, he has been the public face of the project to move the New Jersey team to its new home. ("He is it," Brooklyn Nets minority owner and Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner told The New York Times last month. "He is us. He is how people are going to see that place.")

article

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Markowitz on arena: "It will bring us respect that's overdue"

Borough President Marty Markowitz, in a Newsday article headlined Jay-Z's place: He opens Barclays Center:

For a lifelong Brooklyn resident like Markowitz, the arrival of the borough's first major league sports team since the Brooklyn Dodgers is cause for lengthy celebration. "It will bring us respect that's overdue," he says. "It puts Brooklyn on the national map and gives us a sense of pride. It will bring people together in that way that music and religion and family and sports can -- really bring us together in a common goal to cheer for the team."

Really, hasn't it been a while since Brooklyn was the butt of jokes? Hasn't he heard of tres Brooklyn?

Posted by eric at 12:02 PM

Free A.T.M.’s at the New Barclays Center

Bucks [NYTimes.com]
by Ann Carrns

ABC left out a small detail in their story two days ago about the "free" ATMs at the Barclays Center, which The Times also buries in parentheses.

(The machines themselves don’t charge any access fees, but patrons’ own bank may charge them a fee for using an out-of-network A.T.M.)

With Bruce Ratner, there's always a catch.

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NoLandGrab: So you'll get to watch an ad and get docked a fee as a bonus!

Posted by eric at 11:44 AM

September 18, 2012

Arena facade will provide an all-over light show at night

Atlantic Yards Watch

In what is something of a surprise, the facade of Barclays Center is to be illuminated by multi-colored LED lights set in between the body of the arena building and the metal shell designed by SHoP Architects. The lights will shine from each of the slots in the rusted steel exterior. The colors of the lights are variable. So far we have witnessed purple, white, green and blue being tested.

A model at a presentation in 2009 by SHoP and Ellerbe Beckett, the joint architects of the arena showed illumination from most of the slots. Since that time some images of the arena have shown lights coming from the slots. However it was unclear they were LED lights. Rather the lights appeared to be coming from interior windows, increasing the illusion of transparency of the arena facade. There are not windows for much of the facade. No images found online of the arena show the slots with colors.

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NoLandGrab: That's going to be hell for the pigeons.

Related coverage...

NoLandGrab, Barclays Center Arena exterior lights #1

Posted by eric at 10:57 PM

Sports Giant, Part Owner of Lakers, Weighs Sale

The Wall Street Journal
by Ethan Smith and Anupreeta Das

The Barclays Center's operational consultant may be for sale, before the arena even begins operations.

Anschutz Co. is considering a sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group, its powerhouse sports-and-entertainment subsidiary whose properties include a piece of the Los Angeles Lakers as well as sports teams, stadiums and music festivals around the world, according to people familiar with the matter.

A sale could be worth several billion dollars, these people said, but added that the deliberations remain early, and closely held Anschutz may not ultimately pursue a transaction.

Aside from its stake in the Lakers, AEG's sprawling empire includes the Barclays Center in New York, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, the Coachella music festival, and the L.A. Galaxy professional soccer team, for which David Beckham plays.

article

Background (published October 17, 2011)...

SportsBusiness Daily, Brooklyn Sports signs AEG Facilities to help operate Barclays Center

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment has signed a multiyear deal with AEG Facilities to provide operational support at Barclays Center, the New Jersey Nets’ arena under construction in Brooklyn.

The agreement falls in line with Brooklyn Sports’ strategy to find the best resources to operate New York’s first new arena in 43 years.
...

AEG has appointed Steve Rosebrook as vice president of operations and David Anderson as vice president of event and guest services. Both facility managers come from AEG properties and have experience operating NBA facilities. They report to John Sparks, Barclays Center’s general manager and an employee of Brooklyn Sports, the Nets’ arena management firm.

NoLandGrab: Whoops, no they don't. Sparks is already long gone.

Posted by eric at 9:24 PM

Brooklyn Holds Court: Barclays Center To Impact Surrounding Traffic And Businesses

NY1
by Tara Lynn Wagner

While business owners hope to turn sports fans and concert-goers at the new Barclays Center into customers, local residents are concerned about overcongestion. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

Selling out the Barclays Center is good news for Jay-Z but not necessarily for local Brooklynites. They say crossing the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush Avenue is already dangerous on foot and can take 20 minutes in a car.

"It's just going to be a nightmare because cars are going to be bottled up," says resident Julia Pacetti. "There are no really good sidewalks in that area to speak of. They are very narrow. I just don't think the roads and the sidewalks are going to be able to accommodate the cars and the people."

Greg Yerman, on the other hand, says he's happy to accommodate the new crowds. As the owner of two restaurants on Flatbush Avenue, he expects that an influx of 18,000 people will spice up business.

"If we can get even a small percentage of those butts in our seats, it would be a significant coup for us," he said.
...

While restaurant and bar owners prepare to cash in, other small business owners fear the new economic climate could force them to move out.

Their problem is that as the arena went up, so have the rental rates.

"Rental rates just about a year ago were in the $75, $80-a-foot range and we're now seeing rents approach $200 a foot in the immediate vicinity to the stadium," [commercial realtor Geoffrey] Bailey says.

article [with video]

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, NY1: residents may worry, but businesses mixed/optimistic about arena opening

Norman Oder sums up the story...

The gist:

  • a resident worries about traffic
  • a restaurant owner is hopeful
  • a commercial real estate broker says rents have gone up and more food-related businesses are coming
  • a barber thinks he'll be priced out
  • the Chamber of Commerce CEO promises cross-promotion with local businesses (though that hasn't been announced)

Missing: the reason this is a strain for neighbors is that the state overrode city zoning to place an arena within 200 feet of a residential district.

NoLandGrab: If only Oder could be that succinct with his own stories!

Posted by eric at 1:23 PM

New garbage cans, recycling bins appear around arena block; will they be sufficient?

Atlantic Yards Report

Developer Forest City Ratner has “agreed to adopt 16 public litter baskets and six public recycling bins on the perimeter of the [Barclays Center] and also on blocks between the facility and the parking lot,” a city Department of Sanitation official said earlier this month.

Neighbors have asked for much wider coverage than the places indicated in the map at right. (Click on graphic to enlarge.)

Coverage could increase after conditions are assessed--i.e., how much trash is on the ground in Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, and Boerum Hill.

Yesterday, some of the new litter baskets and recycling bins appeared. The recycling bins are big, the litter baskets small. I'd bet there will be a call for much larger garbage cans.

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Photo by Tracy Collins from Sept. 5 community meeting

Posted by eric at 1:17 PM

Videos show short path from subway to arena plaza; straightest shots are Q/B and 2/3 northbound

Atlantic Yards Report

It's undeniable: public transportation is a very good way to get to the Barclays Center arena, and it must be a dream for the arena developers: it will deliver event-goers to the front door.

Below, some videos shot during yesterday morning's soft opening, tracking the rather brief path--at least, without a crowd--from some subway platforms to the surface, and back.

The concourses are wide, and, as Benjamin Kabak points out in Second Avenue Sagas, this will significantly improve pedestrian safety.

There are only two escalators--will they be going in just one direction before events?

Note that there's direct access to the Q/B/2/3/4/5 lines. Those aiming for the D/N/R have to go underground along a platform and then upstairs. Most likely, unless the weather's horrible, they'll take the streets.

Similarly, those heading for the Long Island Rail Road have a more direct route on the street, and would have to pay a fare--or use an unlimited ride MetroCard--to make it through the subway platforms.

Click through for some videos of the new station.

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Posted by eric at 1:11 PM

Ahead of the arena, a new subway entrance for Atlantic Ave.

2nd Ave. Sagas
by Benjamin Kabak

Subway nerd (and we mean that as a compliment) Ben Kabak reviews the brand-spanking-new Atlantic Av.—Pacific St. subway entrance.

Amidst little fanfare on Monday afternoon, the MTA opened up a new subway entrance. This isn’t just any old subway entrance. Rather, it is the subway entrance that leads to the Barclays Center, an arena that sits atop rail yards handed over by the MTA Board to Bruce Ratner for a well-below market rate of $100 million.

Over the years, the Atlantic Yards debacle has garnered more than its fair share of debate (and a very thorough website devoted to tracking the project in all its glory), but one element that has seemingly flown under the radar until recently concerns traffic, transportation and pedestrian flow around the arena. Simply put, the arena is in a terrible spot for pedestrian safety.

On its north side is a six-lane road that features cars speeding by at all hours of the day, and on the other side is a six-lane road that features cars speeding by at all hours of the day.

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Posted by eric at 12:52 PM

Videos: the Barclays Center Plaza, the parking lot, and "No Parking" ignored on Pacific

Atlantic Yards Report

Amateur videographer Norman Oder shot some megabytes of the latest conditions around the Barclays Center.

Some videos shot yesterday morning...

First, the Barclays Center Plaza, with traffic around it this morning. (The main part of the plaza, under the oculus, was still not open to the public.)

Click through for a couple more.

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Posted by eric at 12:39 PM

September 17, 2012

Brooklyn Holds Court: Road To Barclays Center A Long One, Developer Says

NY1
by Jeanine Ramirez

Brooklyn is getting ready for a new era as it welcomes its first professional sports team since the Dodgers left town. All this week NY1 is taking a look at the impact of the Nets and the Barclays Center on the community, on the borough and on the national stage. In part one, Brooklyn reporter Jeanine Ramirez has an exclusive interview with the developer and a look at how the controversial project evolved.

The Barclays Center is getting its finishing touches and developer Bruce Ratner is happy with what he sees.

"Even I was a little surprised at how magnificent and beautiful it is. I almost started crying because it's been a long haul, a long time," says Ratner.

[Sniff, sniff.]

We're a little [sniff, sniff] choked up ourselves [sniff, sniff]. In fact, we need a moment to collect ourselves.

[Sniff, sniff.]

article [with video]

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Ratner calls arena "public building," says "I think everyone right-thinking realizes that this was well worth it"

"I think everyone right-thinking realizes that this was well worth it," Ratner tells Brooklyn reporter Jeanine Ramirez, implicitly suggesting that the New York City Independent Budget Office, which called the arena a loss for the city, is wrong-thinking.

"That's the right place for a public building like this," Ratner tells his interviewer, which prompts some editorial pause:

But whether a privately owned arena is a public benefit sparked much debate and prompted lawsuits over the use of eminent domain.

The debate continues. After all, while the building may be open to the paying public, Ratner famously told Crain's New York Business 11/8/09, "Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."

Posted by eric at 10:11 PM

Community Sweepstakes for Barclays Center tickets Sept. 21, about a week after announcement; no plans yet regarding community-sponsored events

Atlantic Yards Report

About a week after a public announcement regarding community organizations--in Community Boards 2, 3, 6, & 8--eligible for Barclays Center tickets, the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance (DBNA) will hold its first "Community Tickets Program Sweepstakes."

The event will be held on Friday, Sept. 21, at the House of the Lord Church at 415 Atlantic Avenue. The DBNA is run by House of the Lord Presiding Minister Herbert Daughtry and seems to function as an army of the church.

Note that RSVPs for the event are due by Wednesday, Sept. 19, though it's not clear when applications are due for this first sweepstakes. Applications for the overall program are due 11/30/12.

It seems to me that organizations with advance notice of the DBNA's plans would have been far better prepared to enter the sweepstakes. I also suspect that some organizations outside those four community boards will make a case that they should be eligible for the sweepstakes, as well.

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NoLandGrab: Let us take this opportunity to remind the DBNA that a sweepstakes is defined as a game of chance — not a game of "to whom do we and Bruce owe a favor."

Posted by eric at 10:01 PM

Is Barclays Center (Still) Ugly? [POLL]

As Sept. 28 opening draws near, revisiting a question on the arena's aesthetics.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

Back in March, Patch asked readers what seemed to be an innocuous question: Is Barclays Center Ugly?

Since then, we received 31 comments and 419 votes, with a majority of the passionate opinion (and we're paraphrasing here) that, yes, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets was most displeasing to the eye.

However, like it or not, the arena has continued to march ever closer to its Sept. 28 completion target date.

Now with the installation of Barclays' distinctive rusted steel panels, oculus and sky blue signage mostly complete, here's a chance to revisit the question—albeit, with a minor twist:

Is the Barclays Center (Still) Ugly?

Vote!

A Patch commenter also notes:

...the pigeons seem to love nesting inside that metal skin... The workers have been cleaning the glass weekly because of the pigeon poop...if you ride by you can see the pigeons hanging out on top of and inside the perforated metallic skin... Take a close look next time you go by.

Posted by eric at 9:54 PM

New Subway Exit Opens Near Barclays Center

NY1

Subway riders now have a direct route to the Barclays Center in place. A new exit at the Atlantic Avenue subway station opened Monday morning and leads directly to the entrance of the new arena.

The new station includes a 30,000-square-foot plaza lined with paving stones, benches and greenery.

While some locals are excited about the $76 million station, others say they're concerned.

"I live in the neigborhood and I'm worried that with the Barclays Center opening, there's gonna be way more people here and it's gonna be a lot harder for me to get home," said one.

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Posted by eric at 9:50 PM

Truck violations increase while enforcement stays away

Atlantic Yards Watch

Atlantic Yards Watch publishes an extensive rundown of the traffic and trucking nightmare also known as the Barclays Center.

Over the last month changes to the way truck deliveries take place at Barclays Center have increased meaningfully the number of violations of NYC law, the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments and Barclays Center Truck Delivery Rules and Requirements. With apparently no enforcement taking place, the consequence is a wide range of adverse impacts on the community: trucks idling for long periods; use of unauthorized truck routes; and blocking of bus lanes, bike lanes, no standing zones and travel lanes. Travel and the quality of life on Dean Street between Flatbush and 6th Avenue is particularly affected.

The violations have steadily increased through the summer, first as the method for processing construction trucks became impractical and at times impossible, and second with the introduction of truck deliveries to facilitate arena operations. Although no new rules for truck behavior have been posted on the ESDC website or listed in the bi-weekly construction alerts, trucks now queue and stage on a public street with residences instead of the privatized section of Pacific Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues.

A key change occured a week or so ago when FCRC took control of the arena from construction contractors and began operating the loading dock. The photos above and to the right from Thursday, September 12th show On-site Environmental Monitor Adam Schwartz directing a delivery truck backward into the arena site while an ambulance with flashing lights waits.
...

NYPD officers appear not to be ticketing trucks idling or parked illegally, and one traffic enforcement officer elsewhere on the site, shown a truck parked in a bike lane, challenged this writer to tell her exactly what trucks are supposed to do: "after all, the area is under construction."

article

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Atlantic Yards Watch documents Culture of Cheating: increased truck violations, with no enforcement, as arena construction hits crunch time

As the completion of the Barclays Center arena hits the final stretch, procedures aimed at protecting the community fall off even faster.

Last week, as I wrote, Forest City Ratner CEO Bruce Ratner went on Bloomberg television and insisted that his firm was following construction protocols in building the arena.

I suggested the truth was otherwise, and Atlantic Yards Watch, in Truck violations increase while enforcement stays away, offers exhaustive documentation.
...

A warning for the future

The record bodes ill for actual operation of the arena, as residents have been told that delivery trucks will be scheduled to avoid idling in the street.

However, as Atlantic Yards Watch reports, "drivers either wait near the arena or drive to the closest location they can find to pull over, regardless of its proximity to residences. They then sit in their trucks to wait, sometimes with their engines idling."

Not only is there no capacity for trucks to queue, the drivers tell AYW they "are given little or no instruction before they come or once they arrive."

NoLandGrab: This giant clusterf**k is brought to you by the letters F, C and R — and E, S, D & C.

Posted by eric at 12:38 PM

Barclays Center Arena exterior lights #1

Tracy Collins via YouTube

link

Related content...

Tracy Collins via YouTube, Barclays Center Arena exterior lights #2

Posted by eric at 12:32 PM

Arena gets belated TCO, two weeks before opening; work on retail stores remains; exterior photos show progress

Atlantic Yards Report

On Friday, Sept. 14, the Barclays Center finally got a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO), from the NYC Department of Buildings, nine days after it had been promised for months, and more than a month after it was once expected.

That gives the arena developers exactly two weeks to get the building in shape for the first public event, the Jay-Z concert on Sept. 28. And that explains why there are double shifts and weekend work (and the Culture of Cheating).

As I wrote 9/6/12, the once-planned "public events and tours" to "welcome and introduce the Brooklyn community to its new building" seem to be off the table. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony this Friday, Sept. 21, and an event for season-ticket holders on Monday, Sept. 24.

Not everything will be ready.

article

Photo: Atlantic Yards Report

Posted by eric at 11:45 AM

Ad-Supported ATMs Expand in NYC

ABC News
by Susanna Kim

A small start-up called FreeATM Inc. and the Barclays Center stadium of Brooklyn, N.Y. are partnering to bring ATMs with no fees to New York City.

The Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets and oft-used concert venue, will have seven ATMs on Sept. 28, including one which provides access to the public who are not attending an event.

"Oft-used concert venue?" The place isn't open yet.

Instead of paying an ATM fee, typically $2 or $3 when you use a machine outside of your bank’s ATM network, FreeATM machines are supported by advertising.
...

The Barclays Center ATMs are expected to distribute $5 million in cash in its first year.

article

NoLandGrab: To pay for all those $10 beers.

Posted by eric at 11:39 AM

The Net Effect on Sports, Economy and Community

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Michael Randazzo

The Brooklyn Public Library, which infamously wouldn't display a painted portrait of Daniel Goldstein it termed "hagiographic," had no problem hosting a one-sided panel discussion entitled "Sports and the Economy: A Win-Win for Brooklyn."

With the Barclays Center set to open Sept. 28, the Brooklyn Public Library hosted a panel discussion Wednesday called, “Sports and the Economy: A Win-Win for Brooklyn,” focusing on the overlap of sports, business and community.

In the event’s lead-off spot was Borough President Marty Markowitz, who trumpeted what he considers his signature accomplishment: returning the Nets to New York.
...

The panel examined how the business of professional sports meshes with the complex demographics of the city’s largest and most economically diverse borough. Mr. Mierswa touted the Barclays Center as the culmination of the Nets’ carefully orchestrated efforts to build community. He mentioned numerous examples of local connections, from donating money to neighborhood playgrounds to supporting such institutions as the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

article

NoLandGrab: One slanted panel's win-win is another Independent Budget Office's net loss for taxpayers.

Posted by eric at 11:05 AM

New Territory for Ads, With a Moving Target

City Room
by David W. Dunlap

Then there are naming rights: for $200,000 a year, the authority has added the designation “Barclays Center” to the name of the Atlantic Avenue stations in Brooklyn. The measure is one part customer service — the new arena by that name is a block away — and two parts marketing, as the arena and stations now carry the name of a giant international financial services company.
...

But revenues come with a cost of their own, suggested Siva Vaidhyanathan, the chairman of the media studies department at the University of Virginia.
...

Professor Vaidhyanathan, for one, would like to see some more restraint. He bristled at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center name. “What happens if Barclays is convicted of massive fraud in the Libor scandal?” he asked. “What happens if Barclays goes out of business?”

article

Posted by eric at 10:53 AM

How Brooklyn Businesses REALLY Feel About The Barclays Center

Business Insider
by Shlomo Sprung

As Brooklyn braces for the long-awaited opening of the $1 billion Barclays Center on September 28, the area around the new arena is quickly changing.

New businesses are coming in, rents are going up and many of the old businesses are being forced to close their doors.

While many outsiders view the arena opening as positive, there is a lot of worry among local business owners, who are concerned they may not be able to withstand downtown Brooklyn's shift from a bustling residential area to a super-busy urban hub with an arena that will draw millions of visitors.

We recently walked around the neighborhood and spoke with local business owners to see how they're being impacted by the new arena.

link

Posted by eric at 10:45 AM

New York’s Barclays Center Opens Just In Time For Jay-Z Concert!

Architizer
by Molly Cotter

The ribbon-cutting scissors better be extra large for this one because the scheduled officials to make the announcement are FCRC Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner; NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Brooklyn Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov; Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; Barclays Executive Chairman of the Americas Thomas L. Kalaris; and Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark. Phew!

link

Posted by eric at 10:41 AM

September 16, 2012

UniWatch's Lukas: opposes arena, likes idea of Brooklyn having a team; no fan of logo but approves herringbone floor

Atlantic Yards Report

UniWatch's Paul Lukas takes questions from readers:

As a Brooklyn resident, what’s your opinion on the Nets’ move to Brooklyn and their chance of taking a nick out of the Knicks’ fan base?
Although I’m strongly opposed to the new arena, I’m into the idea of Brooklyn having its own team. Should be interesting to see how the Knicks/Nets dynamic evolves. There are definitely enough fans in the city to support two teams, and I think the rivalry (if one develops) will be good for both franchises.

I suspect there multiple sets of opinions: not merely like/hate arena and like/hate team, but like/hate arena design and like/hate arena placement. Some people like the design but don't like the placement.

Lukas wrote 5/1/12:

I’m about to mark my 25th anniversary of moving to Brooklyn (plus both my parents grew up in Brooklyn), so I care deeply about the borough and am generally in favor of having a major-level team here. Like I’ve always said, sports teams are civic enterprises as much as they’re business enterprises, so I dig the civic aspect of a team with “Brooklyn” on its chest.
But I’ve been very, very opposed to the new arena (about nine blocks from where I live) and its associated development project. It’s in a terrible location that will bring loads of traffic and congestion to a spot that’s already overburdened, it’s a financial boondoggle, it has forced people out of their homes, it’s not providing as many jobs as had been promised (happy May Day!), and on and on. It’s a fucking disaster, and I get sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

He called the new logo "really, really plain" but thinks the new herringbone floor--a departure for the NBA and an effort to brand the Barclays Center the way the Boston Celtics have a parquet floor--"looks pretty nice."

link

Posted by steve at 5:25 PM

Barclays Center listed in NRDC report as among the "latest green building leaders in professional sports"; does it have "best connection to public transit"?

Atlantic Yards Report

The Barclays Center is listed as among the "latest green building leaders in professional sports," according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Game Changer: How the Sports Industry is Saving the Environment

The text, based on press releases, notes that the arena is pursuing LEED Silver certification and is the "arena with the best connection to public transit."

Maybe that's compared to the "latest" buildings, but I don't think the Barclays Center tops Madison Square Garden.

Note that while the Brooklyn arena offers a convoluted direct connection to the Long Island Railroad, those without unlimited ride MetroCards would have to pay a fare to enter the subway system, go downstairs, and then go upstairs to the LIRR.

link

Posted by steve at 5:23 PM

Can Barclays Center plaza become the Brooklyn equivalent of the Grand Central Station clock? Only in part

Atlantic Yards Report

From NY1 yesterday, 9/14/12, Barclays Center Offers Glimpse Of New Transit Hub:

Arena developers paid $4 million for the next 20 years for the naming rights for the station, whose doorstep is a 30,000 square foot open space plaza lined with paving stones, benches and greenery.

"We love the plaza. We think it becomes in some ways the new clock, the grand central clock for many people in Brooklyn," [Forest City Ratner Executive VP] Gilmartin said.

Can the Barclays Center plaza serve as the Brooklyn equivalent of the Grand Central Station clock, a meeting place and dispatch point?

Only in part. First, it's not (obviously) a year-round destination; the Urban Room, the atrium that was supposed to be there, had more of a chance.

Second, however convenient the stairs to the transit hub, it's not the most direct path to all the subway platforms, nor the Long Island Rail Road.

Third, the adjoining streets, Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, promise to be rather busy, which means lingering at the plaza will become that less enjoyable.

That said, it should become a gathering place, at least in better weather. And if it's "programmed," with attractions and events, that would draw more people and give them a reason to stay.

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Posted by steve at 5:11 PM

September 14, 2012

The Culture of Cheating: Nets/arena CEO Yormark says "what I'm most proud of is the cultural fit for Barclays" (unmentioned: the LIBOR scandal)

Atlantic Yards Report

An exchange in a 9/11/12 Billboard Q&A, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark on the Brooklyn Brand, Jay-Z, $1 Billion Building, has some unintended resonance regarding the "culture of cheating" and the elephant in the room: dishonest behavior by Barclays.

A big part of this project is the 20-year naming rights deal with Barclays. How much did it mean to you to get that deal done?
*That's a great question, because when I look back on my career, it's probably one of those top two or three highlights... There were a lot of doubters, but they weren't doubting my ability, they were doubting because of all the planned new buildings in the market... They're like, "you're the last one to get yours, so you're probably going to need some help." They doubted the project, the merits of Brooklyn, lots of different things. And we nailed it. For me, what I'm most proud of is the cultural fit for Barclays.
(Emphasis added)

Tell me about that, it just seems so unlikely.
You can either do it for the money or you can do it for the partnerships, and thankfully, in our case we did it for both reasons. Financially, they made a very appealing offer to us, but more important than the financials is, we just believed in Barclays and Barclays believed in us, and that goes to the highest levels.

Of course, Yormark was talking about commerce, about branding Brooklyn, about mutual promotion.

But think about it: "the cultural fit for Barclays."

If Atlantic Yards, as I've contended, represents the "culture of cheating," then isn't Barclays a perfect fit?

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Posted by eric at 12:35 PM

First look at the $76 million Barclays Center subway station

A new station where Flatbush meets Atlantic in downtown Brooklyn will connect subway travelers on nine lines to the Barclays Center.

NY Daily News
by Jason Sheftell

Life is about moments. So is New York City. The first time you see a doorman in a top hat and tails in front of the Plaza Hotel. When you lay eyes on the Statue of Liberty. Every time you take the Long Island Expressway to the Midtown Tunnel and the skyline opens up before you. Yankee Stadium. Landing at LaGuardia.

There’s a new one. Opening this Monday at 8 a.m., subway travelers on nine lines will be able to walk up the stairs of a new station where Flatbush meets Atlantic in downtown Brooklyn and see the rusted metal oculus of Barclays Center spread before them like a moment in a science-fiction film. It’s as grand as Lincoln Center, as Brooklyn as the Boys of Summer, and as New York as a skyscraper.

No hyperbole there.

When empty, the new subway station feels like a movie set. Think “Planet of the Apes.”

You damned, dirty Ratner!

“We want this to be magical,” says Gilmartin, who has been with FCRC since 1994 and handles its key negotiations and development execution. “The canopy, oculus, all of this is part of what will define Brooklyn for the next century.

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NoLandGrab: The next century? It's already rusting. If arena's were built to last a century, Madison Square Garden would still be in Madison Square.

Photo: Jeff Bachner/NY Daily News

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Daily News gets first look at new subway entrance opening Monday, accepts Forest City's claims about budget and timing; exec claims they don't want anyone driving to arena

Sycophantic Daily News Real Estate correspondent Jason Sheftell gets the exclusive look at the new subway entrance serving the Barclays Center arena that opens Monday morning--yes, it's an impressive addition, but a clearly self-serving one, especially given the revisionist mythology described below.

And Sheftell delivers.
...

He continues:

It cost $76 million. No, it’s not paved in gold. But not a cent of it came from taxpayers’ pockets. Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), the developer of the arena, the housing around it, MetroTech and Atlantic Center Mall, agreed to pay for the station as part of financing in return for the air rights from the MTA above the arena’s plaza, where one day a world-class commercial building could stand.

Hold on. Maybe Forest City spent $76 million, in their accounting. The contract for the station is $57.8 million, according to a report from the construction monitor for arena bondholders.
...

And of course taxpayers helped: Forest City's commitment to build this was part of why the MTA accepted a $100 million cash bid for development rights for the Vanderbilt Yard--not just the area above the plaza--at less than half the appraised value.
...

Sheftell quotes Forest City Executive VP MaryAnne Gilmartin: "The new entrance is the key component to making this arena work. Under no circumstances do we want anyone driving to the arena, ever.”

Ever? Is that why the Barclays Center website includes a link to prepaid parking?

NLG: And why they're building a giant surface parking lot on Dean Street?

Posted by eric at 12:13 PM

Ticket program announced for arena events, managed by Daughtry's DBNA; will be aimed at organizations in CBs 2, 3, 6, & 8

Atlantic Yards Report

Community organizations--well, some of them, limited to four community districts near the Barclays Center--will be eligible for 50+ free tickets for various arena events, not just--as first believed--Nets games, via a sweepstakes.

Great! NoLandGrab would like the suite for Streisand, The Stones, and Dylan. Email us when the tickets are ready and we'll send someone over to pick them up.

It's unclear which events, but presumably there will be more available for college basketball, gospel, and games against bottom-dwellers than Nets vs. Knicks.

The organization in charge is the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance (DBNA), led by the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, and, as far as I can tell, essentially a subgroup of his church.

(The DBNA officers are apparently church members; though they're not listed on the web site, they are listed on IRS filings. According to the most recent Form 990, from the year 2010, the DBNA had received more than $700,000 in support over the previous five years. The donor is not specified, but the lion's share, if not all, almost surely comes from Forest City Ratner.)

Not only will the DBNA manage the ticket giveaway, Daughtry has long championed a chapel-like meditation room, 150 square feet.

They're calling it the "Meditation Closet."

His organization also will be in charge of "a Project Gallery for documenting and celebrating the creation of the CBA [Community Benefits Agreement]," which will be an interesting challenge, because all of the CBA signatories accept money from the developer, not a best practice in CBA circles, and several are silent to the point of moribund.

link

Related content...

Press Release via Brooklyn News Corp, Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance Announces Community Tickets Program for Events at Barclays Center

Posted by eric at 11:58 AM

Bloomberg's Soda Ban Victory Lap: "Biggest Step A City Has Taken To Curb Obesity"

Gothamist
by Jen Chung

The big news is that the Barclays Center will not wait until March to follow the new rules. Developer Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner was present for the event and Bloomberg said, "I raise a 16 ounce cup and toast Barclays for joining us today and implementing this plan 6 months ahead of schedule. This is a game-changing vote and the new Barclays Center is on the winning side."

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NoLandGrab: What Bruce isn't telling us is that he still plans to charge as if it's a 64 oz. soda.

Related coverage...

NY Observer, Nets Say ‘Nyet’ to Super-Sized Drinks: Bruce Ratner Announces Barclays Center Backing Soda Ban

So far the biggest drinking controversy at the arena has been over how late it would be serving alcohol until (a state panel settled on 1 a.m., an hour earlier than the arena wanted but hours after neighbors had prayed for). The size of alcoholic beverages will not be impacted, which is really all most sports fans care about, though there have been rumors that is where the mayor will turn his attention to next.
...

Still, what of the poor Justin Bieber fans who will have to shell out repeatedly to slake their thirst during the pop stars upcoming concerts?

Posted by eric at 11:23 AM

September 13, 2012

Barclays Center becomes first food service venue to voluntarily comply with new rules limiting size of sugary beverages (but what about that unlimited food option?)

Atlantic Yards Report

We're not above giving credit where it's due, so it's nice to know that we'd be able to buy a reasonably sized soda if we ever attended an event at the Barclays Center, though that, of course, ain't gonna happen.

So the New York City Board of Health agreed to Mayor Mike Bloomberg's contentious plan to limit the sale of sugary drinks in food service establishment to 16 ounces (here's coverage in the Times), and the guest of honor at the press conference was developer Bruce Ratner, whose Barclays Center will voluntarily conform six months in advance.

At the press conference (video), Bloomberg noted that Ratner was once Consumer Affairs Commissioner under Mayor Ed Koch and "he's never lost his sense of civic responsibility."

"Bruce has never been shy about taking on a challenge, like bringing professional basketball to Brooklyn," Bloomberg said later, introducing Ratner. "Here he is, my hero."

Gag us with an All-Syrup Super Squishee.

Ratner didn't say he was going to lean on his mall and movie theater tenants to voluntarily adopt the policy. That would have been heroic.

Also, Ratner's anti-obesity cred deserves an asterisk. The Nets offer an All Access Pass that can "be used for unlimited food, prepared by award-winning Levy Restaurants, at designated clubs and all fixed concession stands during NETS games -- a first-time offering for a major New York metropolitan area sports team."

So those sugary drinks, at least for the high rollers, can keep coming.

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Posted by eric at 8:37 PM

Yes, the Barclays Center is getting fully branded: EmblemHealth entrance emerges on Dean street

Atlantic Yards Report

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Photo: Atlantic Yards Report

Posted by eric at 12:49 PM

Yes, Barclays Center has logo in place for fly-over view

Atlantic Yards Report

From WCBS's Chopper 880/Tom Kaminski, a flyover photo of the Barclays Center. (Here's the backstory on the roof logo.)

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NoLandGrab: Kinda looks like Brooklyn received a giant George Foreman grill for opening an account with the World's Most Corrupt Bank™.

Posted by eric at 12:16 PM

The Yards They Are A’Changing: Barclay’s Center Is Opening Up Really Soon

NYU Local
by Eric Silver

You remember the Barclays Center, right? You know, it’s that construction site in Brooklyn that’s supposed to become something? Since you’ve been away, the House That Jay-Z (And Gentrification) Built is actually looking like a stadium. A really, really, really big stadium.

Actually, its looks a lot bigger than everyone thought it was going to look like. Barclays Center construction watchdog blog Atlantic Yards Report shows an extremely misleading rendering used on the official Atlantic Yards website. “First, the hovercraft effect… The rendering appears to be the work of someone standing on his shoulder. Note the height of the subway entrance.” The rendering also makes the stadium look much less wide and about the same size as the adjacent mall, which is pretty much not true. Check out the website’s own panorama to compare the details.
...

This isn’t the first huge piece of construction that’s come to the Atlantic Yards area. Bruce Ratner, the president of Ratner Forest construction and the guy responsible for the Barclays’s Center, built two monstrous malls just next door. The Atlantic Terminal and the Atlantic Center are two testaments to suburbs right in the heart of Brooklyn, sporting a Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chuck E. Cheese, and a DMV for good measure. Although everyone was equally abuzz when the Terminal went up in 2004, there’s been a shift from “Wow, we have a Target!” to “Wow, this guy is taking over everything!”

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Posted by eric at 12:07 PM

Brooklyn Nets’ new Barclays Center home features unique herringbone-patterned court

The $1 billion Barclays Center will open Sept. 28 with a Jay Z concert. The first basketball game is an Oct. 15 preseason contest between the Nets and Wizards.

NY Daily News
by Stefan Bondy

The Celtics have their fabled parquet floor, and the Nets hope their unique design will bring just as much success to Brooklyn.

Yes, we're fully expecting the Nets to win eight straight NBA championships, and 11 in 13 years.

A court surface highlighted by dark shading and herringbone pattern was unveiled at the Barclays Center this week, giving us another reminder of how the Nets want to be hip, different and, perhaps most consistently, dark.

They're like Batman trying to save New York basketball.

Wha?

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Photo: Bloomberg

Posted by eric at 11:35 AM

Inside the New Home of the Brooklyn Nets

19,000 seat arena and a re-branded team, minority owner Jay-Z has big plans to take on the dominant Madison Square Garden.

The Hollywood Reporter
by Jordan Zakarin

Getting celebrities to sit courtside is a high-value target for any NBA franchise, and while Jay-Z and Beyonce will go a long way, the Nets will have to do better than just Ellen Pompeo and MTV's Sway (who have bought season tickets) if they're going to compete with Madison Square Garden -- which, for decades, has been the city's only viable spot for massive concerts and events. MSG also has the advantage of being the home of the Knicks and the WNBA's Liberty as well as the NHL's Rangers -- and those franchises drove the Garden's profits to $322 million last quarter.

"Personally, I don't think the Garden has any reason to consider Barclays as a serious competitor mainly because of the No. 1 rule in New York City real estate: location, location, location," Alan Hahn, who covered the NBA for Newsday and now is an on-air analyst for MSG's TV network, told The Hollywood Reporter. "The Garden is in mid-town Manhattan, at the heart of New York City. It's also the Garden, an icon, a place with rich history and tradition."

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NoLandGrab: Yeah, but does the Garden have a herringbone floor? Huh? Huh?

Posted by eric at 11:29 AM

September 12, 2012

Fact-checking eight claims in Brett Yormark's Billboard Q&A

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder injects a little sodium pentathol into yesterday's ridiculous Billboard.biz interview with Brett Yormark.

A Billboard Q&A, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark on the Brooklyn Brand, Jay-Z, $1 Billion Building, is worth some quick fact-checking.

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Posted by eric at 4:17 PM

Victory lap: in Bloomberg interview, Ratner calls arena "whole big good," claims "we've done a huge amount" to placate neighborhood

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder dissects another insipid Bloomberg TV love-fest with Bruce Ratner.

Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, speaking yesterday with Tom Keene, Sara Eisen and Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg Television's "Surveillance," got the typical hero treatment from unskeptical business reporters.

Asked Keene, "What did you learn about NIMBY, not in my backyard?"

"Too much," responded a grinning Ratner. "When you live around a project and near a project of this size, it's likely that you will be opposed to it.... And it's understandable on one level. On the other, when you look at the whole big good, it's not understandable."

The "whole big good" that says the arena's a loser for the city, according to the Independent Budget Office?

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NoLandGrab: Ah, we get it now. This isn't a real interview. It's a Second City spoof starring Eugene Levy.

Posted by eric at 11:45 AM

An Occupy protest coming in response to Jay-Z's comments, but will it be just before his Sept. 28 concert?

Atlantic Yards Report

An Occupy Wall Street affiliate is planning a protest of Barclays Center/Nets part-owner Jay-Z regarding his comments on Occupy, though I suspect that the announced time, 6 pm on Sept. 28, will be adjusted once planners recognize how difficult it will be to get near the arena in the hours before the first event.

(Note that those Brooklyn organizations behind the Atlantic Yards Crime Scene protest are planning other events, including a 9/27, 7PM candlelight vigil at the Barclays Center and a 9/28, 11AM press conference there, but nothing after 4 pm that day other than tweets and a movie screening nearby. I suspect they recognize that the combination of event-goers and massive security would make any gathering impossible.)
...

Also responding to Jay-Z was Russell Simmons, one of the relatively few hip-hop figures (producer, entrepreneur) who has the wealth and stature of Jay-Z (though, obviously, not the same adoring fans). Simmons wrote on Global Grind, in part:

As a person who cares deeply about Occupy Wall Street, I have to honor their year-long effort and educate my long-time friend, Jay-Z. This weekend, he was interviewed by the New York Times where he discusses OWS, where he was quoted as saying “I’m not going to a park and picnic, I have no idea what to do, I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want, do you know?” If he understood it and endorsed the movement, it would make a big difference to poor people. As the same man that said he would pay more taxes if it helped educate more children and create affordable healthcare, Jay-Z's words matter. He was honest enough to say that he didn’t understand it. A lot of Americans don’t. He was also honest enough to recognize that there are some in the 1 percent who "deceiving" and "robbing," so I know in his heart he gets it. I know he is a compassionate person who cares about the poor, so I'm certain if I had two more minutes with him, I could change his mind.

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NoLandGrab: Jay's one of the few people who's deceived and robbed as a member of the 99% and the 1%.

Posted by eric at 11:43 AM

September 11, 2012

Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark on the Brooklyn Brand, Jay-Z, $1 Billion Building

Billboard.biz
by Ray Waddell

Like a modern-day P.T. Barnum without the charm, Brett Yormark keeps on burnishing the legend of Brett Yormark.

Brett Yormark, CEO, Brooklyn Nets/Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates the Barclays Center, is a self-proclaimed "brand guy," and as such he knows a great brand when he says one. That would be Brooklyn.

Since joining the Nets organization in January of 2005, Yormark has reinvented the culture of the organization. Yormark's mission has been to make the Nets the most accessible, inventive, fan-friendly, and community-active team in sports. And that mission will come to bear physically in the form of the Barclays Center, the Nets' new home beginning for the start of the 2012-13 NBA season.
...

Billboard: How did the New Jersey Nets to end up in Brooklyn at the new Barclays Center?

Brett Yormark: Bruce Ratner had the vision of bringing sports and entertainment back to Brooklyn and building a mixed-use development at Flatbush and Atlantic for the arena and the team, which really would be the anchor of this renaissance of downtown Brooklyn. It took a little longer than expected. There was a little opposition. But I give all the credit to Bruce for persevering, having the vision, and sticking with that vision.

Anchor the renaissance? The renaissance has been happening for more than a decade. The arena is more likely Brooklyn's jump-the-shark moment.

I'd agree, the arena feels very "Brooklyn." I've rarely seen a venue built to integrate so completely into its neighborhood, and reflect the vibe of that neighborhood.

Oh, God. Mike Wallace this guy is not.

You're absolutely right. SHoP Architects and Ellerbe Beckett, they've done an incredible job of truly speaking to the borough and integrating the architectural flavor of the building in a way that really fits the borough. The grittiness of the weathered steel exterior really speaks to the strength of Brooklyn, and the boldness of it. The terrazzo flooring across the concourse, the black ceilings, exposed loft-type environment, I really think they've captured it all.

It gets better.

A big part of this project is the 20-year naming rights deal with Barclays. How much did it mean to you to get that deal done?
...

For me, what I'm most proud of is the cultural fit for Barclays.

Come again?

Tell me about that, it just seems so unlikely.

You can either do it for the money or you can do it for the partnerships, and thankfully, in our case we did it for both reasons. Financially, they made a very appealing offer to us, but more important than the financials is, we just believed in Barclays and Barclays believed in us, and that goes to the highest levels.

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Posted by eric at 11:01 PM

Consultant: Arena schedule "extremely aggressive, but achievable" (though TCO not gotten as planned); punch list work will extend to 9/22, then resume on non-event days; also, a sign of a hockey push

Atlantic Yards Report

The latest report by Merritt & Harris, the construction consultant to the Barclays Center bond trustee, provides additional evidence that work on the arena is going down to the wire, with the projected substantial completion of the arena, 9/5/12, already missed and the consultant's observation that "the Arena schedule is extremely aggressive, but achievable," given overtime.

This is the first time the consultant has made such an observation.

Indeed, punch list work will extend to 9/22/12 and "resume during non-event days." That suggests that when the arena ribbon-cutting is held on 9/21/12, there will be more work to do.

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NoLandGrab: We don't know about you, but we're starting to think it's unlikely that all of Atlantic Yards will be complete by December 10, 2013 — the promised ten-year buildout from the date the project was introduced.

Related coverage...

Meadowlands Matters [NorthJersey.com], Barclays Center countdown

We’re only 17 days away from the first event at the $1 billion Barclays Center, the Nets’ new home near downtown Brooklyn – and only 10 days away from a grand opening ceremony at the site.

And while it still doesn’t seem like it will be the scramble that the Devils faced in 2007 to move into the Prudential Center in Newark, it has become increasingly clear in the past few months that the site will continue to be a beehive of activity every single day for the next several weeks.

Posted by eric at 10:28 PM

Jay-Z's Got 99% Problems, and a Barclays Center Protest Is One

The Atlantic Wire
by David Wagner

Jay-Z has drawn the ire of Occupiers yet again, this time over quotes he dropped in his Zadie Smith-penned The New York Times T Magazine profile. This isn't the first time Jay-Z and Occupy have feuded. Last November, Jay-Z pissed off the Zuccotti Park set by selling Occupy Wall Street knock-off shirts without donating any profits to the movement. OWS called the rapper a "bloodsucker," but Jay-Z emerged from the spat mostly unscathed. After all, Occupiers were too busy trying to not get kicked out of their campsite to focus on Jay-Z too much. But this time, the 99 percenters have a more targeted plan of attack for shaming the rap mogul. They're taking their beef to Jay-Z's big opening-night concert at the Barclays Center, turf he partially owns.

Jay-Z has always seemed somewhat supportive of the Occupy movement in theory, but he questions its goals and rhetoric. "What’s the thing on the wall, what are you fighting for?" Jay-Z asks in the quotes that reignited the feud. "I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want, do you know?" As a firmly-established member of the 1 percent, Jay-Z is most bothered by Occupy's demonization of everyone in the top-tier. "Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad. Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on."

Funny, we don't remember Hova having even one problem with New York State taking people's homes away to make room for the Barclays Center.

Occupy-affiliated group Guitarmy took to Tumblr to set Jay-Z straight about what they're working towards. They write, "We have spent one year on the streets organizing for exactly the things Jay rapped about in his early days, ending urban poverty, ending Stop & Frisk and police use of lethal force, of returning dignity and hope to the everyday people of New York City." Guitarmy plans to make sure Jay-Z gets the message by protesting his grand opening concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sept. 28th.

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NoLandGrab: What do we want, Jay? We want a travesty like Atlantic Yards to never happen, ever, anywhere.

Related coverage...

Pitchfork, Occupy Wall Street to Stage Teach-In at Jay-Z Concert After Jay Questions Movement

As the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street approaches, the movement's Guitarmy group has announced a teach-in for September 28 outside Jay-Z's concert at the new Brooklyn arena, the Barclays Center. (You may remember the Guitarmy from this spring's May Day protest.) Jay-Z is a part owner of the Nets, the basketball team that plays at the Barclays Center.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, Barclays Center, A Great Monument to Crony Capitalism, Invites Protest

Hold it right there Hova. Surely, with Jay Z's 1/15th of one percent ownership of the Nets and 1/5th of one percent ownership of the arena the rap mogul is aware that his partners, Forest City Ratner with the help of a raft of Governors and Mayor Bloomberg used eminent domain against people to do just that—"take their home away from them"—all for the benefit of one of the ultimate one-percenters Mikhail Prokhorov.

Posted by eric at 12:03 PM

New Nets court shines in Brooklyn

NY Post
by Rich Calder

Ooh, the Barclays Center has the only herringbone pattern and black key areas in the NBA! Jobs Herringbone, Housing Black Keys & Hoops!

Nets officials yesterday gave The Post an exclusive first look at the team’s new basketball court at Barclays Center, boasting it includes a “one-of-a-kind” herringbone pattern of wood panels that stands out above anything hoop fans have ever seen.

“We wanted a court that was identifiable and different, so that when fans turn on the TV at home they’ll realize they are in Brooklyn,” crowed Nets/Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark. “This court does exactly that.”

Yormark also said there’s a “bold, dark, gritty feeling” to the court that “blends nicely with the entire motif” of the 18,200-seat arena.
...

The design, fashioned by Yormark and the club’s marketing team, had to pass strict NBA testing to ensure it doesn’t look blurry on television.

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NoLandGrab: We're pretty sure "strict NBA testing" is an oxymoron.

Related coverage...

New York Magazine, Lookin’ Sharp, Barclays Center!

With the seats in place, the Jumbotron danglin', the baskets up, and the court laid down, the place almost looks ready for a basketball game. Via Nets Daily, we've also got images of the arena dressed up for hockey (the Islanders and Devils, remember, will play a preseason game at Barclays in October, and there'll be KHL action there early next year). Shiny!

Posted by eric at 11:22 AM

September 10, 2012

From the latest Construction Alert: arena down to the wire, as some work won't be finished within two weeks

Atlantic Yards Report

The Barclays Center, in both exterior and interior photos, looks close to finished, but there's still a lot of work to do regarding the arena and the site in general before the arena opens Sept. 28. And that's why there are double shifts daily to get the work done.

According to the latest two-week Atlantic Yards Construction Alert, dated today and issued by Empire State Development (after preparation by Forest City Ratner), the path to a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) has been delayed somewhat, as indicated at last week's Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet.

While the NYC Department of Buildings performed the first and preliminary TCO walk-though of the facility on 08/20/12 and did a second on 08/27/12, the final walk-through, scheduled for 9/4/12, was rescheduled to 09/07/12--though the document doesn't explain whether it actually occurred.

The FDNY inspections of the fire alarm were supposed to be finished the week of 08/27/12 but now are "expected to be completed during this reporting period."The Department of Health inspection of the food service was scheduled for yesterday, 9/10/2012.

While New York City Transit was initially expected to inspect the new subway entrance during the week of 8/27/12, it's now expected to inspect it this week. A soft opening of the station entrance is tentatively scheduled for September 14.
...

The challenge

The overall challenge: getting the arena tested and commissioned before opening, a process that Forest City executive MaryAnne Gilmartin once swore had to start in July after the arena was completed.

My prediction: the arena will open, but it will be a bumpy ride.

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NoLandGrab: The next time Maryanne Gilmartin is true to her word will also be the first time Maryanne Gilmartin is true to her word.

Posted by eric at 10:10 PM

Former Markowitz deputy Scissura: arena can be convention center and Marty can "do whatever he wants to do" after he leaves office

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder picks out the relevant pieces from a City & State interview with Marty Markowitz's former right-hand man.

From City & State, An Interview with Carlo Scissura, the Brooklyn Chamber’s New Leader (and former Chief of Staff to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz):

Q. Are you going to work with the Brooklyn Nets?

A. It’s the greatest thing happening in Brooklyn right now. In less than two months, the Nets will be playing in Brooklyn. We’re thinking about partnerships with the Nets and the Barclays Arena. One of the first things out of my mouth when I travel to tourism trade shows is we have the Nets and we have the Barclays Arena. Let’s do some conventions there. It’s time Brooklyn become convention central for smaller conventions. The Barclays Arena should become a beacon for conventions across America.

That's interesting--the arena has never been promoted as a convention center, nor are arenas generally that flexible. It would help to have more delivery space and parking, and a connected hotel or two.

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Related content...

City & State, An Interview with Carlo Scissura, the Brooklyn Chamber’s New Leader

Q. How do you replace Marty Markowitz when he leaves office?

A. There is only one Marty Markowitz in the world. He currently is the best borough president Brooklyn has ever had. It will take 20 of us to replace him. He will always be the borough president.

Q. What’s he going to do next?

A. He can do whatever he wants to do. Any organization in the city would be lucky to have him.

Posted by eric at 11:26 AM

When Big Projects Stall

Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards, Like Others Across the Country, Brings Mixed Results

The Wall Street Journal
by Eliot Brown

We covered Norman Oder's coverage of this Journal piece this weekend — here's the source article.

Partially-built mega-projects dot U.S. cities.

In New London, Conn., a piece of land once eyed for a sprawling waterfront development with a hotel, office space and residential, is still fallow seven years after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of eminent domain to take homes on the site. The new mayor, Daryl Finizio, says now the city is hoping to start on a residential development on a portion of the 90-acre site by mid-2013, but for now the site is without the new neighborhood and the envisioned tax revenues.

In downtown Los Angeles, developer Related Cos. hasn't been able to build a set of skyscrapers proposed at the market's peak that were planned on lots in the downtown area in a $3 billion development known as Grand Avenue. The developer recently opened a park, and has said it is considering changing the project to get it going beyond a mid-sized building it plans to soon begin. But public officials are still contending with ownership of the vacant lots.

In New Jersey, the $1.9 billion mega-mall previously named Xanadu has been stalled for three years, and a new developer working with the administration of Gov. Chris Christie is trying to restart work and enlarge the project to include more entertainment. Officials were counting on thousands of jobs and improvements to a swampy area of the Meadowlands.

In the case of Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards, benefits were crucial to tempering a vocal community opposition when the project was approved in 2006. As the centerpiece of the development, the arena was supposed to be designed by famed architect Frank Gehry with a roof adorned with grass and a running track. The New York-based developer, Bruce Ratner, also pledged to reserve nearly one third of 6,400 planned apartments for low and middle-income families, along with a community health-care center and other givebacks.

But these and other selling points have been deferred, or in a few cases scrapped, as the company has struggled to get the larger project off the ground amid a chilly climate for new development.
...

Changes such as the decision to drop Mr. Gehry, were necessary given the decline of the real-estate market during the recession, Forest City executives say. "You need to be flexible and to be nimble," says MaryAnne Gilmartin, an executive vice president at Forest City. "The alternative would be to let the project die of its own weight."

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Related coverage...

Willets Point United, When Big Projects Fail

The WSJ has a fascinating article on the failed promises of the Atlantic Yards project-and Eliot Brown's take on this is a cautionary tale for all of the grandiose promises still swirling around the Willets Point development.
...

That gets us to the affordable housing pledge the city has made over at Willets Point-and why we have called it a "Wimpy" deal-the likelihood of any of the original promises being kept is closer to nil. This means that, when all is said and done, the city will be taking the property of small owners and handing it over to Sterling Equities and Related to build a lucrative mall for the crony capitalists-shafting not only the property owners but the public as well.

Posted by eric at 10:42 AM

September 9, 2012

How shockingly big is the Barclays Center? Depends on how you look at it (and maybe how new you are)

Atlantic Yards Report

Some people who know the Atlantic Yards saga tend to give the Barclays Center more gentle marks than those totally new to it. After all, peaking at 137 feet, the building's not quite as big as it could be, given that the floor is some 20-25 feet below grade.

The architects covered the arena with a bands of swooping pre-rusted steel and glass, aiming to emphasize the horizontality of the building. It's sure not surrounded by the four towers initially planned, essentially burying and blocking the arena.

But consider some unvarnished reaction from newbies.

Wall Street Journal columnist Simon Constable, 9/7/12 hosted a video segment on the progress of "big infrastructure projects," though I'd say Atlantic Yards is less the latter than a "big real estate project."

Constable says, early in the video above, "This is the arena, the Barclays arena in Brooklyn, I've actually passed by it, it is enormous...." His plummy British accent makes him sound that much more authoritative.

"I was almost in shock"

Or take Nets fan Jonah Mars, writing 8/29/12 for From Russia With Dunk:

Once I found my way out of the station and saw the Barclays Center, I was almost in shock. I knew it was going to be a very large structure, but it looks even bigger compared to the size of the buildings around it. Aside from the Barclays Center, it looks like any other residential neighborhood in Brooklyn. You can walk two blocks in any direction and not know that you were close to an 18,000 seat arena. I circled the arena once, but was obviously unable to get inside the construction area to get a look at the inside of the arena. When you see the Barclays Center for the first time, you will know what I mean when I say that I was surprised at how big it was.

Actually, if you come from the malls on the north side of the arena along Atlantic Avenue, the shock is far less, since those are big buildings on superblocks, as well.

But these examples suggest that the efforts to cut down the impact of the building only go so far.

They also suggest that seeing the building in person is necessary; the deceptive, self-serving renderings produced by the facade architect, SHoP, are no substitute.

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Posted by steve at 10:31 PM

The mystery of the Barclays Center street banners, and the missing arena Community Affairs Manager

Atlantic Yards Report

What's up with those Barclays Center marketing banners that appeared and disappeared on Prospect Heights streets, and also remain on some other Brooklyn streets?

No one's provided a full answer yet.

On Wednesday night, Forest City Ratner External Affairs VP Ashley Cotton, queried at a community meeting, responded, "We just noticed... that is the Barclays Center marketing program, sold via NYC and Company," the city tourism agency.

Cotton should know, because she's the boss of the yet-to-be-hired Barclays Center Community Affairs Manager, who should be answering such questions pronto. (Forest City controls Brooklyn Events Center, which controls the arena.)

I asked Cotton Thursday night about the banners that disappeared in Prospect Heights. I asked the Department of Transportation yesterday. I haven't heard back. I didn't contact NYC and Company--my bad--but shouldn't someone step up to inform the public?

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Posted by steve at 10:23 PM

September 7, 2012

"September is Just the Beginning" banners that mysteriously appeared on Prospect Heights streets mysteriously removed

Atlantic Yards Report

Now you see them, now you don't. Apparently September is not the beginning.

Last night, some 24 hours after a few dozen "September is Just the Beginning" banners appeared on light poles on Prospect Height streets near the Barclays Center arena, most were removed.

Why? I'm hoping to find out.
...

Friday morning on Sixth Ave.

Thursday morning on Sixth Ave. (same spot)

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NoLandGrab: Good riddance.

Posted by eric at 11:59 AM

AY District Service Cabinet to be replaced by Quality of Life Committee; "Day 2 Task Force" gearing up for arena opening, but details murky (what about Atlantic Antic?)

Atlantic Yards Report

The big news yesterday at the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting yesterday was the Barclays Center's scramble toward the finish line, with a delay in the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy and silence about once-promised pre-opening events.

However, government officials also shared other significant information, including not-yet-clear plans for a "Day 2 Task Force" to address arena operations and a transformation of the District Service Cabinet--a bimonthly morning meeting that included agency officials, elected officials and developer Forest City, with no public input--into a committee meeting in the evenings to focus more narrowly on quality-of-life issues.

While that transformation should increase input from neighbors, both as committee members and visitors, the impact on accountability is less clear, given that the District Service Cabinet has sometimes been the venue for Forest City to face probing questions from elected officials about Atlantic Yards issues beyond quality of life.

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Posted by eric at 11:53 AM

Brick By Brick: Final Edition

A last look at the construction of an arena years in the making.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

In October 2010, Patch began the first in a series of features tracking the progress at what was then a cleared-out lot at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, promising "to take note as each beam is raised and each wall is erected."

Nearly two years later, there are few, if any, beams left to be raised, and no more walls left to be built.

Barclays Center is ready for its close up... almost.

article

Related content...

Business Insider, A Construction Worker Posted Photos From Inside The Barclays Center On Instagram

Someone who appears to be a construction worker working on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn posted nearly 50 photos of the exterior and interior of the arena on Instagram, where they were quickly noticed and picked up by NetsDaily contributor @OctoberGR8NESS.

The photos, which were posted by Instagram user jefisher62, were quickly removed. ...

Check out the full collection of photos on NetsDaily.

Posted by eric at 11:40 AM

A round-up of promotional Barclays Center tidbits in the Metro newspaper; is arena designed by Frank Gehry and in Fort Greene?

Atlantic Yards Report

From the ESPN the Magazine school of "journalism"...

The free daily Metro is offering a "tidbit daily" about the Barclays Center arena until opening day on Friday, Sept. 28.

While the tidbits seem as promotional as the sponsored special section that appeared Aug. 28, some of them have rookie errors that seem prepared not with the help of the arena's p.r. consultants but by an intern working from a not-quite-complete clip file.
...

(Note: the arena's not designed by Frank Gehry; he did the original design. The arena's designed by Ellerbe Becket and SHoP.)

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Posted by eric at 11:32 AM

ESPN: "Hello, Brooklyn" (and how about that arena in "Fort Greene")

Atlantic Yards Report

From the 9/17/12/ issue of ESPN the Magazine, a one page annotated graphic hyping "Hello, Brooklyn," suggesting that "the borough the Dodgers made famous is once again having a sports moment."

Well, yes, there is a new team.

I'm not quite sure what the Brooklyn Boulders, the Brooklyn Cyclones, Hipster Williamsburg, and Mike Tyson's Bushwick (getting hipster-y, actually), have in common with the "Center of the Center," as ESPN dubs the Barclays Center arena, other than sharing the vast borough we call home.

But I am sure that the arena is 1) not located in Fort Greene and 2) thus not located, where it's placed, above Atlantic Avenue near Fort Greene Park.

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NoLandGrab: At least they refrained from invoking The New York Times's favorite trope package: the Park Slope Food Coop, arugula, Birkenstocks and Socialism.

Posted by eric at 10:57 AM

September 6, 2012

Looking at "The House That Hova Hyped," the Times T Magazine supplement feature on Jay-Z

Atlantic Yards Report

There's almost nothing about the Barclays Center in The House That Hova Built, novelist Zadie Smith's fawning interview/essay about Jay-Z in the New York Times's Sunday T Magazine ad-jammed supplement, but all the photos--the fashion spread, with their high-priced accoutrements--are set there.

And Jay-Z is declared Brooklyn's "once and future king."

Call it "The House That Hova Hyped" and consider it a win-win for arena promoters and Jay-Z, and another example of the Times's less-than-exacting coverage of Atlantic Yards. (There's no disclosure, of course, of developer Forest City Ratner's relationship with the Times.)
...

Looking at AY

Smith writes:

Jay-Z likes clarity: “I think all those things need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly. Because when you just say that ‘the 1 percent is that,’ that’s not true. Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad. Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on.”

Except that house that he "built," the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards is far from free enterprises: a sports team in a cartel of a league, with a "done deal" announced from the start.

She writes:

Heavy responsibility lands on the shoulders of these unacknowledged legislators whose poetry is only, after all, four decades young. Jay-Z’s ready for it. He has his admirable Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, putting disadvantaged kids through college. He’s spoken in support of gay rights. He’s curating music festivals and investing in environmental technologies. This October, his beloved Nets take up residence in their new home — the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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Posted by eric at 10:56 PM

The House That Hova Built

The New York Times
by Zadie Smith

Synergy! You build us a new office tower, we'll run a big, softball, pseudo-literary fashion piece on your frontman and your arena three weeks before he opens it with a series of concerts.

With Tupac, you can hear the effort, the artistry. And Biggie’s words first had to struggle free of the sheer bulk of the man himself. When Jay raps, it pours right into your ear like water from a tap.

Or subsidies from the ESDC.

The fish sandwich arrives. Conversation turns to the schoolboy who was shot to death, Trayvon Martin — “It’s really heartbreaking, that that still can happen in this day and age” — and, soon after, to Obama: “I’ve said the election of Obama has made the hustler less relevant.” When he first made this point, “People took it in a way that I was almost dismissing what I am. And I was like: no, it’s a good thing!” He didn’t have Obama growing up, only the local hustler. “No one came to our neighborhoods, with stand-up jobs, and showed us there’s a different way. Maybe had I seen different role models, maybe I’d’ve turned on to that.”

Um, no. When local hustler Bruce Ratner came to his (former) neighborhood, he was all in.

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Posted by eric at 10:42 PM

Residents to Barclays Owners: You Have the Clout to Protect Our Neighborhoods

If Ratner has the power to build the arena, it has the pull to ensure adequate police and sanitation services, those living near Atlantic Yards said at public meeting.

Park Slope Patch
by Amy Sara Clark

You know you're in trouble when you're relying on Forest City Ratner to protect your neighborhood.

Frustration bubbled over last night at a public meeting discussing how to handle illegally parked cars, litter-strewn yards and other anticipated problems once the Barclays Center opens later this month.

Of the some 100 people who came to Bergen Street’s Iglesia Latina Evengelica two blocks from the arena, there seemed to be a number of new faces along with the seasoned regulars leading to fresh reactions to familiar responses from Forest City Ratner, which is developing the Atlantic Yards site.
...

But for such issues as residential parking permits, rats and double-parked cars, Ratner officials said they didn’t have jurisdiction outside of their property to help with such matters and directed residents to consult with the the NYPD and Department of Sanitation.

While this response is expected by repeated meeting attendees, several newer participants at last night’s meeting responded with pique, saying that if Ratner has the political pull to get the arena built, they had the influence to get resident-only parking permits passed in Albany and to make sure the police and sanitation departments have enough manpower to provide adequate enforcement and services.

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Posted by eric at 9:51 PM

What Goes Up, if Only in Stages

The New York Times
by Philip Nobel

No "Nobel" Prize for this article — The Times continues to dismiss (and fails to cover) completely legitimate neighborhood concerns about Bruce Ratner's basketball arena.

Two long-anticipated projects, both with long histories of controversy, will be completed — at least partly completed — in the city in the next year.

For star appeal, media fuss and renewed bouts of neighborhood grumbling, it may be hard to beat the opening of Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That building will be the first completed element of the extensive Atlantic Yards development, a plan that has been the focus of protests since the project was announced in 2003. The striking raw-steel-clad structure, designed by SHoP Architects of New York, will open on Sept. 28 with the first of an eight-night run of sold-out concerts by the performer, impresario and part owner of the Brooklyn Nets, Jay-Z. The Nets, kicking off an interborough rivalry, will play their first home game there against the Knicks on Nov. 1.

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NoLandGrab: Hey, isn't that arena being built by The New York Times's development partner?

Posted by eric at 1:29 PM

Scrambling toward the finish line: TCO for Barclays Center is delayed until next week; "public events and tours" in "first several weeks" of September to introduce community not announced

Atlantic Yards Report

Ruh-roh, Raggy!

Scrambling to get the Barclays Center in operating shape--if not final shape--in time for the grand opening on September 28, Forest City Ratner officials today acknowledged that they were behind in what was already a tight schedule.

The "substantial completion date," when the arena would get a temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) from the city Department of Buildings has been nudged back several times, in April 2011 from Aug. 12 to Aug. 27, and in February 2012 to Sept. 5, yesterday.

And even though the construction monitor for arena bondholders, Merritt & Harris, has dutifully reported that Sept. 5 date, most lately in a report dated 8/7/12, now the goal is sometime next week.

“The schedule for turnover by Hunt [Construction] to Forest City is today," Forest City executive Jane Marshall said this morning at a meeting of the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet, a bi-monthly meeting of involved agencies. "There is--that's not a deadline for them, they don’t get penalized... they earn something if they do it by certain dates... We think, in general, the arena is on track for getting a TCO probably next week. And at that point it will be turned over to arena operations. And I’m not sure when the permanent C of O would be--it doesn't need to be [there] for opening.”

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Posted by eric at 1:15 PM

The Beat Goes On: Q&A With Atlantic Yards Watchdog Journalist Norman Oder

MetroFocus [Thirteen.org]
by Georgia Kral

MetroFocus spoke with [Atlantic Yards Report's Norman] Oder about the ongoing Atlantic Yards story, press coverage of the development and the “culture of cheating.”

Q: The Barclays Center is built. Will those who have been fighting the development for so long continue to do so?

A: There’s been a shift in that some of the activists and organizations most involved with fighting Atlantic Yards have receded. They’re not gone and as I understand it there’s something going on with a broad range of groups for the weekend the arena opens.

The fact that the arena is opening is neither here nor there when it comes to accountability. The broad story [of Atlantic Yards] is about accountability.

Q: Do you feel the entire Atlantic Yards development has been shrouded in deceit?

A: This is not my off-the-cuff personal opinion, it’s a considered judgment based on immersion in the subject. There are numerous examples of what might be called the culture of cheating.

The Community Benefits Agreement promised an independent compliance monitor [to monitor the project] but they’ve never hired one and instead Forest City Ratner [the developer] self reports. In 2010, Bruce Ratner was interviewed by Matthew Schuerman on WNYC and he said 10 years had never been the timeframe for completing Atlantic Yards. Schuerman said that was the time they [Forest City Ratner] had consistently projected. That looks like cheating to me. It’s not criminal, but it’s misleading.

Lot's more where that came from.

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Posted by eric at 1:00 PM

NY Times Report On Public Officials Suing On `Broadening' LIBOR/Barclays Scandal Doesn’t `Broaden' To Mention “Barclays” Center

Noticing New York

In a new article (in today’s print edition) the New York Times has continued reporting about how government officials around the country are “working intensely behind the scenes to build a case for suing the nation’s largest banks” in connection with the LIBOR/Barclays rate fixing scandal. . . .

(See: Banks Face Suits as States Weigh Libor Losses, by Nathaniel Popper, September 4, 2012.)

. . . It’s the second Times article about such government lawsuits. Once again, the article doesn’t report that local New York government lawsuits against Barclays Bank would occur, ironically, just as the New York taxpayers are providing massive subsidy for the promotion of Barclays Bank with the opening of the Ratner/Prokhorov basketball arena to which the “Barclays” name is being affixed.

Click through for more, including a quiz challenging readers to guess the difference between The Times's real estate and sports sections.

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Posted by eric at 12:36 PM

"September is Just the Beginning" banners suddenly appear on Prospect Heights streets

Atlantic Yards Report

Bruce Ratner rolls out a threat to residents of Prospect Heights.

Residents of Prospect Heights, notably Dean and Pacific streets near the Barclays Center arena, woke up this morning to see banners advertising the arena attached to light poles, making the residential streets just a bit more commercial.

There were approximately six on Dean between Carlton and Vanderbilt and seven on Pacific a block away. Such banners are also on Sixth Avenue and, I'm sure, be spotted on several other streets.

People went to bed last night, woke up, and saw "banners all over our neighborhood," asked Pacific Street resident Wayne Bailey at a community meeting tonight on the proposed Neighborhood Protection Plan, echoing widespread dismay.

"We just noticed," replied Forest City Ratner External Affairs VP Ashley Cotton, who explained that "that is the Barclays Center marketing program, sold via NYC and Company," the city tourism agency. Perhaps any residential street is subject to such banners--at least if they're on a path to a facility like the arena.

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Photo: Tracy Collins

Related coverage...

mcbrooklyn, Black, Vaguely Menacing Banners Blanket Prospect Heights

Creepy black banners with an X-ray-style image of a seemingly radioactive cityscape under the chilling words, "September Is Just the Beginning" have suddenly appeared all over Prospect Heights.
...

Terrorist threat?

Forest City Ratner says no, it's just "the Barclays Center marketing program, sold via NYC and Company," the city tourism agency.

Great imagery, guys.

Posted by eric at 11:11 AM

September 5, 2012

Forest City: Barclays Center ribbon-cutting will be Sept. 21; Investor Day at arena will be Oct. 22

Atlantic Yards Report

There will be a "formal ribbon-cutting event" to mark the opening of the Barclays Center arena on Friday, Sept. 21, David LaRue, CEO of Forest City Enterprises (parent of arena developer Forest City Ratner), said today.

(That's one week before the first concert, with Jay-Z, on Sept. 28.)

LaRue and other executives participated in a quarterly conference call with investment analysts, following up yesterday's press release regarding second quarter results.

CFO Bob O'Brien also provided an update on Investor Day, which will be held at the arena on Monday, Oct. 22. He said it would be an afternoon event, with optional evening activities, including a concert at the arena.

The event, he said, would help introduce new investors to Forest City and update them on the company's progress, as well as provide a closer look at the arena and Atlantic Yards.

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Posted by eric at 12:12 PM

THE BARCLAYS CENTER'S DELIBERATE RUST FACADE MAY EVENTUALLY CAUSE ITS DOWNFALL

F***ed in Park Slope

Did you hear that the Barclays Center is Rusting?

Neither had I, so I took to the streets to see for myself. As I walked down 5th Ave, pausing to stop at a few favored watering holes, I thought, surely this must be an egregious rumor that bears little truth, because why would a brand new arena that hasn't even opened yet already appear aged with rust?!

Boy, was I wrong. Turns out, the damn thing is actually covered in rust! There it stands, larger than life in Brooklyn’s busiest shitshow of an intersection, with a woven pattern of rusted metal that, as it turns out, is deliberate.

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Posted by eric at 10:35 AM

September 4, 2012

Barclays Center Opens September 28: Will Brooklyn's Worst Fears Materialize?

About.com Brooklyn, NY
by Ellen Freudenheim

After years of public controversy, Barclays Center is actually opening its doors on September 28th, starting with a blockbuster series of concerts by part-owner Jay Z.

The stadium isn't, um, an architectural wonder. OK.

But....Will there be horrific traffic jams? Will people take public transportation? Will locals love it or be bent out of shape? Will the 1 AM bar closing time prove a public nuisance or a boon to local businesses?

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Posted by eric at 10:34 AM

Brooklyn Nets: 30 Pictures In 30 Days; Barclays Minus 27 Days

Brooklyn Trolley Blogger

We don't usually waste bandwidth posting items from "Mike from Bensonhurst," who's now counting down the days until his life is complete, but this piece is so wrong and dishonest, we had to put it up.

Groundbreaking Day ~ March 11, 2010

After years of delays and legal wrangling, Groundbreaking Day finally arrived. Six years after Bruce Ratner announced his intention to move the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn, the developer finally got to bask in his long awaited moment of inglorious satisfaction. But to watch Bruce Ratner speak from the dais was to watch him savoring his finest day. Even he admitted, for a time the project seemed doomed. Interestingly, the major groups in opposition to Atlantic Yards expected to attend Groundbreaking Day ceremonies showed up numbering in the tens and tens of people. That's right - the displeased and protesters alike never showed up to voice their discontent; not en mass anyway. Pictured above is a rather small and harmless gathering of curious pedestrians and other intrigued passers-by along Sixth Avenue. Back on Atlantic Avenue, the barricaded sidewalk closest to the tent where ceremonies were to be held was void of any clearly defined or coherent opposition to the project as well.

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NoLandGrab: That shot is of arena supporters, most likely rounded up by one of Bruce Ratner's astroturf groups. Back in the real world, hundreds turned out to protest (Mike from Bensonhurst must've missed them), as evidenced in Adrian Kinloch's photos below.

Related content...

Brooklyn Trolley Blogger, Brooklyn Nets: 30 Pictures In 30 Days - Barclays Minus 26 Days

In yesterday's installment, Mike from Bensonhurst thanks the people who've been smoking (illegally) in the Dean Street playground, uprooting (illegally) No Parking signs, and cursing residents whom they keep up all night.

To all those involved in the construction of Barclays Center - Thank You for all the work you've put in so far. Enjoy a well deserved day off and Happy Holiday to you and yours.

Posted by eric at 10:06 AM

Marriage & The Family: College Move In Day

Help! Mama Remote

A mom drops her daughter off at LIU, and encounters something jarring...

After getting things situated we went to the nearby Target to pick up extras that.she needed. While we were there we saw the new Barclays Center where the Brooklyn Nets will play.

Looks like a ship landed.

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Posted by eric at 9:52 AM

September 3, 2012

Nets Arena Will Inevitably Lead to Drunk Idiots Everywhere

Grub Street

Here's an aspect missing from The New Yorker's Night Life preview.

Between the never-ending booze-flow in the fancy seats and the empire of bars and restaurants staying open extra-late around the new stadium, neighbors worry the area surrounding Barclays Center will turn into a wild, drunken, sloppy disaster. Otherwise known as: so much fucking fun.

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Posted by eric at 1:26 PM

FALL PREVIEW: NIGHT LIFE

The New Yorker

BARCLAYS CENTER

If you don’t follow hip-hop, professional basketball, international finance, or the Brooklyn real-estate market, you might not know that Brooklyn is getting an arena. The Barclays Center, a nineteen-thousand-seat concert hall and basketball court near the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, is set to open this fall. (It’s next to the location of a proposed domed—and ultimately doomed—stadium for the Dodgers, which was to be designed by R. Buckminster Fuller all those years ago, but let’s not get into that now.) The home-borough hero Jay-Z, who is a part owner of the arena’s main tenant, the Brooklyn Nets, christens the space with a series of shows starting Sept. 28.

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NoLandGrab: And if you don't follow the Atlantic Yards fight, you might call someone who owns just one-fifteenth of one percent of a team a "part owner."

Posted by eric at 1:19 PM

August 31, 2012

Barclays executives remain 'very interested' in possible relocation of Islanders

Newsday
by Steve Zipay

Here's today's fantasy-hockey installment.

With little marketing, Barclays Center in Brooklyn has sold more than 7,000 tickets -- about half the seating capacity for hockey -- for a preseason game between the Islanders and Devils, scheduled for Oct. 2.

"And we really haven't started promoting it yet," Barclays chief executive Brett Yormark told Newsday Thursday. "Right now, we're focusing on getting the building open for events."

Yormark said Barclays executives "remain very interested" in a possible relocation of the Islanders to Brooklyn in 2015 if no deal is reached to remain in Nassau. "Discussions are continuing, although the goal at this point is to work with what we have on our schedule," he said.

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Posted by eric at 9:28 AM

Barclays Center will have 1 am last call

The Brooklyn Paper
by Natalie O'Neill

Spectators and club-goers at the soon-to-open Barclays Center won’t be able to score booze after 1 am thanks to a state decision that residents are calling a small win for the neighborhood.

A very small win.

Vendors at the 18,000-seat stadium must stop selling alcohol prior to the fourth quarter of basketball games, one hour before concerts end — and no later than 1 am if any event runs that late, the State Liquor Authority ruled on Wednesday.
...

The 1 am rule is roughly three and a half hours later than the cut-off Wrigley Field in Chicago, which is comparable to Barclays Center because of its size and proximity to residential streets.

That’s part of the reason some arena neighbors say the serving times must be scaled back further.

“I’d like to see it much earlier,” said Peter Krashes of the Dean Street Block Association. “These streets are not designed to withstand noise and crowds.”

article

Related coverage...

NY1, Barclays Center Allowed To Serve Liquor Until 1 A.M.; Rolling Stones To Reportedly Play

Posted by eric at 9:22 AM

Report: Rolling Stones Will Play Barclays

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Kyle Thomas McGovern

The Rolling Stones are headed to the Barclays Center for a two-show stint in November, Billboard reports. The music publication, citing an unidentified source, said Mick, Keith and Co. will celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary with two performances each in Brooklyn and London for a $25 million payday.

While there hasn’t been an official announcement, the Stones would join a growing list of major acts set to play the soon-to-open arena – a lineup that includes Jay-Z, Bob Dylan, The Who, Justin Bieber and Barbra Streisand.

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Posted by eric at 9:18 AM

August 30, 2012

Secondhand coverage of arena liquor license gets much wrong; Times wrongly claims MSG/Yankee Stadium have similar policies, cites "opponents" while Forest City calls them "neighbors"

Atlantic Yards Report

No other reporters bothered to show up at the State Liquor Authority meeting yesterday that included the Barclays Center liquor license, nor did they apparently watch the webcast, because the coverage is devoid of any quotes from the meeting or any sense why arena operators resisted--though assented to--a final cut-off of liquor sales at 1 am.

Nor did any of the coverage acknowledge the feeling of bad faith generated by the arena operators' failure to disclose the plan for after-hours service or the continuing construction violations.
...

The Times, perhaps relying on a clip file that claimed "die-hard opponents are still resisting [and trying to] block the arena from speedily receiving a liquor license," reported:

Additionally, opponents of the project have been complaining of an increase in the number of surrounding businesses seeking liquor licenses, which they fear will entice people leaving events at the arena to linger in the area and continue to imbibe.

Forest City Ratner, the developer for the 22-acre Atlantic Yards site that includes the Barclays Center, has played down those concerns. “Community boards and nearby residents are concerned that people could be rowdy or noisy,” Joe DePlasco, a spokesman for Forest City, said. “Obviously there are strict rules in place in terms of drinking.” The staff, he said, is trained not to serve alcohol to anyone who appears to have too much. “We want a policy that is courteous to our neighbors,” he added.

There you have it, folks. The official Forest City Ratner spokesman says "Community boards and nearby residents" and "neighbors," while the Times deems them "opponents."

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Posted by eric at 10:11 AM

Some Neighbors of the Nets Worry About Drinking Hours That Last Longer Than the Game

The New York Times
by Aaron Edwards

The moment comes during the seventh inning of a Yankees game, immediately after halftime at MetLife Stadium and, for Knicks fans, after the third quarter. For many patrons sitting in the stands and bleachers, drinks stop flowing.

Toward the end of any sporting event in New York City, game sites stop selling alcohol to the majority of patrons. But the alcohol sale policy at several high-end establishments connected to the newly constructed Barclays Center arena, the new home to the Brooklyn Nets, has community members and local officials worried about what could happen when premium ticket holders are allowed to continue drinking long past the final buzzer.

The State Liquor Authority on Wednesday ruled to allow the center to sell alcohol at its premium bars for an hour after events finish, or a cutoff of 1 a.m. The center, which has several exclusive establishments and features — including the 40/40 Club, which is owned by Jay-Z, and an Armand de Brignac Champagne Bar — had been seeking permission to serve alcohol until as late as 2 a.m. During games, alcohol will be cut off in the arena after the third quarter.

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Related coverage...

NY Daily News, Basketbooze! Nets fans at Barclays Center can down shots later (1 a.m.) than MSG folks

Only if a basketball game goes into quintuple overtime. The 1 a.m. cut-off will factor more for events like concerts, rather than basketball games, which rarely end later than 11 p.m.

Park Slope Patch, Barclays Center's Liquor License Approved

Gothamist, Barclays Center Scores Liquor License With 1 A.M. Curfew For VIPs

NY Post, Stones to play B’klyn

The Rolling Stones will reportedly play two shows at the Barclays Center in November.

The legendary rockers, who have been rehearsing for possible 50th-anniversary shows, will receive $25 million for the gigs, as well as two shows in London, Billboard reported yesterday.

Exact dates and ticket prices were not reported.

NoLandGrab: Wonder if they'll play Symapthy for the Ratner?

Posted by eric at 9:55 AM

Barclays Center Update

From Russia With Dunk
by Jonah Mars

And this from someone ostensibly all in.

Once I found my way out of the station and saw the Barclays Center, I was almost in shock. I knew it was going to be a very large structure, but it looks even bigger compared to the size of the buildings around it. Aside from the Barclays Center, it looks like any other residential neighborhood in Brooklyn. You can walk two blocks in any direction and not know that you were close to an 18,000 seat arena. I circled the arena once, but was obviously unable to get inside the construction area to get a look at the inside of the arena. When you see the Barclays Center for the first time, you will know what I mean when I say that I was surprised at how big it was.

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Posted by eric at 9:51 AM

August 29, 2012

State Liquor Authority approves Barclays Center liquor license, but nudges back cut-off to 1 am from 2 am; may revisit issue if operators claim hardship; neighbors see small victory

Atlantic Yards Report

In less than an hour, the State Liquor Authority this morning approved the Barclays Center liquor license--for 53 outlets--as requested, except for one key change arena operators resisted but to which they eventually relented.

They had requested a cut-off of alcohol sales to 1,800 VIP customers to go one hour after an event, or as late as 2 am, an absolute deadline requested by Brooklyn Community Board 6. The SLA imposed a 1 am cut-off, subject to revision should the arena argue hardship (in getting some promoters to commit to shows), and subject to the arena demonstrating a track record of operating compatibly with the community.

Arena operators initially resisted the change, but agreed reluctantly. Arena neighbors saw it as a small victory, a recognition of the unusual placement of the arena in a residential neighborhood.

"It was good to see the board paid attention to the concerns the community raised," Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC) said after the meeting. "I think it was positive that they are intending to get community input if there's any further changes."

Still, he said, a cut-off closer to 10 pm was what many neighbors sought, and "we'll continue to keep a close eye" on arena operations.

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Posted by eric at 2:41 PM

The Nets’ Billion-Dollar New Arena Is Coated With Rusty Metal, And It’s Ugly

SportsGrid
by Glenn Davis

The Barclays Center, home-to-be of the Brooklyn Nets, was a controversial building before it even was a building. That’s because it was a centerpiece of the controversial Atlantic Yards project, which involved developer/former Nets majority owner Bruce Ratner getting New York State to condemn several acres’ worth of (occupied) Brooklyn real estate so he could develop it for his own purposes – including building the Barclays Center, and relocating the Nets from New Jersey to play in it.
...

But just because the Barclays Center is allowed to exist does’t mean the controversy surrounding the building itself is over. No, now that it’s up, people are starting to ask the question: why’s it all rusted?
...

I’m not an architect, granted. But come on: that looks like shit.

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Related coverage...

Field of Schemes, Nets arena’s rusted steel facade could crumble, drip orange goo everywhere

Of course, it’s also butt-ugly — one Deadspin commenter calls the arena’s look “a giant, Brutalist version of a novelty dog turd.” And as the Times acknowledges, it has a tendency to drip orange rust all over the sidewalk. No wonder everybody wants to buy property near there!

You’d almost think that this whole rusted-steel look was thrown together over a holiday weekend because the previous designs were either too expensive or critically panned. Nah, that could never happen.

Bleacher Report, Barclays Center Rust: Rounding Up Reactions to Brooklyn Nets' Rustic Arena

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill], What Do You Think of the Barclays Center’s Rusty Facade?

Posted by eric at 1:52 PM

In Metro, special section "in association with Barclays Center" sure looks like advertorial

Atlantic Yards Report

Who needs a fake newspaper when a (semi-)real newspaper will do the job for you?

I called Metro to ask whether in fact the Barclays Center sponsored the four-page coverage. (Note that the arena will not look like that because 1) the towers haven't been built and 2) the building is way larger than that, unless you're in a hovercraft with special spectacles.)

I haven't gotten a confirmation, but on the fifth page, you see, there's this ad. (Update: the one article published online later added this explanation: This article is part of a sponsored special section Metro ran on Tuesday, Aug. 28 about the Barclays Center.)
...

Wouldja believe that Metro quoted two people on the street, and both are excited about the arena because 1) they can walk to the arena and 2) "live sports bring such an infectious energy and cameraderie"?

Paul Zumoff is quoted in the article at bottom as saying the arena would "add value to the arena." Could he be the same Paul Zumoff who works as a real estate broker?

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Related content...

Metro, One month until Barclays Center opens on Sept. 28

"There were a lot of challenges along the way," Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets, told Metro. "The economy, ongoing litigation that existed here in Brooklyn for the project, the NBA lockout and an eroding fan base in New Jersey all worked against us."

"But at the end of the day, we overcame," he said. "It was Bruce Ratner’s vision that kept us all going."

NoLandGrab: Oh, please.

Posted by eric at 1:15 PM

Getting Barclays to a Billion

NetsDaily
by Bob Windrem

Off and on, the Nets have promoted Barclays Center as a "billion dollar arena", most recently in a Tuesday report in Metro New York. On occasion, they've called it the "first billion dollar arena". Bruce Ratner has said that with "everything", the cost is indeed a billion. So what goes into a billion dollar arena?

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NoLandGrab: Imagine how much it would've cost if they'd opted for the "not hideous" finish.

Posted by eric at 12:53 PM

Everyone's a Critic: Speaking Out About the Barclays Center

Curbed
by Sara Polsky

People like to talk about the Barclays Center—even the Times is talking about its weathering steel right now—so Curbed video editor David Sherwin and intern Rob Aquino took to the streets of Brooklyn to get regular folks' opinions on the structure.

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Related coverage...

The Score, Is this the ugliest billion-dollar stadium you have ever seen?

We're hardly the world’s foremost authorities on architecture but there’s something about the Barclays Center, soon-to-be home of the Brooklyn Nets, that’s a little bit… well, ugly.

Business Insider, Why Half Of Brooklyn Hates The New Barclay's Center Stadium

This fall, the Nets will call the billion-dollar Barclays center home and Brooklyn will have a pro sports team for the first time since 1957. Basketball fever is abuzz in the borough, but not all Brooklynites are thrilled about how the behemoth structure is going to change the landscape and skyline across the East River.

Posted by eric at 12:39 PM

August 28, 2012

From the latest Construction Alert: arena moves toward Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (thanks to three shifts of work)

Atlantic Yards Report

The key information from the latest two-week Atlantic Yards Construction Alert, dated 8/27/12 and issued yesterday by Empire State Development (after preparation by Forest City Ratner) is the move toward a needed TCO, or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, which is supposed to be achieved by 9/5/12.

According to the document (embedded below), it looks like they're on schedule:

The NYC DOB [Department of Buildings) performed the first and preliminary TCO walk-though of the facility on 08/20/12. The second is scheduled for 08/27/12, and the final on 09/04/12. The FDNY started the fire alarm and fire protection inspections on 08/21/12 and will continue through the week of 08/21/12, returning three days for the final inspections the week of 08/27/12.

A TCO indicates that a building is safe to occupy and can get insurance; the document typically expires in 90 days but can be renewed.

The Construction Alert details progress in various areas, as well as the need for overnight shifts, and jackhammers, to get all the work done.

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Posted by eric at 9:10 AM

Yes, The New Brooklyn Nets Arena Is Deliberately Covered With Rust. No, It’s Not A Good Idea.

Deadspin
by Jack Dickey

But when used on something more complicated and functional—such as a sports arena—this simple, natural material is incredibly finicky and unstable. Where the steel is welded together or there's space to catch water, the protective rust has a way of turning into regular old destructive rust. Atlanta's Omni Coliseum, which opened in October 1972, had a weathering steel frame. The structure never stopped rusting, the elements bored holes in the roof, and the city had to replace the building with Philips Arena 25 years later.

Things were even worse at the New Haven Coliseum, which opened in September 1972. I got to see it from the inside in 2001, because my youth hockey team was practicing there. That's how bad it had gotten. Within a little more than a decade of its opening, the steel in the parking garage had rusted to the extent that the concrete it supported would crumble and fall on the street below. The rusty runoff also stained the glowing logos on the building's front, the ones you could see from Route 34.

By 2002, the building—which had once hosted AHL teams, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, Queen, Van Halen, WWE, and scores of other superlative guests—was closed.
...

There are troubled non-arenas too. Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel Tower, which opened in 1970, was built to showcase the stuff. It turned all the surrounding sidewalks (and a few neighboring structures) brown. The company tried power-washing the stuff off, but they couldn't make it all go away. A large, complicated public sculpture from 1967 was crumbling by 1991.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, AY down the memory hole: emergency upgrade on Barclays Center facade treated in Times as "more traditional materials were rejected"

The New York Times reported, in Constructing a Facade Both Rugged and Rusty:

For the facade of the Barclays Center, more traditional materials were rejected in favor of 12,000 separate pieces of what is called “weathering steel,” and that leathery brown hue, which is the arena’s final finish, is not paint but an intended layer of rust.

It was a little more complicated than that. After Forest City Ratner dropped Frank Gehry's design to save money, it essentially plunked the Conseco Fieldhouse from Indianapolis, designed by veteran arena architects Ellerbe Becket, into Brooklyn.

Posted by eric at 9:01 AM

Hoops outranking Jobs, Housing at Atlantic Yards so far in Brooklyn

Meadowlands Matters [NorthJersey.com]
by John Brennan

So on the one hand, one shouldn’t be too surprised that current affordable housing projections have been greatly scaled back. Oder’s research indicates that as of Nov. 2011, only 20 of the 175 subsidized units in a 363-unit first tower (whose construction could be underway by the end of the year) were planned to have more than one bedroom – a far cry from half. After negotiations with city and state officials, a total of 36 subsdized units were worked out to be two bedrooms in the first tower.

But just nine of the 363 total units would be two-bedroom, low-income (rents of $835 per month), Oder found, 10 more two bedroom-units would be for moderate income and middle income households – and 17 of the 36 of the total affordable two-bedroom units will feature rents of more than $2,700 (and perhaps nearly $3,000) per month. The latter are designed for families of three making a total of roughly $100,000 to $120,000 – not a princely sum in New York City, but not quite as “affordable” as some would describe the word.

To be fair, it is true that about half (now 181) of the 363 units do fall into the subsidized category, so the 50 percent figure is basically met – when one includes the 90 one-bedroom units and 65 studio apartments.

But that mix didn’t exactly seem to be what those passionate supporters – many of them parents – had in mind dating back to those 2005-09 meetings.

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Posted by eric at 8:56 AM

August 27, 2012

No time slot announced for liquor license board meeting Wednesday, but public can speak

Atlantic Yards Report

Will the State Liquor Authority (SLA) issue any curbs on the Barclays Center liquor license, such as not permitting service for VIPs at three venues for an hour after events, including until 2 am?

(There will be a total of 30 bars with full liquor service and 23 with beer only.)

After an administrative law judge heard public testimony at two meetings in June, the SLA will consider the Barclays Center liquor license at its August 29 board meeting. It will be held at SLA offices in Harlem, beginning at 10 am, and should be webcast.

There's no timetable for the meeting; items are called in the order for which they are signed in. My bet is that the applicants, Levy Premium Food Service and Brooklyn Events Center, will do their best to get there early.

The report compiled by Administrative Law Judge Raymond Di Luglio has not been made public and likely will not be released until the SLA renders its decision.

"Members of the public and elected officials will have the opportunity to address the Board," SLA spokesman Bill Crowley said yesterday.

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Posted by eric at 9:11 PM

Barclays Facade Not Winning Over Neighbors, Also May Drip On You

Passersby believe the facade looks unfinished, and a closer look at other buildings that utilize weathered steel shows some instances of rust drippage.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

The rusty finish of the Barclays Center façade may have its fans in the architecture and design world, but neighbors wonder if the aesthetics may be lacking, says the New York Times.

Passersby interviewed for the paper about the façade thought it looked unfinished, with one man believing that it was going to be painted over.

In fact, a Patch poll from March found that 66 percent of readers thought the arena was an eyesore, with only 30 percent thinking the façade looked “21st century,” and three percent not sure.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Barclays Center's rusted steel cladding draws mixed reactions, but that's just a partial way to evaluate arena (what about urbanism, and the project's promises?)

And one [commenter] takes aim at the Times's casual summary that, "After years of building, and even more years of bickering, the arena is almost finished":

Years of bickering? When you write promotional material for Bruce Ratner (where are the jobs, Bruce, and the affordable housing?), which highlights the virtues of rusting iron, at least have the decency to describe the years of community oppostion and lawsuits - the human element - as civic protest, not bickering. Why the Times chooses to write about rust, and not the impact of Bruce's ripoff on Brooklyn, is the real story here. A sad state of affairs.

I tried to post a comment pointing to my coverage of affordable housing today, but it hasn't been posted. (Somehow I haven't had any luck at all in the past week or so posting comments at the Times. Almost enough to make one a little paranoid.)

Posted by eric at 9:04 PM

The Appraisal: Constructing a Facade Both Rugged and Rusty

The New York Times
by Elizabeth A. Harris

After years of building, and even more years of bickering, the arena is almost finished — but this is not immediately obvious to all those who wander by.

“Is it meant to be that way, with the rust?” one woman asked, squinting at the steel.

“I thought they were going to paint it,” said a man who stopped to stare.

No, they are not. For the facade of the Barclays Center, more traditional materials were rejected in favor of 12,000 separate pieces of what is called “weathering steel,” and that leathery brown hue, which is the arena’s final finish, is not paint but an intended layer of rust.
...

“When the material gets wet, there is a rusty wash that goes down onto adjacent areas of concrete,” said Michael Devonshire, a materials expert at Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, an architecture firm. “It can get really funky looking.”
...

To fend off some of the headaches, the steel on the Barclays Center was weathered before it ever made it to Brooklyn. Gregg Pasquarelli, a principal at SHoP Architects, which designed the arena, said the steel components spent about four months at an Indianapolis plant where they were put through more than a dozen wet-and-dry cycles a day. (Mr. Pasquarelli said the arena looked to him like what would happen if “Richard Serra and Chanel made a U.F.O. together.")

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NoLandGrab: Don't flatter yourself, Pasquarelli. More like George Foreman and Fred Sanford made a U.F.O. together.

Photo: Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times

Posted by eric at 11:09 AM

Signage Up at Barclays Center

Here's Park Slope

The day is fast approaching when the city's newest arena, The Barclays Center. will open its doors at the intesection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, most likley changing the area for better or worse. Construction is progressing on a daily basis, and on Friday the big letters went up.

Many thanks to a reader for sending the above photo along.

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Posted by eric at 10:50 AM

August 26, 2012

Barclays Center Luxury Suite Rentals - Concerts and Brooklyn Nets Tickets

Private Suite Network

Just in case you and 11 of your closest friends have a hankering to see Journey...

We have a suite for the brand new Barclays Center that will open in Brooklyn, NY. We have access to every concert and Brooklyn Nets basketball games. If you have interest in renting our suite for a company event or group outing, then please email us at PrivateSuiteNetwork@hotmail.com.

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Posted by eric at 9:59 AM

August 25, 2012

Meet the Owner: Calvin Clark of Mo's Fort Greene

Talking about the bar's first year in business and the opening of Barclays Center.

Fort Greene-Clinton Hill Patch
by Paul Leonard

After a more than a year in business and with the potentially game changing opening of Barclays Center only weeks away, Patch decided to check back in with Clark—who also owns the Brooklyn club Langston's—to get a sense of the year that was and the year yet to come.
...

Patch: Barclays Center is opening on Sept. 28 with Jay-Z's first concert. What are you expecting to happen as far as your business' bottom line after the arena opens?

Clark: [Laughing] I'm hoping to get at least 30 or 40 people from that stadium every time they have an event. It's kind of up in the air—I'm not sure how it's going to affect the community. Barclays Center—rightfully so—they are trying to keep as many dollars inside the stadium as possible with bars and clubs. And I don't know how much of that is going to spill out into the community. Fort Greene has the advantage of being one of the hot new neighborhoods—not new, but it's hot and it's happening. And that might give us an advantage. I'm just hoping that we get 30-40 people spilling from the stadium every time they have an event. It would be great. I talked to the owner of 67 Burger and he was saying pretty much the same thing—Scopello's as well. We're three blocks away from the stadium and it could make all the difference. People might not want to walk that extra block.

Patch: In terms of parking, crowds and that kind of stuff, do you have any trepidations about the opening of the arena?

Clark: Parking is going to be a nightmare. We already have traffic snarling along Atlantic and Flatbush Avenue. They haven't even finished the parking. I've heard that they are going to be bussing people down from the end of Atlantic Avenue by the river. It's going to be a nightmare. I don't care which way they spin that.

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Posted by eric at 9:52 AM

August 24, 2012

Latest consultant's report: arena on schedule for "substantial completion" September 5; no mention of challenge in preparing for operations

Atlantic Yards Report

The Barclays Center arena is still on track for substantial completion on September 5, with a temporary certificate of occupancy, based on the latest report from Merritt & Harris, the construction monitor for the arena bond trustee. Several components of the arena are targeted to be completed by August 29.

There was no mention of any challenge in preparing the arena for operation; Forest City Ratner Executive VP MaryAnne Gilmartin once said in an affidavit that "it takes at least three to four months to commission an arena like Barclays Center--i.e., to test and refine the various buildings systems and the various operations (such as security and food services) that must be performing properly and efficiently." That meant the arena had to be completed by early July 2012--a date already in the past.

The Merritt & Harris report dated 8/7/12 and made available yesterday, is based on a 6/26/12 visit and documents made available on 7/20/12. (There's a bit of a time lag. Future site observations were scheduled for July 26, August 23, and September 27--the latter a day before arena opening.)

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Posted by eric at 11:10 AM

August 23, 2012

As arena opening approaches, neighbors express worries about traffic, parking; NYPD commander says they can handle large crowds, but admits challenges

Atlantic Yards Report

So, what happens when an arena hosting more than 18,000 event-goers opens at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, major arteries but a very tight fit with nearby residential blocks?

Neighbors from Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, and elsewhere got a chance to vent their anxieties last night at a meeting held at 78th Precinct on Bergen Street and Sixth Avenue a block from the arena site. The precinct has been assigned--though the move is not yet official--to police the arena site, as well as the rest of the Atlantic Yards project and Forest City Ratner’s malls across Atlantic Avenue.

(The arena opens Sept. 28, and the City Council may not have voted on the boundary change by then, but presumably the 78th will be in charge.)

The commanding officer, Captain Michael Ameri, expressed confidence that the NYPD, and this precinct, can handle large crowds. He had previously policed CitiField and the U.S. Open, and the 78th Precinct has experience with large crowds at Prospect Park.

Council Member Letitia James, who called the meeting (she was joined briefly by Council Member Steve Levin) urged constructive comments, not a “griping session,” and the 60+ people mostly complied.

The fundamental issue of siting the arena still resonated. One resident asked about the impact of unauthorized vendors, who set up on the fly and deal in cash, on the neighborhood.

Ameri said NYPD would address ticket scalpers and other illegal sellers, though certain items--books--are considered freedom of speech. Such vendors are at every event, such as at Madison Square Garden.

Then again, as one resident pointed out, near MSG, they’re not in a residential area.

Most vendors, Ameri suggested, will be in close proximity to arena. So too are residences, though.

(Note to myopic New York Times reporters who have reported that “die-hard opponents are still resisting” or that “opponents [have] fresh reason to complain.” A large majority of the people in the room have not been active in the Atlantic Yards opposition. They just live there.)

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Posted by eric at 10:59 AM

August 22, 2012

The arena effect or the "Brooklyn" effect? Top broker suggests the latter is more important

Atlantic Yards Report

From the Commercial Observer: The Eight Percenter: In 2012, Massey Knakal’s Stephen Palmese Closed 8% Of All Brooklyn Sales Deals. How?:

The draw for Brooklyn is the borough itself, he says, and not the so-called residual value that will be created by the impending debut of Ohio-based developer Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Development, which other brokers and developers have been boasting about ever since the Barclays Center broke ground in 2010.

“I think that’s hogwash,” he said of the shared benefits of the Atlantic Yards development on residential real estate. “I don’t think it’s going to affect residential rates at all. You can argue that it could decrease rents.”

“It has sort of insulated and propped up the retail in the surrounding corridors that were trying to find their identity,” Mr. Palmese said. “So yes, it has had a positive effect for retail, but I think it has a negative effect on residential.”

I agree that "Brooklyn" itself is the draw; after all, that's why the arena's here.

The arena impact: mixed

But I suspect that the arena's impact in both categories is a bit more mixed. "Positive effect" means increasing retail rents in the orbit of the arena, though that likely means that the retail mix will become skewed toward bars and restaurants and stores that can cater somewhat, if not mostly, to an arena crowd.

Already there's a plethora of bars and restaurants likely aiming for cross-over success. That already means that more workaday businesses, like laundromats and stationary stores, get nudged out, and local residents who depended on them feel a loss.

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Related content...

The Commercial Observer, The Eight Percenter: In 2012, Massey Knakal’s Stephen Palmese Closed 8% Of All Brooklyn Sales Deals. How?

Posted by eric at 10:52 AM

The Cloud Over BK's 'Transformer' -- Nets Arena Leaves a Community Behind, Ignored

Black and Brown News

Brooklyn's Transformer has arrived. It is here to stay. There is nothing to stop it. Still, to the protect the public's best interest, there is an urgent call for Governor Cuomo's oversight.

In September, the new Brooklyn Nets Arena -- Barclays Center -- will open with a spectacular concert, featuring Brooklyn-born rapper, Jay-Z. Despite eight years of protests, community-developer wrangling, legal challenges and the displacement of residents and small businesses, proponents and fans of the massive real estate development will finally see the project come to life.

Still, for many, all is not fair, or right, in this high-stakes game of real estate and economic development versus public and community interests.

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Posted by eric at 10:45 AM

Through July 1, event tickets (not Nets) at Barclays Center brought in $14.7 million

Atlantic Yards Report

The first round of events booked at the Barclays Center have, as of July 1, brought in $14.7 million in ticket receipts, according to a quarterly report filed yesterday by Forest City Ratner to arena bondholders.

The report covers April 1-June 30, and is the first report with any ticket sales. The overall total is $20.9 million.

As far as I know, this figure excludes ticket sales for Nets games.

Some big days

Note that there are several clusters of big sales.

Tickets for Barbra Streisand went on sale before and up through May 20, perhaps leading to the $2.5 million and $1 million figures for that day.

What about that $4.85 million take on June 1? Probably (at least in part) Justin Bieber, whose presale was that day.

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Posted by eric at 10:39 AM

August 21, 2012

Nets–Barclays Center Story: The DVD Extras

New York Magazine
by Will Leitch

The author of yesterday's Nerf-ball story on the Barclays Center analyzes his own reporting.

Our big feature on the Nets and Barclays Center, after months of fits and stops, finally ran in the magazine this week. We hope you enjoy it. Even at 4,000 words, there were lots of observations and narrative potpourri we couldn't fit in there, so we thought we'd throw it in this here post.
...

• We talked to a ton of people for this story, but without question, the most pleasant and affable person we talked to was ... Bruce Ratner. The controversial — to say the least — real estate magnate is not known for this warmth and cuddliness, but in all honesty, his aw-shucks demeanor was disarming, to say the least. (This is not entirely because he thought our son was cute, though he did and that never hurts.) We don't know if he'll be happy with everything that's in the story, but for a guy who had a whole theatrical documentary made about how awful he is, we were surprised by how likable we found him in person.

Practically like "an angel sent from God."

• Note that the story consistently refers to the new building as "Barclays Center" not "the Barclays Center." The Nets insist on this nomenclature, so we stuck with it, but we're not sure we buy it.

We're still calling it THE Barclays Center.

• Oh, about hockey: The Nets insist that even though the arena is almost cartoonishly incompatible for hockey, they will be making a big push for the New York Islanders when their lease is up. And they won't have to change anything about the building either. “We think we can get a hockey team without any major adjustments,” CEO Brett Yormark told me.

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Related coverage...

Curbed, Building a Super-Premium Arena for a Booming Boro's Brand

There's a strong possibility that, even with Jay Z cheering from the super-premium Vault Lounge membership seats, the Brooklyn Nets will still suck at basketball, despite the geographic move from Jersey.

Brooklyn Heights Blog, Barclays Center: What Does It Mean For 21st-Century Brooklyn?

Posted by eric at 12:04 PM

What time will Barclays Center liquor license application be heard on August 29? Unclear, but I'd bet early

Atlantic Yards Report

When during its Aug. 29 meeting (at its Harlem office) will the State Liquor Authority (SLA) board address the application for the Barclays Center liquor license? Unclear.

SLA spokesman William Crowley states:

The Full Board hearing starts at 10 am, the items are called in the order in which they are signed in for in the morning. The length of this case will be dependent on the number of individuals wishing to testify, as well as the issues brought before the Board. As you probably know, the meeting is open to the public, as well as webcast live.

I'd bet that the interested parties from the Barclays Center (the official applicants are Brooklyn Events Center and Levy Premium Foodservice) will not want to wait the whole day, and will try to make sure everyone's signed in first.

link

Posted by eric at 11:27 AM

August 20, 2012

NY Mag on Barclays Center: battle is over, Ratner won (um, what about "Jobs, Housing, and Hoops"?)

Atlantic Yards Report

The headline on the major New York magazine feature on the new Brooklyn arena is this: Game Time: The fighting is over; Bruce Ratner’s Barclays Center is here. Now that he’s built it, will they come?

Oh.

Now it's surely legitimate to ask how well the arena might sell tickets, which is the ultimate question in the subheading--though, curiously enough, one big variable is missing: the (cramped) potential for pro hockey.

But to mostly dismiss the history, the ongoing controversy, and the current challenge of operating the arena is just a little myopic. (Hint: even arena-goers might care that the Barclays Center lost its general manager and that operators will have mere weeks, rather than months, to test the building. Or that the parking doesn't quite work.)

Author Will Leitch writes:

This is no longer a public debate, or a public outrage, or a theoretical construct, or an example of private might overcoming public interest. That battle is over, and Bruce Ratner won it. It is now part of the new Brooklyn reality. It is the centerpiece of how the borough, and the city, will be seen for generations to come. It is undeniably here.

The lingering controversy

Well, yeah, it's here. As one commenter tried to remind the author, Atlantic Yards was supposed to be about "Jobs, Housing, and Hoops," not merely an arena. What about the people who bought into that?

And another pointed out, there's still public outrage, but the author didn't bother to talk to anyone outside arena backers and sports folks.

article

Posted by eric at 12:09 PM

Game Time

The fighting is over; Bruce Ratner’s Barclays Center is here. Now that he’s built it, will they come?

New York Magazine
by Will Leitch

The fighting is over? Was someone going to let us know?

On a sweltering, oppressively humid August afternoon in Brooklyn, as some poor lady across the street yells at her shirtless son to getbackoverhereyou while pushing a stroller through the front doors of the Applebee’s across from the Atlantic Center, as a construction worker blankly looks on while gnawing on a bagel sandwich and smoking a cigarette, as a half-clothed homeless man pours a bottle of some indeterminate liquid on his head to stay cool … it’s impossible to believe that Jay-Z is going to be here in about a month and a half. This place is about as glamorous as stepping in chewing gum on the subway platform.

The construction on Barclays Center has been going 24/7 for about a month now to prepare for the big opening night, September 28, the first of eight Jay-Z concerts to open up the Brooklyn building, but all told, it’s pretty quiet this Sunday. It’s so hot that most of the laborers are sitting around dumping water on each other, the massive crane above the structure’s oval roof is idle, and the Modell’s across the street, with all the Brooklyn Nets gear, is mostly empty and sad. (Though not nearly as sad as the lonely shelf of Linsanity jerseys.) There are people bustling around, through Buffalo Wild Wings and Men’s Wearhouse and that terrifying Target, in a fashion more Times Square than Downtown Brooklyn. There have been complaints about Barclays Center construction, but the much larger issue is the narrowing of streets, turning that gnarled Fourth Avenue–Flatbush Avenue–Atlantic Avenue intersection into a sweaty game of urban Twister.

article

Related coverage...

Brownstoner, NY Mag: Is Barclays Center a Success?

Posted by eric at 12:01 PM

N.Y. Islanders: Why Brooklyn Should Be Their New Home

Bleacher Report
by John Degroote

At some point, you'd think that people who contribute to hockey fan sites would understand that a building with a horseshoe configuration for hockey would be completely untenable except for the occasional exhibition game, but no.

If the Islanders were to call the Barclays Center home, they would have the lowest seating capacity in the NHL; however, this is not a negative.

Or at least it wouldn't be a negative if the seats were evenly distributed around the rink, or the sightlines weren't horrendous. Here's a reminder:

link

Posted by eric at 11:41 AM

The Times, Channeling The Brooklyn Standard, Runs Free Ad Insert for Bruce Ratner

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

Apparently it wasn't enough for the NY Times to devote a fluffy front page article to Jay-Z's 0.0666% ownership of the Brooklyn Nets. Three days later the paper of record became Ad Week, running a 3-page photo spread in the 8-page Saturday sports section promoting the Nets' marketing campaign.

Reminds us quite a lot of Forest City Ratner's fake tabloid The Brooklyn Standard.

link

Related content...

The New York Times, link

In case you missed The Times's latest photo essay, in which they forgot to disclose their business relationship with the Nets' arena builder/operator and minority owner.

Posted by eric at 11:23 AM

August 17, 2012

Community meeting set for September 5 on effort to establish Neighborhood Protection Plan around arena

Atlantic Yards Report

Beyond the meeting at the 78th Precinct regarding Barclays Center security issues, set for August 22, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council announces another community meeting:

Neighborhood Protection Plan meeting with Forest City Ratner
When: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 7:00pm
Where: Iglesia Latina Evengelica, 506 Bergen Street (between 6th and Carlton Avenues)
What progress has been made toward the goals of the Neighborhood Protection Plan sponsored by local elected officials and civic groups representing communities surrounding the Barclays Center arena?
Join us for a discussion of what's left to be done with Ashley Cotton of Forest City Ratner and other invited guests, and bring your questions and concerns.

As I wrote recently, there have been a couple of quiet meetings regarding the plan--which requested garbage cans, new signage, and funding for two parks positions nearby, among other things--but no results yet. Council Member Steve Levin said it was essential to address traffic, crowd management, and sanitation issues before the arena opens.

link

Posted by eric at 10:19 AM

NNY: Linking (or not) the Barclays scandal with the Barclays Center, another omission of that logo on the roof, and Jay-Z in a (modified) Barclays Center hat

Atlantic Yards Report

Michael D. D. White, in a Noticing New York column titled With Discordant Synchronicity The “Barclays” Center Will Open At LIBOR Scandal’s Peak: What The New York Times Is And Isn’t Covering, focuses on the Times's inability to link the Barclays LIBOR scandal with that new building opening in Brooklyn, and suggests:

adoption of a phrase that can be included in every Times article mentioning the Center like the “awkwardly-named,” “problematically-named,” or “embarrassingly-named Barclays Center.”

He also point out another instance in which the arena was portrayed without the planned Barclays Center sign on the roof:

This omission of reference to the icky oddness of brandishing the“Barclays” name is going on even as new plans were unveiled to plaster an additional Barclays logo in super giant lettering on the top of the arena. When you look down from a helicopter at Brooklyn, the borough will be prominently branded with the scandal-associated name! (FYI: In the fall of 2009 when the arena design was released to the public and a public information session was held- the closest approximation to to a public comment hearing that took place- the renderings and models shown to the public were all presented WITHOUT this “Barclays” top-side emblazoning. Its possibility was discreetly kept under wraps.)

article

Posted by eric at 9:53 AM

August 15, 2012

The audacious timing of the Barclays Center Transportation Demand Management plan: prepaid parking not working (but no consequences); two important documents released after comment period

Atlantic Yards Report

The final Atlantic Yards Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan, and the Response to Comments were both made public today, about two weeks after they should have been released, by Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency overseeing the project.

Even with the delay, ESD and Forest City Ratner could not obscure a significant glitch: a cornerstone of the plan to deter arena-goers from seeking on-street parking, an online parking reservation system, still isn't ready. (The Q&A promises that "full implementation [is] expected in the week of August 13.")

In other words, arena operators have sold hundreds of thousands of tickets without being able to sell parking at the same time. Now it's possible that many of them will try to buy parking later, but the promised "seamless" process simply isn't in place.
...

No way to comment

The Q&A document cites two important documents that were released after the comment period ended July 3, thus precluding public comment.

For example, an assessment of arena-area sidewalks "by Philip Habib & Associates in August 2012 identified a number of locations where sidewalk widths will likely be narrower" than previously assumed, though the locations "are still projected to operate at acceptable levels."

However, no one's seen that document, so it's impossible to evaluate.

Meanwhile, in early July, the city Department of Transportation released a study recommending against a residential parking permit system around the arena. There was no way to submit comments to ESD, though the study had many flaws.

article

Posted by eric at 9:50 PM

With Discordant Synchronicity The “Barclays” Center Will Open At LIBOR Scandal’s Peak: What The New York Times Is And Isn’t Covering

Noticing New York

Good news reporting needs to be integrative. You make reported news events more meaningful to your readership when you acknowledge the broader context in which those events are taking place and how they likely relate to your readership community. Compartmentalization of the news may sidestep cognitive dissonance but it is nonetheless a disservice to anyone wanting to make sense of the world.

I am thinking about this because I am thinking about how the New York Times is reporting the LIBOR interest rate-rigging scandal in connection with which the name “Barclays” has become a new shorthand synonym for how low the ethical standards of Wall Street can sink. How will the Times relate that reporting to what is relevant to residents of its home town, New York City?

A Times Search Centering on "Barclays" vs. One Centering on "Barclays Center"

If you do a search of the New York Times site for the word “Barclays” everything that comes up first is relevant to the scandal notoriously besmirching the bank’s name; see below.
...

Conversely, with the Barclays LIBOR scandal so prominently in news in recent weeks, if you do a 30 day search of the Times site for the term “Barclays Center,” the new Forest City Ratner/Mikhail Prokhorov-owned basketball arena scheduled to open soon, and therefore destined to open contemporaneously with criminal indictments of Barclays traders, you get a list of hype and hoopla articles about the center that make no mention of the darkening cloud of the Barclays scandal; see below.

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Posted by eric at 9:42 PM

August 14, 2012

As Honda signs on, Barclays Center provides "value and exposure opportunities" for "top brands"

Atlantic Yards Report

As Nets CEO Brett Yormark (now also CEO of the Barclays Center) said three years ago, "We’ve got a young man who runs our business communications department and his responsibility is every day to get a press release out."

Here's today's free placement in the go-to Daily News, Barclays Center installs 70,000 pound Daktronics scoreboard inside 18,200 arena opening Sept. 28: Hi-def $7.5-million scoreboard loaded with gadgets, including a Kiss Cam. It measures three stories high and was delivered to Brooklyn from South Dakota in pieces:

“It will be the centerpiece of the arena,” said Chip Foley, director of building technology for the project.

Honda signs on

Here's yesterday's press release, picked up in a few specialized outlets...

article

Related content...

NY Daily News, Barclays Center installs 70,000 pound Daktronics scoreboard inside 18,200 arena opening Sept. 28

Breaking news: basketball arena has scoreboard!

Posted by eric at 10:52 AM

For Better or Worse, Barclays is Becoming a Brooklyn Fixture

DNAinfo.com
by Janet Upadhye

Definitely worse. And how is something that isn't even open yet "becoming a fixture?"

Barclays is quickly becoming part of everyday life for Brooklynites. Now less than 50 days away from the Barclays Center's September 28 grand opening, excitement and fears are building in communities close to the arena.

And amidst the cacophony of welcoming cheers and voices of dissent, Barclays is steadily building its image as the friendly neighbor.

Really?

“We are putting the Brooklyn community first in everything we do,” said Nets and Barclays Center spokesman Barry Baum. “We are continuing to plan new programs that will help us further our goal of giving back and bettering the lives of those in the surrounding communities.”

article

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, What's missing from "For Better or Worse, Barclays is Becoming a Brooklyn Fixture"

As I commented, missing from this article is recognition of significant public subsidies and tax breaks for the arena, as well as the gift of arena naming rights to sell. You can add up all that charity--how does that compare to the $10M+ per year Forest City Ratner gets from Barclays for naming rights?

As for the "2,000 positions," that's not 2,000 full-time jobs. Even according to Forest City, that's 1,240 full-time equivalent. The real number, I suspect, is even lower.

Here's how the Barclays Nets Community Alliance has claimed credit for "funding" playground refurbishment mostly funded by the public, unmentioned in your link to NY Post coverage above.

Posted by eric at 10:05 AM

August 13, 2012

With fewer than 46 days to go, the Barclays Center still hasn't hired a Community Affairs Manager; nor has there been announcement of "community advisory task force"

Atlantic Yards Report

With fewer than 46 days to go before the 9/28/12 opening, the Barclays Center is apparently still trying to hire a Community Affairs Manager, the "arena’s point person on all aspects of community affairs... responsible for attending and representing the Barclays Center at community meetings... managing and implementing community involvement activities including philanthropic initiatives of the Barclays Center and Arena Affiliates."

I say "apparently" because the job is still advertised on the page for arena employment, and no one from arena operator Forest City Ratner has responded to my query.

Presumably someone will get hired, but the longer it takes, the longer the learning curve. It may not be easy to find the right person, but the lack of such a hire suggests it's less of a priority than other things, such as selling tickets to events.

Community outreach was key, for example, to support for the liquor license for the arena from Community Board 6, which on 5/11/12 requested a "community advisory task force" that "should be appointed and convened without delay." (There's a State Liquor Authority board meeting on the license on August 29.)

An attorney for the arena promised that, "As part of the existing Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet structure, Forest City Ratner Companies has agreed to a sub-committee on quality of life issues." There's been no public announcement of this sub-committee.

article

NoLandGrab: You'd think they'd at least fulfill the little promises, but no.

Posted by eric at 10:24 AM

Daily News exclusive news/advertising hybrid: John Legend will inaugurate branded Barclays Center theater

Atlantic Yards Report

The Daily News has an exclusive, though I wouldn't call it a scoop, headlined R&B star John Legend to christen Barclays Center intimate 6,000-seat theater: Tickets for Oct. 29 show go on sale Friday. Arena's Cushman & Wakefield Theater carved into future home of the Brooklyn Nets.

From the article:

The Barclays Center will include a new intimate theater space — and it’s set to be christened by a Legend, the Daily News has learned.

R&B star John Legend will be the first artist to open the arena’s Cushman & Wakefield Theater, a small-stage setting cordoned off within the larger venue.

Tickets for the Oct. 29 show go on sale Friday.

The micro theater — created with a specially designed curtain system — can seat between 4,000 and 6,000 guests. The full arena seats 18,200 for basketball games and up to 19,000 for larger concerts.

“It makes the stage feel like the focal point in the performance,” Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said about the cozier space.

The thick black curtains will be stored on top of the arena’s rafters and mechanically lowered when needed for smaller events, including local music festivals, boxing matches and children theater acts.

Global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield was entitled to the naming rights for the theater as a founding partner that contributes at least $2 million a year.

Now how exactly did the Daily News "learn" this information? Yormark clearly told them, gaining bounce from the "exclusive," accompanied by two photos and a graphic, shortly before issuing a general press release.

The operative quote here is from British newspaper publisher Lord Northcliffe:

News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.

link

Related content...

NY Daily News, R&B star John Legend to christen Barclays Center intimate 6,000-seat theater

Posted by eric at 10:16 AM

August 10, 2012

As "impending storm" of arena opening approaches, worries about foot traffic, talk about Neighborhood Protection Plan, and the need for community vigilance

Atlantic Yards Report

There's "an impending storm" regarding the opening of the Barclays Center September 28, according to Council Member Steve Levin, and while he expressed measured optimism that preparation and coordination can alleviate problems, and perhaps even lead to elements of the proposed Neighborhood Protection Plan, some residents at the same meeting expressed much more dismay.

One sign of progress, described at a monthly meeting Levin holds with constituents to address potential impacts: the assignment of the 78th Precinct to police the arena, as well as the rest of the Atlantic Yards footprint. Then again, issues, like police parking on the street, remain unresolved.

Limited line-up

Though officials from the mayor's office, and Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency overseeing the project, were invited to the August 8 meeting, those presenting were limited to NYPD officials and Chris Hrones of the Department of Transportation.

(At the meeting, held at the YWCA at Third and Atlantic avenues, Forest City Ratner sent an intern in the audience to take notes.)

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Posted by eric at 12:59 PM

Barclays Center pre-paid parking is still not ready; no comment from Forest City Ratner

Atlantic Yards Report

I wrote August 1 how, despite promises in May from a Forest City Ratner consultant that arena event-goers would find prepaid parking "seamless with the Barclays Center software," arena operators hade sold hundreds of thousands of tickets to upcoming events without being able to offer that option.

I also reported that, according to a phone representative of Click and Park, which offers prepaid parking for venues like Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field, its web page linked to the new Brooklyn arena would be ready by August 6.

It wasn't. I called August 7, and was told it should be ready by today. It's not, though the day is long. I couldn't get a comment from either Forest City Ratner nor its consultant Sam Schwartz Engineering.

link

Posted by eric at 12:54 PM

Barclays Center Logo Goes Here

CBS New York

Bruce Ratner got a billion dollars in tax breaks and subsidies and all we got was the world's lousiest bank as naming-rights sponsor.

Barclays Center as seen from Chopper 880 – Brooklyn, NY – Aug 7, 2012

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Photo: Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880

Related coverage...

NetsDaily, Barclays Roof Logo Going Up

With completion scheduled for the first week of September and Opening Night 50 days away, Brett Yormark announced Thursday that by later this month Barclays Center expects to exceed 10,000 full season seats for the Nets. In addition, 80 percent of the 100+ suites have been sold, and the arena plans to announce its 10th Founding Partner next week.

Posted by eric at 12:20 PM

August 9, 2012

Not only will 78th Precinct include Barclays Center, it will extend to malls, rest of Atlantic Yards site; police parking on street still a concern

Atlantic Yards Report

New York Police Department officials last night offered more detail on the reported, if not officially confirmed, news that the 78th Precinct, located at Bergen Street and Sixth Avenue, would be put in charge of policing the Barclays Center arena, the southeast border of which is a block away at Dean Street and Sixth Avenue.

(The mayoral recommendation must still be approved by the City Council. Currently, the Atlantic Yards site is split among three precincts.)

It was logical to have the 78th Precinct, given its size and location, to have the arena in its jurisdiction, officials explained. But the precinct is expanding significantly into chunks of territory currently policed by the 77th and 88th Precincts, officials said at a monthly meeting called by Council Member Steve Levin to discuss community concerns about arena impacts.

The boundary will expand in two major ways: first, north across Atlantic Avenue to encompass Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Terminal and Atlantic Center malls; and second, northeast of Flatbush Avenue to Atlantic and Vanderbilt avenues, thus taking in the rest of the Atlantic Yards site as well as the blocks below, to Plaza Street.

article

Posted by eric at 12:31 PM

Brooklyn Islanders Not Likely?

The Prospect Park
by Jess Rubenstein

No, not likely at all.

So I guess Bruce Ratner did not get the memo from Gary Bettman regarding moving the New York Islanders to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Ratner who's the minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets thinks moving the Islanders into the brand-new arena would be a good idea.

Normally I would agree but I don't know how the Islanders could survive or compete against the Rangers in an arena that would have the smallest seating capacity in the NHL. I also don't see how having three NHL teams within arms length of each other is good for the NHL.

article

NoLandGrab: And it's not even the small number of seats, but the way they're configured, that make the Barclays Center completely untenable for NHL hockey.

Posted by eric at 11:51 AM

Barclays Bringing the Party to Brooklyn

Whether Brooklyn wants the party or not.

Joonbug.com
by Josh Cohen

It seems that all over the map, neighborhoods are shrinking with the influx of imbibing touristy hotspots and all the locals can do is voice their concerns against the massive amounts of funds going into developing these new party destinations.

The latest coup is happening around the Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn. The stampeding Nets fans and concert goers looking to keep the jeep riding aren’t going to take off for Manhattan if all the nightlife adventures are laid out in front of them, and so here come the bars and restaurants.
...

Over two dozen new businesses have requested liquor licenses, and you can bet the character of the Park Slope community will change. Grassroots groups and community boards have raised their concerns over the predicted head aches and oversaturation, but as of yet all future parties are still on.

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Posted by eric at 11:40 AM

Douglas, Raisman, other US Olympic gymnastic gold medalists to perform at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com]
by Rich Calder

Et tu, Gabby Douglas?

Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, and the rest of the US Women’s Gymnastics team that captured gold medals at the London games are coming to Brooklyn to perform at Barclays Center on November 18 at 3 p.m, arena honchos announced today.

Douglas — the first African-American to win Olympic gold in the individual all-around gymnastics competition – and Raisman – the first American woman to win an individual Olympic gold in the floor exercise – will head the lineup.

link

Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, Olympic Gymnasts Tumble Into Barclays Center

Also slated to perform are the rest of the "fab five" U.S. Women’s Team gold medalists: Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney, as well as men’s Olympic gymnasts John Orozco, Jonathan Horton and Jake Dalton.

Posted by eric at 10:57 AM

Here Now, Barclays Center's Official Signage

Curbed
by Jessica Dailey

Ladies and gentlemen, it's official. The Barclays Center sign has been erected. The bright blue letters found their place on the rust-colored exterior along Atlantic Avenue yesterday afternoon. Barclays originally agreed to pay $400 million for the 20-year naming deal, which extends to the Atlantic Avenue subway stop, but after the economy tanked, the deal was chopped in half to $200 million.

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Posted by eric at 10:52 AM

August 8, 2012

TONIGHT: Arena Community Impacts meeting with Councilmember Levin

This meeting notice came to us via email...

The next Arena Community Impacts Meeting with Councilmember Stephen Levin will be on Wednesday, August 8, 6:30pm at the YWCA (second floor gallery), corner of Third Avenue and Atlantic Avenue.

HOT TOPICS...
1) Transportation. Chris Hrones from NYC Department of Transportation will attend to explain the upcoming changes, construction and answer all DOT questions.
2) Police Precinct lines. The borders have changed... what are they, and how will that affect our neighborhoods?
3) Brief updates on Sanitation, Rats, and Liquor.

INVITED....
Chris Hrones from NYC Department of Transportation
Arana Hankin from NYS ESDC
Sam Pierre from the Mayor's Task Force on the Arena

Posted by eric at 11:02 AM

Barclays Center makes it official

NY Post
by Rich Calder

The future home of the Brooklyn Nets is finally showing off its name.

Construction crews using a crane spent several hours yesterday slapping the name “Barclays Center” along a side Atlantic Avenue entrance to the Nets’ new 18,200-seat arena. The large light-blue letters now cover the arena’s rust-colored, metal façade.

Barclays Bank has a 20-year lease for the naming rights to the arena, which opens Sept. 28 with a concert by rap star Jay-Z, a part owner of the Nets.

The “Barclays Center” name will be featured prominently along other areas outside the arena, including the rooftop and the main entrance at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

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Photo: Dana Sauchelli/NY Post

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Barclays Center sign and corporate logo now up on Atlantic Avenue arena facade

Posted by eric at 10:44 AM

August 7, 2012

State Liquor Authority will consider Barclays Center liquor license at August 29 meeting; administrative law judge's report not yet public

Atlantic Yards Report

After an administrative law judge heard public testimony at two meetings in June, the State Liquor Authority is set to consider the Barclays Center liquor license at its August 29 board meeting, according to state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery's office.
...

Several things about the license and board meeting remain unclear, however. The report compiled by Administrative Law Judge Raymond Di Luglio has not been made public.

Yesterday, the SLA told me it was "an inter-agency document that is not a final determination of the State Liquor Authority," thus not subject to a Freedom of Information Law request.

"It will be part of the record before the Members of the authority, consequently, when they render a determination, it may be released," said spokesman William Crowley.

At the meeting

According to Montgomery's office, elected officials will be able to address the board at the hearing, but it's not clear if the public will be able to speak.

The meeting will be held at SLA offices in Harlem, beginning at 10 am, and should be webcast. The schedule for the meeting, which usually addresses numerous applications, should be released later in the month.

It's not clear if the SLA at that meeting will also address the application from Kemistry, a lounge planning highly-contentious bottle service.

link

Posted by eric at 11:05 AM

"Brands of excellence": Barclays Center announces partnership with GEICO

Atlantic Yards Report

The arena's "largely about the children and youth of Brooklyn," as developer Bruce Ratner said last year, right?

A press release yesterday, from the Barclays Center, headlined GEICO BECOMES NINTH FOUNDING PARTNER OF BARCLAYS CENTER:

The 9,000 square-foot glass-enclosed GEICO Atrium will be the main entry space as visitors walk through the front door of Barclays Center. Fans will have easy access to the 12-booth box office, views into the below-grade practice court, and quick access to the Nets Shop by adidas. Most impressively, the GEICO Atrium opens onto a dramatic view of the arena bowl and scoreboard.

In addition to the GEICO Atrium branding, GEICO will be fully integrated into some of the most high-profile positions at Barclays Center, including the unparalleled “Street-to-Seat” brand signage at Barclays Center.

As part of its alliance with the Brooklyn Nets, GEICO will receive television-visible branding on each side of the basketball hoop stanchions for each Nets home game.

Supporting Brooklyn?

The key quote comes from Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark: “We are pleased that GEICO and Brooklyn support each other and we are excited to continue to partner with brands of excellence.”

GEICO's not supporting "Brooklyn," it's supporting a specific sports and entertainment enterprise.

link

Related coverage...

MediaPost News, GEICO In As Barclays Center's 9th Sponsor

The venue -- which has 18,200 seats for basketball, around 19,000 seats for concerts, 100 or so luxury suites, four bars, three clubs, and a restaurant -- has also signed as founding partners American Express, Calvin Klein, Cushman & Wakefield, EmblemHealth, Foxwoods Resort Casino, MetroPCS, Stolichnaya, and Ticketmaster. Other sponsors include Adidas (which will have a store selling Nets regalia), Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Haier America, Sony and New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. Barclays has its name on the hood, of course, though if company gets further sucked into the Libor scandal vortex, that might change.

Posted by eric at 10:58 AM

August 6, 2012

Securitas Security Services USA Employee Review

“Come to Yankee stadium and get treated like a prisoner.”
★☆☆☆☆

Glassdoor
by Former Security Officer in Bronx, NY

Wonder if the Barclays Center jobs will be as rewarding as those at Yankee Stadium, as outlined in this employee review...

Pros – the interaction with guests is rewarding
It's a nice postion to have on a resume.

Cons – Management is all ex correctional officers and treat you like their prisoners. The work environment suffers as a result, everyone is worried about being fired everyday and are constantly worried and angry. All policies are written as a reason to fire someone and the managers will not assist you or give you any advice they will only threaten to give you warnings. Due to all the firings the place is a revolving door of employees and who you work with will change weekly.

The hours fluctuate daily and it's impossible to know when you'll be able to leave everyday. If the game does get rained out you will not be payed after the cancellation. Management will call you in for special shifts with only a days notice and you cannot say no. Even though the job is part time you will not be able to work any other job due to the hours fluctuating. You are not allowed to miss shifts for any reason and even with a doctors note or proof of a death in the family you may be fired.
...

It is a union shop but besides paying your dues you will not hear anything from them. You are not given any contact information for them and it's clear they don't care about the working conditions.

AVOID THIS PLACE!

article

Posted by eric at 9:58 AM

August 3, 2012

Brooklyn Soon To Be Home To World's Most Humongous Barclays Logo

Runnin' Scared
by Neil deMause

The indefatigable Norman Oder -- at least, we've never seen him defatigued -- reported yesterday on his Atlantic Yards Report that Brooklyn's new Nets arena is about to get a "honking big" Barclays logo on its roof. This is normal and expected for roofed sports facilities these days (check out the lid on Newark's Prudential Center, for example), except that "honking big roof logo" apparently was never mentioned in the design guidelines that arena builder Bruce Ratner presented to the state in 2006. At the time, the roof was going to be a Frank Gehry-designed green space; now that it's instead a big expanse of white metal, apparently the state Empire State Development Corporation, which owns the arena site and oversees the project, gave the okay for logorifficness.

So, who should care? Aside from condo buyers in the former Williamsburgh Bank building, who are going to have to stare at this thing every time they look out their landmarked windows, it's not likely to make much of a dent on many Brooklynite eyeballs, something that the ESDC cited to Oder as a reason for okaying the deal. Mostly, the only people who will be confronted with this enormous reminder of the stars of the LIBOR scandal will be Google Earth browsers and passengers in passing planes.

Those eyeballs in the sky, however, could mean big money for Ratner. E.J. Narcise, a principal partner at Team Services LLC, which markets naming-rights deals for stadium and arena owners, says that in the sports marketing biz, "rooftop signage became very prominent within the last ten years." And the two things corporate sponsors look for when shopping for roofs are a sizable population center and proximity to a major flight path, both of which the Brooklyn arena has in abundance. Passengers on the left side of LaGuardia-bound flights, in fact, will have a perfect view of the giant not-Nazi-related-at-all-really eagle as they return their seat backs to an upright position.

article

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, That sign/logo on the Barlcays Center roof? "an extremely valuable piece of inventory"

The key is the benefit to Forest City Ratner and, while a naming-rights deal expert didn't put a number on it, he called "an extremely valuable piece of inventory."

And, I'd add, not only is the public not getting any of Barclays' money for that, the benefit to Forest City was never counted in any cost-benefit analysis.

Posted by eric at 11:24 AM

State justifies Barclays logo/name on arena roof, says it complies with "intent" of Design Guidelines (which never mentioned roof signage)

Atlantic Yards Report

There's a honking big Barclays Center name and logo coming on the roof of the new Brooklyn arena, buzzing toward a Sept. 28 opening. But such rooftop signage was never officially approved, disclosed, nor opened to public comment. Nor was it ever permitted in the Design Guidelines on which the state relies.

It's a p.r. victory for Barclays, which, however hammered for its LIBOR manipulations, is implanting itself in Brooklyn, buying naming rights for the Barclays Center arena and getting its name on the adjacent subway station. (Developer Forest City Ratner actually paid for the latter.)

Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency that approved the overall Atlantic Yards project and works hand-in-glove with Forest City, took nearly two business days to provide an explanation for the signage, which was quietly disclosed Monday in a two-week construction look-ahead prepared by the developer.

The signage--including painted letters approximately 230’ x 103’--is kosher, according to ESD's Arana Hankin, because it "comprehensively complies with the intent of the [project design] guidelines that 'establish a framework for the design of the project.'”

Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, confirmed that it would look like the image released in September 2010, below, a year after the second round of project approvals. (Note that the angle merely gives a hint of the logo.)

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Related coverage...

Brownstoner, AYR: State Justifies Barclays Logo and Name on Roof

The name and logo will be painted on the roof. It will not be visible from the street, according to the state agency that approved it, Empire State Development. It will be visible from nearby tall office buildings and aircraft, and aerial news coverage will show it.

Posted by eric at 11:13 AM

Is the arena project 95-98 percent complete, as Forest City claims? It probably depends on how you define "project"

Atlantic Yards Report

"We're on the main concourse of the Barclays Center. Our project here is about 95, 98 percent complete," Forest City Ratner construction chief Bob Sanna says in a new video produced by the New York Daily News.

Is that credible? It probably depends on how you define "project." It may well be that they are less than 5 percent of the way from being able to fully test the building.

But Sanna's estimate differs significantly from the index used by Merritt & Harris, the consultant that reports monthly to the arena bond trustee, Empire State Development Corporation, and Forest City Ratner.

In the last report from Merritt & Harris, dated 7/9/12 and based on a 5/23/12 visit and documents dated 6/22/12, a chart indicated that the arena, as of May, was nearly 80 percent complete, on a path--as of the end of July--to be perhaps 85 percent complete.

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Posted by eric at 11:06 AM

The First Sporting Event at Barclays Is Two Months Away

New York Magazine
by Will Leitch

Exactly two months from today — October 2, 2012 — the Barclays Center will host its first sporting event. The place officially opens on September 28, with the first of Jay-Z's eight (eight!) concerts, but smack in between those shows, after the first four and before the second four, the New York Islanders will play the New Jersey Devils in an exhibition game. Now, that game will have a completely ridiculous seating arrangement because the Barclays Center isn't set up for hockey, but no matter: It will be an actual sporting event at the Barclays Center, just two months from today.

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Posted by eric at 10:56 AM

Barclays Center CEO 'trying like hell' to get Islanders to move to Brooklyn

CBSSports.com
by Brian Stubits

More like "lying like hell."

When trying to find a way to keep the Islanders in New York beyond 2015, all signs end up pointing back to Brooklyn. Because the new Barclays Center isn't perfectly suited for hockey and would have the league's smallest seating capacity, many haven't seen it as a viable option. The layout for hockey would be unique as one endzone would be empty for hockey.

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NoLandGrab: That's because it's not a viable option. "Unique" is just a synonym for incompatible.

Posted by eric at 10:42 AM

August 2, 2012

Sculpture or neighbor? Driving Flatbush Avenue, "iconic" arena relieves "sordid dullness" of mall

Atlantic Yards Report

Architectural historian Gabrielle Esperdy drives Flatbush Avenue for Urban Omnibus, in Flatbush Start to Finish:

Still, as Flatbush traversed the rest of the borough, there would be a few more opportunities for monuments of iconic architecture and infrastructure.

Notable, and most recent, in this regard is the Barclays Center, soon to be completed at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic. Now, say what you will about Atlantic Yards as a whole, there is no denying that SHoP’s Corten steel snake will go a long way to relieving the sordid dullness of the Atlantic Terminal Mall, which has been sitting woefully at this major intersection (where the extension officially ends and Flatbush proper begins) since 2004. Best to move by quickly and set sights further down road where there’s reliable City Beautiful planning to anchor Grand Army Plaza...

It's also relieving the more sordid dullness of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Center mall, which has been next to the Atlantic Terminal site since 1996.

I imagine that, on event nights, drivers will have a lot more time to contemplate the arena, as traffic moves slowly.

Sculpture, or neighbor?

But Esperdy's take regarding the arena seems to be: not dull, even iconic.

Or, as a friend put it: "not as horrible as I expected."

Then again, an architect friend I asked thought it was in fact horrible, ticking off the arena's relationship to the street and the surrounding neighborhood.

I think that speaks to the difference between the arena as sculpture, especially for those driving by, and the arena as living entity with a very tight fit into the northwest corner of Prospect Heights.

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Posted by eric at 11:13 AM

Barclays Center readies for opening

NY Daily News

Forest City Ratner's Bob Sanna takes a break from fighting his NIMBY battle in New Jersey to give a tour of the "95, 98% complete" Barclays Center.

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Posted by eric at 11:02 AM

August 1, 2012

Parking snag? Despite promises of prepaid parking, system still not live yet, though many tickets sold (also, a map of parking and the shuttle bus)

Atlantic Yards Report

Despite promises in May from a Forest City Ratner consultant that arena event-goers would find prepaid parking "seamless with the Barclays Center software," arena operators have sold hundreds of thousands of tickets to upcoming events without being able to offer that option.

Though Barclays Center operators have been quiet about this glitch, the company Click and Park, which offers prepaid parking for venues like Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field, won't finish its web page linked to the new Brooklyn arena until Aug. 6, a representative stated when I called to inquire.

Indeed, as indicated at right, one version of the webpage is just a placeholder, though another, below, is nearly ready.

What do you do now?

Nor can event-goers easily prepay for parking, say, for that first weekend of Jay-Z concerts, beginning Sept. 28. (See maps of garages, including remote parking, at bottom.)

I called the garage at 700 Pacific Street, listed as part of the Click and Park inventory, and was given rather confusing information on whether and how parking might be prepaid.

What does arena operator Forest City Ratner say? I twice queried representatives of the developer, but got no response. One question: will ticket-buyers be sent a reminder when these sites go live?

Another, which I didn't ask: can the large numbers of people buying tickets on the secondary market be informed?

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NoLandGrab: Fortunately, most people had to sell their cars to afford the originally $29.50 Jay-Z tickets on the secondary market.

Posted by eric at 8:16 PM

Flatbush Start to Finish

Urban Omnibus
by Gabrielle Esperdy

Public thoroughfares often endure longer than the private property alongside them, and sometimes outlive even the cities and towns that they service. But the history of roads — the infrastructural priorities, demographic realities, technological possibilities and urban development choices that they reveal — gets less air time than other elements of city form, like civic buildings, public monuments or private houses. But for Gabrielle Esperdy — an architectural historian whose work examines the intersection of American architecture, consumerism and modernism in 20th and 21st century urban and suburban landscapes — certain streets offer an opportunity to summon a variety of historically distinct architectural and planning philosophies and to discuss them in a single setting. Flatbush Avenue, one of the oldest and longest streets in Brooklyn, is such a street. Just as the line of Broadway attests to pathways through Manhattan traversed long before Europeans arrived, Flatbush bears the marks of the Revolutionary War, Beaux Arts planning, and, of course, Robert Moses. Below, Esperdy recounts a journey from the Manhattan Bridge to Jamaica Bay.

The entire article is well worth reading, but we're just excerpting the high lowlight — Esperdy's note that the arena is at least good for hiding Ratner buildings even uglier.

Notable, and most recent, in this regard is the Barclays Center, soon to be completed at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic. Now, say what you will about Atlantic Yards as a whole, there is no denying that SHoP’s Corten steel snake will go a long way to relieving the sordid dullness of the Atlantic Terminal Mall, which has been sitting woefully at this major intersection (where the extension officially ends and Flatbush proper begins) since 2004. Best to move by quickly and set sights further down road where there’s reliable City Beautiful planning to anchor Grand Army Plaza, especially with John Hemingway Duncan’s triumphal Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch standing symbolically, if not literally, astride the avenue as the gateway to Prospect Park. The stretch through the park is as verdant as Flatbush ever gets, giving it, I suppose, a certain kind of grandeur.

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Posted by eric at 8:09 PM

Who's Against the Olympics? Taxpayers Most Notably

Real Clear Markets
by Steven Malanga

On July 6, 2005, Londoners celebrated in Trafalgar Square as giant television screens carried the announcement by the International Olympic Committee that the city had won the right to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. Back in New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized to America because his city's bid to host those games, which Bloomberg had pursued ardently, fell short.
...

But these sorts of experiences don't stop elected officials. In New York may Mayor Bloomberg lost the Olympics' bid but then turned his attention to helping push through the massive Atlantic Yards redevelopment project in Brooklyn, whose centerpiece is the new Barclay's Center arena where the former New Jersey Nets will now play. To make the 22-acre project possible in the middle of the borough New York government used the threat of eminent domain to displace some 400 residents and two dozen businesses. Politicians also gave the developers hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives to construct the arena, all on the basis that the project would upgrade a neighborhood where people were already paying upwards of $500,000 for condos and co-ops. Of course, the marketplace has a way of intervening with the best laid plans of government, and so while the Barclays arena is scheduled to open this fall, the developers have pushed back construction of the project's residential towers thanks to the housing bust.

After Chicago lost its bid in 2009 to host the 2016 Olympics, President Obama criticized naysayers who urged the city not to try. "I mean, who's against the Olympics?" he said. Right now in London I'm betting there are quite a few taxpayers and business owners who can provide the President with an adequate answer to that question.

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Posted by eric at 8:04 PM

Daily News columnist Hamill: "once-forgotten area of weedy rail yards... will be the entertainment pacemaker"

Atlantic Yards Report

New York Daily News columnist Dennis Hamill is not as much an abusurdist as his New York Post counterpart Andrea Peyser, though 1) that's a pretty high bar and 2) they both seem to have forgotten the 10,000 office jobs that so enthused them.

But, as in the past, he remains a reliable conveyor of developer Bruce Ratner's press releases. Today, in A whole new arena: Brooklyn's O'Malley curse begins to end in 60 days, he writes:

this once-forgotten area of weedy rail yards, empty lots and a few blocks of vital homes claimed in eminent domain will be the entertainment pacemaker of our most populous borough.

He seems to not know that parent Forest City Enterprises then-CEO Chuck Ratner called it a "great piece of real estate." Or that two-thirds of the "weedy rail yards"--the "blight" that this project was supposed to overcome--have not been developed, because Forest City Ratner has not started paying for them.

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Posted by eric at 7:48 PM

A whole new arena

Brooklyn's O'Malley curse begins to end in 60 days

NY Daily News
by Denis Hamill

Speaking once more of values, integrity and honesty, the Daily News's answer to Andrea "Mad Dog" Peyser transcribes Bruce Ratner's talking points.

Sixty.

“That’s how many days till the curse of Walter O'Malley starts to lift from Brooklyn,” says Bruce Ratner, the tenacious builder and CEO of Forest City Ratner.

Amazing coincidence! That's exactly when the curse of Bruce Ratner's arena boondoggle will settle on Brooklyn.

Six years ago, I pressed Ratner when he told me a portion of the 18,000 seats would be “affordable” to working Brooklynites. “How much?” I said. “Gimme a dollar amount.”

“Okay, $15," he said.

I printed it.

Since then, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has purchased the majority share of the Nets. He went along with that promise. On Monday, Ratner said, “There will be 2,000 $15 seats at every Brooklyn Nets game, and 50% of Nets tickets will be $55 or less. About 7,000 of Jay-Z’s tickets at each concert sold for $29.50.”

And about 6,800 of those were bought by scalpers, who are reselling them for hundreds of dollars.

“And I am trying like hell to get the Islanders to make Barclays Center their new hockey home,” says Ratner, sweeping his hand across the big arena where workers in cherry-picker buckets installed acoustic panels on the domed ceiling as others installed black seats. “They will play a pre-season game here against the Devils.”

Are they seriously going to try to work every one of Ratner's b.s. lines into this column?

Oh, wait — it gets better. Here comes the random construction worker to ask a question of the big boss (who surely knows absolutely nothing about job-site details). Jonah Lehrer just resigned for a lot less contrivance.

As we spoke, a Laborers Local 79 member named William Jackson approached Ratner with a work-related question.

I asked him about working for Ratner. Jackson said he’s been on a half-dozen Forest City Ratner jobs since 2001, including a courthouse on Adams St., Metro Tech and the Barclays Center.

“Ratner kept his word,” he says. “He hired people from the community like me. I live a few blocks from here. This arena put a lot people to work, paid a lot of bills for a lot of families. His people come into the community and train people in entrepreneurship, help them start new businesses. He even throws parties for the construction workers when the job is finished. Nobody does that. I'll be here opening night to root for the home team because I'm already a Nets fan. Now they'll be playing in Brooklyn a few blocks from my house."

[Sniffle, sniffle] Sorry, but we're too choked up to go on. You'll have to click through if you're more hardened and cynical than we.

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NoLandGrab: Peyser last week, Hamill this week. Do you think next week's arena tour with Steve Witt is already scheduled?

Posted by eric at 7:19 PM

Rocawear Presents: JAY-Z from "Marcy to Barclays" Extended Version

Rocawear via YouTube

To hear Jay-Z tell it, growing up in Brooklyn's Marcy Projects "taught you these values, and taught you integrity, and taught you honesty" — the result of which, apparently, led him to lend his celebrity and street cred to a crooked boondoggle named for the bank that brought you the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal.

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Posted by eric at 6:55 PM

July 31, 2012

"Roof sponsorship signage" coming to Barclays Center: does Forest City's plan meet Design Guidlines?

Atlantic Yards Report

Guess what: "roof sponsorship signage" is coming to the Barclays Center, according to the latest two-week Atlantic Yards Construction Alert, released yesterday by Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) after preparation by Forest City Ratner.

Preparation for the installation of the such signage will begin this week or next, according to the document, which does not explain the nature and extent of such signage.

I've asked for more details; for example, will look like the rendering above right, released in early 2010, announcing the Barclays Center?

Either way, however, roof signage was never officially permitted. So it should be seen as a multi-million-dollar giveaway.

Raising the question in 2010

I reported 3/8/10 that rooftop Barclays Center logo that appeared in the latest arena rendering arena seemed to violate the Design Guidelines as stated in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) issued by the ESDC.

Asked in March 2010 the pictured rooftop signage would be allowed, ESDC spokeswoman Elizabeth Mitchell repsonded:

Images of the arena used for promotional purposes are renderings. Anything that is built out -- including final signage -- will meet the design guidelines, which we continue to review with Forest City Ratner Companies as specific elements of the design are finalized and evolve from renderings to reality.

From the FEIS and Design Guidelines

The documents approving the project in 2006 did not mention roof signage, likely because there was supposed to be a green roof. There's been no update of the Design Guidelines nor disclosure of permission for roof signage.

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NoLandGrab: ESD really should consider changing their name to Endless Stream of Doublespeak.

Posted by eric at 11:56 AM

From the latest Atlantic Yards Construction Alert: the oculus and the Haier Store become more visible

Atlantic Yards Report

There's some interesting stuff in the latest two-week Atlantic Yards Construction Alert, dated 7/30/12 (and embedded below) and released yesterday by Empire State Development after preparation by Forest City Ratner.

Not only will the oculus become ever more visible, so too will be the Haier Store at the east end of the arena, at the extension of Pacific Street.

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Posted by eric at 11:51 AM

July 30, 2012

With arena General Manager gone, more pressure on getting arena systems to work; Forest City exec once warned that "it is essential that the arena be completed by early July 2012" for testing

Atlantic Yards Report

Trouble in paradise the Fourth (and Eighth) Circles of Hell?

It's a bit of a mystery, and it has to be a troubling for Barclays Center operators. Sports Business Journal reports today on the departure of the arena General Manager and (via NetsDaily's summary):

[John] Sparks decided to "go in a different direction" and left New York a month ago, [arena CEO] Brett Yormark told SBJ. The change is not expected to affect the arena construction timetable.

Well, it won't affect the construction timetable, as the arena's supposed to reach a substantial completion date of 9/5/12, itself nudged back from 8/12/12, after three other adjustments. But they have little more than three weeks after that to get the building ready for the first Jay-Z concert.

Sparks' departure won't make it easier to make the systems work in a complicated building that, Forest City Ratner's top Atlantic Yards executive once said, had "to be completed by early July 2012" to ensure "three to four months" for testing.

In other words, it was already a very tight timetable. Now, they've lost Sparks, who Yormark once said "brings to us a wealth of best practices." So the margin for error diminishes.

It was already a good bet that, upon the official opening Sept. 28, they'd still be working out the kinks to make the building work for both guests or neighbors. Now the likelihood of kinks is greater. After all, the Barclays Center hasn't even announced the hiring of a promised community relations official.

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Posted by eric at 12:23 PM

$25 to See The King’s Men at Barclays Center on October 14 at 7 p.m. (Up to $59.15 Value)

New York Daily Deals

Looks like the "Home of Gospel" is shaping up to be something more akin to the "Subsidized Studio Apartment of Gospel," as the Barclays Center is trying to unload tickets via Groupon.

Raising your hands and singing aloud is an integral part of both enjoying a gospel concert and getting yourself dismissed from jury duty. Lift your hands to the sky with this GrouponLive deal to see The King’s Men, featuring Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin, and Israel Houghton at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. For $ 25, you get one G-Pass for reserved seating in sections 112, 114, 115, 117, 118, 120, 207, 209, 210, 222, 223, or 225 on Sunday, October 14, at 7 p.m. (up to a $ 59.15 value, including all fees).

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Posted by eric at 11:41 AM

July 26, 2012

Brooklyn Nets will open season against NY Knicks at Barclays Center

During one of the Nets' final games of last season played in Newark — when Knicks fans again overran the Prudential Center — team CEO Brett Yormark declared that atmosphere will never happen in Brooklyn. We'll find out on Nov. 1

NY Daily News
by Stefan Bondy

If the Nets found a true home in Brooklyn — and not just an extension of Madison Square Garden — they’ll find out in the first game of the season.

A source confirmed the Brooklyn Nets will open their inaugural campaign at the Barclays Center against the Knicks on Nov. 1 in a nationally televised game. It’s a surprising move from the league, and perhaps a dangerous one for the Nets, who are trying to establish themselves as Brooklyn’s team in Knicks territory.

“If that’s the case, bring it on,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said earlier this month about opening against the Knicks.
...

The Nets have sold close to 10,000 season tickets for an arena fitting just over 18,000, prioritizing Brooklyn residents in sales phases. It’s a sign the Nets will have support on Nov. 1, and they haven’t backed down from the challenge.

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NoLandGrab: Or at least Brett Yormark claims they've sold them.

Related coverage...

Bleacher Report, Why Opening Barclays Center vs New York Knicks Is Terrible for Brooklyn Nets

New York fans embarrassed New Jersey fans the last time these teams met on the Nets’ turf at Prudential Center, and plenty of Knicks fans will find their way into Barclays Center November 1. Knicks fans will be loud and focused, while Nets fans are figuring out who they are.

The league doesn’t need to cultivate a rivalry between New York’s teams—there’s already one growing. What needs growth is the Nets fan base. Who are they? Are they quasi-basketball fans, who never took a liking to the Orange & Blue? Are they non-sports fans, looking to be part of the electric Brooklyn scene? Are they miffed Knicks fans, trying to stick it to James Dolan?

mcbrooklyn, Some People Are Excited About Knicks /Nets Season Opener in Brooklyn

A number of people are working themselves up into a state at the thought of the Nets opening the season in Brooklyn against the Knicks.

According to Newsday, the Knicks will be the Brooklyn Nets' first regular-season opponent in their new home, the Barclays Center, on Nov. 1.

It's all part of a calculated program to build the hysteria.

Posted by eric at 10:51 AM

July 25, 2012

Gentrification Takes Top Bill in “Local” Play

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Lauretta Charlton

Real estate broker turned writer and actor, Nichole Thompson-Adams, 43, has lived in Fort Greene since 1994. She used her experiences in the neighborhood to write the one-woman show, “Black Girl You’ve Been Gentrified,” in which she also stars. The show will return to Joe’s Pub on Lafayette Street in Manhattan this Friday. We talked to Ms. Thompson-Adams about why she likes the neighborhood, what she would change and her advice to people interested in moving to Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
...

Q. What inspired you to write a show about gentrification in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill?

A. I rented on South Portland Avenue, which was the premier block in Fort Greene in the mid-early ’90s, and by the late ’90s it had become apparent to my husband and myself that we could not afford to rent, much less buy there. The house we were renting was sold and we had to move. Michael Weller, the playwright, and I were having a conversation about this and I told him about the different people and situations and how I felt. He suggested I write it down and do something with it. So I did, and he has come to every show.
...

Q. If you could change one thing about the neighborhood, what would it be?

A. The stadium. When have you ever heard of an arena being good for a neighborhood? A city maybe, but the surrounding neighborhood, I don’t think so.

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Posted by eric at 2:11 PM

Who knows what the Barclays Center will bring?

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
by Raanan Geberer

It is now only a matter of months before the Barclays Center opens, changing the face of Downtown Brooklyn forever.

We’re used to audiences pouring out of shows by modern dance companies or a symphony at BAM, but that's nothing compared to the huge crowds that will be coming to the huge 19,000-seat venue for Nets games or to see such blockbuster acts as Rush, Neil Young or The Who. And it will be even busier if the Islanders decide to relocate there.

What will the scene be outside the arena after the events? Will “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz’s transportation plan work? Will Barclays’ security plan work?

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Posted by eric at 11:15 AM

Bruce Ratner: Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Already A Success

CBS New York
by Peter Haskell

“What you see here is almost complete interior of the arena,” [Bruce] Ratner told [WCBS 880's Peter] Haskell as he looked out over over what will be the floor of Barclays Center. “You’re going to feel more like you’re on top of the action than any arena that anybody has been in.”

He said fans will also appreciate how bright it is on the inside.

“So, there’s a lot of light and a lot of glass along the concourses,” he said.

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NoLandGrab: Take that, Madison Square Garden! You may be the World's Most Famous Arena, but ours is bright on the inside.

Posted by eric at 11:08 AM

July 24, 2012

Names, Trains, and Corporate Deals

Why Public Transit Shouldn’t Sell Naming Rights

Boston Review
by Frank Pasquale

The never-ending budget crises of American cities are claiming another victim: public transit. Managers are cutting services and workers. There are longer waits for rides—when they still exist. From the stygian gloom of New York subways to the retro interiors of the Bay Area’s BART trains, public transit appears to be declining as rapidly as the middle class.

The problem has become so dire that even station names are on the table. Transit authorities in Boston, Chicago, and Austin have hired IMG Worldwide to sell their naming rights. (IMG gets a 12 percent cut for its services; apparently the public sector is too depleted to negotiate its own deals.) New York City already shook hands with Barclays Bank, allowing it to christen a massive transit hub in Brooklyn “Atlantic Ave.-Barclays Center.”
...

Barclays also purchased the rights to name the New York Nets’ future home, for more than $300 million. The right to name the subway station next to it cost a mere $4 million, to be paid $200,000 per year for twenty years. There is poetic justice to naming professional sports stadiums after Systemically Important Financial Institutions, to use the Dodd-Frank locution. Both mega banks and mega sports franchises have benefited from sweetheart tax deals, exemptions from antitrust regulations, and other government backing. Both feature immensely overpaid stars.
...

What Barclays now stands for—rapacious financialization and outright fraud—directly offends the values that public transit represents. Perhaps its yearly $200,000 payments can fund two or three union jobs. But if we were really serious about both raising employment and reducing inequality, we would tax our cash-hoarding corporate behemoths, not beg them for ad money.

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Photo: Adrian Kinloch

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Naming-rights deals, suggests law professor, are "transparent efforts by dubious enterprises to buy goodwill by permanently associating themselves with famous landmarks"

Norman Oder does some minor fact-checking...

Actually, Barclays did not buy naming rights to the transit hub. Forest City Ratner, the developer building the arena, did.

Why? They didn't explain publicly, but it was likely part of the renegotiations regarding the naming rights deal for the arena.

New York state (nominal owner of the arena) gave away naming rights to Forest City to sell. Forest City made a deal with Barclays for a reported $300 to $400 million. That was for an arena designed by Frank Gehry, and supposed to open in 2009. Ultimately, Gehry was dropped from the project, the arena was delayed, and the naming rights deal was reduced to $200 million (plus unspecified other payments). Forest City brought Barclays in on the arena bond deal (one carrot) and bought the station naming rights (second carrot).

Posted by eric at 10:41 AM

Clock Starts on Council Review of Barclays Center Security Plan

Letter received by City Council formally starts process of NYPD's 78th Precinct taking over policing at new Brooklyn Nets arena opening this fall.

Park Slope Patch
by Will Yakowicz and Paul Leonard

Time is ticking.

The City Council recently received a letter from Mayor Michael Bloomberg detailing the New York Police Department's Barclays Center security plan, according to Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Brooklyn.

The letter officially starts a 60-day review process, after which lawmakers are expected to vote on the proposal.

Last week, Patch reported on the contents of the letter that proposed transferring Atlantic Terminal and a portion of Barclays Center from the 88th Precinct based in Clinton Hill to the 78th Precinct covering Prospect Heights and Park Slope.

James said that she does not know when the Council will vote on the policing plan.

link

Posted by eric at 10:36 AM

The little economic engine that could? Once Atlantic Yards was called an "economic engine." Now it's the arena.

Atlantic Yards Report

The Summer 2012 issue of Brooklyn!!, Borough President Marty Markowitz's promotional publication, offers an enthusiastic coverage of the new arena, with a curious claim:

Along with pumping up Brooklyn’s reputation as the place for sporting and entertainment events, Barclays Center is its own economic engine, providing 2,000 full and part-time jobs, plus a shot in the arm to the ancillary businesses around the arena.

Forest City Ratner says those 2,000 jobs add up to 1,240 FTE (full-time equivalent), but I think that's very doubtful.

Either way, it's hard to call the arena "its own economic engine," given the significant subsidies and tax breaks, and the fact that the New York City Independent Budget Office calls it a net loss to the city.

After all, sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, at least before he delivered a report for his client, Forest City Ratner, told the 2/16/04, Courier-Life, "One would not say, 'Let's move the Nets to Brooklyn to help the local economy.'"

Now one would, at least if the one is Markowitz.

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Posted by eric at 10:25 AM

July 23, 2012

B’klyn revival’s ringmaster

NY Post
by Andrea Peyser

Guess who's off her meds (again).

Bruce Ratner doesn’t walk. He bounces. In a hard hat, rumpled suit and never a tie, Ratner vibrates giddily amid buzzing saws and deafening drills, before leaping amid never-sat-in seats covered in dusty plastic.

We’re in the brand-new crux of the known universe, Barclays Center, now under construction, talking about the rise of Brooklyn.

“It’s incredible!’’ enthused Ratner, 67, the hyperactive developer and CEO of Forest City Ratner.
...

When Barclays is christened this fall as home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, Ratner will have pulled off the seemingly impossible. Almost single-handedly, he’ll have brought the Borough of Kings, long neglected and overshadowed by Manhattan, back to buzzworthy health.

Yes, Andrea, Brooklyn was nowhere without Bruce's basketball arena. Once it's open, real estate values should start to take off, and maybe people will want to live here.

“It was crazy. A lot of newcomers from outside New York’’ fought the arena. He tries not to be bitter.

That's right, we were busing in protesters from Wisconsin.

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NoLandGrab: The circus motif is actually spot on.

Paul Martinka/Post Photo Composite

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Absurdist Post columnist Peyser: "Almost single-handedly, [Ratner]'’ll have brought the Borough of Kings... back to buzzworthy health"

Giddy, fact-challenged New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser, having completely forgotten the 10,000 Atlantic Yards jobs she once promoted, but maintaining her dada take from 12/1/09, writes a valentine today to Bruce Ratner, headlined B’klyn revival’s ringmaster.

So, Ratner gets credit for Brooklyn's revival? Puh-leeze.
...

Peyser writes:

When I toured this site in 2004, it was a disgrace. It was scarred with toxic rail yards that had squatted on this spot, like a disease, for decades. Then I spied a pile of hypodermic needles. It was long past time to breathe air back into Brooklyn. Or shut the lights and get the hell out.

Rail yards that "squatted," or functioned? They still "squat," by the way. As for the needles, and the weeds, well, that was a clean-up problem that neither the city nor the LIRR wanted to grapple with.

Even Roger Green, the Assemblyman who supported the project, said the neighborhood wasn't blighted.

Job fictions

Peyser writes:

The arena will pump 2,000 sorely needed jobs into the economy, putting a dent into Brooklyn’s unemployment, which stood at an unconscionable 10.3 percent in May, compared to 8.2 percent in Manhattan. Half the job applicants live in public housing. Plus, 6,400 “awesome’’ housing units are going up next year, about a third of them classified as “affordable.’’

"2,000 sorely needed jobs"? Even Forest City claims the full-time equivalent figure is 1,240, which seems vastly exaggerated. So much for the dent.

The promised 6,430 apartments aren't going up next year, just--maybe--the first tower, with 363 units.

True News, NYP Peyser Kisses Developer's Ratner Ass

NLG: That'd explain Andrea's constant prune face.

Posted by eric at 10:14 AM

July 20, 2012

As a parking lot for TV vans emerges on Dean Street and Sixth Avenue, how to make it work for neighbors? Testimony from the Dean Street Block Association suggests adjustments

Atlantic Yards Report

TV vehicles serving the Barclays Center arena will be parking in a residential neighborhood. Does that mean any adjustments in the fence, the restoration of street trees, and the monitoring of impacts? Unclear.

Yesterday, the Department of Transportation held a hearing on a "revocable consent" for Forest City Ratner to run cable conduits from the Barclays Center arena under Sixth Avenue between Dean and Pacific streets to the parking lot at the northeast corner where six vans and a truck could park.

This broadcast support area, which would complement space under the arena for TV trucks, was not mentioned in the 2006 environmental review or 2009 update, but, in December 2010, an outline of the plan emerged in a graphic ([right]).

The lot was created by combining an existing empty lot with the space created by the demolition of two townhouses purchased by Forest City Ratner.

The three adjacent houses on Dean Street, officially designated as part of the project footprint and originally supposed to be part of a larger lot used for construction staging and ultimately a 272-foot tower, remain privately owned and subject to eminent domain at a later date.

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Posted by eric at 11:16 AM

July 19, 2012

Confimed: 78th Precinct in Park Slope to Police Barclays Center

Boundaries between the NYPD's 78th Precinct and 88th Precinct in Fort Greene-Clinton Hill to be redrawn, according to sources.

Park Slope Patch
by Will Yakowicz

The New York Police Department's strategy for keeping visitors and residents safe in and around the soon-to-be-opened Barclays Center just took a major step forward.

An elected official with knowledge of the proposal confirmed that the 78th Precinct in Park Slope will take over policing Barclays Center and Atlantic Terminal.
...

"It came as a surprise to everyone," said Robert Perris, district manager of Community Board 2, regarding Kelly's letter, which was highly anticipated by residents looking for a hint at NYPD's final plan on policing the 17,000-seat arena.

Perris confirmed word of a change in the boundaries of the 78th and 88th precincts, saying that plans would not involve a change of boundaries between Community Board 6 and Community Board 2.

An NYPD spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

The City Council must vote to approve the changes after a 60-day review period.

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Posted by eric at 7:17 AM

July 18, 2012

Bob Dylan releasing 'Tempest,' announces 2012 tour w/ Mark Knopfler, playing the Barclays Center (dates)

BrooklynVegan

Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see [how that arena got built]?

Bob Dylan will release his 35th studio album, Tempest, this year on September 11 on his label home of 50 years (!) Columbia Records. He produced the album himself under his producer pseudonym Jack Frost, which he's used on other past releases. The album is his first new release of original material since 2009's Together Through Life. That's the cover art above, and the tracklist is below.

Dylan will support the album on a tour with Mark Knopfler which culminates in a Brooklyn show at the new Barclays Center on November 21.

NoLandGrab: The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Related content...

The Hollywood Reporter, The Who Head Back on the Road to Perform ‘Quadrophenia’

The Who have announced plans to embark on their first North American tour in four years, where they will perform their iconic 1973 double album Quadrophenia in its entirety in a mix of arenas and smaller venues.
...

Other tour dates include Nov. 14 at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn; Dec. 2 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville; Dec. 5 at Madison Square Garden in New York; Dec. 9 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.; Jan. 30 at Staples Center in Los Angeles; Feb. 8 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas; and Feb. 22 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

NLG: Won't get fooled again?

Posted by eric at 11:15 PM

Consultant's monthly report: arena "slightly ahead of schedule" (not quite), Transit Connection behind (but not a problem); 550 workers (plus those at railyard)

Atlantic Yards Report

The latest Site Observation Report, issued yesterday by Merritt & Harris, the consultant that reports to the arena bond trustee, Empire State Development Corporation, and Forest City Ratner, declares "the Arena is slightly ahead of schedule, while the Transit Connection is currently 4 months behind its original schedule."

Of course, as the charts indicate, the arena is "slightly ahead of schedule" because they tweaked the schedule earlier this year.

The report, while issued yesterday is dated 7/9/12 and based on a 5/23/12 visit and documents dated 6/22/12.

Manpower

The report states, "According to the General Contractor and the Manpower Log, 550 persons have been on the job for the Arena and 48 persons for the Transit Connection this month." That's an increase from 490 and 48 in the previous report and is "attributed to the roofing, carpentry, and finish trades."

On 6/28/12, Patch quoted Forest City Ratner as having 1,079 employees on site, a number I couldn't get verified as full-time equivalent.

Even with a large crew at the railyard, which is not covered in the Merritt & Harris report (which examined documents dated less than a week before the Patch article), the total seems very doubtful.

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Posted by eric at 11:52 AM

July 17, 2012

New York Islanders Game at Barclays Center Will Be a Failure

Bleacher Report
by Christopher Benini

A bucketful of cold water for the "Brooklyn Islanders" dreamers.

As I'm sure you are well aware of at this point, the New York Islanders are hoping to have a preseason game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in October. The team has already sold tickets for the game. The only reason I say hoping is because it seems like a 2012-13 season is an aberration at this point with a strike looming.

If by some miracle the NHL and its players do come to an agreement, what are the Islanders hoping to accomplish with this? What this really seems like to me is a money-making ploy.
...

If they are attempting to use this is a gauge to see if hockey would be a success in a more urban area of New York, such as Queens or Brooklyn, it is a waste.
...

It surely isn't to test the waters for a future move to the Barclays Center because (I've said it once and I'll say it again) the Barclays Center is too small.

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Posted by eric at 12:39 PM

Long Island's arena reluctance could lead to Brooklyn Islanders

Sports Business Journal via The Sporting News
by Christopher Botta

By all accounts, Chris Botta is a smart guy who knows hockey. Which makes his propagating the nonsense that the Islanders might remotely consider playing anything but exhibition games in the Barclays Center all the more mind-boggling. As the seating chart below shows, playing hockey in the Nets' arena would be like playing the World Series in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

With only three years left on a lease that team officials insist they will not extend, and no deal for a new arena in sight, the New York Islanders' best option to continue playing in New York in 2015 might be in Brooklyn, at the soon-to-open Barclays Center.
...

Asked whether his arena would welcome the Islanders when the lease in Nassau runs out, Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner said, "I would hope that's possible."

Bruce would hope he isn't loathed in the neighborhoods around Atlantic Yards, too, but his hoping doesn't make it so.

Here, though, is the clincher:

Asked last week about the possibility of the Islanders moving into his building in 2015, Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yorkmark said, "We are interested in bringing NHL hockey to Brooklyn. We feel very strongly about Brooklyn as a hockey market and know we can accommodate it from a building perspective."

Anyone remotely familiar with the Nets Chief Exaggeration Officer knows that when Brett Yormark says "we can accommodate it from a building perspective," there's absolutely NO WAY the Barclays Center can physically accommodate hockey.

article

More magical thinking...

Puck Daddy [Yahoo! Sports], Brooklyn Islanders? New arena says it’s ready for NHL tenant

Yormark also said he looks forward to "continued dialogue" about the Islanders' playing more games at Barclays Center.

NoLandGrab: Of course Yormark looks forward to more of this nonsense — it keeps his arena in the headlines.

ProHockeyTalk [NBCSports.com], Brooklyn gains steam as possible Islanders destination

Perhaps the Islanders could alleviate the smaller seating concerns by charging more for tickets in a fairly wealthy area?

NLG: Yes, great idea. Charge more for terrible sightlines. Genius.

The Hockey Writers, Five Reasons Why the NY Islanders Future is in Brooklyn

The Islanders play an exhibition game in the Barclays center on October 2nd, giving everyone a chance to see how the arena will play to a hockey crowd. After seeing how that goes everyone can get a better idea of how the arena will work for hockey.

NLG: Promise? Then we can be done with all this "Brooklyn Islanders" fantasy.

SNYRangersBlog.com, Read: The Brooklyn Option For The Islanders

The Barclays Center only holds 14,500 for hockey and it has been said in the past that the building developers were against a hockey team playing there when the arena was being constructed.

In terms of seating, Botta tweets, “Charles Wang does things differently. Doubt he’s worried much about the current U-shaped seat plan for hockey at Barclays.”

Posted by eric at 12:01 PM

Initial Feelings About the Barclays Center

Broad And Pennsylvania

No one should take my opinions on the Barclays Center too serious- yet. None of us have been inside. With that said, on Saturday I decided to take a ride into Brooklyn to see the new home of the Nets. I have a few very quick, basic observations about the arena, from the outside.

1. The neighborhood is very nice, and not what a lot of outsiders will think they are going to. There's lots to do there. Atlantic Avenue will prosper from this.
2. It's really hard to get to the place. You can get off of 278 and go on Atlantic Avenue, but that will be a nightmare. That requires taking 278 far into Brooklyn, and it requires going down a normal street. The other option is to come in from Manhattan on Flatbush. Good luck with that.

Or leave the car at home? Fortunately, Rich is a quick learner.

3. I would suggest mass transit. The subway will literally stop there.

link

Posted by eric at 11:14 AM

July 16, 2012

New Nets Arena Proves a Magnet

The Wall Street Journal
by Laura Kusisto and Alexander Heffner

When the Nets win a game at the new Barclays Center, where will the after-party be held?

That's a question on the minds of numerous bar and restaurant owners as they invest in locations around the arena that's scheduled to open this fall in Brooklyn. New places are opening and old ones are expanding with the expectation that basketball fans and others attending events at the up-to-19,000-seat arena will be hungry and thirsty and looking for a good time afterward.

But the arena's neighbors—many of whom have greeted the project skeptically all along—are pushing back, saying the new establishments threaten to transform charming side streets into destinations for late-night revelers. They're concerned that big sports bars will create nuisances and change the character of an area that was already becoming upscale when the arena broke ground.
...

Some residents fear that bars, which pay higher rents, are coming at the expense of services for residents. "I'm concerned that it's becoming booze alley. I'm concerned that other corridors are becoming burger heaven," says Letitia James, the city councilwoman for the area. "Once the arena is dark, you have a community that remains, and a community with a lot of children and young families."

Retail rents are skyrocketing, driving out retailers who pre-dated gentrification. Mr. King, of CPEX, some landlords are charging as much as $100 a square foot, up from about $60 a few years ago. A space at Fourth and Atlantic avenues could fetch "a nosebleed number north of $180 a foot," he says.

article

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Wall Street Journal reports on arena-area changes, with some curious omissions about Kemistry and the arena liquor license

In New Nets Arena Proves a Magnet, the Wall Street Journal reports on the efforts by bar/restaurant owners to serve both transient and local crowds, and on the tension between good ol' businesspeople and stuffy people who live there:

This opposition has been slowing leasing efforts for a big space kitty-corner to Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue, according to Bob Hebron, a principal of Ingram & Hebron Realty that has the brokerage assignment. The community is "beginning to dig in its heels" to prevent sports bars or "Hooters-type places" from opening there, he says, referring to the restaurant chain known for its scantily clad waitresses.

Nearby on Flatbush Avenue, a restaurant entrepreneur's attempts to open a bar named Kemistry that would operate until 3:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays ran afoul of the local community board. In May, the board voted overwhelmingly to oppose its liquor license application, though the resolution doesn't block Kemistry from trying to get a license.

While the article lower down delicately mentions that Kemistry "was planning to offer customers the ability to buy bottles of hard liquor and make drinks at tables," some context is missing.

Kemisty would be only the second club in Brooklyn with bottle service, and would be far closer to a residential district than most (all?) bottle service clubs.

And while Kemistry operator James Brown says he's moving ahead, the article doesn't mention that the business is being sued by its landlord for nonpayment of rent.

Posted by eric at 11:25 AM

Getting huger

A Daily Photo

The Barclays Center is taking shape, getting larger and more filled in. There are still many un-rented stores nearby, but you get the feeling it’s all going to start coming together in a few months.

link

Photo: brooklynpix

Posted by eric at 11:07 AM

July 13, 2012

From the District Service Cabinet meeting: "Day Two” task force; report on hiring; construction timing; plans for parking for TV trucks

Atlantic Yards Report

The big news at yesterday’s Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting concerned the city’s preliminary rejection of residential permit parking and the still unresolved plans for the first residential tower, B2.

But several other issues came up at the Borough Hall meeting, including a “Day Two” task force, a progress report on hiring for part-time jobs, plans for parking to serve TV trucks, and updates on ongoing issues.

Unresolved issues

For example a final Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan is due in early August, said Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, for Empire State Development, the agency overseeing the project. “We received a number of great comments” and are “trying to figure out the best way to tweak the plan.” Comments and responses are should be posted with the final plan.

Also, a plan to re-order police precinct boundaries--the arena likely will be policed by a supplement to the 78th Precinct (nearby) or 88th Precinct--is in the works. A letter from the Police Commissioner has been sent to the mayor, who then must get it approved by the City Council within 60 days, which is a close deadline, given that the arena opens on Sept. 28.

The State Liquor Authority’s final hearing on the Barclays Center liquor license is still not scheduled; a report from the administrative law judge who heard testimony is not expected until July 25. (That’s also a hearing day; I’m not sure if the report could be delivered on the day of the hearing.)

article

Posted by eric at 12:04 PM

Jay-Z tickets: more than $99 to hear “99 Problems,” unless you’re lucky

Meadowlands Matters [NorthJersey.com]

I noted the other day that many of those 7,000 tickets per show that Jay-Z is offering for $29.50 this fall at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn inevitably would wind up going for their true value on the secondary market.

Now along comes SeatGeek, a company that analyzes prices across that market, to confirm that hypothesis.

Those under-$30 seats have been going for an average price of – brace yourself – $195.23 on the secondary market, said SeatGeek spokesman Will Flaherty.
...

Nearly 9,000 tickets for the Saturday night show – the second of the initial three concerts – are on the secondary market. That’s more than half of the 14,600 or so capacity for these shows. The big number of available tickets probably has helped limit the average ticket price on sites such as Stubhub or TicketsNow to $452. That’s lower than the $483 average price for Sunday the 30th. The highest average price, naturally, is for opening night: $530.
...

Meanwhile, did you say you want floor seats for any of the shows? Fork over an average price of $1,765 for any of the three shows, please, says the secondary market ($2,195 for opening night).

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NoLandGrab: We're all about giving credit where credit is due, and we just want to say that Brett Yormark has done a fabulous job to "protect the interests of the consumer."

Related coverage...

NY Daily News, Jay-Z adds three more concert dates to celebrate the Barclays Center opening

But even Yormark admitted there isn’t much that can be done to prevent scalping.

“We can’t control the secondary market. We price these shows so that anybody who wants to come can,” he said.

Still, artists like comedian Louis CK have taken steps to block ticket brokers from pricing out actual fans. The comedian now requires fans to show up at each arena’s will-call window with ID to pick up tickets for his 56-stop, four month long national tour.

That drastically reduced the number of ducats being hawked online, SeatGeek analysis showed.

“There are definitely tactics that can be employed to curtail excessive scalping,” Flaherty said.

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, The Day: The Only News Today is Jay-Z

Posted by eric at 11:44 AM

A FIPS GUIDE TO UPCOMING BARCLAYS CENTER EVENTS

F'd in Park Slope

If you're playing along at home, you may recall that we've already WARNED YOU about the fact that Brooklyn Nets games won't be the only things happening at the Barclays Center. Once it opens, Slopers will have easy access to some really terrific performances and, well, other kinds of performances! We here at FiPS have taken a look at what's on the horizon, and here are some highlights:

JAY-Z. (9/28-30) Sean Corey Carter is a part-owner of the Nets, and it's been REPORTED that he was a big advocate for their move to Brooklyn (so he is in some way responsible for the horrible monstrous Atlantic Yards project). If enough of us go to his concert and set ourselves on fire in the arena as a protest, perhaps they'll tear down the arena and leave us in peace. It's worth a shot. Tickets go on sale July 13. Let's make this happen!

THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS. (10/7) This time, the Generals are going to win it. They're so overdue for a win, it's a statistical certainty. You won't want to miss that.

There's more where those came from. Click through for more uniquely FIPS-flavored analysis.

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Posted by eric at 11:35 AM

Gallof: Bad News Islanders Fans, New Nassau Coliseum Plan Is Fatally Flawed

County's Attempt To Find A Developer Will Likely Not Include Wang's Team

CBS New York
by B.D. Gallof

As far as many I have spoken to are concerned, it’s Brooklyn or splitsville.

“In the end this will only be decided by three people: Charles Wang, Gary Bettman and Bruce Ratner,” an Islanders source said, referring in obvious terms to the NHL’s commissioner and the kingpin of the Barclays Center.

“I would start looking around to see what the Brooklyn arena can handle,” the source said, referring to, among other things, a practice facility.

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NoLandGrab: And don't forget David Blaine, Criss Angel and Doug Henning, since it will take a magician to fit an NHL franchise into an arena that was not designed to house an NHL franchise.

Posted by eric at 10:46 AM

525 Clinton Avenue

The New York Times

How many real estate listings do you figure tout proximity to Madison Square Garden or the Nassau Coliseum?

SNEAK PREVIEW! 525 Clinton Avenue Discover a new 13-story rental tower wrapped in sparkling glass and infused with modern design. A place where 30 spectacular residences features vast open-layout floor plans and floor-to-ceiling glass walls that surround you in amazing views of classic Brooklyn architecture, tree lined Clinton Hill streets, the Barclays Center and even skyline Manhattan.
...

The new Barclays center and Brooklyn Nets games are just around the corner while just one half block away the C train at Clinton-Washington provides easy access to Manhattan and beyond.

link

Posted by eric at 10:39 AM

July 12, 2012

Getting played: media outlets take bait that demand for first three Jay-Z shows prompted two more

Atlantic Yards Report

Let's recap. In May, Barclays Center/Nets CEO Brett Yormark let slip that Jay-Z would perform five shows at the new arena.

This week, they announced three shows would go on sale. Those tickets sold quickly.

Then, a new announcement: two more shows. The media took the bait. The Daily News reported:

Due to incredible demand for presale tickets for his initial three concerts, Hova will also perform shows on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4.

link

Related content...

More cases in point. Like moths to an LED flame.

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill], BREAKING: Jay-Z Will Add Two More Nights to Barclays Center Kickoff

NY Post, Jay-Z's Barclays concerts already hot tickets

Ditmas Park Patch, Jay-Z Adds Two New Nights at Barclays Center

Posted by eric at 12:57 PM

Developer Gambles on Modular High-Rise for Atlantic Yards Sports Village

Engineering News-Record
by Nadine M. Post

The Engineering News-Record appears to have devoted a good chunk of its July 16th issue to all things Atlantic Yards.

The developer of the residential towers for the $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards sports village in Brooklyn, N.Y., is hedging its bets. In case negotiations with the building trades don't work out for the first tower, planned as the world's tallest modular building, Forest City Ratner Cos. is poised to construct the 32-story high-rise the conventional way.

The Brooklyn-based developer is so hyped on modular that even if the high-rise plan does not fly, it intends to set up shop as a third-party modular building fabricator. "We think [modular] can be explosive for the business," says Robert P. Sanna, FCRC director of construction and design development.

Hopefully not as "explosive" as those manhole covers.

The high-rise modular approach is the brainchild of Bruce C. Ratner, FCRC's chairman and CEO. His scheme was born of a need to find a more economical way to deliver 6,430 units of affordable and market-rate rental housing, comprising six million sq ft in 14 buildings.

If by "brainchild" they mean "stealing the idea and all the senior staff from the company that developed the technology," then yes, it was Bruce Ratner's "brainchild."

article

Related stories...

Engineering News-Record, Reshaping of Barclays Center Arena Made Possible By Collaboration, Digital Tools

Opportunity knocked for SHoP Architects on July 2, 2009. On that Thursday, Bruce C. Ratner, the beleaguered developer of the controversial Atlantic Yards sports village planned for Brooklyn, N.Y., made an offer that any architect would be crazy to turn down but almost as crazy to accept.

Ratner wanted SHoP to put a better face on a critically panned redesign for his $825-million Barclays Center arena—the centerpiece of the 22-acre transit-oriented development. And he wanted a sketch from SHoP in only five days.

Yes, and Brett Yormark only sleeps three hours a night.

However, SHoP wasn't the only firm in an awkward position. In late 2008, FCRC approached EB with a dubious offer it didn't refuse. "Bruce Ratner said, 'I literally want you to take Conseco Field and place it on our site,'" says Stephen J. Duethman, the project manager in Kansas City, Mo., for EB, which, as a result of a merger, operates under AECOM's name.

That strategy was not possible, he adds. But, in 2009, EB did as little as possible to modify its Indianapolis arena so that it would fit into a tight urban site.
...

The total cost of the facade redesign is $54 million. "We had to make the investment for public reasons," says Sanna.

Engineering News-Record, Fancy Footwork To Steady the Course of Brooklyn's Controversial Atlantic Yards Sports Village

ENR should probably stick to engineering and steer clear of social history.

Fifteen years ago, the 22-acre plot for the $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards sports village in Brooklyn, N.Y., was an eyesore. For more than 20 years, drug dealers, gangs and prostitutes had populated the neighborhood. Many buildings were vacant. "Blighted Brooklyn" was a more fitting moniker than the familiar "Brownstone Brooklyn."

Now, crime is down, and land values are way up. Pedestrians are pushing strollers, not drugs. Brooklyn is on the map, thanks in large part to developer Bruce C. Ratner. In the late 1980s, he went where no Manhattan developer dared to go—to Brooklyn. First came an office campus called MetroTech Center (ENR 2/10/92 p. 26). Other commercial projects, which border the Atlantic Yards site, followed.

The urban pioneer's stake in the New York City borough, population 2.5 million, did not prepare him for the controversy over his most ambitious project: a public-private village set over a railyard next to the city's third-largest transit hub (ENR 3/8/04 p. 29). Foes of the Atlantic Yards plan, unveiled in 2003, often refer to Ratner by the first syllable of his name and remain outraged by the development's scale, density and architecture. Their lawsuits delayed Ratner's plan but failed to stop it.

Critics are especially appalled by the village's centerpiece: a 675,000-sq-ft arena for the National Basketball Association's Brooklyn Nets, owned in part by Ratner. Barclays Center is set to open with a Jay-Z concert on Sept. 28, five years later than first planned.

Six years, actually, but who's counting.

NoLandGrab: Norman Oder objects to the "sports village" moniker, but we think it's spot-on — especially given the complete absence of any promised housing, offices, retail or open space.

Posted by eric at 12:03 PM

Friday, 10 pm: overnight testing of new subway entrance's fire standpipe system

Atlantic Yards Report

If you see a fire truck on Flatbush Avenue opposite the arena on Friday night beginning at 10 pm, well, now you know what it's there for.

From the Empire State Development Corporation (after preparation by Forest City Ratner), a Supplementary Alert to the bi-weekly Construction Alert:

Friday July 13, 2012, during the hours 10:00 pm and 6:00 am [Saturday] the New York City Fire Department will be testing our fire standpipe system servicing the newly construction [sic] subway entrance. This will involve first testing the system with air and then with water. The FDNY will then fill the system with water from their trucks. The testing will be conducted from two sides of the site, along Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. The truck along Flatbush Avenue will be located on the west side across the street from the Arena and positioned on the sidewalk closest to the connection; it will not impede pedestrian flow. The one along the Atlantic Avenue side will be within the fence. It is not anticipated to be noisy work and is part of the standard sign off of the standpipe system.

link

NoLandGrab: Of course, it may also be dealing with flames shooting from a manhole.

Posted by eric at 11:46 AM

July 10, 2012

Searching For Spike Lee (episode 1)

Dallas Penn via Vimeo

Internets Celebrities' Dallas Penn goes in search of Spike Lee.

link

Posted by eric at 11:12 AM

Jay-Z Adds Two More Shows — And Tickets Priced to Move

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]

You got 99 problems, but getting tickets to Jay-Z’s concerts this fall ain’t one.

The rap superstar has added two shows — he’ll now open the Barclays Center on Sept. 28, and then follow it with shows on Sept. 29 and 30 — and will price 7,000 seats at each of the shows at less than $30.
...

Mr. Z is a tiny owner of the Nets basketball team, but has become the public face of the squad’s marketing effort, including branding a posh club inside the 19,000-seat arena after himself.

link

Posted by eric at 10:58 AM

July 9, 2012

Jay-Z Tickets at Barclays Center on Sale Friday

The concert will officially open the arena to the public.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

Tickets for Jay-Z’s opening night concerts at the Barclays Center will go on sale this Friday, July 13, officials confirmed.

The hip-hop mogul—and part owner of the Brooklyn Nets—will perform at the arena on its opening night, Sept. 28, as well as two additional concerts on Sept, 29 and 30.

According to the arena, more than 7,000 tickets per show will be priced at under $30.

“Jay-Z is Brooklyn and is the definitive artist to open Barclays Center,” Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said in a statement.

article

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Jay-Z tickets go on sale July 13... for suckers (though there may be two more shows)

Tickets for Jay-Z's three shows (one date had been announced, but arena CEO Brett Yormark in May predicted five shows) at the Barclays Center (Sept. 28-30) go on sale on Friday, July 13, right?

But there are ways of jumping the line. There's an AmEx presale on Wednesday, July 11, according to Brooklyn Vegan, though it's unclear whether it applies to all three dates.

And, as indicated at right, subscribers to the Barclays Center Behind the Scenes list will have access to a presale on Thursday, July 12, for the third show.

More than 7,000 tickets per show will be priced at under $30, or $37.20 with fees. That's less than the market would bear, so credit Jay-Z with not milking it any more than he could.

There will also be a bunch of seats for $254.50.

While the arena capacity has been announced at 19,000 for concerts, the maximum, according to arena GM John Sparks, would be 17,500. In this case, there will be 14,586 seats, which likely means a significant stage set-up.

NoLandGrab: Or, it could be that they'll only have installed 14,586 seats by September 28th.

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com], Jay-Z offers price break for Barclays Center opening concerts

“The artist dictates the pricing, and Jay-Z has said from the start that these concerts are all about celebrating Brooklyn, and he wanted everyone who wants to come to be able to attend,” Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark told The Post. “This shows how committed he is to Brooklyn.”
...

However, pricing for these seats dwarf in comparison to what Barclays Center is charging for other top acts later this year.

For example, stage area seats for Barbra Streisand’s Oct. 11 and Oct. 13 shows run as high as $716.65 – and on secondary markets like StubHub people were asking as much as $34,000.

Meadowlands Matters [NorthJersey.com], Jay-Z concert tickets in Brooklyn: many quite cheap

Will be interesting to see how the ticket scenario plays out on the secondary market. Ticket agents know they can get a LOT more than $29.50 plus fees for a show like this, so demand for those should be off the charts.

NY Observer, All Jay-Z Everything: Barclays Center to Open with Three Jay-Z Concerts

What they didn’t say is how much those $30 tickets will go for after a bunch of awful scalping robots vacuum them up and resell them on StubHub or Craigslist for over 7,000 times their original face value.

If anything, however, this presents a wonderful out, so you don’t have to choose between wearing your Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn shirt, your Occupy All Streets shirt, and your I’m Still Calling It Pacific-Atlantic shirt to Jay-Z’s Barclays Center opening.

Now, you can wear all three.

Posted by eric at 11:23 PM

Doing The Wrong Thing: Spike Lee Won't "Get Into the Politics of the Barclays Center"

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

"I'm not going to get into the politics of the Barclays Center; the thing is, it's up, it's a reality, and that's just that."

Yeah, that is a good point. Really, history shouldn't be discussed at all because whatever happened is now" a reality and that's just that."

Spike Lee has spent a career discussing the politics of both current and historic events. But somehow the politics of the BARCLAYS Center is off limits? Even with the current, very current, scandal in which the bank is embroiled?

C'mon, this can't be the same Spike Lee who once said, "I think it is very important that films make people look at what they've forgotten."

article

Posted by eric at 11:09 PM

Spike Lee: "I’m not going to get into the politics of the Barclays Center; the thing is, it’s up, it’s a reality" (but "I just hope people take mass transit")

Atlantic Yards Report

From Will Leitch's interview in New York Magazine's Vulture with a famous Brooklyn-born Knicks fan, Spike Lee Talks Obama, the End of Mookie's Brooklyn, and the Hollywood Color Line:

Q. Your offices are three blocks from the Barclays Center. Do you think the Nets will change Brooklyn?
A. I am happy for Brooklyn, but I’m not leaving my beloved orange and blue. And I just cannot wait. One of the biggest nights in New York City sports history is going to be the first Knicks-Nets game in Brooklyn. That is going to be huge. That is going to be war.

Q. What do you think of the stadium?
A. I do not know the specifics about how people got moved out and all that stuff. I’m not going to get into the politics of the Barclays Center; the thing is, it’s up, it’s a reality, and that’s just that. It’s here; you have to deal with it. Negative and positive; I can deal with it. Jay-Z is going to christen it in September with his concert: you’ve got Barbra Streisand coming. The Nets will be playing there in the next NBA season, and Brooklyn has their first ­major-league team since the Dodgers fled after the 1957 season, the year I was born.

I'm not going to get into the politics of the Barclays Center is an understandable and not uncommon hedge, but given that Spike Lee had gotten into the politics of so many things it's a bit of a dodge.

Exactly. In the interview, Spike gets into education politics, city politics, Presidential politics, race politics, gay-marriage politics — but he doesn't want to talk about land-grab politics. Cop out.

Warnings about traffic

Lee continued with a warning:

But I do know this: I just hope people take mass transit. I hope they take it when they are coming from Long Island, because you know you have the Manhattan Bridge and you have the Brooklyn Bridge. The Manhattan Bridge comes [begins drawing on a napkin] … If you come up the bridge right on Flatbush ­Avenue, you come off the Brooklyn Bridge, you make a left on Tillary, and you are on Flatbush Avenue. Flatbush and Atlantic is the Barclays Center. I predict traffic is going to be so jammed that you are going to be on Canal Street in Manhattan trying to get over the Manhattan Bridge. It is going to be crazy. People have to use public transportation.

Well, yes, but people have been saying that for years.

article

Related content...

Vulture [New York Magazine], Spike Lee Talks Obama, the End of Mookie’s Brooklyn, and the Hollywood Color Line

Will Leitch's interview with Spike Lee is well worth reading. It's a real shame that the otherwise outspoken and thoughtful Lee took a pass on the Atlantic Yards fight.

Posted by eric at 11:02 AM

How does 2004 promise of "venue for amateur athletics, graduations, the circus and other family events" fit with Brooklyn Hoops/Show/Boxing/Family? (and how Brooklyn still needs a Sportsplex)

Atlantic Yards Report

They've really changed how they're promoting the arena, haven't they? For example, Borough President Marty Markowitz once said "I have no doubt that it would also double as a Sportsplex for high school sports," but we haven't heard that kind of talk lately.

At a public meeting June 26 on Barclays Center operations, arena General Manager John Sparks described four or five “major neighborhoods” in which events are distributed.

Beyond the Brooklyn Nets, there will be Brooklyn Show (concerts), Brooklyn Hoops (college), Brooklyn Family (family shows), and Brooklyn Boxing.

Indeed, that's how events are described on the arena web site, as shown in the screenshot at right.

Flashback: 2004

But what were Brooklynites told, in Forest City Ratner's very first mailer, sent to some 300,000 homes over Memorial Day weekend in 2004?

They'd be getting "a venue for amateur athletics, graduations, the circus and other family events."

article

Posted by eric at 10:20 AM

July 6, 2012

Will the Barclays Banking Scandal Drag Down Arena's Reputation?

The London-based bank the arena is named for is dealing with the fallout from accusations of rate manipulation.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

The Barclays Center is due to open in less than three months, but its name could be tarnished by news that three of the London bank’s top executives are resigning over a rate-manipulation scandal, says the New York Times.

Barclays is paying $200 million over the next 20 years for naming rights to the Atlantic Yards arena, but will the bank’s episode ultimately turn into an embarrassment for the arena?

article

NoLandGrab: The arena's already an embarrassment of eminent domain abuse, corporate welfare, backroom dealing, crime and corruption. Barclays is just more icing on the cake.

Related content...

The Real Deal, Amid current scandal, Barclays to get a high-profile Brooklyn namesake

Posted by eric at 9:51 AM

July 5, 2012

The Stadium Jinx

Future of Capitali$m

When a company overpays for the naming rights to a government-subsidized sports stadium, it's almost always a bad sign. Citigroup paid a reported $400 million in 2006 to call the new Mets baseball stadium Citi Field; Citi shares since then have tanked. Barclays paid $200 million for rights to put its name on the arena in Brooklyn where the Nets basketball team will play, an arena built with the use of state power to seize private homes through eminent domain. Now the CEO, chairman, and chief operating officer of Barclays have all resigned amid a scandal over fixing, or attempting to fix, the London interbank offered rate.

It was bad enough that the city and state used eminent domain and subsidies to build this arena in partnership with a politically well connected developer. I'm sure there are plenty of fine people who work at Barclays (I know at least one of them), but there's something distasteful about naming the arena — they're even renaming the Atlantic Avenue subway station beneath the arena, or at least re-signing it — for a company whose name is now associated with such misbehavior. It's a certain peculiarity of the Bloomberg administration — if you are a soda company or a cigarette manufacturer, they demonize you, but if you are a financial services company, they name a stadium after you. This Web site is not in the camp that wants to demonize the entire financial services industry. And if it were an arena or stadium built entirely with private money, that would be a different situation — the owner could name it whatever the owner wanted to. In this case, there's a subway station supported by tax dollars being renamed after a British bank some of whose employees seem to have engaged in highly questionable behavior.

link

Posted by eric at 1:18 PM

Barclays' claim: "we’re dirty-clean, rather than clean-clean"

Atlantic Yards Report

According to the Huffington Post, branding experts don't think the stigma facing Barclays will last, or Barclays Bank Scandal Unlikely To Taint Brooklyn Nets' Fresh Start. So one p.r. expert:

"I think on both the NBA totem pole and in New York professional sports, the Nets don't exactly rank very well in terms of brand value or brand awareness, so Barclays won't really make it worse for them."

But maybe those following the Barclays Center will remember some choice bits, such as from today's New York Times, Barclays C.E.O. Resigns as Bank Frames a Defense:

When Barclays bank manipulated key interest rates to bolster profits during the 2008 financial crisis, senior executives said they were following a common practice that regulators implicitly approved, according to documents released by the bank and authorities.

...Even as [top executives] resigned, Barclays published documents indicating that some executives thought they were responding to an implied directive from the Bank of England, Britain’s central bank.

Investigators disagree, saying that Barclays "never explicitly told regulators that it was reporting false interest rates that amounted to manipulation," and the bank has been charted with helping other banks do the same thing.

article

Related content...

The Huffington Post, Barclays Bank Scandal Unlikely To Taint Brooklyn Nets' Fresh Start

The curse of the naming rights continues. Just as the Brooklyn Nets are about to settle into the brand-new Barclays Center, the bank for which the NBA team's arena is named has plunged into scandal. The British bank has been ordered to pay $450 million in fines for manipulating global interest rates and several executives have resigned.
...

Liz Goodgold of Redfire Branding echoed Shankman. "It’s important to remember that this is not front-page news outside of the finance community," she said. "More Americans, for example, are aware and intrigued by the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes split than in the nuances of this brouhaha."

NoLandGrab: And that's what makes America such a great nation.

NY Times Deal B%k, Barclays C.E.O. Resigns as Bank Frames a Defense

In one call on April 2008, a Barclays manager acknowledged to the Financial Services Authority that the bank was understating its Libor submissions. “So, to the extent that, um, the Libors have been understated, are we guilty of being part of the pack? You could say we are,” the Barclays manager said, according to regulatory documents.

“I would sort of express us maybe as not clean clean, but clean in principle.”

Or, as one Barclays official told the British Bankers Associations, the organization that oversees Libor, “we’re clean but we’re dirty-clean, rather than clean-clean.”

NLG: If you don't thin it's cool for Brooklyn's biggest transit hub to carry the name of a "dirty-clean" interest-rate rigging bank, add your name to this petition asking the MTA to scotch the deal that changed the name of the Atlantic Av-Pacific St station.

Posted by eric at 10:44 AM

Arena Names Can Spell Embarrassment

The New York Times
by Richard Sandomir

Barclays picked an awful time to be caught in a scandal and for its chief executive to resign.

In less than three months, Barclays Center in Brooklyn will open with a concert by Jay-Z, a minority owner of the Nets. That will be followed a couple of weeks later by two nights of music from the high priestess of the borough, Barbra Streisand. Soon after the buttah melts, the Brooklyn Nets will open their season.

And so while a lot has gone right for the Nets in the last 72 hours — agreements for a big trade and the re-signing of Deron Williams — the Barclays episode feels right out of the team’s haunted past.

article

NoLandGrab: More like an episode from the team's haunted present. The news that Barclays, with its sordid history, was illegally fixing interest rates should come as a surprise to no one. And its part and parcel of the crooked deals and crooked characters swarming like flies around that big pile of brown at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Times Sports section agrees Barclays Center naming rights worth $200 million, suggests sum "hard for any team to turn down" (but why were naming rights given away, or not calculated as subsidy?)

So, the New York Times has agreed that the Barclays Center naming rights deal is worth $200 million, thus performing "rowback," which former Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent described in his 3/14/04 column as "a way that a newspaper can cover its butt without admitting it was ever exposed."

Remember, the New York Times Metro section, 7/19/11:

The new design from SHoP Architects and Ellerbe Becket for the arena, the Barclays Center, which the British bank will pay nearly $400 million to name...

My exchange with the Public Editor (actually his assistant), who resisted any correction to the more accurate figure of $200 million-plus, posted 8/3/11.

Sports Business Journal's confirmation that the naming rights deal has been renegotiated to $200 million, posted 9/19/11.
...

But why should Forest City have had the naming rights in the first place? It's a publicly owned arena, albeit one rented to the developer for a buck, part of a fig leaf to get tax-exempt bonds issued, which are then repaid via PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes).

Why should cities and states give away naming rights, in whole or in part? When asked in 2009, Steve Matlin, then an attorney for the Empire State Development Corporation, stated, “It’s part of the financing for the project."

While it certainly has been relied on by Forest City Ratner, it was never cited as part of the sources and uses for the project. Nor was it even counted as a subsidity in any cost-benefit analysis regarding the project, not even the one by the New York City Independent Budget Office.

Posted by eric at 10:26 AM

July 4, 2012

After 3 Days of Blackouts, Con Edison Promises Infrastructure Upgrades

On-and-off blackout at Bergen Street and Flatbush Avenue were due to overburdened equipment, a spokesman said.

Park Slope Patch
by Amy Sara Clark and Will Yakowicz

Following 72 hours of intermittent power failure for at least 122 businesses and homes near Bergen Street and Flatbush, a Con Edison spokesman said the problem is due to increased “usage in the area.”

The explanation came after two manhole fires over three days caused power disruptions to the subway, nearby apartment buildings, restaurants and even the NYPD's 78th Precinct.

The on-and-off blackouts caused residents and merchants alike to suffer.

“This is ridiculous, I can’t tell you how exhausted I am,” said Eyal Hen, who owns the nearby Fish and Sip and Chickpea. “Three days in a row and we’re losing business, losing thousands and thousands of dollars. I can’t even talk about it anymore.”

For those wondering, the growth in demand is not due to the soon-to-open Barclays Center. “We already have engineered for that, separately from the surrounding community,” said Chris Olert, the electric company's assistant director of media relations.

Sure they have.

article

Posted by eric at 10:24 AM

What’s in a Stadium Name? Often Trouble for a Company

DealB%K [NYTimes.com]
by William Alden

It was probably not on the list of warning signs that led regulators to uncover a rate-manipulation scandal at Barclays, but there’s one red flag that nevertheless should not be overlooked: the stadium-naming curse.

The British bank, whose chief executive resigned on Tuesday after the company agreed to pay $450 million to settle accusations that it tried to influence important borrowing rates, seems to have fallen victim to an eerily common phenomenon of the last decade or so. It secured the naming rights to a sports stadium, and then fell on hard times.

The curse has claimed a range of corporations, names like Enron, Adelphia, Trans World Airlines, Conseco, PSINet and, recently, American Airlines.

article

NoLandGrab: More likely it's that the rotting hulk of Atlantic Yards seems to draw sleazeballs and scammers like flies, including Carl Kruger, Richard Lipsky, Jim Stuckey, Bruce Bender and now-ex-Barclays CEO "Diamond" Bob Diamond.

Posted by eric at 10:17 AM

July 3, 2012

Second manhole fire within a block of Barclays Center site snags traffic, knocks out nearby subway for 80 minutes

Atlantic Yards Report

Actually, the folks building the Barclays Center seem intent on demolishing it themselves. Unless, of course, this is just coincidence.

For the second time in three days, a manhole fire has stopped traffic within a block from the Barclays Center site and drawn emergency personnel from the New York Fire Department on Con Edison. This time the fire stopped the subway for 80 minutes.

On July 1, it was a manhole fire on Flatbush Avenue. Today, shortly before noon, there was a manhole fire at Sixth Avenue and Bergen Street, right near the 78th Precinct.

Sixth Avenue was blocked off between Dean and Bergen, and Bergen was blocked off between Sixth and Flatbush, thus forcing westbound traffic on the latter to turn onto Sixth.

link

Video: Raul Rothblatt

Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, Update: Power Restored to 78th Precinct, Subway, Some Customers After Second Bergen Street Fire

For the third day in a row, residents, businesses and the 2/3/4/5 lines have lost power at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Bergen Street.
...

Con Edison still does not know the reason for the repeated fires but are working to get power back up as soon as possible.

Posted by eric at 3:08 PM

25 Buildings to Demolish Right Now

California Home + Design

When proportion, balance, form and function come together in a delicate harmony, architecture is nothing short of an art form. But when, on occasion, those principles clash, the results can be eye-searingly awful. We asked 15 architects and our own staff to weigh-in on what buildings, given the chance, they'd take a wrecking ball to.

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY

This center, part of the controversial Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn's Prospect Heights neighborhood, is indicative of what happens when profits and politics trumps good design. The building, built by Forest City Ratner, is a neighborhood killer. The developer used evictions and demolition of historic resources to make room for a disproportionately large development. Sure, upon completion, the Barclays Center is set to play host to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, but Andre Rothblatt of Andre Rothblatt Architecture, who nominated the building as a building set for demolition, isn't sold.

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Photo: Jim Henderson

Posted by eric at 3:03 PM

July 1, 2012

Manhole fire on Flatbush stalls traffic on major artery (and knocks out power to 98 homes/businesses); similar snag could cause huge problems on days when arena hosts events

Atlantic Yards Report

A manhole fire on Flatbush Avenue about a block south of the Barclays Center site has stopped traffic for hours, according to eyewitness reports, and prompted response by city firefighters and Con Edison

While the incident at on the south side of Flatbush between Dean and Bergen streets has no relationship to arena construction, it does suggests potential traffic chaos should such a problem occur on an event day--or even a work day.

Patch reported that 98 households and business lost power after the underground electrical fire, which was reported at 5:13 pm and controlled in an hour. No injuries have been reported. Various buildings were checked for damage, and business operators presumably lost significant access to customers.

link

Posted by steve at 7:52 PM

June 30, 2012

A timely t-shirt: the name Barclays, now attached to a subway hub (and the Brooklyn arena), comes with a $450 million taint

Atlantic Yards Report

Maybe Deborah Goldstein was onto something in resisting the renaming of Brooklyn's most diverse transit hub as Atlantic Av-Barclays Center.

When the t-shirt maker (aka Miss Wit) came up with "I'm still calling it Atlantic Av-Pacific St," she was merely spreading the message that "everyone is not okay with this, still,”

Now, of course, Barclays is a wee bit tainted. Wrote Michael D.D. White in his Noticing New York blog:

Think about the appropriateness of naming New York City subway stops “Barclays Center” (while receiving virtually nothing of value to do so). “Barclays,” nothing but a name being advertised, is simply one more name in a sea of distracting ads. The “Barclays” bank didn’t build the arena that advertises its name; it’s being built by Bruce Ratner with the financial assistance of a Russian oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov. The bank contributed nothing to the city or the borough of Brooklyn in order to build it. It has nothing to do with the arena. “Barclays” is not the name of the name of the basketball team planning to play there. It is not even necessarily the name of an honorable bank. Just of now the bank has been fined £290m ($450m) for manipulating LIBOR rates to benefit its traders and cook its books. Chief executive Bob Diamond is under pressure from British politicians to quit over the rate rigging scandal.

To be clear, the Barclays payment of $10 million-plus a year for naming rights--the latter a gift to Forest City Ratner from New York State--will help pay off the tax-exempt bonds used to finance construction.

...

At the March 2010 arena groundbreaking, as I wrote, Diamond was relatively brief, leading off by thanking several people, "including my good friend Bruce."

"This is a landmark partnership in so many ways," he said. "It's about our commitment to the regeneration of Brooklyn in some small way. But it's also about facilitating absolutely top-flight professional sporting achievement."

Not only the Nets but "many great events" will be held at the arena. "All of them will emphasize commitment," he said. "All of them will emphasize dedication to excellence. And all of them will emphasize teamwork. And that fits very very strongly with the ethos and the values of Barclays."

"It's important that we give back," Diamond said.

"The governor talked about the incredible generation of jobs: thousands and thousands of jobs, during construction, but more importantly, permanent jobs for many, many years going forward," he said. "The Barclays Center will not only help secure those jobs, but it's also about affordable housing, about new schools, and so many opportunities for the youth in these communities."

The Barclays Center is not, of course, about many permanent jobs (though lots of part-time ones), nor is about schools or affordable housing.

Diamond cited a "20-year commitment to Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Barclays Center." He might have better called it a 20-year advertising arrangement that will help pay for arena construction.

link

Posted by steve at 6:37 PM

Government Gets Branded

Noticing New York

Think about the appropriateness of naming New York City subway stops “Barclays Center” (while receiving virtually nothing of value to do so). “Barclays,” nothing but a name being advertised, is simply one more name in a sea of distracting ads. The “Barclays” bank didn’t build the arena that advertises its name; it’s being built by Bruce Ratner with the financial assistance of a Russian oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov. The bank contributed nothing to the city or the borough of Brooklyn in order to build it. It has nothing to do with the arena. “Barclays” is not the name of the name of the basketball team planning to play there. It is not even necessarily the name of an honorable bank. Just of now the bank has been fined £290m ($450m) for manipulating LIBOR rates to benefit its traders and cook its books. Chief executive Bob Diamond is under pressure from British politicians to quit over the rate rigging scandal.

Perhaps the bank can certainly use the advertising at this time given its bad acts, but the public finds itself much in the same position as when, in the middle of the fiscal crisis, the new Mets “Shady Stadium” found itself opening with the name "Citifield," after an apparently failing bank. Barclays was also deeply involved in various scandals throughout the fiscal crisis. Citibank survived 2008 but was just downgraded by Moody’s. The message from the Moody’s downgrade of Citi and several other banks is that the banking system isn’t more sound than in 2008.

How long will any of these banks be around and by what names? Remember Chemical Bank? Manufacturers? One day it may cause substantial confusion when “Barclays” isn’t around either. Perhaps the most recent scandal will take its toll. Perhaps the Euro crisis will. Maybe, given the scandal, Barclays will have to rebrand with a new name or merge into a bank with another name. It may go bankrupt. The AOL Time Warner Center is no longer the AOL Time Warner Center, but for a building that is just a corporate headquarters, to endure a name change is of far less consequence than for the names of two subway stops to change in a subway system that is obscure and complicated enough to understand already.

When the Barclays name fades away there will be no residual sense of history associated with its passing because it was, after all, just an advertisement for something that had no association with its place or moment in time. There was no reason for government to confer upon it the very special honor of making it a place name in the city. It makes no more sense to name subway stations “Barclays” than to put KFC logos on Baltimore fire trucks.

link

Posted by steve at 6:28 PM

June 29, 2012

From the Arena Operations presentation: views of the Haier Store, loading dock, and parking lot

Atlantic Yards Report

The Empire State Development has posted the Barclays Center Arena Operations presentation unveiled at the June 26 public meeting concern security, sanitation, and parking, and the full document is also posted below.

Below, I highlight several issues, including the Haier Store, the loading dock, and the parking configuration.

article

Posted by eric at 10:27 AM

June 28, 2012

Lots of people looking for part-time arena jobs, but they were never the justification for the subsidies and tax breaks

Atlantic Yards Report

There are 1901 projected-part time jobs at the Barclays Center, and "nearly 20,000" (according to NY 1) or 26,000 (as per New York Times) applicants, a sign, according to the Times, that Amid Gloom, Job Hopes Rest Heavily on New Arena.

Well, that's news, especially given the desperate economic times, with half of the city's black residents unemployed. In Residents Line Up For Chance At Barclays Center Jobs, NY 1 quoted a resident calling it "a good opportunity."

It's surely better than no job, or even certain low-wage jobs, given that it's expected to be unionized. And Forest City Ratner, as the Times pointed out, has fulfilled its pledge by recruiting in Brooklyn, at churches and housing projects.

But such part-time jobs were never the justification for Atlantic Yards, and the attendant subsidies and tax breaks. No wonder elected officials like Council Member Letitia James and state Senator Velmanette Montgomery scoffed at them, during a rally earlier this month. The jobs should be those "that sustain families, not sell hot dogs," said James.

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Posted by eric at 11:45 AM

Will Metal Detectors At Barclays Center Make You Feel Like A Criminal?

Gothamist

Actually, just walking into the Barclays Center for an event should make you feel like a criminal — metal detectors or no metal detectors.

The grand opening of the Barclays Center is only three months away, which means everyone has to start dotting their i's and crossing their t's. At a round table meeting between state and Barclays Center officials and community organizations last night, it was revealed that Barclays would have walk-through metal detectors.
...

Borough President Marty Markowitz has previously said he would “vehemently oppose” use of metal detectors as standard operating procedure. But Robert Sena, director of security for the 18,200-seat arena, added that this really is no big deal: “This is not going to be like the airport,” he said. “No one is going to ask to you to take off your shoes and belt.” And yet, he conspicuously doesn't say anything about whether they might try to touch your junk.

link

Related coverage...

7online.com, Fans subject to metal detectors, patdowns at Barclays Center

NoLandGrab: The media love a nontroversy! So much easier than covering real issues like court decisions and subsidies.

Posted by eric at 10:45 AM

June 27, 2012

A sunset over Brooklyn's UFO

n0n3ck via Instagram

Only the Barclays Center mars the Brooklyn sunset, snapped from a rooftop fundraiser for dedicated boondoggle-fighter Tish James.

link

Posted by eric at 5:58 PM

Barclays Center Will Have Metal Detectors, Patdowns

DNAinfo.com
by Leslie Albrecht

This is new technology that is more efficient, more effective, and less intrusive than a wand," Barclays Center spokesman Barry Baum said in an email. "We take security very seriously and these detectors will allow us to most effectively screen arena visitors."

The Barclays Center security team will also work closely with security personnel at the nearby Atlantic Center Mall, as well as with the Long Island Rail Road and Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which will "beef up their manning levels" at the newly renamed Atlantic Av-Barclays Center transit hub, watchdog blog Atlantic Yards Report wrote.

Officials said the arena could hold up to 18,200 fans during Brooklyn Nets games, and that off-duty NYPD cops would be brought in to handle large-scale crowds.

Community Board 2 chairman John Dew asked whether Barclays Center developer Forest City Ratner Companies would pay for the extra manpower.

"The answer is no," FCRC spokeswoman Ashley Cotton responded.

article

NoLandGrab: Forest City Ratner has stuck the public with the Atlantic Yards check from the beginning — did you expect them to change now?

Related coverage...

NY1, Report: Barclays Center To Require Metal Detector Pass Throughs

Posted by eric at 5:32 PM

At (belated) meeting on arena operations, some specifics on parking, questions about loading dock and traffic agents, and a flat statement that the public will pay for extra police

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder reports in depth on last night's arena-perations meeting.

A long-awaited meeting last night on Barclays Center operational issues--parking, security, sanitation--was deemed useful but frustrating by community members who’ve been watching developer Forest City Ratner plow ahead with arena-related construction, even without official approvals.

“This is a start, six months late,” observed Peter Krashes of the Dean Street Block Association, noting the tight timetable before the arena opens Sept. 28. He said he told Empire State Development Corporation CEO Kenneth Adams, a convenor of the Borough Hall meeting, that he almost didn’t attend because he was so frustrated by Forest City’s decision, for example, to proceed on the planned surface parking lot without a work permit.

The Barclays Center operational team, which did most of the talking, delivered a good amount of boilerplate, as well as occasional specifics, such as the configuration of parking lot and planned entrances and exits. Krashes pointed out, however, that a lot of questions remain unanswered, such as the location of Traffic Enforcement Agents (TEAs) to steer traffic so it doesn’t overly impact the residential neighborhood, or plans for emergency and fire service in the neighborhood. (Neither was the location of pedestrian managers noted.)

Community consultation will continue, but mainly after the arena opens.

Adams led off by saying that ESD, the Borough President’s Office, and Forest City will convene an Atlantic Yards quality-of-life committee once the arena opens. It will involve state and city agencies, and unlike the bimonthly Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet, which meets during work hours, will “meet regularly, in the evenings.” Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project for ESD, is working on it.

Forest City’s Ashley Cotton added that a community affairs officer would be hired for the arena.

article

NoLandGrab: As long as these committees and staff positions continue to serve purely to push information at the community rather than to actually collaborate with it, they're essentially meaningless.

Posted by eric at 1:14 PM

The Vice-President of the KHL Might Want to Familiarize Himself With the Barclays Center’s Hockey Configuration

New York Magazine
by Joe DeLessio

Could it be that this guy got his arenas confused?

The KHL released its 2012-13 schedule today, and as expected, it includes a pair of regular-season games at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. The league's vice-president, Vladimir Shalaev, confirmed to Sovetsky Sport that Dynamo Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg will play each other on January 19 and 20 at the currently under-construction arena. But when speaking to the media today, he also took a shot at New York's other big-time sports arena. Via Puck Daddy's Dmitry Chesnokov, who has translated the quotes into English:

Speaking to the media this morning, Shalaev said, "The Barclays Center easily surpasses the New York Rangers' home at Madison Square Garden as a hockey venue."

He added "there's nothing good about [MSG]. Anyone who's been there understands that arena is no longer suited to modern hockey."

Here's the thing, though. We're sure that when the Barclays Center opens, it'll be a wonderful, state-of-the-art arena, with great sight lines for basketball games and concerts and all sorts of other events. But it wasn't built for hockey: Original plans would have properly accommodated an NHL–size rink, but those were scrapped, and what you see above is the funky seating configuration for the preseason game the Islanders and Devils will play at the arena in September. Notice the lack of, you know, seating behind one of the goals.

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Posted by eric at 1:06 PM

Barclays metal detectors

NY Post
by Rich Calder

In a stunning diss to the Borough of Kings, the head of security for Barclays Center last night said the Nets’ new home will feature walk-through metal detectors that all fans must pass before watching NBA games, concerts and other events when the arena opens Sept. 28.

“We’re taking security very seriously,” Robert Sena, director of security for the 18,200-seat arena, told community leaders at Borough Hall.

He also said there will be game-day bag inspections and that fans “triggering a light” at the metal detectors would be patted down.

No other sporting venue in the tristate area relies on metal detectors. Most – such as Madison Square Garden and MetLife Stadium -- subject fans to pat-downs or “security wands” that pick up metal objects.

Sena said metal detectors are “less intrusive” than being patted down, but even some of the Nets’ biggest supporters aren’t on board with the arena security plan.

“I was considering getting season tickets, but I don’t want to feel like a criminal when I go to a game,” said longtime fan Robert Master, 34, of Brooklyn. “They don’t even have metal detectors at [the Nets former home] Prudential Center, and crime is much worse in Newark than Brooklyn.”

Borough President Marty Markowitz, who led the push to bring the Nets to Brooklyn, said he’d “vehemently oppose” use of metal detectors as standard operating procedure.

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NoLandGrab: Marty will "vehemently oppose" Nets' fans having to walk through metal detectors, but he doesn't seem too concerned that quite a few Brooklyn public school students have to do the same when going school.

Posted by eric at 12:58 PM

Yankee Doodle Dandy

The Ball is Round

What does this UK "football" fan know that we don't know?

After seven visits to New York (and New Jersey) in six years I was finally completing my stadium list by a visit to the new Yankee stadium. I had been to Meadowlands (2005 England v Columbia), Yankee Stadium (2005 Yankees v Red Sox), Shea Stadium (2005 Mets v Diamondbacks), Madison Square Garden (2005 New York Rangers v Washington Capitals), CitiField (2010 Mets v Red Sox), MetLife Stadium (2011 New York Jets v New England Revolution), Prudential Center (2012 New Jersey Nets v Miami Heat) and then Sunday night I had been to Harrison to watch Red Bulls play DC United. All boxes ticked until New Jersey Nets move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in January 2013 (and become the Brooklyn Nets or something).

Emphasis, ours.

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Posted by eric at 12:47 PM

NO BOTTLE SERVICE FOR THE BARCLAYS CENTER

F'd in Park Slope

Serious nightclubbers recently endured a major blow to their future party plans when it was announced that bottle service will not be allowed at the borough's most controversial giant wicker basket building, the Barclays Center. This is bad news for anyone who aspires to live like P. Diddy or needs an entire bottle of Grey Goose during a basketball game, but somewhat positive news for concerned citizens of Park Slope.

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Posted by eric at 12:35 PM

At meeting on arena operations, the shadow of today's court decision; also, while state agency seems open to new governance entity, developer Forest City Ratner remains opposed

Atlantic Yards Report

There was a slightly surreal air to a long-scheduled meeting tonight regarding Barclays Center operations, notably security, parking, and sanitation, held at Brooklyn Borough Hall. (I'll have a full report in the morning.)

After all, Forest City Ratner External Affairs VP Ashley Cotton, a recent hire, led off by asserting that “we have learned that transparency and sharing details as we go is the best policy,” only hours after the state Court of Appeals rejected leave to appeal--filed by the developer and the state agency overseeing Atlantic Yards--of a decision saying that the defendants had failed in such transparency.

No one mentioned that case until Gib Veconi, who as a leader of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and BrooklynSpeaks was a prime mover behind the suit, brought it up near the end of the two-and-a-half hour meeting.

“At this point, when we can see a draft scope of analysis for an SEIS?” Veconi asked Kenneth Adams, CEO of Empire State Development (ESD). He was referring to the Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement ordered by a lower court to analyze the worst-case impacts of a 25-year project buildout, as opposed to the long-professed ten-year schedule (and the alternate delayed scenario, covering 15 years, that ESD considered when it re-approved the project in 2009).

“Obviously we have to obey the court's order,” Adams said. “We'll start working on it.”

Given that it’s been nearly a year since state Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman initially ordered the SEIS, Veconi countered, “our hope would be to see the scope of analysis”--the precursor to the actual study--in the very near future.”

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Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, Live Blog: Barclays Center Operations Round Table Discussion at Borough Hall

Welcome to the live blog of Tuesday night's round table meeting between state and Barclays Center officials and community organizations on the subect of the plan for security, sanitation and parking once the 19,000-seat arena opens Sept. 28.

6:23 p.m.: Empire State Development Corporation head Kenneth Adams says that he will soon create a Barclays Center quality of life committee.

6:35 p.m.: John Sparks, Barclays Center's head, is going over the season calendar: 82 NBA games, 41 at home. Starts in mid-October. We're forecasting to do 225 events. There will be hockey at a pre-season event. There will be two ice shows, about 50 concerts, and 26 games of college basketball including the "Barclays Classic" triple header. The Ringling Bros. Circus will also perform. There will be between 14 and 25 boxing events.

6:40 p.m.: Barclays officials are working with the Department of Sanitation to make sure the area around the arena will be kept clean. Sparks also notes that they take security very seriously because one bad patron can affect the experience of all the "guests."

NoLandGrab: Much the same way one bad arena can affect the experience of all of the neighborhoods' residents.

Posted by eric at 12:07 AM

June 25, 2012

Barclays Center – and down the stretch we come

Meadowlands Matters [NorthJersey.com]
by John Brennan

There are fewer than 100 days remaining before the scheduled opening of the $1 billion Barclays Center, the Nets’ new home near downtown Brooklyn.

Construction is said to be on schedule, but beginning tomorrow some work – including elevator installation and roof finishings – will be going 24/7.

Will the Nets avoid some of the headaches that plagued the Devils when the Prudential Center opened in Newark in 2007?
...

If the arena really is done in three months, the buzz about the series of concerts before the Nets’ first game will mean the plan was masterful.

But if any shows have to be postponed, some Nets executives will wind up kicking themselves.

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NoLandGrab: Rest assured that Bruce Ratner will leave no Prospect Heights resident well rested in the push to finish construction by September 28th.

Posted by eric at 11:21 AM

Notes from the Isles Draft Party

Yes! Islanders

Interesting to note were some (pretty nice looking) t-shirts for sale. Many sales associates were pushing them pretty hard as I was walking through the store. I have never seen a shirt promoting anything like this. They have an image of the Brooklyn Bridge on them and they are promoting the pre-season game at Barclays Center as an ‘inaugural event’. As a social studies teacher, one word popped into my head: propaganda. I think it’s pretty evident that the team wants to send a message to the many parties involved in he arena situation that a) this is happening and b) we like Brooklyn as an option. One of two things may happen 25 years from now. 1) These shirts will fetch a premium on eBay as a ‘vintage’ tee for the Brooklyn hipsters; if the hipsters are still there. Or 2) the Quebec City hipster crowd will be sporting these bad boys. Time will tell.

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NoLandGrab: We're pretty sure that blog will be calling itself "Oui! Nordiques" come 2016.

Posted by eric at 11:15 AM

Nets-arena job rush

NY Post
by Rich Calder

There’s a full-court press to work at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Operators of the Brooklyn Nets’ future home said yesterday they’ve already gotten 18,812 applications for 1,900 part-time and 100 full-time jobs that will become available in time for the center’s Sept. 28 opening.

Mayor Bloomberg praised arena developer Forest City Ratner and the city’s Small Business Services department for going “over and beyond” to attract Brooklyn residents — especially those at public-housing projects — as promised through job fairs and church visits.

Of the applicants, 15,688 — or 88 percent — reside in Brooklyn, and 8,929 — or 47 percent — live in public housing.

Arena operators, which began taking applications three weeks ago, will begin preliminary interviews Monday.

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Posted by eric at 10:57 AM

June 24, 2012

The inevitability of the Barclays Center: a parent who opposed arena admits they'll be there for a son who's "such a big basketball fan"

Atlantic Yards Report

An interview in Brooklyn magazine with British-Nigerian actress Carmen Ejogo, a Fort Greene resident, CARMEN SINGS OF BROOKLYN:

When I meet Carmen Ejogo in Park Slope, the coffee shop is crawling with children; it’s like a hip daycare, and she apologizes for the clamor. Ejogo lives nearby in Fort Greene with the actor Jeffrey Wright and their two children, and seems keenly aware of the delicate balance between her art—performing in movies like Away We Go, Pride and Glory, and the upcoming Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 musical that has her acting and singing alongside Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston—and the responsibilities of family life. “You’re clearly not a dad,” she says in her crisp London accent when I ask about her favorite local bars; later, she speaks eloquently about the trouble with Brooklyn’s new basketball stadium. “We were so against that happening, but my son is such a big basketball fan, and I know we’ll end up there at some point.”

Surely Ejogo speaks for a good number of parents who ultimately will find themselves at the Barclays Center with their children, however much their distaste for the project and the process. And some fraction will hold out.

The question is: how many will remember, contra Mayor Mike Bloomberg's assertion, at the March 2010 arena groundbreaking, that "No one's going to remember how long it took, they're only going to see that it was done." Answer: a good number as well, but that will depend on the press.

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Posted by steve at 8:07 AM

June 22, 2012

Barclays Center bans bottle service at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club

NY Post
by Rich Calder

Or at least they say they do. As with everything else about the Atlantic Yards project, another bait and switch is hardly out of the question.

High-rolling Brooklyn Nets fans will have to get their hard liquor by the glass at Jay-Z’s proposed 40/40 Club in the Barclays Center.

A week after the Chris Brown vs. Drake bottle-throwing melee at SoHo hotspot W.i.P., Barclays Center reps made a point of assuring state liquor officials that there will be no bottle service — except for champagne and wine — at arena director Jay-Z’s latest outpost of his club mini-chain.

During a State Liquor Authority hearing in Manhattan Wednesday night, Ashley Cotton, a spokeswoman for arena developer Forest City Ratner, said that suite holders will, however, be able to buy bottles of hard liquor.

“The 40/40 Club will have no bottle service,” said Cotton, who defined such service as “bottles of hard liquor” like gin and vodka “being sold at inflated prices of up to $600 ... to be purchased and drank all at once in a club setting.”

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Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, Barclays Nixes Bottle Service as Liquor License Application Moves Forward

Community groups continued to voice their deep concerns regarding the prospect of late-night drinking at Barclays Center at a public hearing regarding the arena's liquor license application in Harlem Wednesday night.

At issue for many critics of the plan was proposed alcohol service during the fourth quarter of basketball games, after events and previously undisclosed operations at a 1,800-person capacity Courtside Club, Vault suite area and a brand-new Brooklyn outpost of Jay-Z's 40/40 club.

NY Daily News, Jay-Z's 40/40 Club at Barclays Center, new Nets basketball arena in Brooklyn, won't have liquor bottle service

Neighbors of the arena are still worried about drinking at the venue. At a public hearing Tuesday night, neighbors presented a petition protesting the venue’s plan to sell alcohol until 2 a.m. They asked that alcohol sales be cut off at 10 p.m.

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill], State Considers Allowing 2 A.M. Booze Sales inside the Barclays Center

“The [community] boards were not informed about the clubs’ later hours of operation prior to their deliberations,” said Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and a Prospect Heights resident. “The boards [should] take public testimony on new information regarding the arena clubs prior to voting on a revised resolution of support.”

DNAinfo.com, Jay-Z's Barclays Center 40/40 Club Won't Have Bottle Service

Locals' fears multiplied when the news broke that the 40/40 Club would open a location inside the new arena. The upscale restaurant, co-owned by Jay-Z, has a Flatiron District location where high rollers can shell out for bottle service packages such as the $3,000 "Hollywood" package, which includes two bottles of Champagne, two bottles of vodka, one bottle of whiskey or cognac, and one bottle of tequila.

Metro, No bottle service at 40/40 Club at Barclays Center

Posted by eric at 10:59 AM

June 21, 2012

At arena liquor license hearing, CBs 2 & 6, despite dismay over post-event service, maintain support for license; CB 8, BrooklynSpeaks call for earlier cutoff; Forest City apologizes for poor communication, says no bottle service at 40/40 Club

Atlantic Yards Report

Extensive coverage of last night's Barclays Center liquor license hearing via Norman Oder.

Barclays Center operators Forest City Ratner dodged something of a bullet last night, as representatives of Brooklyn Community Boards 2 and 6 came to a State Liquor Authority hearing in Harlem to say that, however much they're dismayed about the "obfuscation" or "untimely disclosure" of the arena's plans for post-event alcohol service, they're not ready to rescind their support for the liquor license.

Surely contributing to that was a letter sent this week by arena general manager John Sparks that indicated that, despite the request to serve alcohol for an hour after events at three venues (holding up to 1863 people), "we expect there to be little demand" for service in the fourth quarter or after NBA games, as well as little demand at most other events, though there "may be special, post-event functions" after some concerts, "limited to a select group."

Also, he said, most events would end well before midnight, though concerts and boxing could end between 11:30 pm and midnight.

Meanwhile, Forest City Ratner External Affairs VP Ashley Cotton apologized for a presentation before CBs 2 and 6 in April by an arena lawyer who said that liquor service would stop before events ended. "We just handled this poorly," she said. She later clarified that there would be no bottle service--marked-up bottles of hard liquor--at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club, though it would serve bottles of wine and champagne, and arena suites would be able to maintain bottles of liquor.

Opposition from CB 8, BrooklynSpeaks

Meanwhile, Community Board 8, which does not include the arena site (which is split within CBs 2 and 6) but does encompass the parking lot and residential streets on which arena patrons will walk, weighed in with strong opposition to the plan as presented, saying the SLA should play a role in "managing this risk," with a cut-off time that is early--he suggested 10 pm--and uniform.

"We just feel residents need their sleep more than patrons need an extra drink," said Robert Witherwax, 2nd Vice Chair, who suggested that CB 8 residential streets could bear the largest brunt of arena foot traffic.
...

Gib Veconi of BrooklynSpeaks noted that 1300 people had signed a petition in support of a 10 pm cut-off, and that the coalition, along with several elected officials, backs a Neighborhood Protection Plan, borrowed in part from the neighborhood experience of Wrigley Field in Chicago, that aims to respect the arena's tight setting.

Given that most events would end well before midnight, Veconi said he didn't see why arena operators want to preserve their capacity to serve alcohol until 2 am, rather than agree to an earlier cutoff.

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NoLandGrab: And the award for the evening's best gobbledygook goes to Lori Raphael of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, who testified that permitting alcohol service until the ridiculously late hour of 2 a.m. would "ensure optimal use of a prime asset."

Posted by eric at 11:16 AM

Nets 2012: What Does the Barclays Center Have to Do with Brooklyn Basketball?

Bleacher Report
by Argun Ulgen

The Barclays Center represents many things, perhaps the least of which is Brooklyn basketball.

The Center is comprised of eight million square feet of office, commercial, and residential property that stretches well beyond the pale of a new sports stadium.

He means Atlantic Yards project, apparently.

The array of political, economic, and environmental issues surrounding the Center is dizzying.
...

Somewhere in the mix, perhaps a terrific basketball squad playing in a trend-setting basketball arena will make up for the sacrifices involved in the Barclays Center's construction. The strengthening of Brooklyn basketball culture, on its own stead, has a dreamlike quality to it.

But then again, so was a Brooklyn (and America) where small businesses and historic residential property once constituted the culture's epicenter.

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Posted by eric at 10:51 AM

June 20, 2012

State Liquor Authority Hearing on the Barclays Center Liquor License Application, Wednesday, June 20

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

This Wednesday, June 20th, at 7 p.m., the New York State Liquor Authority will be holding the second of two public hearings on the application by Brooklyn Events Center LLC and Levy Premium Foodservice for the liquor license for the Barclays Center. While the hearing is taking place in Harlem, if you live anywhere near the arena site, you might want to consider making the trip.

As with just about every other aspect of the Atlantic Yards project, the liquor license application is yet another bait and switch. From our friends at BrooklynSpeaks:

Barclays Center has applied for a license that would allow it to keep serving alcohol into the early hours of the morning. At a public meeting in April, arena representatives described an intent to serve patrons in accordance with NBA rules that require liquor sales to end after the third quarter. But after Barclays Center received conditional support from Community Boards 2 and 6, it was revealed that the arena plans to keep open clubs with a capacity of 1,800 up to an hour after events have ended—as late as 2:00 AM. And the recent announcement of one of Jay-Z's 40/40 Clubs being located in the arena raises the possibility of bottle service for hundreds of late-night customers.

Tomorrow night, we need your help to let the New York State Liquor Authority know Barclays Center's plans to sell liquor won't work for Brooklyn.

Here are the details on the hearing:

SLA hearing on Barclays Center Liquor License Application
Wednesday, June 20th, 7:00 p.m.
New York State Liquor Authority
317 Lenox Avenue
Manhattan [Map]
Take the #2 or #3 subway to 125th Street

From Bergen Street and 6th Avenue, the subway trip is barely more than 30 minutes, and the SLA headquarters is a stone's throw from the 125th Street station.

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Posted by eric at 11:46 AM

Harlem Globetrotters Coming to Barclays Center This Fall

Team to perform in Brooklyn for first time in October.

Park Slope Patch
by Amy Sara Clark

First it was Streisand, then Bieber, now it’s been announced that the Harlem Globetrotters will be performing their first major show in Brooklyn.

The goofball basketball performers will play at the Barclays Center on Oct. 7, just nine days after it opens.
...

Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said he was happy to bring the Globetrotters’ “crowd-pleasing brand of basketball” to Brooklyn for the first time.

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NoLandGrab: Which is likely to be the only "crowd-pleasing brand of basketball" played at the Barclays Center all year.

Posted by eric at 10:47 AM

June 19, 2012

Hey, Hey, My, My: Neil Young to Rock the Barclays Center

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Gersh Kuntzman

Say it ain't so, Neil Young.

Yes, Barbra Streisand and Justin Bieber were big, but the Barclays Center has just announced that seminal rock gods Neil Young and Crazy Horse will perform at the arena on Dec. 3. Minutes later, stadium operators also announced that the Harlem Globetrotters would “play” their first “game” in Brooklyn on Oct. 7.

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NoLandGrab: Ain't singin' for Pepsi; ain't singin' for Coke — but are singin' for Bruce?

Posted by eric at 1:42 PM

A question for the SLA hearing on the Barclays Center alcohol service plan: how many other arenas serve VIP customers after the announced third-quarter cutoff, and does the NBA have an unannounced exception to its rules?

Atlantic Yards Report

As the second day of a two-part hearing on the Barclays Center liquor license approaches tomorrow (7 pm, State Liquor Authority offices in Harlem), several questions remain, notably one regarding whether the arena plans to follow NBA policy, and whether that policy includes a previously unacknowledged exemption.

According to arena operators, they plan to offer alcohol service to up to 1,800 VIPs for an hour after NBA games, as well as an hour after all events.

They say that's in compliance with the NBA, and have said they plan to follow NBA guidelines.

That remains in question, since the NBA for more than seven years has had a cut-off after the third quarter, with no announced exception for high-rollers. In April, a lawyer for the arena said publicly that alcohol service would end after the third quarter, with no mention of exceptions.

No one will confirm for me whether that NBA policy includes such an exception, nor which other NBA arenas, if any, offer such an exception.

At the hearing tomorrow, the administrative law judge should be told to pose these very specific questions directly to the applicants for the liquor license:

  • For NBA games, do most/all other arenas, like Madison Square Garden, cut off alcohol service arenawide after third quarter?
  • How many are they like the Barclays Center plan, allowing alcohol consumption for those in VIP sections, for an hour after games? If so, which ones?
  • Does Barclays Center need a waiver from NBA guidelines? Or are those not binding? Or do they not apply to VIP seats?

(Other issues likely to come up regard Community Board 8's expected request for an earlier cutoff time than the announced 2 am, as well as concern about whether Jay-Z's 40/40 Club will offer bottle service.)

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Posted by eric at 1:35 PM

Barclays bar fray: Neighbors angry about Jay-Z bar’s late last call

The Brooklyn Paper
by Natalie O'Neill

Rap mogul Jay-Z will open a sprawling, high-end sports bar inside the Barclays Center — but neighbors have 99 problems with a plan to serve booze until 2 am at the posh lounge.

The Brooklyn-born superstar plans to launch a Kings County version of his popular Manhattan venue the 40/40 Club inside the new Nets arena, complete with a 350-seat restaurant and a space for events.

“There is no better home for [it],” Jay-Z said last week.

But frustrated neighbors claim Barclays Center operators evaded mandatory public review by applying for a single liquor license for the entire arena — and only revealing their plan to allow “luxury” vendors such as the 40/40 Club to sell booze until 2 am after gaining the endorsement of Community Board 6.

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NoLandGrab: Yes, the 40/40 Club is so popular that Jay emailed us a 60%-off coupon this very morning.

Posted by eric at 1:01 PM

Are Islanders Brooklyn Bound or is Quebec Calling?

Get Real Hockey
by Josh Marks

Yes, that's definitely Quebec on the line.

How passionate are Nordiques fans to get a team back? Well, they certainly have their sights set on the Islanders. In fact, in December 2010 an estimated 1,100 Nordiques fans arrived in a bus caravan from Quebec City to invade Nassau Coliseum and voice their support for the Isles moving north.

With fans willing to travel 550 miles from Quebec City to Uniondale, NY, the people want the NHL back. And the arena is coming too. In fact, what perfect timing, the New Quebec City Amphitheatre, also called Quebecor Arena, is due to open in 2015, the same year the lease expires at Nassau. And it will seat 18,000, which is more than the Barclays Center, which will only be able to seat 14,500 for hockey, making it the smallest arena in the NHL.

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Posted by eric at 12:56 PM

June 18, 2012

550G-a-year fan ‘caves’

No-view suites at Nets arena

NY Post
by Gary Buiso

Not being able to see the woeful Nets stumbling around the court may actually be a selling point.

They might be the most expensive rooms — without a view — in the city.

At $550,000 per year, suites in The Vault at the Brooklyn Nets’ Barclays Center arena offer exclusivity, high-end finishes and unmatched privacy — but no windows.

They’re for luxury tailgating.

“This is not for everyone,” Nets CEO Brett Yormark told The Post during an exclusive first look at The Vault’s 11 catacombs still under construction. “This is for a particular customer who wants to entertain at the highest level.
...

Five of the suites have already been snapped up, Yormark told The Post.

Rap mogul Jay-Z, who is a Nets part owner and director of the arena, designed the suites and bought the first one — a glass-enclosed hive that stands to the right of imposing 15-foot-tall wooden doors to be emblazoned with a massive “V.”
...

“It’s like your backstage,” Yormark said. “It’s the kind of environment where you are interacting potentially with celebrities.”

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NoLandGrab: $1.65 million over three years for "interacting potentially with celebrities!" Where do we sign up?

Related coverage...

NetsDaily, "The Vault" Is a Site Unseen

"This is not for everyone," Nets CEO Brett Yormark told The Post in more than a bit of understatement.

Posted by eric at 10:41 AM

Nets announce Barclays Center restaurant will be a Jay-Z 40/40 Club. Is bottle service on the menu?

Atlantic Yards Watch

The Brooklyn 40/40 club appears to follow the model of Jay-Z's other locations in Manhattan and Atlantic City. Those locations are open until 4:00 AM and 5:00 AM, respectively. At the Manhattan club, the schedule lists events that begin after 10:00 PM most nights of the week. If the Brooklyn location is covered by the liquor license currently under review by the State Liquor Authority, the Brooklyn location would presumably close at 2:00 AM based on a recent letter from Barclays Center's attorney to CB6.

40/40 Clubs in Atlantic City and Manhattan prominently feature bottle service. In recent months, proposals for new restaurants Prime 6 and Kemistry Lounge offering bottle service have found stiff resistance from local neighbors. At its May 2 general meeting, Community Board 6 denied Kemistry's application for a full liquor license. At the same meeting, CB6 granted conditional approval to the Barclays Center application based on representations made by Barclays Center management at an April public meeting that liquor service would end before the fourth quarter of NBA events. Since that time, it has been revealed that the Barclays Center would also operate clubs that will continue to serve alcohol up to one hour after events, as late as 2:00 AM. The 40/40 announcement comes less than a week before the second of two hearings in front of the State Liquor Authority regarding Barclays Center's license.

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Posted by eric at 10:35 AM

Bottle Service At Barclays Center Might Cost It A Liquor License

Gothamist
by Rebecca Fishbein

Looks like the Barclays Center's hitting some snags when it comes to getting sauced: this week, Community Board 8 agreed to ask the State Liquor Authority to put a hold on the arena's liquor license. The decision was announced Thursday at a CB8 general meeting in Prospect Heights, and came on the heels of the recent revelation that Jay-Z would be opening a 40/40 club outpost at the arena, which, like its high-end Chelsea counterpart, would include (gasp!) bottle service.
...

The SLA will hold its second out of two public hearings on June 20, whereupon it will decide on the Barclays Center's boozy fate.

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Related coverage...

mcbrooklyn, More Than 9,300 Apply for 1,900 Part Time Jobs at Barclays

Many of the jobs are likely at the Barclays' many bars, nightclubs and restaurants which will spill thousands of drunken, brawling patrons out into the surrounding residential streets at 2 a.m.

Posted by eric at 10:27 AM

June 16, 2012

Bottle service now on Quinn's radar after brawl in SoHo club; issue likely to be raised at SLA hearing June 20

Atlantic Yards Report

Concern over the belated announcement of Jay-Z's 40/40 Club in the Barclays Center, apparently bringing previously undisclosed bottle service, surely must have been heightened by a high-profile melee at a bottle service club in SoHo this week.

The impact of the brawl and the bottle service announcement is unclear, but surely the issue will be raised before the State Liquor Authority at a hearing June 20 on the arena liquor license.

The brawl

DNA Info reported yesterday, in Bottle Service May Be on the Rocks After Chris Brown/Drake Brawl:

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Friday called for an emergency meeting with NYPD brass and the nightlife industry in the aftermath of a brawl in a SoHo club between Chris Brown and Drake over Rihanna.
Quinn, a mayoral hopeful whose district includes scores of nightclubs in Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, said she wanted to prevent the type of violence that broke out at WIP early Thursday, which left five people injured.
"The purpose of this meeting is to send a clear message to all nightclub patrons that bottles cannot be used as weapons and to determine if the guidelines surrounding bottle service need to be updated or reworked," Quinn said in a statement.

Apparently the New York Police Department and the Nightlife Association were will meet next week.

Quinn action?

The New York Post, in a typically understated article headlined ‘Nanny’ Quinn eyes ban on bottle service in ‘fightclubs’, reported:

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn took a page out of Mayor Bloomberg’s buzzkill playbook yesterday, announcing a plan to crack down on nightclub bottle service to prevent them from being used as weapons.
...Quinn has no specific plan to baby-proof nightlife in New York — such as replacing $2,000 bottles of Champagne with sippy cups.
...Remi Laba of Bagatalle in the Meatpacking District added: “To say bottle service is the reason for fighting makes no sense for several reasons. Are we saying that dive bars, pubs and places that don’t have bottle service don’t have fights?”

No one should go overboard with expectations of action from Quinn. As the New York Times reported yesterday in a completely unsurprising front-page article headlined Mayoral Hopes Seen as Muting Quinn's Voice, she's found it easy to talk about noncontroversial (in New York) issues like gay marriage but clams up when it comes to the real donnybrook issue, land use:

But she has remained silent on the biggest development issue unfolding in her own backyard, one favored by her big-money donors and real estate interests and hotly opposed by the neighborhood activists who helped propel her to prominence.

And, of course, Quinn hasn't even permitted the City Council to hold an oversight hearing regarding Atlantic Yards.

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Posted by steve at 2:33 PM

June 15, 2012

Forest City: 9,300 people inquire about Barclays Center jobs

Atlantic Yards Report

From Crain's Insider today:

ARENA JOBS: In just two weeks, more than 9,300 people have sought jobs at the Barclays Center, the arena opening Sept. 28 in Brooklyn. They were prompted by 21,000 postcards mailed to Housing Authority residents by developer Forest City Ratner, which also visited local churches. About 2,000 jobs are available, though barely 100 are full-time positions. Top priority in hiring is being given to Housing Authority applicants, followed by those from the three nearest community districts. The city Department of Small Business Services will help screen applicants.

So, does this mean the arena's a savior, or that Brooklyn has a lot of unemployed people? (Similarly, Forest City promoted the number of people interested in affordable housing as a sign of the validity of Atlantic Yards.)

Note that very few, if any, of the Housing Authority residents are either eligible for, or seeking, the higher-skilled full-time jobs. There are some 1900 part-time jobs, averaging, according to my calculations, 23.6 hours per week.

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Posted by eric at 11:28 AM

Community Board 8 agrees to request curbs on arena liquor license, cites bottle service from Jay-Z's 40/40 Club, concern about late-night drinking, and information not previously available to CBs

Atlantic Yards Report

The saga of the pending Barclays Center liquor license--actually, some 54 separate licenses--took two twists yesterday.

First, arena operators announced the presence of Jay-Z's sometimes controversial 40/40 Club, apparently to include bottle service. Then Brooklyn Community Board 8, hitherto absent from the debate, unanimously agreed to ask the State Liquor Authority (SLA) for an earlier cut-off time at a massive facility just past its borders.

The 40/40 Club announcement, like nearly every news release regarding the Barclays Center, was surely strategized to drive headlines, and it did.

The timing--after the liquor license process is well along--may also have been strategized to avoid Community Board scrutiny. (The SLA holds the second day of a two-day public hearing June 20 at 7 pm at its office in Harlem.

When representatives of the arena and Levy Premium Foodservice made presentations to Community Boards 2 and 6, beginning in April, there was no mention of the 40/40 Club, or bottle service, a mode of distribution that provoked CB 6 to express disapproval of the liquor license application, given that it's usually limited to less residential areas.

Beyond that, the Community Boards were told that alcohol service at the arena would end, as per league standards, by the end of the third quarter of NBA games, and before the end of other events.

Only after the two CBs expressed conditional support for the license, with most conditions easily met, did the applicants acknowledge that 1,800 VIPs--the equivalent, perhaps, of nearly two dozen neighborhood bars--would be allowed to drink for an hour after the end of each event. The SLA is statutorily required to consider Community Board input, rather than general public input.

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Posted by eric at 11:20 AM

Catching up: optimism about arena-area retail rents, unmet promises in Williamsburg, auditions for Brooklyn Nets dance team

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder rounds up some stories that we missed, too. Here are some shortcut links:

The Wall Street Journal, Brooklyn Waits on Promise of a Park

It has become a familiar scenario across the city, as large developments such as Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn and Willets Point in Queens move forward: The promises made by the city and developers to overcome opposition change over time or are delayed long into the future.

The Real Deal, How the Barclays Center will transform Brooklyn retail leasing

NY Observer, Nets Debut Dance Team (Containing Only One Native Brooklynite) and Its Cheeky Moniker: The Brooklynettes

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Posted by eric at 11:07 AM

Jay-Z's 40/40 Club Will Open at Barclays Center

The upscale bar and restaurant will debut on opening night, September 28.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

The non-news continues to spew from Brett Yormark's smoke machine.

Jay-Z will bring his swank 40/40 Club to his hometown of Brooklyn, with a new location set to open inside of the Barclay’s Center in September.

The 9,000 square-foot bar and restaurant will be located on the Barclays Brownstone Suite Level, and will include the same custom illuminated amber resin bar top as it’s flagship location in Manhattan.

“There is no better home for another 40/40 Club location than the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn,” said Jay-Z, in a statement. “The 40/40 Club has revolutionized restaurants in a way I anticipate Barclays Center to transform the arena watching experience.”

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NoLandGrab: If getting suckas to pay $300 for a bottle of Grey Goose vodka is "revolutionary," then yes, by all means.

Related coverage...

NY Post, Jay-Z's 40/40 Club coming to Barclays Center

t will only be open when the arena is hosting events. Booze will be served up until an hour after arena events end – but no later than 2 a.m.

Developer Forest City Ratner’s arena-drinking plan — which has come under fire from local civic groups — still needs to be approved by the State Liquor Authority.

Nets season ticket holders have first crack at reservations for the new 40/40 Club, but the venue isn’t limited to patrons splurging big bucks for luxury suites.

DNAinfo.com, Jay-Z's 40/40 Club to Open Barclays Center Location

The 40/40 Club, co-owned by Jay-Z and partner Juan Perez, also has locations in Manhattan's Flatiron District and Atlantic City.

Posted by eric at 10:34 AM

June 14, 2012

Jay-Z named director at Barclays Arena firm

NY Post
by Rich Calder and David K. Li

Continuing today's theme of non-news...

He’s not "Chairman of the Board" like that other New York music superstar, but Jay-Z can now call himself "Director of the Arena."

"D-boy who infiltrated all the corporate dudes" added another title to his already impressive resume. He’s listed under his real name of Shawn Carter as a "director" for the Brooklyn Arena LLC, the company that runs Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

The new title emerged in papers filed by arena developer Forest City Ratner Cos. in its bid to secure a liquor license for the future home of the Brooklyn Nets.

As one of seven directors, the rapper and music mogul will attend board meetings and help direct arena senior staff on daily operations, Barclays Center officials confirmed today. ...

Jay-Z in a minority investor in the Brooklyn Nets, the former New Jersey franchise that’s set to play its first games in the 718 this fall.

Arena brass declined to comment on whether he has any interest in the arena.

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Posted by eric at 11:51 AM

June 13, 2012

At daytime SLA hearing on Barclays Center liquor license, some community dismay, but support from Markowitz, a stack of letters, and a judge who kept looking for Community Board input

Atlantic Yards Report

Does the Barclays Center deserve to be treated pretty much like any other sports facility in the area, in terms of its liquor license, or should there be some curbs resulting from the arena's tight fit into Prospect Heights, just as Wrigley Field in Chicago has a 9:30 pm cutoff and limited night events?

A few Brooklynites yesterday argued the latter, during the first phase of a two-part public hearing held by the State Liquor Authority (SLA). But given that the SLA is directed to weigh input from the local Community Boards, and the latter have already expressed their support for the liquor license, such concerns now have less weight.

Administrative law judge Raymond Di Luglio more than once indicated that the venue--if not the precisely the license--was "a fait accompli," noting that the SLA's job is not only to respond to neighborly concern but to find out if the liquor license is in the public interest.

Arena operators brought a group of lawyers, officials, and even a lobbyist, with two black cars waiting outside. After the second phase of the hearing June 20, Di Luglio will issue findings to be shared with the SLA officers.

Contrast with MSG; serving later for NBA games

Actually, in one way, Barclays Center operators seek even more latitude than Madison Square Garden (MSG). The Brooklyn arena plans to keep serving alcohol to VIP patrons for one hour after all events. While MSG offers such latitude for most events, it does not allow after-event liquor sales during NBA games.

The NBA cutoff is the end of the third quarter; I'm checking to find out how many arenas allow such after-game sales, in seeming contravention of the cutoff, and whether the Barclays Center needs a waiver from NBA guidelines.

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Related coverage...

DNAinfo.com, Barclays Center Reps Expect 'Neighborly' Crowds in Late-Night Booze Bid

In a letter backing the Barclays Center liquor-license application, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said the late-night cutoff time for alcohol sales was necessary to allow the Barclays Center to "fully deliver a world-class sports and entertainment venue" on par with Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.

But a spokesman for Brooklyn State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery slammed that comparison followingTuesday's hearing.

"This is not like Yankee Stadium or Citi Field or Madison Square Garden," said Montgomery spokesman James Vogel. "This thing has people living 45 feet across from it. It's in the middle of residential neighborhoods; it doesn't have a surrounding buffer of parking lots and highways the way Yankee Stadium and Citi Field do."

Brownstoner, First SLA Hearing Held For Barclays Liquor License

The hearings come after both local community boards had given their conditioned approvals–but only in the absence of disclosure by arena operators revealed that some parts of the arena would serve alcohol as late as 2 a.m.

Posted by eric at 11:50 AM

June 12, 2012

Video: In April, Community Boards were told alcohol service would end by beginning of fourth quarter of NBA games and before end of events. No exception for VIP seats was mentioned.

Atlantic Yards Report

Oversight or deliberate obfuscation?

So, what exactly were Community Boards 2 and 6 told about the cut-off time for alcohol service at the Barclays Center arena? There were not told a belatedly-released detail: that, for a segment of high-rollers, some 1800 people (as clarified at a State Liquor Authority hearing this morning), service could go one hour after all events.

Now 1800 people is about 10% of the arena capacity for basketball, a little less than the capacity for concerts, so it may seem like a relatively small number--especially compared to figures reported in the press, like 5,400. But that also could be seen as the capacity of a dozen reasonably-sized bars.

At a joint meeting of the Community Boards, 4/10/12, Robert Skene, an attorney for Levy Premium Foodservice, co-applicant with Brooklyn Events Center (an affiliate of Forest City Ratner), presented the plan, in a bureaucratic but clear enough voice.

"The client intends to follow the NBA policy, which is no service at the beginning of the fourth quarter. So the end of the third quarter will be the cutoff time," Skene said. "For concerts and other family-oriented events, there will be a cutoff time before the end of the event, but that particular time is going to be deemed appropriate for each event."

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Posted by eric at 10:32 PM

Barclays Center Has Bieber, Jay-Z on Schedule, But No 'Community Events'

DNAinfo.com
by Leslie Albrecht

Big name acts like Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand and Journey are booked to perform months from now at the Barclays Center, but the new arena hasn't scheduled any of the so-called "community events" intended to raise money for local non-profits.

The neighborhood-boosting events were promised in the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement, which spelled out how locals would benefit from the new arena which is set to open in September with a Jay-Z concert.

In addition to a pledge to provide jobs for public housing residents, the Community Benefits Agreement called for the Barclays Center to be "available to community groups for at least 10 events per year, at a reasonable rate, with net proceeds from such events to be used to support non-profit community organizations."

So far, none of those events have been scheduled, said Barclays Center spokesman Barry Baum.

"It's too early for that."

Must be "too early" for any affordable housing, too.

"They're very actively scheduling big ticket events, but like with everything else that's supposedly for the public, they haven't focused on (the community events)," said Daniel Goldstein, co-founder of the anti-Atlantic Yards group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn.

"Everything that was sold as a benefit to the community, from the housing to the jobs to the open space — they're all on the back burner."
...

Goldstein noted that it's never been made clear exactly what a "community event" is and how the events will be organized.

"What does it even mean, a 'community event?'" Goldstein said.

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Posted by eric at 10:17 PM

Journey to Brooklyn

City Room
by Andy Newman

More like "Journey back in time."

Bruce Ratner's arena is supposed to open on September 28th, 2012, but his concert lineup largely makes it seem like it's September, 1982.

Ten words: Journey. Pat Benatar. Loverboy. Barclays Center. Oct. 30. Barbra who?

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NoLandGrab: Don't forget that exciting new act, Rush!

Posted by eric at 10:44 AM

Details from Barclays Center liquor license application: no info about after-hours service, but list of bars, entrances detailed, Jay-Z's role

Atlantic Yards Report

As the first of two State Liquor Authority public hearings on the Barclays Center liquor license approaches at 11 am today, the license application from Levy Restaurants reveals some new details about the plans, and those behind them.

However, it does not shed any light on the revelation that alcohol service in "premium, limited access areas of the Arena such as the suites, clubs and the restaurant," alcohol service would continue for an hour after events, no later than 2 am--a detail not disclosed to Community Boards 2 and 6 as they considered, and ultimately supported, the license.

Hence the request by local elected officials for further review. (I don't know if the Community Boards have responded yet--the CB 6 executive committee met last night--but expect discussion of the issue today.)

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Posted by eric at 10:36 AM

June 11, 2012

Brooklyn a “Better Than 50%” Likelihood for Isles?

Arbour Day
by Angelica Rodriguez

We've been saying for some time that, despite nonsensical speculation to the contrary, there's no chance the Islanders will ever call the Barclays Center home. And now it's certain that they won't, since noted prevaricator Brett Yormark is now claiming there's a better than 50/50 chance that they will.

Chris Botta posted on Sulia via Twitter that Brett Yormark, the CEO of the Brooklyn (formerly New Jersey) Nets, has reported the Isles’ likelihood of joining his team at the Barclays Center to be “better than 50%.” Does that mean it’s going to happen? Of course not. Nothing is set in stone and the Islanders still have three years to weigh their (limited?) options.

Not to mention that Yormark is full of baloney.

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Posted by eric at 11:41 AM

June 10, 2012

Crown Heights, Atlantic Yards, and the Nets - Brooklyn Speaks Rally on Sunday at 3pm

I Love Franklin Ave.

ILFA doesn't usually cover Atlantic Yards or the Brooklyn Nets, both because Franklin is just far enough east that it often seems to fall outside the immediate Ratner blast radius (though more on this in a moment) and because if you want Atlantic Yards info, Norman Oder's got you covered. Still, a few things I've stumbled across over the past month or so have raised some questions that I thought merited further discussion.

Most pressingly, Brooklyn Speaks is hosting a rally to demand oversight, jobs, and housing tomorrow at 3pm at the corner of Atlantic and South Portland. An umbrella group for many organizations that have been fighting Forest City Ratner and Atlantic Yards for nearly a decade, they've got the support of many local politicians, including ILFA fave Tish James, who's been a persistent and eloquent critic of the various iterations of the Ratner Plan for Central Brooklyn. There's more info about this event (and other upcoming ones) on their website, but the rally is fairly self-explanatory - they're demanding more jobs (according to their numbers, of 15,000 construction jobs promised, only 186 have been created for Brooklyn residents), the construction of affordable housing (171 affordable units were torn down, 2,250 have been promised, none yet built), and increased oversight of both the construction process and the ultimate result.

Trying to take the initiative in the PR game, Forest City Ratner built a playground for Crown Heights residents at St. John's and Buffalo, a few miles from the area, last month. Sonja Sharp had the scoop for DNAInfo, and the Brooklynians have been chatting about it. Something to think about, given the location of this playground, is that Forest City Ratner, though (theoretically) locked in to providing those affordable units, has considered moving them "offsite" from the main development (between Vanderbilt and Flatbush) to the former St. Mary's hospital on Buffalo. Prospect Heights residents predictably blasted the plan, which segregated the affordable units from the rest of the luxury project, and one wonders whether Ratner is trying to split Community Board 8 by currying favor in the eastern part of Crown Heights in order to eventually effect that plan.

Those "First Home Game since 1957" signs that have popped up all over? The Nets pay $25 a pop for businesses to put them in the window. A lot of money and legwork, but still probably cheaper than a 30-second TV spot.

Finally, the comically underplanned parking situation at Atlantic Yards, which has been in the news consistently this spring, has ILFA rethinking my earlier comment about Franklin being outside the arena's blast radius. Franklin Avenue residents aren't fighting new clubs and arena liquor licenses, but with parking as ridiculously bad as it may be nearby, we may yet find arena-goers trolling the streets of northwest Crown Heights in search of a place to park.

More to come on this post in a bit, but for now, readers, what sort of impact do you think the arena and the Nets are going to have on the neighborhood? Will traffic and business spill over, or are we too far east? Are you planning to root for the new "home" team (even if they lose Deron Williams and turn out to be awful)? Other thoughts?

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Posted by steve at 9:11 AM

June 8, 2012

Fears of a Tight Fit for Brooklyn's Arena

The Atlantic Cities
by Norman Oder

As the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn builds toward a September 28 opening, the buzz surrounds mostly the shows: a series of Jay-Z concerts, a return of Brooklyn-born singer Barbra Streisand, and home court gigs for the newly-renamed Brooklyn Nets of the NBA.

But the public controversy dating back to the 2003 launch of the larger Atlantic Yards project persists. One current concern: neighbors fear a flood of drivers seeking free, on-street parking and visitors boozing it up at both arena events and the mushrooming number of bars just east of downtown Brooklyn.
...

The arena's snug setting, thanks, in part, to New York State's willingness to override city zoning that prohibits sports facilities within 200 feet of residential districts, has compounded concerns.

Arena-goers' vehicles and exuberance could disturb the peace on some nearby blocks, notably those near the surface parking lot being built at the southeast end of the irregular, 22-acre site, flanked by the "fingers" of the Prospect Heights Historic District, known for its collection of late 19th-century row houses.

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Photo: flickr/Gunni Cool

Posted by eric at 12:38 PM

Elected officials, citing no notice of post-event service, call for further review of arena liquor license; responses to CB 2 include no bending on one-year performance review

Atlantic Yards Report

As two hearings on the Barclays Center liquor license approach before the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA), at their offices at 317 Lenox Avenue, in Manhattan, five Brooklyn elected officials representing the area around the arena have asked for further review by local Community Boards, given the applicant's failure to explain that clubs at the arena could serve alcohol until 2 am, up to an hour ever events.

The letter (below) was sent by state Senator Velmanette Montgomery, joined by Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Assemblyman Jim Brennan, and NYC Council Member Letitia James. (Where's Council Member Steve Levin? I'll update this when I learn.)

As stated in a press release from Montgomery, the information had not been presented to either Brooklyn Community Board 2 nor Brooklyn Community Board 6 at a joint presentation to those CB licensing committees on 4/10/12. "Community Board members and personnel have told the electeds that had they been presented with this information they may have developed different license stipulations to protect the local residents," the press release said.

"We are acting to protect the rights of our Community Boards to protect the interests of our local residents and businesses,” Montgomery said, requesting further Community Board review not of the entire license application but the section regarding after-event service at clubs. "These serious omissions endanger the entire license application. They must be remedied.”

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Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, Pols Say CBs Didn't Approve Barclays 2 a.m. Liquor Plan

Local elected officials are now calling on the New York State Liquor Authority to return the Barclays Center liquor license application back for Community Board review, saying that the arena’s intentions to serve liquor until 2 a.m. during non-NBA events were never approved.

Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Assemblyman James Brennan and Councilwoman Letitia James have written to SLA Chairman Dennis Rosen and SLA Commissioner Jeanique Greene asking that the Barclay’s application “be immediately divided and … returned to Brooklyn Community Boards 2 and 6 for due consideration.”

Posted by eric at 12:05 PM

June 7, 2012

Praise the Lord! Barclays Center Christened as Gospel's New Home

DNAinfo.com
by Leslie Albrecht

If bulls**t was profits, however, Forest City would have reported record earnings!

Hallelujah — gospel has a new home at the Barclays Center.

Though most know the new arena as headquarters for the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, officials christened the Barclays Center on Thursday as New York's gospel music headquarters at a tambourine-shaking press event complete with a rousing choir performance that had Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner clapping along from his pew.
...

It was nearly eight years ago that The House of the Lord church hosted another press conference, where officials from Forest City Ratner Companies and the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance announced that they had hammered out a Community Benefits Agreement to guarantee that locals would benefit from the Atlantic Yards development, said the church's pastor, Rev. Herbert Daughtry.

With the arena now poised to open in September, Daughtry praised Ratner for delivering on promised amenities like a health center and meditation room at the new arena.

[The Rev. Al Sharpton echoed those comments. "I can say without contradiction that Bruce Ratner has lived up to everything he said and more," Sharpton said to a hearty round of applause. "He is an example of what corporate accountability and partnership is all about."

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NoLandGrab: We're betting that "Bruce Ratner has lived up to everything he said and more" means the Reverend Al's check from Forest City must've cleared.

Related coverage...

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com], Brooklyn’s Barclays Center dubbed New York’s new 'Home of Gospel'

Grammy award-winning gospel great Hezekiah Walker joined arena officials at the House of the Lord Church on Atlantic Avenue to announce that he and his Love Fellowship Choir will be performing his “A Night of Hope” concert at Barclays Center on December 10.

“I grew up in Fort Greene, and it was always a dream of mine for a major venue in Brooklyn to become the home for gospel music -- now it’s a reality,” Walker said. “Barclays Center will be the place where the top gospel artists come to perform. I can’t wait to perform there myself.”

Posted by eric at 7:08 PM

The Day: The Last-Place Nets Choose an ‘Official’ Hospital

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]

In medical news, the Brooklyn Nets put out a statement yesterday saying that the team had chosen cash-strapped Brooklyn Hospital to be its “official hometown hospital.” The statement didn’t explain what the arrangement means, quoting hospital CEO Richard Becker saying, “Our partnership with Barclays Center will aim to keep Brooklyn healthy by providing a very visible and important platform to accomplish our goals.”

Presumably, their plans for "keep[ing] Brooklyn healthy" don't include letting people booze it up until 2 a.m. Or do they?

So we naturally wondered if the financially impoverished hospital will get some big money from the Barclays folks. Keep wondering: “We are unable to disclose the terms of the agreement,” a hospital spokeswoman said.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Two official hospital partners: Maimonides for the Brooklyn Nets, Brooklyn Hospital for the arena

Just in case you were wondering, the Maimonides Medical Center is the official partner of the Brooklyn Nets (and offers team physicians), while the Brooklyn Hospital Center is the official hospital of the Barclays Center arena.

Posted by eric at 11:42 AM

Documents from Community Board 6 show those approving Barclays Center liquor license didn't know arena clubs would be open one hour after events

Atlantic Yards Report

Applicants for the Barclays Center liquor license intend to keep clubs for high-rollers--up to some 5,400 people, according to the New York Post--open one hour after events, which was not explained when the applicants sought support from community boards, as noted by Atlantic Yards Watch.

Indeed, the Community Boards didn't know that. Consider a very diplomatic 5/11/12 letter, from Brooklyn Community Board 6 Chairman Daniel Kummer, to the State Liquor Authority, regarding the proposed Barclays Center liquor license:

Lastly, our board conditioned its support of the application on the imposition of certain temporal limitations with regard to service of alcohol at arena events: (i) that the applicant stop serving alcohol after either the end of the third quarter during NBA games, or one hour before the end of any other event, and (ii) that in any case alcohol service should end no later than 2:00 a.m. These conditions were proposed and approved at our general board meeting on May 9 rather than at the committee level, thus there was not an opportunity to discuss them with the applicants prior to the board’s vote. However, we are hopeful that the applicants will agree that these service limitations are a reasonable and modest accommodation that should provide some measure of assurance and relief to our community without negatively impacting the arena’s business model in any material way.

(Emphasis added)

It was not unreasonable to impose this, because, as committee meeting minutes note:

Client intends to follow NBA policy (i.e.; no service in fourth quarter of the game). Other events cut-off time before end of event decided on and [sic] event basis/

The State Liquor Authority has two hearings scheduled on the arena liquor license.

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Posted by eric at 11:34 AM

Fans who pay for premium seating at Barclays Center will be allowed to booze longer

NY Post
by Rich Calder

Yet another Forest City Ratner bait 'n' swig.

It’ll pay to be loaded if you really want to get loaded at Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center.

Patrons splurging big bucks for luxury suites and other prime seating at the house that Jay-Z built will get the added bonus of being served booze up to an hour after arena events end — or as late as 2 a.m., arena officials confirmed this week.

That’s a far cry from another set of rules for those stuck in the cheap seats, most of which run between $15 and $55 for Net games. Those fans will be able to buy booze at food stands or from roving beer vendors only until the start of the fourth quarter of Net games, as NBA rules require, or an hour before the end of most concerts and other events.

Madison Square Garden practices a more even-handed policy toward drinks, cutting off all booze sales at the same time, based on the event.
...

Councilwoman Letitia James, a longtime Barclays Center critic who represents the district, said the separate set of rules for high-end customers could come at a costly price, considering the 18,000-seat arena is next to such densely populated residential neighborhoods as Park Slope and Prospect Heights.

“I’m really concerned about drinking and driving because the people most likely to drive to games will likely be drinking later and longer,” said James.

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Related coverage...

DNAinfo.com, Brooklyn's Barclays Center Could Serve Booze as Late as 2 a.m.

Talk about giving new meaning to the shot clock.
...

Gib Veconi, a member of the watchdog group Brooklyn Speaks, called it "stunning" that arena officials waited until now, a week before the SLA's public hearing on the liquor license, to reveal that the Barclays Center wants to sell alcohol until 2 a.m.

"This is another unfortunate example of an incomplete disclosure from the Atlantic Yards project in advance of a public approval," Veconi said in an email. "The SLA should defer action on the license until all the details of the clubs and other liquor service are made public."

The Real Deal, Despite community’s concerns, Barclays Center will sell alcohol until 2 a.m.

Posted by eric at 11:23 AM

State Liquor Authority schedules second hearing on Barclays Center liquor license, on June 20 at 7 pm

Atlantic Yards Report

Beyond the 500-foot hearing regarding the liquor license for the Barclays Center scheduled on June 12 by the State Liquor Authority (SLA), the SLA has has scheduled a second hearing at 7 pm on Wednesday, June 20, at SLA offices in Manhattan.

SLA spokesman William Crowley said that hearing was scheduled in response to a request from state Senator Velmanette Montgomery, who has asked for a hearing to be held in the evening, and in Brooklyn. He said it was SLA policy to hold 500-foot-rule hearings at their offices.

Such hearings, he said, are presided over by an Administrative Law Judge, who writes up a finding of facts. If there is opposition to the application, then the decision is made by a three-member board of the SLA.

In this case, there is opposition, so that SLA board could meet to consider the application on July 10 or July 25, in sessions that go for hours, include numerous applications, and are webcast.

Crowley said there's no time limit on public comment, but comments should be germane to the application. Written comments are also welcomed.

He noted that the statute states Community Boards are seen as expressing the intent of the community. However, as suggested by Atlantic Yards Watch, CB 2 and CB 6 did not know that liquor sales at arena clubs could last until 2 am, one hour after an event.

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Posted by eric at 10:58 AM

June 6, 2012

Barclays Center attorney reveals arena clubs to stay open after events end, as late as 2:00 AM

Atlantic Yards Watch

A letter from Barclays Center attorney William Schrieber to Brooklyn Community Board 6 dated June 5 mentions a detail of the arena's plans for liquor sales that apparently has not been disclosed up to now: Barclays Center's four clubs will serve alcohol up to one hour after arena events end—as late as 2:00 AM.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, As liquor license hearing approaches, Forest City discloses that Barclays Center clubs will serve alcohol until 2 am (if events go to 1 am)

Guess what? Apparently the Barclays Center plans to serve alcohol until 2 am in the arena's four clubs, at least if events--presumably concerts--go to 1 am. The policy, which affects clubs with a capacity estimated at over 1,000, had not been previously unnanounced.

Posted by eric at 10:35 AM

Barclays Center announces registration for job recruitment events later this month, for "arena that is sure to make the neighborhood the pride of Brooklyn"

Atlantic Yards Report

The Barclays Center is hiring for "a landmark state-of-the-art sports and entertainment arena that is sure to make the neighborhood the pride of Brooklyn."

Note that the arena is in a neighborhood, Prospect Heights, that's bracing for the impact of 19,000 arena-goers, and that it's the confluence of neighborhoods with some mixed feelings.

If "[o]ver 2,000 jobs are available in areas including Retail, Food and Concession, Security and Ticket Sales," as indicated in the screenshot at bottom, well, they're also counting full-time jobs, since the previous estimate was 1901 part-time and 105 full-time.

Priority is given to residents of Brooklyn's NYCHA housing developments or Brooklyn Community Boards 2, 3, 6 or 8, though it's not quite clear how "first in line for consideration during the recruitment process" will play out.

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Posted by eric at 10:18 AM

Barclays Responds to CB6 Liquor License Conditions

Brownstoner

Back on May 9, Community Board 6 voted to support the Barclays Center liquor license application under several conditions, including that arena brass produce transportation, security and sanitation plans and set up a community advisory panel; they also demanded certain “temporal limitations with regard to service of alcohol at arena events.” The conditions were conveyed to arena operators in a letter dated May 11, 2012. Yesterday, CB6 got its response on law firm letterhead. In summary, they said they already had a transportation plan that they released a couple of weeks ago; they detail the public safety protocol that’s being put in place; they say that they are in the process of working on the sanitation plan; they agree to a bunch of “temporal limitations” most of which seem to involve stopping the service of alcohol around 3/4 of the way through sporting events and one hour before the end of other events. They also say that Forest City Ratner has agreed to a sub-committee on quality of life issues and that “this group will continue to be in communication with various neighborhood groups concerning various aspects of the operation of the Arena and conditions outside the Arena that impact the neighborhood.”

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NoLandGrab: It's really should come as no surprise that the Barclays Center's law firm is headed by a guy named "Wormser." Or that they'll run the place just like any suburban, highway-surrounded arena, despite the fact that it's located on a residential block of Prospect Heights.

Posted by eric at 10:04 AM

Brooklyn's Under-Construction Barclays Center Revealed!

Curbed
by Dave Hogarty

Curbed serves up a nice free commercial for the Barclays Center.

link

NoLandGrab: Best moment? SHoP principal Chris Sharples talking about the "level of openness and transparency." Not in the process!

Posted by eric at 9:54 AM

A European Sensation

The Wall Street Journal
by Jan Wieczner

Like thunder rumbling in the distance, when there's an exclusive party to announce another party, you know something big is coming.

Sensation, a European dance and theatrical event at which participants dress all in white for stunning visual effect, is touching down in the U.S. on Oct. 26 and 27, at the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, the not-yet-open Barclays Center.

Event organizers held a party last week at Meatpacking hotspot Provocateur to announce Sensation America, which will host 15,000 people on each of the two nights (other Sensation events have hosted up to 40,000 a night). Some partygoers—many of whom wore all white—cheered "Brooklyn!" when the venue was announced.

article

Posted by eric at 9:45 AM

June 5, 2012

How Barclays Center Got Its Look

NetsDaily

In a March lecture just posted to YouTube, Barclays Center architect Gregg Pasquarelli describes how Bruce Ratner, under pressure from bankers, critics and the city in 2009, had to twice change plans for the arena, and at one point even took an off-the-shelf design for Indianapolis' Conseco Field House and plunked it down in the middle of Brooklyn.
...

It was only after the city objected to "a bit of a bait and switch" in replacing a Gehry design with a "field house", that Pasquarelli's firm, SHoP, get the commission. They came up with a new design for Barclays Center in seven weeks.

"It was a much more conservative kind of design, brick and arch, more of a field house," said Pasquarelli of the Conseco design. "So the client came to us and said, 'Could you strip the building all the way down to the steel and think about re-designing it and if you can, we'll give you seven weeks to design the entire building, detail it and cost it. (laughter) And if you can do it for less than x-delta, the project is yours. So that should take about 11 months and we said, 'No problem'' (laughter) and I hope I never have a summer like that again."

article

NoLandGrab: And when you give your architects seven weeks to design an arena skin, the public gets a rusting hunk of a panini presssans tasty sandwiches.

Posted by eric at 12:43 PM

June 4, 2012

Barclays Not Giving Up on NHL

NetsDaily

Today in fantasy hockey...

The sightlines are awful for hockey. A big chunk of Barclays will be empty when the Islanders and Devils play a preseason game on October 2, labor problems permitting. You can't see the goal from seats at one end of arena. So whole sections will be closed off; the seats won't be sold. Still, conditions are so bad at the Islanders current home, Nassau Coliseum, the NHL is seriously considering Brooklyn.

The Post reports that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman quietly visited the nearly complete arena on Friday to get a tour. Isles owner Charles Wang has already had at least one tour and Bruce Ratner and Brett Yormark have spoken with both men and made public pitches about the possibilities every chance they get. The Islanders must play three more seasons in Nassau, which could give Barclays a chance to upgrade for hockey and give the arena more than 14,500 seats.

link

NoLandGrab: Except the Barclays Center can't "upgrade" to give the arena more seats for hockey, without (a) making the arena markedly worse for basketball or (b) cutting off one wall to stretch the building, which (c) would make the arena markedly worse for basketball and (d) can't be done anyway because (e) they purportedly plan to build additional buildings on the arena block.

Related coverage nonsense...

NY Post, Islanders moving to Brooklyn worth discussing

To be sure, there are roadblocks to consider in moving the Islanders to Brooklyn, the least of which by the way is Barclays Center’s seating capacity of less than 15,000 for hockey, because revenue is about gate receipts, not attendance.

There is the literal issue of roads, limited parking and whether folks from the Island would travel by mass transit to watch a transplanted team or whether the franchise would have to develop a new fan base within the city that has longed pledged its allegiance to the Rangers (as the Nets will do within the boroughs that are betrothed to the Knicks).

But it’s a conversation worth having.

NLG: Actually, no, it's not.

the olde pro, Barclays Center Tour

Most importantly, I got to see the floor with the ice rink in place. Unfortunately they didn't work out the seats situation for an ideal layout when the Islanders move to the city and become the Brooklyn Warriors full-time, but they'll make it work....

NLG: Actually, no, they won't.

Posted by eric at 10:52 AM

June 2, 2012

Boxer Malignaggi, speaking at Barclays Center, says he's motivated to headline Barclays Center

Atlantic Yards Report

During a "media availability" yesterday at the in-construction Barclays Center, Brooklyn-born welterweight boxer Paulie Malignaggi showed how self-hype continues to be part of the sweet science. As reported by the New York Post:

“When I first met Brett a couple years ago and I signed with Golden Boy a couple years ago, the whole intent was to be the headliner at Barclays Center,” said Malignaggi, who grew up in Bensonhurst.
“It would be amazing, because I don’t think there’s a bigger Brooklyn name fighter than me right now. Obviously Brooklyn has a long history of great fighters, but I think right now the biggest name fighter in Brooklyn is Paulie Malignaggi, so I think it makes total and complete sense to have me be the headliner in October.”

link

Related coverage...

The Brooklyn Paper, Bensonhurst boxer wants to face Flatbush fighter at new arena

[Welterweight contender Dmitriy "Kid Kosher"] Salita has already announced that he wants a shot at Malignaggi’s belt, and agreed that the fight would electrify their favorite borough.

“It would go beyond the world of boxing, it would be a legendary event,” said Salita.

Posted by steve at 6:56 PM

May 31, 2012

Protecting Neighborhoods from an Oncoming ‘Onslaught’

Civic News
by David Herman

The Park Slope Civic Council, the Boerum Hill Association, and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council have created a Barclays Center Neighborhood Protection Plan (NPP) that sets up a series of guidelines to minimize the impact of the oncoming arena on surrounding communities.

“Long-standing and historic residential neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity of Barclays Center (Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope and Prospect Heights) need protection from the onslaught of vehicular traffic, patron activity and negative externalities caused by this type of magnet destination,” the plan states. The NPP was needed because various planning documents for the Atlantic Yards megaproject “only minimally address mitigation of the operation of the arena on adjacent neighborhoods.” (You can download a PDF of the plan here.)

article

Related coverage...

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Neighbors want protection from Barclays hordes

“I used to visit my brother in Wrigleyville, Chicago, right next to Wrigley Field, and I was amazed at the orderliness of the neighborhood as a whole after events there. That’s because they have an active neighborhood protection plan there,” said [City Council Member Steve] Levin.

Many of those who who attended yesterday's event felt that Sam Schwartz’s recently unveiled traffic management plan, officially sponsored by the Barclays Center, was incomplete.

Brownstoner, A Summary of the Barclays Neighborhood Protection Plan

Posted by eric at 12:40 PM

May 30, 2012

Coverage of the Neighborhood Protection Plan: the tabloids show up, but not the Times (or the Brooklyn Paper)

Atlantic Yards Report

Here's a roundup of the coverage of the Neighborhood Protection Plan unveiled yesterday. Note the absence of the Brooklyn Paper and the New York Times, neither of which sent a reporter, though maybe the former will play catch-up. (I'm waiting to see if the Times's blog The Local has coverage.)
...

New York Daily News: Pols push for parking taxes, early booze cutoff in plan to shield neighborhoods when Barlcays Center opens

New York Post: Brooklyn arena foes turn to Chicago's Wrigley Field for improvements:

The plan offers no estimated costs. However, those who penned it want Forest City Ratner to dip into the millions of dollars it'll save annually after recently dropping a car-traffic-reduction plan to provide free MetroCards with Nets tickets.

Coverage is expected in the Brooklyn Eagle.

NY1: Community Presents Plan To Preserve Life Quality Around Barclays Center, plus mostly critical email about the arena (with some pointed exceptions), on The Call.

News12: Barclays Center neighborhood introduces protection plan (link goes to log-in page, but story available from home page): "I'm always pessimistic when it comes to Forest City Ratner," says interviewee Nancy Cogen, a business owner in Boerum Hill.

link

Posted by eric at 11:01 AM

Hockey in Brooklyn: KHL president says two regular-season games set for Barclays Center

Yahoo! Sports
by Dmitry Chesnokov

Just a couple of month ago, we wrote about the KHL's ambitious plans to bring their hockey to North America. KHL President Alexander Medvedev met with the heads of the NHL and the NHLPA in March about the idea who, according to Medvedev, "promised that they won't oppose [having KHL games in Brooklyn]."

The new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, partially financed by Russian billionaire and New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, was the target for those games. On Tuesday, Medvedev announced that two games of the 2012-13 KHL regular season will indeed be held in Brooklyn.

"In January before the [KHL] All Star Games the KHL will hold two regular season games at the new Brooklyn arena. We are planning to send teams with names to New York," he said.

"There are five candidates at this time. They are CSKA, Dynamo [the reigning KHL champion], as well as the teams [Jaromir] Jagr and [Alexander] Radulov played for [Avangard Omsk and Salavat Yulaev] and SKA St. Petersburgh. I am sure these games will be sold out," Medvedev told Sovetsky Sport today.

article

NoLandGrab: The only way those games sell out is if there's an NHL lockout next season — and the tickets are priced well below NHL standard.

Related coverage...

NY Post, Barclays to host Russians

Barclays Center officials wouldn’t confirm the deal but said serious talks are ongoing.

However, sources said the arrangement makes sense considering the arena will be home to the Brooklyn Nets — which are owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov — and arena officials have said they want to tap into Brooklyn’s large Russian population.

Also, with a potential NHL lockout looming next season, the KHL could be the only hockey game in town.

Hockey News, Brooklyn could host two KHL games

Nothing is official yet, but plans are for KHL teams to play two regular-season games at the Barclays Center in January during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.

NYMag.com, Brooklyn Plans Two Regular-Season KHL Games

Hockey Buzz, Does Hockey Grow in Brooklyn?

So today there was an announcement that the KHL President, Alexander Medvedev will be bringing two regular season KHL games to the Barclays Center in January of 2013, a few months after the New York Islanders play the NJ Devils in a pre-season game on October 2nd. That is, of course, if the next hockey season starts on time.

The CEO of Barclays Center, Brett Yormark, may feel that “Brooklyn is an untapped hockey market” but I just don’t see it. Certainly bringing two Russian teams may play well with the very large Russian population of the area. But to think it can sustain a hockey team for 41 home games a year may be slightly unrealistic.

No matter what anyone says about the amount of public transportation available towards the Barclays Center, those of us who live on the East end of Long Island will not be able to get to games on time or be able to afford it.

I could be wrong, but something about this sounds like a Russian circus -- sans the dancing bears.

NLG: More like HockeyBuzzkill, for the fantasy that the Islanders might someday call the Barclays Center home.

Posted by eric at 10:39 AM

'Sensation' Extravaganza Coming to Barclays Center In October

mcbrooklyn

That over-the-top Euro-spectacle -- Sensation -- will open in America at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in late October, according to Dancing Astronaut.

Barclays will be the first venue for the previously Euro-only event, to be dubbed 'Sensation America.' Past Sensation events have been described a "spectacle beyond belief."

Dancing Astronaut describes the Barcelona Sensation: "Sensation White is a musical experience unlike any festival, club, or rave that I’ve ever been to. 13,000 people adhered to the strict dress code — 'Be part of the night, dress in white' . . . What resulted was a night jam packed with emotion, music, and a whole lot of sweaty Europeans moving in unison decked out in white jumpsuits."

link

Posted by eric at 10:32 AM

May 29, 2012

LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS AND CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS ANNOUNCE BARCLAYS CENTER NEIGHBORHOOD PROTECTION PLAN

Coordinated set of initiatives necessary to ensure safety and quality of life in residential communities after September arena opening

Press Release via NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL MEMBER STEPHEN LEVIN

Today, City Council Members Stephen Levin, Letitia James and Brad Lander announced the Barclays Center Neighborhood Protection Plan (NPP), a set of coordinated initiatives aimed at mitigating safety and quality of life impacts expected to result from locating the Brooklyn arena within residential neighborhoods.

The NPP calls for policies to be instituted by the Barclays Center operators as well as regulation and enforcement to be carried out by State and City agencies covering arena operations, public safety, pedestrian circulation, sanitation, open space, and traffic.

Among the proposals included in the NPP are:

  • NYPD’s 78th Precinct be responsible for policing the arena as well as enforcement of traffic and parking rules, protection of pedestrian safety and regulation of public behavior within a one-half mile radius around the arena block.

  • NYCDOT install signage clearly directing pedestrian and vehicle traffic, including directing vehicles to use 4th Avenue, Atlantic Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, 6th Avenue north of Flatbush Avenue, and Vanderbilt Avenue, instead of residential streets in Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope and Prospect Heights.

  • The State authorizes and the City implements a residential parking permit program in the above neighborhoods.

  • Barclays Center provide at least one additional street basket at each corner within a half-mile radius of the arena, as well as be responsible for emptying all street baskets within the half-mile zone and cleaning sidewalks on blocks between the arena and five nearby transit stations and the arena’s parking facilities by 8:00 AM on each day after an event.

  • Barclays Center provide annual funding, as established by the NYC Parks and Recreation Department, for a Parks Associate position to serve the two existing impacted public open spaces near the arena, Dean Playground and South Oxford Park.

link

“The plans announced by Barclays Center to date won’t be enough to protect and preserve the residential character of the neighborhoods surrounding the arena,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “We need both swift action by the State and City governments, as well as real commitments from Barclays Center, to address the impacts of arena operations before the arena opens in September. We are here to partner with Forest City and the Administration to address these issues, but that means everyone has to have a seat at the table.”

“State overrides of New York City zoning regulations allowed Barclays Center to be built among residential neighborhoods,” said Council Member Letitia James. “But so far, the State and the City have stood on the sidelines while important decisions about traffic, pedestrian safety, parking and sanitation have been left up to a private developer. I urge the Mayor’s office and City agencies to take up the proposals in the NPP with all possible diligence, and work with local elected officials to get them implemented quickly.”

“The State must take an active role to manage the impact of an arena operating in a residential district,” said Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, whose district includes nearly the entire Atlantic Yards site, and many of the surrounding neighborhoods. “The Neighborhood Protection Plan is a road map of common-sense initiatives that have proven effective in cities like Chicago and Newark. Brooklyn deserves the same.”

Elected officials representing the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope and Prospect Heights have previously expressed support for some of the proposals contained in the NPP, such as the issuance of residential parking permits.

“The traffic on event-nights after the arena opens is likely to be atrocious,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “The measures contained in the Neighborhood Protection Plan—collaboratively developed by community stakeholders—are sorely needed. I look forward to working with my colleagues in State and City government to get them implemented.”

Forest City Ratner Companies recently released the provisions of a long-delayed Transportation Management (TDM) plan intended to incentivize arena patrons to use mass transit when traveling to Barclays Center events. The TDM has been criticized for not including disincentives which have shown to be more effective at changing driver behavior.

The full Neighborhood Protection Plan is available at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/95139027/NPP-FINAL

Posted by eric at 10:48 AM

Got a gun and a car? The Barclays Center wants you!

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Gersh Kuntzman

This just in from the company that will run the Barclays Center: The 19,000-seat arena is getting so close to hosting events that it is reaching out to subcontractors to actually do the work — including protecting celebrities as they come to the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

AEG Worldwide has posted on its Web site that it needs local firms to provide manpower and equipment in several key arena areas, including heavy equipment and handling, facilities presentation and production room operations, landscaping and snow removal services, structural engineering and rigging, sound and lighting, electrical contracting and, this is our favorite, “armed car service.”

Interested bidders must apply by June 8.

link

Posted by eric at 10:21 AM

Calvin Klein scores $4M arena deal

NY Post
by Paul Tharp

Et tu, Calvin?

Calvin Klein is getting the VIP treatment under a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center.

The fashion house will sponsor 700 premium-priced seats in an exclusive courtside club at the $1 billion stadium, which opens in a Sept. 28 gala.

Each pricey seat in the “Calvin Klein Courtside Club” will be emblazoned with the designer’s familiar black-and-white logo, matching the arena’s overall black-and-white motif [allegedly] created by hip-hop mogul Jay- Z.

Calvin Klein is also getting the arena’s VIP entrance where the Flatbush and Atlantic avenues intersect in a spruced up plaza. Of the four entrances being sold, only EmblemHealth and Calvin Klein have been disclosed as gate sponsors.

article

Posted by eric at 10:16 AM

May 28, 2012

Sports Business Journal: 183 events set; "about" 75 percent of suites sold; Calvin Klein signs on; more hockey talk

Atlantic Yards Report

From Sports Business Journal (via NetsDaily):

  • there are rumors that the 2015 NBA All-Star Game would be played at the Barclays Center (2014 is already out)
  • there are 183 ticketed events scheduled (which, if you add the ten "community" events, would be a total of 193, not quite at the 225 once promised)
  • "[a]bout 75 percent of the 100 suites in the arena have been sold, including four of the 11 Vault Suites." Previously, Nets/Barclays CEO Brett Yormark has flatly said 75 percent, which indicates some wiggle room
  • Calvin Klein has joined as a founding partner, while "Remaining, or at least unannounced, top-tier sponsorship categories in the building include insurance and automobile."
  • NBA CEO David Stern "called the new arena 'extraordinary' and noted that 'several owners told me this was never going to happen, even as the steel was going into the ground.'"
  • even before 2015, when the Islanders' lease expires, a minor league hockey team might move, or a team from the Russia-centric KHL might visit

Also note a pay-per-view wrestling event announced for December.

Posted by steve at 10:11 PM

May 27, 2012

Forecasted contractually obligated revenues for the arena: from 64% to how much? (Also, 15% of office leases for FCE from City of NY/U.S. government)

Atlantic Yards

In late March, Forest City Enterprises, parent of Forest City Ratner reported that some "64 percent of forecasted contractually obligated revenues for the [Barclays Center] arena are currently under contract."

While that's a not insignificant rise from the 56 percent reported in December 2011, the developer has admitted that the 100% mark will not be met by the arena opening.

So we should keep watch for the next report, which will come with the FY 2012 First Quarter conference call. Last year it was held in early June.

Meanwhile, the documents embedded below show how FCE describes the Atlantic Yards project, among many others, to investors. Note that, even through early March, they were using the now-outdated 56 percent mark.

Also note, in last year's Third Quarter Supplemental Package, the document immediately below, one page pulls out a list of "significant office tenants as of October 31, 2011."

The largest, with 9.38% of total office square feet, is the city of New York. The third largest, with 5.82%, is the U.S. Government. Note that the latter is surely spread over several cities. And Forest City would say that it competed to bid for at least some of those leases.

But it's still notable how more than 15% of office leases come from governmental clients.

link

Posted by eric at 8:43 AM

May 26, 2012

Barclays Center Update

CBS New York

WCBS 880's Tom Kaminski was up in Chopper 880 this week, and he snapped some photos of the under-construction Barclays Center.

link

NoLandGrab: Here's a sneak peak of what it'll look like when it's done. And when your sandwich is ready.

Posted by eric at 5:44 PM

May 24, 2012

Six Big Name Acts With Brooklyn Ties That Should Play Barclays Center

The L Magazine
by Josh Kurp

Four months from Memorial Day, on September 28, 2012, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will host its very first event: a Jay-Z concert. After that, the arena’s scheduled shows include Barbra Streisand on October 11 and 13, Rush on October 22, and Justin Bieber on November 12 (as well as all those Brooklyn Nets games). With the exception of Jay-Z, there’s not much to get excited for there, unless you really like Roll the Bones. Below are suggestions of six big-name acts that could play Barclays and get us more excited than hearing “Boyfriend” for the 6,538th time.

Never mind the suggested acts — it's the lone comment that's really worth reading.

shouldn't this read "Six Big Name Acts With Brooklyn Ties That Shouldn't Play Barclays Center, because fuck that place"?

article

Posted by eric at 10:50 PM

Meet Barclays Center General Manager John Sparks, just for a bit

Atlantic Yards Report

Like a fleeting Sparks, this guy couldn't be bothered to hang around for long.

A key Barclays Center figure, General Manager John Sparks, made brief appearances at two meetings (morning and evening) May 22 regarding the Barclays Center Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan.

In both cases, he received the exact same introduction by Forest City Ratner executive Jane Marshall, reading from a prepared script.

"We engaged with our new colleagues, the arena operators, to develop plans for running the building," Marshall said. "To that end, I want to introduce John Sparks, the general manager of the Barclays Center. As such, he runs the building, and everybody reports to him. Going forward, as John builds his team and we open the arena, there will be more interaction with arena operations and the community, elected officials, and agencies. We want you to meet him. We cannot stay for the entire presentation today, but we thought it was important to put a face to the name.

article

NoLandGrab: Call them what you want, it's all Forest City Ratner to us.

Photo: Tracy Collins

Posted by eric at 11:33 AM

May 23, 2012

Justin Bieber Scheduled for Barclays Center Concert

The teen idol will perform his first major Brooklyn show in November.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

Hide your teenagers, or invest in some heavy duty earplugs, because Bieber Fever is coming to Brooklyn.

It was announced this morning that pop star Justin Bieber will perform at Barclays Center on Monday, November 12 at 7 p.m., with guest Carly Rae Jepsen (of “Call Me Maybe” fame).
...

For those keeping track, other mega performers slated to perform at Barclays Center when it opens this fall are Jay-Z, Andrea Bocelli, Barbra Streisand, Leonard Cohen and Rush.

link

NoLandGrab: Well, one thing's for sure — The Biebs will lower the median age of the average Barclays Center concert act by a few decades.

Posted by eric at 1:56 PM

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn gives Streisand and Cohen a history lesson on Barclays Center

Sports ITeam Blog [NYDailyNews.com]
by Michael O'Keeffe

Better add The Biebs to the salutation.

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A., according to a song by Leonard Cohen. But Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) says it's just an empty lyric when it comes to Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project.

DDDB has written an open letter to Cohen and Brooklyn native Barbra Streisand about their plans to perform at the Barclays Center later this year. It's worth sharing with the rest of New York.

Click through for the full text.

link

Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Posted by eric at 10:35 AM

First look: Inside Brooklyn Nets new $1 billion arena

USA Today
by Michael McCarthy

You'd think they were going to be playing softball in the Barclays Center...

[Bruce] Ratner gave USA TODAY Sports the final media preview of the 675,000 square foot Barclays Center before it closes until its grand opening Sept. 28 with a concert by partial Nets owner Jay-Z. About 75% of the construction is done.
...

Ratner answered questions about Barclays as he toured the arena Tuesday. Excerpts:

What will this arena ultimately cost?

With land, interest, subway entrances, the whole works, it's going to be a billion dollars. All together, that's probably the most expensive arena in the country.
...

What do you say to opponents who say Barclays will ruin the neighborhood?

I don't think the traffic will be so difficult that people won't be able to live here.

article

NoLandGrab: Now that'll take a load off your mind — Bruce thinks people may still be able to live in the area. Phew!

Posted by eric at 10:24 AM

May 22, 2012

An Open Letter to Barbra Streisand & Leonard Cohen Re: Barclays Arena Shows

Before Playing Barclays Arena Superstars Urged to Learn About History Behind Despised Atlantic Yards Project

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

Dear Ms. Streisand and Mr. Cohen:

We at Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, the grassroots community non-profit organization that led the fight against Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project and advocated for inclusive, democratic development, write to you regarding your scheduled performances at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The billion dollar, publicly subsidized Barclays arena is the only component of the larger Atlantic Yards project under construction.

We understand the excitement your fans feel about your upcoming shows in Brooklyn and we do not question your right as artists to play whatever venue you choose to play, or your fans' right to enjoy your performances.

However, as artists of your stature and caliber, as artists with a history of philanthropy, social justice and civil liberty advocacy, and protest lyrics, we strongly urge you to take on every citizen's responsibility to learn about the history behind the venue you are associating yourselves with.

We believe you won't like what you discover.

Click through for the rest of this must-read letter.

article

Posted by eric at 11:37 AM

On BCAT, BUILD's Caldwell and Chamber rep talk up arena "win-win" (and a few things are missing)

Atlantic Yards Report

Last night, on Brooklyn Independent Television's Intersect, on the BCAT TV Network, Lori Raphael, Director of External Affairs at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and James E. Caldwell, President and CEO of Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD), joined host Brian Vines "for a discussion about job and business opportunities for Brooklynites" as "the Atlantic Yards become the Barclays Center."

(The show appears Mondays and Thursdays at 1:30pm & 9:30pm and Wednesdays at 3 pm & 11 pm, on Time Warner 56, Cablevision 69, RCN 84, Verizon 44, and streaming: Channel 3. It also should be available on the web site as an individual episode.)

Given such a focus on opportunities, not to mention the conflation of the Vanderbilt Yard with the Atlantic Yards site, it wasn't surprising that the project was presented as a win-win, with a mild acknowledgment of people who "feel" promises haven't been kept. (Is it just a "feeling" or could it maybe be documented?)

There was no mention of the big picture questions, such as the New York City Independent Budget Office's calculation that the arena would be a net loss for city taxpayers, or, however much there may be trickle-down spending and hiring, whether the big beneficiary is developer Forest City Ratner. Or, as the rather mainstream Regional Plan Association recently suggested, it's too soon to come to a verdict.

Nor was there discussion of other charged issues, such as the failure to deliver promised affordable housing--part of the public promotion of the project--or the much-delayed arena transportation plan. It was pretty much happy talk.

article

Posted by eric at 11:32 AM

NBA’s Brooklyn Nets Woo Fans to Barclays Center with Socialcam

brandchannel
by Sheila Shayon

Hey, if you don't have competitive basketball, you can try to wow them with phone apps! That shoot really bad video!

The social video sharing app Socialcam, just scored the NBA’s (and Jay-Z's) Brooklyn Nets, formerly known as the New Jersey Nets.

Their “Hello Brooklyn” campaign is a pitch to the team’s community of fans, 35 million and growing, and takes users on a subway ride to their new home for the 2012-13 NBA season at the new Barclays Center.

link

NoLandGrab: 35 millions fans? Citation, please — and Brett Yormark doesn't count.

Posted by eric at 10:51 AM

May 21, 2012

Flashback: in 2006 comment, MSG employee warned of rowdy fans, noise; ESDC responded that sidewalks would be fine, crowd noise "masked" by vehicle noise

Atlantic Yards Report

Tomorrow we're supposed to learn about the Transportation Demand Management plan for the Barclays Center, first at a 9:30 meeting of the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet, then at a 6 pm public meeting at Borough Hall.

That plan's been delayed nearly six months, and there are other plans yet unrevealed, such as a code of conduct for the arena.

A warning from a MSG employee

So it's worth looking back to an 11/29/06 post, in which I pointed to an interesting, if anonymous, nugget of commentary emerged from the multitudinous comments filed in response to the Atlantic Yards Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and included in the Final EIS.

A ten-year employee of Madison Square Garden warned urgently about noise, rowdy patrons, garbage, and gridlock.

The writer, who said he could not give his name, because, "like contracts that are signed with Bruce Ratner, there are speech restrictions included in the contracts with MSG." (The latter is unconfirmed, but there is a record of Ratner gag orders.)

The writer warned that, after events with younger crowds, drunk patrons crowd the street and carelessly strew garbage. They also treat the streets like they own them, he said, and are quite loud:

In the end, on any number of occasions, it's just one big party in the streets...

The proposed Nets Arena is surrounded by dense residential neighborhoods. What can the residents expect before and after events? There needs to be a study that addresses and answers that question.

article

Posted by eric at 2:44 PM

Are concerns about Barclays Center liquor license "entitled neighborhood grievance"? Times columnist doesn't look closely enough

Atlantic Yards Report

Ginia Bellafante's Big City column yesterday in the New York Times Metropolitan section, The Neighborhood Drinking Problem, raised the question: "Should we think harder about drinking as a matter of urban policy?"

And in getting to her prime example--the threat in Corona, Queens, where working-class single male immigrants face a plethora of bars--the writer took an uninformed swipe at the arguments over the Barclays Center liquor license.

Bellafante wrote:

The problem with modern-day temperance initiatives in New York — beyond the obvious risk of their seeming hoary in a place where a wine bar provides the ultimate imprimatur of gentrification — is that they so often take the form of entitled neighborhood grievance. Recently in Chelsea, residents protested the potential opening of a gastro pub that had the well-known club owner Amy Sacco attached...

In the same vein, this month, Brooklyn Speaks, an amalgamation of civic organizations and community groups concerned about the development at Atlantic Yards, drew up a petition calling on the State Liquor Authority to end alcohol sales at the Barclays Center arena no later than 10 p.m. The group worried that drinking at the stadium could linger on until 4 a.m., even though no amount of N.B.A. overtime — or encores at a Bon Jovi concert, for that matter — would ever likely last that long. (The group was seeking to end drinks sales at basketball games at half time; at Madison Square Garden, they are permitted until the beginning of the fourth quarter.)

These outcries, however warranted, have received far more attention than the existing threat to civic and social life elsewhere.

Looking more closely

It's not unreasonable to point to Corona, but to consider qualms about the Barclays Center liquor license "entitled neighborhood grievance" (yet "however warranted") is to not have looked closely enough.

Indeed, as one commenter on the article observed, the arena operator "has REQUESTED that drinks be served at its establishment until 4 am. It's not an idle idea floating out there as your article implies."

And, as BrooklynSpeaks points out, liquor sales after 9:30 pm are banned at Wrigley Field in Chicago. That's because Wrigley is ensconced in a residential neighborhood.

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Related content...

The New York Times, The Neighborhood Drinking Problem

In 2009, alcohol was responsible for more than 8,840 hospitalizations in New York, a 36 percent increase over 2000. Additionally, the proportion of alcohol-related emergency-room visits among New Yorkers ages 21 to 64 doubled from 2003 to 2009. There were 70,000 such visits just in 2009.
...

The Bloomberg administration, for its part, is adamant that it is not seeking to reduce the number of bars in the city, a spokesman said. (“The answer is no.”) Responding to inquiries earlier this year about whether the city might discourage the opening of more bars, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s press secretary, Stu Loeser, said, “We’re deeply committed to encouraging entrepreneurs to start and expand small businesses in the city.”

In this instance an interventionist administration that recently called for residential buildings to regulate smoking seems oddly satisfied simply to play advertiser in chief.

Eschaton, It's The Pre-Game Drinking That's The Problem

I think efforts to limit the time of booze sales at sports events is really counterproductive. People aren't getting plastered off of $8 Coors Lights, they're getting plastered from the shots they downed before they walked into the place. Limit sales at the games and you're going to encourage more of that.

NoLandGrab: No, we're pretty sure from our many visits to sporting events that arena patrons are indeed getting plastered off of $8 (or $9) Coors Lights.

Posted by eric at 11:16 AM

Ticketmaster to Provide Primary and Resale Ticketing Solution for Barclays Center

Barclays Center to Leverage Ticketmaster's Comprehensive Technology Portfolio

PR Newswire via Marketwatch.com

Fans of double-digit "convenience" charges will be pleased to learn that Ticketmaster will be the "exclusive official ticketing provider" for the Barclays Center.

"We are committed to aligning ourselves with the best in the sports and entertainment industry, and that is why we have chosen Ticketmaster as the exclusive ticketing provider for Barclays Center," said Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark. "Customer Service is an integral part of our business and Ticketmaster offers the ultimate fan-friendly ticket experience for our visitors, as every ticket bought and sold on the platform will be validated as an authentic ticket by Ticketmaster."

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Posted by eric at 10:56 AM

May 18, 2012

Barclays Center will have a horseshoe seating configuration

ProHockeyTalk
by Jason Brough

On Oct. 2 the New York Islanders will play a preseason game at the Barclays Center, the new Brooklyn arena that could become the franchise’s home once its lease at Nassau Coliseum expires in 2015.

Key word there: could. The NHL is still hoping a new arena can be built closer to its current rink. But if not, the Barclays Center is an option.

One of the major drawbacks to the Barclays Center is its NHL configuration, which includes just 14,500 seats. (The building was designed for the NBA’s Nets.)

So basically the whole left side will be empty.

At first glance, it doesn’t look great to me. But maybe that’ll be part of its charm? It’ll be the horseshoe rink. Sort of like Fenway is the park with the big green wall.

Whatever. I’m just trying to be positive.

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NoLandGrab: The Barclays Center is more likely to be home to professional horseshoes than professional hockey.

Posted by eric at 10:28 AM

Barbra Streisand Fans Dejected By Scalpers Reselling ‘Back To Brooklyn’ Tickets For Big Bucks

Seats Being Sold For Jaw-Dropping Amounts, Including A Set Of 4 For $53,000

CBS New York

A concert ticket tug-of-war is pitting die-hard fans of Barbra Streisand against money-hungry scalpers.

The Brooklyn-born superstar’s one-night-only “Back To Brooklyn” concert is sparking a Babs buying frenzy that is already getting ugly, CBS 2′s Dave Carlin reported Thursday.

Pre-sale tickets for the Oct. 11 show at the new Barclays Center sold out in minutes, and now resellers and scalpers want tens of thousands of dollars for them.
...

The CEO of the Barclays Center released the following statement: “As much as we’d like to, we can’t control what ticket buyers do with their tickets. Barbra Streisand performing at Barclays Center is a once in a lifetime event and we truly wish we had enough tickets to satisfy this incredible demand.”

Wait, we thought Brett Yormark said "we're going to protect the interests of the consumer... and the public will have access to those tickets for sure."

Marty Markowitz (who'll surely be sitting in the house seats) isn't blaming Yormark, though — he's blaming Washington.

“It limits it to the very, very wealthy only,” Markowitz said. “I’m hoping someday soon Congress will look into how we can limit this phenomena of scalpers and resellers.”

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Posted by eric at 10:17 AM

May 17, 2012

$53K to see Babs

Fans singing blues over high ticket price$

The NY Post
by Claire Atkinson

Something’s not kosher about ticket sales for Barbra Streisand’s “Back to Brooklyn” concert in October, fans of the singer are crying.

Minutes after a pre-sale started last week, tickets were gone — only to turn up on resale sites moments later, avid fans charge.

And now, just days before the May 21 official sale date, resale sites are choked with tickets — with one down-in-front ducat being offer on eBay yesterday for a staggering $53,000!

“I feel like fans do not have any real opportunity to buy tickets at face value,” one long-time Barbra fan, Evan Cohen told The Post.

The Manhattan dentist said he got online to buy tickets at a Streisand-fan only pre-sale the minute it opened but was shut out.

Thousands of other fans are sounding off on chatboards and Facebook pages. The brouhaha has reached from Carroll Gardens to California, where Streisand apologized on her website for the ticket snafu.

“We apologize to those who were unable to secure tickets from our limited allotment, and we are doing everything we can to accommodate as many fans as possible,” a statement on her site read.

Of course, another statement on Babs's website also said she was opposed to the "autocratic power of eminent domain to take land from unwilling sellers" for the KeystoneXL pipeline, but that's not stopping her from performing in an arena built with the "autocratic power of eminent domain to take land from unwilling sellers."

Ada Diaz wrote, “So scalpers can get tickets but fans can’t. If Barbra wanted to fix this she would cancel all sales and do this over.”

“Crazy, unbelievable,” wrote fan David Stewart.

“This is disgusting and I would have expected more from [Barbra]. Does [Barbra] know about this?” wrote Adam Mazzuca.

Adam, see above, under KeystoneXL pipeline.

Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center, said in a statement to The Post, “As much as we’d like to, we can’t control what ticket buyers do with their tickets. Barbra Streisand performing at Barclays Center is a once-in-a-lifetime event and we truly wish we had enough tickets to satisfy this incredible demand.”

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NoLandGrab: Really, Pinocchio Brett Yormark? Because just a week ago, you were on Good Day New York saying just the opposite. The following exchange takes place at the 5:12 mark in the video below between dimwitted host Rosanna Scotto and The Great Prevaricator:

Scotto: How do we ensure that we don't get all those scalpers in there and they don't glom all the good seats?

Yormark: We're going to protect the interests of the consumer... and the public will have access to those tickets for sure.

Posted by eric at 12:04 PM

May 16, 2012

Horseshoe seating for hockey puts Barclays on thin ice

The Brooklyn Paper
by Daniel Bush

Speaking of getting away with things, the media have largely and repeatedly allowed Bruce Ratner and Brett Yormark to get away with floating the absurd notion that the not-designed-for-hockey Barclays Center might someday be home to the Islanders. Kudos to Dan Bush and the Brooklyn Paper for calling their bluff.

The Barclays Center will debut an unconventional horseshoe-shaped seating configuration for a preseason hockey game this fall — raising questions about whether the undersized arena could truly accommodate an NHL franchise.

A dozen sections behind one of the goals will be closed off when the Islanders take on the hated New Jersey Devils on Oct. 2, according to a seating chart that shows what hockey might look like in a $1-billion arena that would be the smallest stadium in the National Hockey League and the only arena without wrap-around seating.
...

Nets spokesman Barry Baum confirmed the seating arrangement, but declined to provide further details.

“We have to see how all the sight lines are and then we’ll move forward,” Baum said.

Arena developer Bruce Ratner has long courted the Islanders. Hockey was originally considered for the arena but the plans were scuttled after Barclays Center’s starchitect Frank Gehry was fired in 2009 and his proposed design was scrapped to cut costs.

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Posted by eric at 12:54 PM

POLL: Should Area Residents Get First Shot at Barclays Tickets?

Would such a perk be a well-deserved reward for dealing with the arena’s inconveniences or an unfair insider benefit?

Prospect Heights Patch
by Amy Sara Clark

When the “early-access” tickets to Barbra Streisand’s “Back to Brooklyn” concert went on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, they were sold out nearly instantly.

An area resident said she and two family members all tried for the coveted seats at exactly 10 a.m. but were told the tickets had already sold out.

She wanted to know exactly how many tickets to Barclays events to were reserved for area residents. The answer? None.

A spokesman for the 18,000-seat Barclays Center said management has never discussed the possibility of reserving seats at big-ticket events for people living near the arena, though he noted that Brooklynites were given the chance to buy general admission Nets tickets on April 30, a day before the general public.

What do you think? Should people living in the 11238 or 11217 zip codes, which covers Prospect Heights, and parts of Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill and Park Slope have the chance to buy tickets to high-demand events before the general public?

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NoLandGrab: Considering that people living near the arena aren't going to ever want to put a dime into Bruce Ratner's pocket, does it matter?

Posted by eric at 12:41 PM

Barclays Promises State-of-the-Art Wireless To Meet Fans Expectations

All Brooklyn Nets News

Regular readers of NoLandGrab know we don't normally have much good to say about Bruce Ratner's basketball arena, but here's an exception — they're kindly providing a means for fans to entertain themselves when the Nets are down 30 midway through the third quarter.

To say wireless coverage at NBA arenas is spotty is being kind. They weren’t built for it and the nooks and crannies of such large spaces, filled with thick concrete walls, is not an ideal environment. But Barclays Center was built with wireless in mind and Tuesday, the team announced it’s chosen a company to design, install and operate the arena network.

ExteNet Systems of Illinois will set up a a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) network in the newly constructed arena that will meet “rising expectations in fan demand”, says the company.

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Posted by eric at 12:36 PM

May 14, 2012

What Time Should Barclays Stop Serving Alcohol?

Is a 2 a.m. last call too late for the 18,000-seat arena? Is a 10 p.m. cutoff time too early?

Park Slope Patch
by Will Yakowicz and Amy Sara Clark

The answer to this question may help keep the surrounding neighborhoods more quiet: At what time should the Barclays Center stop serving alcohol?

Last week, Community Board 6 voted to recommend an absolute cut-off time for all alcohol sales at 2 a.m. during all events at the arena.

However the recommendation, which will go to the New York State Liquor Authority, came with two conditions that follow the policy already in place for the 40 NBA games:

  • During all NBA games no alcohol can be sold after the third quarter.
  • All alcohol sales cease an hour before the end of any other event.

But, BrooklynSpeaks , a coalition of civic organizations surrounding the arena, has a petition that requests all alcoholic beverage sales be cut off at 10 p.m. at the absolute latest in all areas of the arena, reflecting area residents' fear of drunk pedestrians and drivers flooding the streets after the 180 non-NBA events expected next year.

In addition, there are four clubs in the buiding that could be open until 4 a.m. additional nights, and still be working within the state's legal time frame to sell booze.
...

That said, what time do you think Barclays should be required to stop serving alcohol?

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Posted by eric at 11:21 AM

N.Y. arena subsidized

Edmonton Journal, Letters to the Editor

Some guy wrote a letter to the Edmonton Journal to correct some misperceptions in a letter the paper published last week.

Re: "Two cities, two arenas," by M.L. Clark, Letters, May 11.

M.L. Clark is grossly misinformed in writing that "another, presumably successful funding model appears to be in the works using American ingenuity and entrepreneurship" for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In reality, developer Bruce Ratner is receiving at least $726 million in taxpayer subsidies, according to a report issued by New York City's Independent Budget Office in 2009 (ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/AtlanticYards091009.pdf).

However unwise the City of Edmonton's proposed subsidy package for a new arena may be, it surely pales beside the pork being larded on Ratner.

If Edmonton taxpayers are looking for a smarter, fairer way to fund a new arena, they most assuredly won't find it in Brooklyn.

Eric McClure, Brooklyn, N.Y.

link

Posted by eric at 11:09 AM

BARCLAYS CENTER RECEIVES LIQUOR LICENSE, MAKES LOCAL RESIDENTS HATE THEM EVEN MORE

F***ed in Park Slope

Sometimes I sit at home and wonder to myself, Are Park Slopers still angry about the Barclays Center? After Barbra Streisand recently ANNOUNCED HER PLANS TO HAVE A CONCERT THERE, I figured we'd all moved past our qualms to just simply bask in the joy -- the pride of Brooklyn is coming home! (not a Babs fan? Shame on you.) Turns out we're not so joyful.

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Posted by eric at 11:00 AM

May 10, 2012

3 arrests made in connection with beatings, robberies following Prudential Center concert

The Star-Ledger
by James Queally

If the drunks leaving the arena after their 2 a.m. alcohol cut-off don't cause problems, the "gangs of thugs" assaulting them just might.

City Police have captured three of the teenagers involved in a rash of beatings and robberies outside the Prudential Center after a sold-out rock concert on Saturday, authorities said.

Two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old, whose identities were withheld because of their age, were arrested Wednesday and charged with rioting, aggravated assault, conspiracy and robbery in connection with a series of brutal attacks that left one victim with a shattered eye socket and another unconscious, according to police spokesman Sgt. Ronald Glover.
...

The trio was part of a larger group of teens involved in the brutal assault and robbery of five people as they left a sold-out Red Hot Chili Peppers Concert in Newark Saturday night, police officials have said. One victim was left with a shattered eye socket, and another was beaten unconscious in front of his 14-year-old son, according to police reports. Two Livingston teens were also hurt, and one suffered at least four fractures to his face, according to one of the victim's fathers.

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Posted by eric at 12:49 PM

Community Board 6 votes to support liquor license with 2 am cutoff, far from BrooklynSpeaks' request of 10 pm

Atlantic Yards Report

In a very modest nod toward recognition of some neighbors' concerns, the full Community Board 6 last night voted to approve a liquor license for the Barclays Center with cut off of sales by 2 am, after the third quarter of NBA games, and one hour before the end of other events, whichever comes first, as noted by Patch.

Arena officials had previously said they planned to follow the NBA policy of a third-quarter cutoff, and to end sales one hour before events conclude. The law typically allows sales until 4 am. In this case, the 2 am cutoff would go into effect only for events that lasted past 3 am, surely an unusual occurrence.

Request for earlier cutoff

BrooklynSpeaks and other groups have requested a 10 pm cutoff, noting the 9:30 pm example set by Wrigley Field in Chicago--nestled completely in a residential neighborhood, even more so than the Barclays Center.

However, proposals to pass a cutoff of 10 pm or even midnight did not pass the board, whose committee last month did not address a cutoff time. The board's vote is only advisory; the decision will be made by the State Liquor Authority.

"It's good to see the board stipulate a cut off time for non-NBA events, but the late limit of 2 am is a blow to residents of Dean Street and other blocks near the arena," Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, said last night. "As of tonight, more than 900 people have signed BrooklynSpeaks' online petition calling for a 10 pm limit, clearly more appropriate for a residential neighborhood."

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Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, CB6 Approves 2 A.M. Last Call for Alcohol Sales at Barclays Center

Nica Lalli, a member of CB6 and Park Slope resident said that it is the board’s responsibility to vote on restrictions on how long the Barclays Center should sell alcohol.

“If this is an opportunity to stipulate hours, I think we should take that opportunity,” Lalli said, explaining that the board recommends hours and regulations for every bar and establishment that stands before them to apply for a liquor license.

Before the vote, Richard Bashner, another member, said that he was “troubled” by the “absence of restrictions” Levy Restaurants would have if the board did not vote on a recommendation.

Bashner, along with Lalli, suggested that alcohol should stop being sold at half time during NBA games, 45 minutes before the end of any other event and a hard cutoff time of 10 p.m., whichever came first.

Park Slope Patch, Brooklyn Speaks Circulates Petition on Barclays Liquor License

“Wrigley Field has a 9:30 p.m. cutoff during night games,” [Brooklyn Speaks's Gib] Veconi said, explaining that Levy Restaurants also runs the food and beverage program at the Chicago-based stadium. “I don’t think the people in Brooklyn deserve less respect than people in Chicago.”

Posted by eric at 12:37 PM

So complain-y! The Times's Streisand coverage treats "neighborhood critics" as making allegations, not winning a big court case

Atlantic Yards Report

The New York Times, heretofore uninterested in the number of jobs at the Barclays Center arena, goes long in the CityRoom blog and in today's paper with A Daughter of Brooklyn, Now Known as ‘Barbra,’ Will Return to Perform.

This passage gives a nod to larger issues:

Because of Ms. Streisand’s identification with Brooklyn, the Streisand concert is a feather in the cap of the promoters of the arena, which will hold 220 entertainment events a year. Concerts by Jay-Z, Leonard Cohen and Andrea Bocelli are scheduled, as well as the roughly 40 home games of the newly christened Brooklyn Nets basketball team. The developers have been fighting neighborhood critics who say the crowds and traffic will overwhelm quiet small-scale neighborhoods. News of the concert was first mentioned on a blog that tracks the issue, Atlantic Yards Report.

Getting all complain-y

Isn't it unfortunate that developer Forest City Ratner has to be fighting "neighborhood critics," who sound so complain-y. The "he said, she said phrasing" sounds like another example of "the usual tumult," the Times's dismissive August 2009 phrase regarding the public process concerning the re-approval of Atlantic Yards.

The thing is, there's reason to get all complain-y.

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Related content...

City Room, A Streisand Encore, 5 Decades Overdue

The concert gets its own creation myth:

Bruce Ratner, the developer of Barclays Center, said that two years ago he received a phone call from Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn’s borough president, urging him to call Martin Erlichman, Ms. Streisand’s longtime manager, about arranging a Brooklyn concert.

“He said, ‘This is possible but I have to discuss it with Barbra,’ ” Mr. Ratner recalled of his conversation with Mr. Erlichman.

Posted by eric at 12:11 PM

Does Barbra Streisand Know How Barclays Arena Came to Be?

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

Eminent domain for private gain? Discuss.

So Barbra Streisand is booked at Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov's Barclays Center in Brooklyn. We're supposed to get schpilkas or something?

Here's what's making us verklempt. Barbra, polymath that she is, has previously posted an article on her website which expresses opposition to eminent domain for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that would cut across the US. The column her site featured doesn't look kindly on "...the fact that this foreign-owned corporation would use the autocratic power of eminent domain to take land from unwilling sellers along the 2,000 mile route..."

Good on her.

But we wonder, then, how she justifies lending her name and bright shining star power of a rare live show to the early opening days of the House that Eminent Domain Built aka Barclays Center. Is it that she is a liberal do-gooder in the mold of Frank Gehry and Bruce Ratner?

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Posted by eric at 12:06 PM

May 9, 2012

The Barbra Streisand announcement, finally; Markowitz, Yormark talk it up on Fox5

Atlantic Yards Report

Well, here's the answer to yesterday's question: as long as the pipeline is delivering bucks to her pocketbook, Babs doesn't seem too concerned that eminent domain was used to build it.

"She's not touring," said Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, so this will be one-shot, Streisand's first performance in Brooklyn. He also said Jay-Z will perform five concerts, a number not previously revealed, and will have several "guests."

"I think it was Bruce Ratner's vision, as well as Marty's, to bring Barbra home," Yormark said.

"We never had a venue," said Borough President Marty Markowitz. "We finally have a facility that shows Brooklyn respect."

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NoLandGrab: Right, Marty, the Atlantic Yards project has been all about showing Brooklyn respect.

Posted by eric at 1:52 PM

Jay-Z to play five dates, not one, at Barclays Center; will the Carlton Avenue Bridge be open for any of them?

Atlantic Yards Report

On Fox 5 NY this morning, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said Jay-Z, whom we knew was opening the arena on September 28, would play five dates, with special guests.

Those likely aren't consecutive, given that there's an October 2 hockey game scheduled by the New York Islanders. Will the Carlton Avenue Bridge be open for any or all of those dates?

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Posted by eric at 1:48 PM

Group Seeks Restrictions for Barclays Center's Liquor License

WNYC

A neighborhood group wants to limit the hours Brooklyn's Barclays Center can sell alcohol when it opens in September.

"The application by Barclays Center doesn't have any specified cutoff time for liquor sales and that's not typical at a sports facility and certainly not in a residential neighborhood," said Gib Veconi of the group Brooklyn-Speaks.

The arena dos not yet have a liquor license from the New York State Liquor Authority.

Brooklyn-Speaks started an online petition this week asking the state to stop alcohol sales at the arena by 10 p.m.

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NoLandGrab: You can sign the petition here.

Posted by eric at 1:20 PM

Consultant's report: arena still on schedule, but mystery document not yet analyzed and made public

Atlantic Yards Report

According to the latest Site Observation Report, dated 5/1/12 and prepared by construction consultant Merritt & Harris on behalf of the arena bond trustee, Forest City Ratner, and Empire State Development, the Barclays Center arena is on schedule for substantial completion by 9/5/12--a date that was nudged back earlier this year--and a final completion by 6/30/13.

The associated transit connection is 3.5 months late beyond the 4/2/12 schedule,, but given that it doesn't need to open until the arena does, the slippage "will have no impact on the overall project schedule. "The slippage was dubiously attributed to "early delays." There were no such early delays.

Nor, actually, is either schedule completely credible, since, as I've reported, they revised the charts.

Schedule unclear

There's still a mystery. As noted in the screenshot below, the GMP2 [Guaranteed Maximum Price] executed 3/9/12 clarifies any "extension of the construction term" and "establishes the final completion date."

Merritt & Harris is still reviewing it. Note that the GMP2 was supposed to be issued before the end of 2011.

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Posted by eric at 1:07 PM

May 8, 2012

Why the NBA Loves the Brooklyn Nets (and Why Bruce Ratner's Now Talking Up Hockey)

The Classical
by Norman Oder

Surely Adam Silver, the lean and confident NBA Deputy Commissioner, wasn't the star guest at the Brooklyn Nets' big branding/sporting goods reveal last Monday, held at a Modell's big box store catercorner to the in-construction Barclays Center arena, whose motif might be dubbed "rusting tortoiseshell."

There was developer Bruce Ratner, introduced with imperial genuflection as "a man who has led the renaissance of Brooklyn." There was wind-up booster Marty Markowitz, the man who turned the Brooklyn Borough Presidency into a crusade to restore wholeness to his 12-year-old self, devastated by the Dodgers' departure.

There was goofy giant Brook Lopez, who got to play spokesmodel for the (not quite) Hova-designed Brooklyn Nets ballcap.

And there was Brooklyn Nets/Barclays Center uber-marketer Brett Yormark, the guy who claimed he'd never heard of P.T. Barnum, who finally sounded like he believed what he was saying: "The Brooklyn Nets are finally part of the conversation."

But if Yormark is marketing the heck out of the ineffable authenticity of the borough--"Brooklyn will become a chant," the advertising now claims--Silver surely will compound the relentless commodification.

"Brooklyn is of course a global city," Silver declared, "and in many ways parallels the NBA. Our games are seen in over 215 countries, and televised in 47 languages, plus Brooklynese"--a jocular dig at Markowitz--"so there's a perfect fit between Brooklyn and the NBA."

Well, Silver was exaggerating that list of countries--the league more precisely claims "215 countries and territories"--but make no mistake, the NBA must be salivating over a brand that can sell globally. The (New Jersey) Nets sure didn't.

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Posted by eric at 1:06 PM

Teases of a Streisand Return to Brooklyn

City Room
by Andy Newman

Is she or isn't she?

On Monday morning, the blogger Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report posted a screen grab showing the seat map listing.

But by Monday afternoon, Ms. Streisand’s name had been scrubbed from Ticketmaster’s Barclays listings.

And an eerie and oddly constrained silence was upon the lips of those who could speak to the facts.

“We are not confirming this,” said a Barclays spokesman, Barry Baum, when asked if Ms. Streisand was coming.

“I cannot confirm anything, on the record, off the record, between the record,” said Ms. Streisand’s longtime spokesman, Ken Sunshine.

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NoLandGrab: Might Ms. Streisand have learned of the unseemly means by which the Barclays Center is coming into existence? From a March 1, 2012 post on BarbraStreisand.com about opposition to the KeystoneXL pipeline:

...the fact that this foreign-owned corporation would use the autocratic power of eminent domain to take land from unwilling sellers along the 2,000 mile route....

Posted by eric at 12:38 PM

May 7, 2012

Should arena crowds really be able to drink all night?

BrooklynSpeaks

In Chicago, Wrigley Field is allowed to host only 30 evening events a year. Liquor sales must end no later than 9:30PM. And any changes to that policy have to be approved by the Chicago City Council.

You’d think that the people of Brooklyn deserve no less respect.

Not according to Barclays Center, which has applied for a license that would allow it to keep serving alcohol up to the 4AM State limit in an 18,000-seat arena. Sure, the NBA has a policy that requires liquor sales to end after the third quarter. But basketball only accounts for 40 of the expected 220 events to be held at the arena each year. And Barclays’ application isn’t even limited to serving drinks at arena events. (Arena plans include four club/lounge areas.)

We all know that the history of Atlantic Yards has been one blanket approval by government after another, with little oversight afterward. But isn’t this getting ridiculous?

Click here to tell the New York State Liquor Authority and Governor Cuomo that Barlcays’ liquor license must be appropriate for the residential neighborhoods in which it is situated, and through which patrons will travel on their way home. Require drink sales to end after half time at a NBA game, 45 minutes before the end of an event, or 10PM, whichever comes first. And only permit alcohol to be sold during ticketed arena events.

Sign the petition now!

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Posted by eric at 11:17 AM

BrooklynSpeaks launches petition to request that alcohol sales at Barclays Center end no later than 10 pm, 45 minutes before event end, or at halftime

Atlantic Yards Report

When local community boards expressed qualified support for the Barclays Center liquor license, they requested a community liaison from the arena as well as the expected issuance of transportation and security plans, but they did not accede to community requests for a time to cut off alcohol sales, other than at NBA basketball games, where the league standard is the end of the third quarter.

The typical time is an hour before a concert ends, AEG's David Anderson said, in a statement that unnerved a few people, who noted that some concerts could go very late.

The votes from the community boards are advisory; the decision is up to the State Liquor Authority.

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Posted by eric at 11:12 AM

Yes, Barbra Streisand is coming to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn: even Ticketmaster says so

Atlantic Yards Report

I reported May 1 that Barbra Streisand was performing at the Barclays Center, and on May 4 the Brooklyn Paper and its sibling Brooklyn Daily followed up, getting confirmation from what "ticket reps for the arena say."

It's more definitive than that. As noted on a Streisand message board, Ticketmaster has information, if not tickets available, confirming there will be a show (or shows).

link

NoLandGrab: We prefer our grandmothers singing in Russian — and traditional garb.

Posted by eric at 10:37 AM

May 4, 2012

Residents Worry Whether Prospect Heights Can Accommodate Barclays Arena's Traffic

NY1
by Jeanine Ramirez

With the Barclays Center going up in the background in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, Peter Krashes measures the widths of the sidewalks that lead into and out of the arena. He and other members of the Dean Street Block Association worry about the crowds the 18,000-seat arena will attract.

"Our sidewalks, our streets don't have the capacity to accommodate all of those people," said resident Christine Schmidt.

"It's very, very close to our residences, the operation of it, the loading dock, the parking lot. They're all interwoven with our homes and our businesses and our churches," said Krashes.

The developer and the community both say they hope event-goers will use mass transit. But across from this stretch of the Prospect Heights Historic District, a parking lot will open for about 500 cars.

It is not likely to be enough for all those who decide to drive.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Unresolved questions ventilated by NY1: sidewalks near arena have been measured as narrower than publicly announced, but Forest City says they've been approved

The response? NY1 reports:

As for sidewalk congestion, Forest City says there will be workers to guide pedestrians through main thoroughfares to and from the arena and that both state and city officials have approved the sidewalk capacity for the crowds.

That doesn't actually resolve the question. There still should be well over 1000 people using narrow Dean Street from the surface parking lot alone. It isn't a main thoroughfare.

And just because the city and state have approved the sidewalk capacity--I thought it was just the city--doesn't mean they've measured it correctly. That was the point of a whole, detailed effort by Atlantic Yards Watch.

Gothamist, Barclays Center To Initially Have Half The Parking It Promised

While Brooklyn Heights is now freaking out over potentially 2,500 people filling its streets when a new Fieldhouse comes to Brooklyn Bridge Park, residents around the Atlantic Yards have been freaking for ages now about the 18,000 people expected to flood the area when the Nets start playing the Barclays Center this fall. And for them, there is good news today! The arena will initially have less parking than originally planned.

Park Slope Patch, State Reduces Parking at Barclays Center Lot from 1,100 to 550

Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Prospect Heights, called the change of heart “good news for the community.”

“I had asked some time ago about the issue of stacking and I’m glad they’ve finally seen the error of their ways,” she said.

But Dean Street Block Association President Peter Krashes criticized the ESDC for shortchanging the community by not requiring developer Forest City Ratner to comply with city standards for surface lots, which he said would require a 7-foot fence around the lot and about 65 trees inside.

Posted by eric at 11:17 AM

May 2, 2012

Trilingual sign on back of Ratner's retail outlet across from arena: "Please don't urinate here!"

Atlantic Yards Report

Some neighbors of the in-progress Barclays Center arena have expressed dismay over one specific potential impact: patrons urinating on the streets, sidewalks, and stoops.

One of the most vocal, Brooklyn Bear's Garden coordinator Jon Crow, has even called it the "urina," provoking pushback from arena boosters.

But are such fears really invalid? There's a problem already in the neighborhood.

On Monday, April 30, I walked around the back of the P.C. Richard store at Flatbush and Fourth avenues, which, along with Modell's (home to a Brooklyn Nets press conference) make up "Shops at Atlantic Center Site V," developed by Forest City Ratner.

(The parcel, also known as Site Five, is part of the Atlantic Yards site and destined for a 25-story building, at least at some point. It is directly adjacent to the Bear's Garden.)

Warnings stern and plaintive

On the back of the P.C. Richard store, I saw the notices in the photo at [right]. "No! You can't urinate here!" one message said sternly. The others, in English, Spanish, and French, were more polite: "Please don't urinate here!"

Apparently a good number of people--well, most likely men--have not been following those instructions.

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Posted by eric at 11:52 AM

May 1, 2012

Brooklyn-born Barbra Streisand said to play Barclays Center; concerts would be first big performances in NYC since 2006

Atlantic Yards Report

A nice Brooklyn bubbe will be playing the Barclays Center in October.

Hip-hop star Jay-Z may be opening the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with a concert on September 28, but another generation's Brooklyn supernova, eight-time Grammy Award winner Barbra Streisand, is said to be performing more than once at the new arena not long afterward.

The concerts have not been formally announced, but unconfirmed word leaked on ESPN, which reported February 29 that the Streisand dates would be sandwiched around an October 20 boxing event, and on Simply-Showbiz.com, which on March 26 said Streisand would launch her new tour in Brooklyn.

On April 26, Borough President Marty Markowitz, nearly bursting with anticipation, floated a hint, suggesting at a press conference that "the best is yet to come."

The next day, City Council Member Letitia James was more specific, dropping an aside at a public meeting: "Barbra Streisand has a couple of days" at the arena. (James wouldn't comment further.)

I sent a query to Streisand's spokesman Dick Guttman but didn't hear back. However, I had the news confirmed by multiple sources who wouldn't speak for attribution. Arena promoters likely have been holding the Babs-back-to-Brooklyn news for a big media splash.

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NoLandGrab: For those of you under 30 40, Barbra Streisand is a lot closer to Roger Green's 18,000-seat opera house concept than to anything you might have on your iPod.

Posted by eric at 11:30 AM

Ratner says Barclays Center built to accommodate NHL team, too

AP via NorthJersey.com

Speaking of myths, Bruce Ratner has told this tale so much lately that he might actually be starting to believe it.

The developer and owner of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center believes his arena can hold hockey for more than just a passing game.

Bruce Ratner, who will welcome the Nets to Brooklyn next season, is hopeful of the arena’s potential NHL prospects as well, perhaps even the Islanders, who are looking for a new home. The building already has ice and locker rooms for both sports.

"[It] was made for hockey and basketball," Ratner said. "It could easily support a hockey team."

Except it wasn't, and it can't. Ratner's own head of construction made that clear more than a year ago, saying publicly that "we made some pretty deliberate decisions early on: we weren't going to have a [professional] hockey team."

And they're not going to, despite what Bruce Ratner or Brett Yormark may claim.

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NoLandGrab: Word is they're already working on a new logo for the hockey team...

Posted by eric at 10:55 AM

April 27, 2012

Will streets/sidewalks near arena be overwhelmed? Bloomberg responds confidently: "not really something that's going to happen"

Atlantic Yards Report

Mike Bloomberg, urban planner.

At this morning's press conference on jobs at the Barclays Center, Mayor Mike Bloomberg was asked a question that seemed animated by the recent report, from Atlantic Yards Watch, that the sidewalks near the arena were far smaller than as measured by the state--portending trouble for neighborhood and arena-goers alike.

"Many residents in the area say they're worried that the streets, the quiet brownstone tree-lined streets will be swamped with people on game days and other event days," asked New York Times reporter Joseph Berger, "and that the city and state have done very little to make sure the streets can handle both the car traffic and the pedestrian traffic."

Bloomberg answered confidently. "Well, most people here are going to be on the main streets. Most of the people are going to come by mass transit," he said. "This mass transit to this stadium is equivalent to the mass transit under Madison Square Garden."

"So I don't think those fears are going to be--I think people will realize that's not really something that's going to happen," Bloomberg said confidently, with no acknowledgment of the specific situation at hand.

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Posted by eric at 1:49 PM

Ratner: Wait and see on Isles to Barclays

Newsday
by Roderick Boone

Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner didn't shoot down the possibility of the Islanders taking up residence at the Nets' new home in Brooklyn once their lease expires at Nassau Coliseum in 2015.

"Charles Wang is a friend," Ratner said of the Islanders owner Thursday at the arena after announcing a plan to fill 2,000 jobs at the new facility with local residents. "I talk to him all the time. We've talked for years and I think the major call is to make sure, first, the team stays in New York State.

"After that we'll see what happens," added Ratner, who is the chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies.
...

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who attended the event with Ratner Thursday, danced around the idea of whether the Islanders should move from Hempstead Turnpike to the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues. The arena holds roughly 14,500 people in its hockey configuration.

"That's up to the Barclays Center to try to attract people," Bloomberg said. "This is an arena that is built so they can have hockey here, and the more teams that are in New York, the better they are.

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NoLandGrab: If by "built so they can have hockey here" the Mayor meant "with awful sightlines and the rink crammed into one end of the arena in such a fashion that no NHL team would ever play anything but exhibitions here," then yes, the Barclays Center was built for hockey.

Posted by eric at 12:20 PM

April 26, 2012

Concerns Mount Over Barclays Center Sidewalks

Recently released survey of Atlantic Yards project finds less space for crowds than originally thought.

Prospect Heights Patch
by Paul Leonard

Much worry has already been expressed about the expected crush of passenger cars in the wake of Barclays Center's planned opening in September.

But now longtime critics of the project are sounding the alarm over another potential traffic jam—this time of the pedestrian kind.

Atlantic Yards Watch posted the results of a survey Tuesday finding that Barclays' Final Environmental Impact Statement may have overstated the width of sidewalk at several key areas of egress at the 18,000-seat arena.

Among the sidewalk locations found to be narrower than previously disclosed were areas abutting Barclays' Dean Street entrance, around a walkway leading to city subways and those leading to the arena's off-site stacked parking lot.

article

Related coverage...

mcbrookyn, Botched Sidewalk Widths Could Mean Crowd-Control Nightmare for Barclays Center

A critical measurement used in the formula to assess sidewalk capacity was regularly used incorrectly in the FEIS, according to AYW. As a result, the capacity of more than 86 percent of the sidewalks in the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) are overstated.

For example: The sidewalk on Dean Street that will be used by arena patrons to walk from the arena parking lot to the arena has an effective width of 3.2 feet instead of the 11.5 feet disclosed in the FEIS. This margin of error is typical, not the exception.

NoLandGrab: The real question is whether the sidewalk measurements in the FEIS were truly an error, or a fraud.

Posted by eric at 10:38 AM

April 25, 2012

Dean Street Squeeze (and more) documented: Atlantic Yards Watch shows width of sidewalks was overestimated, says narrow nature requires response

Atlantic Yards Report

Yes, the sidewalks around the Atlantic Yards project site are quite narrow, and that could be a problem.

Atlantic Yards Watch has compiled some thorough research, illustrated with a video and photos (by David Power) on how Overestimated sidewalk widths may spell trouble for arena patrons and residents alike.

(I wrote about the Dean Street Squeeze in June 2010, pointing out how it was clear the sidewalks were too tight for crowds, but AY Watch has done much more analysis.)

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Posted by eric at 11:23 AM

The Barclays Center and Local Businesses

Journographica Class Blogs
by Adrian Szkolar

A Stony Brook University journalism student looks at small business hopes for a positive arena effect.

With the New Jersey Nets set to relocate to Brooklyn this upcoming September, local businesses have a sense of hope that with fans flocking to the games, there will be more potential customers.
...

“I’m positive there is some impact,” said Asandoh Jones, an instructor at New York Chess and Games, a local chess shop on Flatbrush Avenue which mainly relies on revenue from chess lessons. “The question is, we’re wondering how good it will be for business, it certainly can’t hurt.”

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NoLandGrab: Jobs, Housing & Chess!

Posted by eric at 11:15 AM

No ‘Kemistry’ — Slope group votes no on club’s liquor license

The Brooklyn Paper
by Natalie O'Neill

A proposed nightclub called Kemistry Lounge features some bad elements, according to a civic group representing Brownstone Brooklyn.

A Community Board 6 committee voted unanimously on Monday to reject a liquor license request for a sprawling Flatbush Avenue venue near the soon-to-open Barclays Center after neighbors complained it would bring noise and nuisance to the community.

The proposed live music venue — which wants to offer bottle service and dancing — would keep nearby residents awake at all hours and bombard a neighborhood that’s already oversaturated with boozy nightlife establishments, committee members said.

“People in the area feel more and more put upon — there’s been a cumulative element when it comes to liquor license applications,” said CB6’s Gary Reilly.

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NoLandGrab: No doubt the Empire State Development Corporation believes that liquor license applications near the Barclays Center are at "acceptable levels."

Posted by eric at 11:06 AM

April 24, 2012

Overestimated sidewalk widths may spell trouble for arena patrons and residents alike

Atlantic Yards Watch

If you ever had any doubt that AKRF was hired to produce the Atlantic Yards Environmental Impact Statement for any reason other than that they would produce a document greasing the skids for the project, let this put that notion to rest.

Unlike nearly every other arena and stadium in the country, Barclays Center is fit tightly inside residential neighborhoods. It is largely surrounded by one way local streets and residential-width sidewalks, not the highways and commercial-width sidewalks that serve most other facilities of its kind.

Changes to the project have resulted in less capacity for travel lanes, lay by-lanes and sidewalks than was originally analyzed in the project's environmental impact statement. Now, a survey by AYW confirms the sidewalks in the vicinity of Atlantic Yards also have less capacity for pedestrians than the project's environmental analysis anticipates. The study finds that a critical measurement used in the formula to assess sidewalk capacity by the State was regularly used incorrectly in the FEIS. As a result, the capacity of more than 86% of the sidewalks in the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) are overstated, often by significant margins.

This is a concern because sidewalks created to accomodate local residents and patrons of small scale retail businesses will now have to handle the surging crowds of an 18,000-seat arena. Narrower effective widths mean a higher risk of vehicle/pedestrian accidents on the streets surrounding the project exists than the FEIS identifies. And the sidewalks will simply be less desirable to use.

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Related coverage...

NY Daily News, Sidewalks around Atlantic Yards project too narrow for Barclays Center crowds, report finds

Sidewalks around the Atlantic Yards project are too narrow to hold massive crowds from the new Nets arena, advocates charge.

They found in a new report that 86% of the sidewalks are actually narrower than state officials claimed when they approved the project.

“We took a tape measure and went down exactly the same sidewalks and measured them, and we came up with totally different numbers,” said Peter Krashes of Atlantic Yards Watch, which measured 22 sidewalks and found they were an average of 4.5 feet narrower than the state claimed in its environmental analysis. “The assessment is wildly off.”

State officials have said they used maps to come up with their numbers, rather than doing physical measurements.

But fear not, folks — the Empire State Development Corporation is satisfied.

Arana Hankin, Atlantic Yards director for the Empire State Development Corporation, said the agency’s consultants recently analyzed sidewalks around the arena site. “The analysis determined that pedestrian conditions operate at acceptable levels of service,” she said.

Posted by eric at 11:23 PM

Community Board 6 committee supports arena liquor license with stipulations; Veconi warns that the CB, which didn't take comments, gave up leverage

Atlantic Yards Report

At the end of a meeting that lasted more than three hours, including perhaps an hour devoted to the controversial Kemistry Lounge application, the Community Board 6 Public Safety/Environmental Protection/Permits/Licenses committee agreed to supports a liquor license for the Barclays Center subject to the same conditions under which Community Board 2 and its committee approved it.

That means that, while the applicant, Levy Premium Foodservice and Brooklyn Events Center, must set up a community liaison and also make sure the arena moves ahead with security, sanitation, transportation plans, there’s essentially no roadblock--not that it was assumed that the State Liquor Authority (SLA) would deny the application.

And while dozens of Prospect Place-area residents showed up to weigh in on Kemistry, there was virtually no one there to comment on the arena application, which provoked huge discussion two weeks earlier. (Those concerned about Kemistry didn't stick around.)

No public comment

Nor was public comment taken. That left Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, who has argued, for among other things, a cut-off in time for liquor sales, quite frustrated.

At the end of the meeting, Veconi approached committee chair Gary Reilly and said that, while the committee had been “doing a super job,” it was “unconscionable” to not take public comment and to approve a resolution with no enforceability.

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Posted by eric at 12:28 PM

Brett Yormark: “We wanted to bring a good product to Brooklyn. This team is bigger than one particular player.”

Sports Radio Interviews

From one bamboozler to another — excerpts from a recent Brett Yormark interview with WFAN's Boomer & Carton.

Is it bittersweet you are leaving New Jersey?

“Personally it is a little bittersweet. I grew up going down to the rack. I was a Nets fan since I was 10 years old, but obviously I came here seven years ago to take this team to Brooklyn and one thing we have been is open and honest to the fans.

And to the people of Brooklyn and New York's taxpayers (and judges), not so much.

How legitimate is it that the Barclays Center could host the New York Islanders? Is that legitimate?

“Yeah. I think so. We are going to test it a little bit in the fall on October 2nd when the Islanders play the Devils. We are very excited about it. In the first two weeks of tickets going on sale we sold over 6,000 seats, so there is a built in fan base in Brooklyn and we can accommodate hockey, NHL quality hockey at the Barclays Center. We are excited about that.”

You can listen to the full WFAN interview here.

link

Posted by eric at 11:07 AM

Post tours Barclays Center construction site

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com]
by Rich Calder

Credit the Post's Rich Calder for not letting Bruce Ratner dodge the crazy idea that the Barclays Center could ever be the permanent home of a professional hockey team (or the Islanders).

Q: What are your thoughts on the potential of the Islanders playing at Barclays Center permanently?

A: First off, I think the goal for everyone is that the Islanders stay in New York State. That’s No. 1. Obviously, if they are able to build an arena in Long Island -- wonderful. But we’d love to have them here if it does not work out. Having a two-sport arena would be terrific. The Islanders have a wonderful history, and it would be great to have them in Brooklyn. And Brooklyn is part of Long Island after all, so it would be great to have them.

Q: What is your sense or gut feeling on the likelihood of the Islanders coming to Brooklyn?

A: I don’t think I have a sense one way or another. It is still three years until [the Islanders] finish up their lease, so we’ll have discussions and I think it depends on what happens with building an [new] arena in Long Island.

Q: How many people will the arena hold?

A: 18,200 for basketball, 19,000 for concerts and likely 14,500 for hockey.

Q: Regarding hockey, is there any chance that more seating down the road could be added for hockey? [14,500 seats would make it the smallest NHL hockey venue]

A: Here’s the issue: Hockey is the kind of sport that because of the dasher [boards] you can get a slightly obstructed seat when the puck is right on your side. We can hold 18,000 for hockey. The question is how many above 14,500 would have somewhat obstructed seats. We have a good sense of it [that the number of seats not obstructed is about 14,500], so if your question is whether we’d want to put in more seats? Probably not. Can we change the obstructions? Probably not. Will more seats be okay? Possibly.

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Posted by eric at 10:46 AM

April 23, 2012

NHL commish: Brooklyn not good fit for Islanders, too far from Queens

Field of Schemes
by Neil deMause

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told Associated Press sports editors on Friday that Brooklyn may not be a viable relocation site for the New York Islanders — but not because its arena is too poorly laid out for hockey. Rather, Bettman worried, in the AP's words, that the Barclays Center arena would be "hard to reach for the team's fan base in Long Island and Queens."

This is weird on several counts, not least of which is that the Barclays Center sits right on top of a rail hub, with not only nine subway lines but a Long Island Rail Road terminal, trains from which go to, you guessed it, Long Island. There's even a station two blocks away for the G train, the only subway in the city that goes straight from Queens to Brooklyn without sullying its wheels in Manhattan.

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Related coverage...

The Hockey Writers, Gary Bettman Misses the Point with Islanders Relocation Comments

Even if the arena has a small capacity for hockey games (14,000), the venue could always be changed to cater to a bigger crowd.

NoLandGrab: Except, uh, no it can't, since it's already shoehorned into a space which is too small for it, anyway.

Posted by eric at 11:40 AM

April 22, 2012

NHL commissioner suggests that lack of accessibility makes Barclays Center not viable for Islanders (really?)

Atlantic Yards Report

The AP reported April 20:

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says Brooklyn may not be a viable potential destination for the New York Islanders because it's hard to reach for the team's fan base in Long Island and Queens.
...Bettman reiterated Friday that the league ideally wanted the club to remain in Nassau County. The Islanders plan to leave outdated Nassau Coliseum after their lease expires in 2015. Nassau voters rejected a $400 million referendum last year for a new arena.
Bettman said at an Associated Press Sports Editors meeting that the league was helping the Islanders explore their options "in the metropolitan area" and that moving the team to outside New York was not currently being considered.

That's an interesting explanation, given that the building, as Forest City officials admit, was designed specifically for basketball, precluding major league hockey. That said, it could fit 14,500 for hockey, with some lousy sightlines, and while that's very low for the league, it exceeds typical Islanders attendance.

Bettman, it seems, is trying to give a boost to a new arena on Long Island.

See discussion on Islanders Point Blank and NetsDaily regarding such things as the loss of Islanders fans who'd typically drive to a game vs. the potential to attract new fans via public transit and walk-up visitors.

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Posted by steve at 5:49 PM

April 21, 2012

Gary Bettman: Brooklyn not viable

AP via ESPN.com

We've been saying this for years, but if you don't believe us, listen to the guy who runs the National Hockey League (though he gets the reason wrong).

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says Brooklyn may not be a viable potential destination for the New York Islanders because it's hard to reach for the team's fan base in Long Island and Queens.

Bettman reiterated Friday that the league ideally wanted the club to remain in Nassau County. The Islanders plan to leave outdated Nassau Coliseum after their lease expires in 2015.

Nassau voters rejected a $400 million referendum last year for a new arena.

Bettman said at an Associated Press Sports Editors meeting that the league was helping the Islanders explore their options "in the metropolitan area" and that moving the team to outside New York was not currently being considered.

link

NoLandGrab: The reason Barclays Center is "not viable" as a home for the Islanders has to do with the fact that it's built for basketball, not an NHL-sized ice surface.

Posted by eric at 11:17 AM

April 19, 2012

Impact of Atlantic Yards arena, actually, will be felt a lot more when new/empty spaces get filled

Atlantic Yards Report

Has the advent of the Barclays Center really changed retail in the blocks around it?

That was the theme of a misguided Times article Tuesday, which focused significantly on gentrification-led change (see the map below, highlighting small establishments), while missing the fact that such change had nothing to do with reclaiming the enduring "scar" of the Vanderbilt Yard.

The map even missed the burger boom outlined by the Brooklyn Paper, which, that article suggests, is partly driven by the arena for Five Guys, but not for 67 Burger.

Meanwhile, the Times scanted the opportunity to address issues of accountability, such as the five-month delay in the Transportation Demand Management plan or the Appellate Division's smackdown of the Empire State Development Corporation. And that raises questions about whether local officials are prepared to address arena impacts on the residential blocks.

What's coming

While the area around the Barclays Center is changing, and there's significant retail demand for open spaces, what struck me last night as I walked Flatbush Avenue is how much more change there will be.

There are several major spaces empty, or not yet open, unmentioned in the Times's oddly-focused map....

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Posted by eric at 11:52 AM

Residents Worried About Drunken ‘Rowdiness’ Coming From Barclays Center

CBS New York
by Holly Haerr

Brooklynites around the new Barclays Center are not ready to raise a pint to the Nets and their fans.

Some residents are concerned about what crowds of fans will do if they drink a lot during games or concerts and come into the surrounding neighborhoods after events at the soon-to-be home of the Brooklyn Nets.

“If you ask me, I wouldn’t have any alcohol at all. It makes people act crazy,” one Park Slope resident told 1010 WINS’ Holly Haerr. “It’s a big concern to me because I’m an older person. I don’t like it.”
...

“The arena operators are acting as if they don’t need the support of the local community and, you know, that’s a scary proposition for people who are going to have to live next to this arena for decades — for the rest of their lives,” said Gib Veconi, Treasurer of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council.

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Posted by eric at 11:26 AM

Rush announce 2012 North American tour dates

Rock it Out!

Hot new act Rush is coming to Brooklyn!

Rush is releasing its newest album, Clockwork Angels, on June 5th which means a tour was naturally going to follow.

The band has announced a massive North American tour that’s going to kick off on September 7th in Manchester, NH and will come to a close on December 2nd in Houston, TX. All of the tour dates can be seen down below.
...

10/22 – Brooklyn, NY, Barclays Center

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NoLandGrab: Anyone know if Donny Osmond has announced his tour dates yet?

Posted by eric at 11:13 AM

April 18, 2012

Sip off: Barclays Center neighbors fight for smaller beer cups

The Brooklyn Paper
by Natalie O'Neill

Prospect Heights residents want to referee the booze rules at the soon-to-open Barclays Center in an attempt to keep liquored-up sports fans from committing fouls on their residential streets after games.

Arena neighbors are demanding the hoops hub adopt an alcohol cut-off time and limit the size and number of drinks served to fans, claiming the restrictions are necessary because the future home of the Brooklyn Nets borders residential areas and, unlike most urban stadiums, is not buffered from communities by large parking lots.

“This is a truly unique situation — so we need more sensitive crowd control rules,” said Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council.

He and other neighbors want beer sold in 12-ounce containers rather than the 16-ounce cups common at many stadiums, served no more than two at a time, and poured no later than 9:30 pm at sports games and concerts.
...

Pinning the booze curfew to an hour, not a stoppage in play, isn’t unheard of, either: Chicago’s Wrigley Field — which, like the Barclays Center, isn’t far from residences — has a 9:20 pm alcohol cut-off.

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NoLandGrab: The photo illustrates perfectly how absurdly close to private homes New York State allowed Forest City Ratner to build the arena. Those homes it didn't allow him to bulldoze, that is.

Photo: Stefano Giovannini/The Brooklyn Paper

Posted by eric at 11:25 AM

Barclays Center Taking Shape As 1010 WINS Gets Tour Inside

CBS New York
by Al Jones

1010 WINS asks Bruce Ratner the tough questions.

Could the Islanders potentially make a move to Brooklyn? Ratner certainly doesn’t discount the possibility.

“They could play here. It would be a lot to do the arranging for and so on, but yes it could be done,” he said.

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NoLandGrab: Yup, the Islanders could play in the Barclays Center the same way Mike Bloomberg once said Bruce Ratner would build the thing without public money.

Posted by eric at 10:19 AM

April 17, 2012

Atlantic Yards Changed Brooklyn Long Ago, Says NYT [POLL]

The transformation of Brooklyn has already been felt in the Atlantic Yards project – and the first phase, the Barclays Center, hasn't even been completed.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

...the Times says that the changes are evidence that the project has accomplished its goal of transforming the Long Island Rail Road’s dreary rail yards and surrounding industrial buildings, described by Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco as “a scar that divided the neighborhood.”

But would these changes have happened on their own, anyway? Other Brooklyn neighborhoods, like Williamsburg and DUMBO, blossomed with high-rise condos and artisanal cocktail bars long ago. Vote in our poll below, or let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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NoLandGrab: The guy who mostly pays DePlasco's salary, Bruce Ratner, could himself be described as a "scar that divided the neighborhood" — except that with probably 9 out of every 10 residents loathing him, that hardly counts as "divided."

Posted by eric at 11:06 PM

NBA picks New Orleans for 2014 All-Star game, which means Barclays Center has to wait (though 2015 would be a good bet)

Atlantic Yards Report

I wrote in February that the chances for the Barclays Center to host the NBA 2013 All-Star game were long past, and 2014 was also in jeopardy, however much the league likes to showcase new arenas.

The NBA typically reveals its decision well more than a year in advance, I observed, and, based on past timing, the league was to pick its 2014 All-Star venue between May and August 2012, before the Brooklyn arena was even finished.

Well, it's happened even sooner. ESPN reported last night:

Three days after [New Orleans] Saints owner Tom Benson agreed to buy the [New Orleans] Hornets and sign a lease extension at New Orleans Arena, NBA commissioner David Stern came down to the bayou and announced that New Orleans will host the 2014 All-Star Game as "a reward to the good citizens of this city and the sponsors and ticket holders" who helped solidify the team's financial footing before it was sold.

The Barclays Center is likely a leading candidate for 2015, though the renovated Madison Square Garden would also be a contender.

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Posted by steve at 9:12 AM

April 16, 2012

Greg Stiemsma Hangs Out With Wrestler Mick Foley After Celtics Game, Says 'He's the Man!'

NESN.com

The New England Sports Network gets in its Time Machine, dials up "November 2012," and visits the future home of the Brooklyn Nets.

Greg Stiemsma had a nice game against the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night, but it was what happened after the game that had him tweeting with excitement.

Stiemsma, fresh off a six-point, nine-rebound performance in Boston's 94-82 victory, tweeted a photo of himself hanging out with wrestler Mick Foley on the court.

The Celtics center tweeted, "I got to meet Mick Foley after the game. He's the man!"

Foley, of course, had been known by many aliases throughout his professional wrestling career, including Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love. And while it appears he was attending the game simply as himself on Saturday night at Barclays Center, he did feature a hint of Dude Love, sporting what looks to be a purple tie-dye shirt under his brown blazer.

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NoLandGrab: The photo from the future gives a preview of the "crowds" the woeful Nets will draw.

Posted by eric at 11:42 AM

New Nets arena attracts stores, eateries

Newsday
by Kathleen Lucadamo

Ah, yes, Bruce Ratner's new sports palace is really going to class up the neighborhood.

"Hooters came to us for retail space adjacent to the stadium. We sent them away," said Michael Pintchik, who owns dozens of buildings between Atlantic Avenue and Grand Army Plaza. "Our goal is to make the area eclectic, a place that young people want to hang out, instead of just another commercial strip."

Hooters did not return calls for comment.

Michael Pintchik is a neighborhood guy, and has more scruples than your average landlord, who'll be happy to rent to Hooters, or Larry Flynt [NSFW].

Established businesses are also expecting a boom.

"Eventually people will come from all over, not just Long Island," said Leah Baptiste, manager of Wayne Agassi's Salon and Spa at Bergen Street and Flatbush Avenue. The spa is considering extending hours on game days and offering packages for folks who want to enjoy the area while their partners attend the game.

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NoLandGrab: Yes, we always get a perm before a Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. Haven't you noticed all the hair salons on 33rd Street?

Posted by eric at 11:18 AM

April 12, 2012

Barclays Center liquor license follow-up: CB2 approval, Patch coverage

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder rounds up the stray coverage of the Barclays Center liquor-license hearing.

In CB2 Toasts Barclays Center Booze Permit, The Local reports:

Community Board 2’s vote rubber-stamped a committee’s approval one night earlier of the license in exchange for promises to involve the community and crack down on underage drinking and post-game filth. That approval came after intense debate, but there was little discussion by the full board last night.

“Barclays Center, here we come!” hailed CB2 Chairman John Dew after the vote.

My comment:

Despite Mr. Dew's triumphant tone, I'm not sure this article should share it. The resolution approved includes fairly onerous reservations. Some regard expected but delayed actions: transportation and security plans.

The Community Advisory Committee is doable, but there was no sign it's actually coming. And, as the article indicates, Levy opposes the use of ID readers.

Also, we didn't hear what Levy and developer Forest City Ratner think of a review of the license in one year, but it's unlikely they're thrilled about it.

I'd add that there may be a divide on the board, with Dew having fewer reservations about the Barclays Center than some CB 2 members. I'll note that one CB 2 member told me after the committee meeting Tuesday that they were forbidden to talk to the press.

Patch report

This morning Patch produces Community Residents Have Reservations About Barclays Center Liquor License, a thorough article that's only about a day late.

The article, like the WNYC coverage, included a reference to one supporter I didn't mention in my article:

However, not everyone in the room was against approving the liquor license. David Vendley, the co-owner of Calexico, a restaurant on Union Street, said that the community should support Barclays and their liquor license.

“I like to drink beer at games, but I don’t want to get drunk. To lump everyone who drinks at arenas together and say that selling liquor is going to create an unruly group of people in a gross assumption,” David Vendley said.

Vendley has a point, but the committees are concerned because there's just much less of a margin for error, given the arena's location.

link

Related content...

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill], CB2 Toasts Barclays Center Booze Permit

Park Slope Patch, Community Residents Have Reservations About Barclays Center Liquor License

WNYC, Neighborhood Raises Concerns About Alcohol at Barclay's Center

Posted by eric at 10:59 AM

April 11, 2012

Make Barclays Liquor Sales Work for the Community

Prospect Heights Patch
by Gib Veconi

Here's a bit of common-sense commentary from the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council's Gib Veconi.

Let’s be clear: The question is not whether Forest City Ratner has hired a reputable, experienced firm to run the food and beverage concessions at the Barclays Center arena. The question is not whether the arena will enforce State laws against underage drinking and patrons walking out the doors with drinks in their hands. And the question is most certainly not whether Barclays Center should be like all other U.S. sports facilities, which are able to serve alcohol. Let’s assume the answer to those questions is yes.

The real question is on what terms Barclays Center should be granted a license to open a bar with 18,000 seats. And right now the answer is, we don’t know.

We don’t know because Barclays has yet to release a code of conduct for its patrons. We don’t know because the NYPD hasn’t yet announced a plan for maintaining order and safety before and after arena events. We don’t know because Forest City Ratner has yet to explain how the parking lot two avenues east of the arena is going to be operated. And we don’t know because the representatives from Barclays who attended last night’s meeting of Community Boards 2 and 6 could not even commit to a time after which sales of alcohol at the arena would be cut off.

It’s not even clear that the arena operations team has thought through its crowd control strategy yet. At last night’s meeting, Peter Krashes of the Dean Street Block Association pointed out that the largest exit from Barclays Center is onto residential Dean Street. David Anderson of arena operator AEG stated that patrons would be directed away from Dean Street and on to Flatbush Avenue. That won’t work—Mr. Anderson apparently did not realize that an 1,100-car parking lot for arena patrons lies two avenues to the east down Dean Street.

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NoLandGrab: Geography's hard! We're confident all other aspects of arena security are under control though, right?!

Posted by eric at 10:49 PM

Liquor license for new Barclays Center arena sparks fight in Prospect Heights

Boozy crowds will disrupt neighborhood, locals say

NY Daily News
by Erin Durkin

A boozy battle has broken out over a liquor license for the new Nets arena.

Residents worry liquored-up hordes of fans will wreak havoc in their streets after games and other events at the Prospect Heights arena.

The venue is virtually certain to get a license before it opens in September, but many locals want it held up until developer Forest City Ratner come out with security and transportation plans and a code of conduct for the arena.

“I’m just urging that we slow it down,” said City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Prospect Heights), who said she’s been asking for transportation and security plans for over a year.
...

Barclays Center officials said while liquor would be sold by 57 spots in the arena plus hawkers in the stands, they would check IDs strictly, refuse to serve anyone who looks intoxicated, and cut off sales before the end of events.

“We take it extremely seriously. Responsible alcohol service is the number one thing we want to ensure,” said Julie Margolin, director of operations for Chicago-based Levy Restaurants, which will handle food and liquor at the arena.

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NoLandGrab: Actually, Levy intends to serve alcohol the same way they do in the rest of the 70% of NBA arenas they handle, and we know no one is ever drunk or unruly in any of those venues, right?

Related coverage...

Gothamist, Locals Fear Nets Arena Liquor License Will Cause "More Dead Cyclists And Pedestrians"

Posted by eric at 10:32 PM

Mesothelioma Scores? Asbestos May Drive Islanders to Brooklyn for Good

NY Observer
by Matt Chaban

The Observer's Chaban, who is good enough to know better, piles on with the nonsense.

We already know that the first game to be played at the Barclays Center will not be basketball but hockey, as the New York Islanders are playing an exhibition game there. There has been a lot of talk about the team moving there for good, after its lease runs out at the Nassau Coliseum in 2015.

This has been seen by some as a bargaining move for team management to get a new arena approved, but it could become a reality as soon as next season. A state investigation has found asbestos at the coliseum, according to The Brooklyn Paper, and if it’s not cleaned up before next season starts, the Islanders will be looking to leave.
...

The Paper points out that the move would keep the team from taking on debt to build a new arena, though this would also be the smallest in the league, at 14,500 seats.

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NoLandGrab: The "move," which is never happening anyway given the abysmally bad configuration and sight lines, would also guarantee the Islanders a profit-free existence in someone else's building.

And as Norman Oder points out in the comments, no state investigation has found asbestos — a lawsuit alleges its presence. A state investigation is ongoing.

Posted by eric at 10:17 PM

One of these things is not like the other...

At last night's joint Community Board 2 and 6 hearing on the Barclays Center liquor-license application, arena Director of Security David Anderson and Dean Street resident and activist Peter Krashes had the following exchange, according to Atlantic Yards Report:

Peter Krashes of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and the Dean Street Block Association, observed, "You all get the idea that you're going to be operating the arena in a relatively unique situation... Our neighborhood is going to be integrated into the operational plans of the arena. We have bedrooms facing the street. We have kids who have to go to school the next day and are going to have an arena event happening on a Thursday night... You guys have a special obligation."

(At [right] is Krashes on residential Dean Street, the straightest path between the arena and the planned interim surface parking lot.)

He asked Margolin and David Anderson, director of security, for examples in other cities where they have made it work. Secondly, he asked, how does the community keep them accountable, given that, in his opinion, "we've had a lot of problems with accountability leading up to this point... you can say you're going to sell two drinks per ID, but... If people walk down the street, yelling and shouting on Dean Street, how do we hold you two accountable?"

Anderson responded, "The experience I've had as far as dealing with an arena in a neighborhood, I've had a few, one was United Center in Chicago, which was just on the West Side of Chicago. We had the same situation, there's a similar situation, and when I came on board here, I understood everything that you guys were going through here....

Apparently not. Here's the "same situation" in Chicago, via Google Earth:

Maybe he means the "same situation" once Bruce Ratner finishes transforming Prospect Heights.

Top photo: Norman Oder

Posted by eric at 1:53 PM

Community Board committees say inevitable Barclays Center liquor license should not go forward without community outreach, negotiation

Atlantic Yards Report

Committees of Brooklyn Community Boards 2 and 6, urging attention to the Barclays Center's unique placement in and near residential districts, both last night urged caution to the operators of the Barclays Center arena, saying they were unwilling to support the venue's inevitable liquor license without reservations.

After a 2.5-hour hearing in a standing-room only meeting room at the 78th Precinct stationhouse just a block from the arena site, a CB 6 committee tabled any vote on the liquor license, then voted to urge the applicant, Levy Restaurants, to set up a community liaison group to address residents' concerns.

(Photos and set by Tracy Collins)

A CB 2 committee voted to approve the license, but with heavy reservations, including issues that are related but not exactly in Levy's hands: developer Forest City Ratner's issuance of a transportation demand management plan, which was promised in December but has been delayed until May, and a clarified arena security plan, which involves coordination of arena operations with the New York Police Department, which has yet to assign a precinct to be in charge of policing the arena.

The full boards also will make their recommendations, and then have a chance to again weigh in when the State Liquor Authority holds a hearing on the 500-foot rule, required when there are other nearby establishments. The SLA is expected to approve the application; the question is whether the process will impose any conditions on the operator.

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Related coverage...

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill], Mixed Drinks as Two Community Boards Send Different Messages of Temperance

Two Brownstone Brooklyn community boards sent different messages of temperance to Barclays Center officials who were seeking approval for the arena’s liquor license last night — but both boards agreed that arena operators need to do more to ensure that quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods will not be destroyed by thousands of boozed-up basketball fans.
...

“This is a win,” said Councilwoman Letitia James, the Fort Greene Democrat who had demanded that the liquor license bid be suspended until “all of those outstanding issues can be resolved.”
...

“There will be drinking and driving,” said Hildegaard Link, a member of Community Board 6. “How many more dead bicyclists and pedestrians to we need? This is not a joke.”

NY Post, Net ‘shot’ blockers

“We have so many new bars coming and now they want to set up 57 stations in the arena to sell liquor. It’s just too much,” said Community Board 6 member Pauline Blake.

threecee via flickr, 2012 Barclays Center Arena Liquor License Public Meeting

Posted by eric at 1:37 PM

Owner Says the Nets and a New Arena Remain Hard-Hat Zones

The New York Times
by Richard Sandomir

Jim Dolan must wish he had Mikhail Prokhorov's PR people.

Mikhail D. Prokhorov said he could not discuss contract talks with Deron Williams.

“For the time being, it’s top secret,” Prokhorov, the Nets’ majority owner, said Tuesday during a news conference inside the unfinished Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Why the omertà about the point guard so essential to the team’s future?

“N.B.A. rules prohibit me from comment on a potential contract,” he said. “Please wait for summer.”

When reminded by a reporter that he is not prohibited from discussing his own free agent, he quickly shed his self-imposed gag order.

article

Related coverage...

NY Post, Nets owner mentions 'kickboxing' Mavericks over Deron

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has a message for Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: Pursue Deron Williams at your own risk.

“Let the best man win,” the Russian billionaire said with a smile inside the shell of the Nets’ future home, the Barclays Center, during Tuesday’s press conference in Brooklyn. “If he wins, I’ll crush him in a kickboxing throwdown.”

CBS New York, Prokhorov Coy On ‘Top Secret’ Williams Situation, Asks Nets Fans For Patience

Hang Time Blog, NETS’ BROOKLYN DREAM IS A REALITY

The Brooklyn Paper, Prokhorov isn’t looking for a Brooklyn pied-a-terre

Posted by eric at 1:12 PM

Atlantic Yards and 311: An open letter to Mayor Bloomberg

Atlantic Yards Watch

Recently, we were informed by representatives of your office that all callers reporting Atlantic Yards incidents to 311 would be required to identify the location of the incident as “620 Atlantic Avenue” so 311 would be able to identify the report as being related to Atlantic Yards. This is the case even if the incident being reported is blocks away from 620 Atlantic Avenue. Frankly, we don’t think this is going to work. For the last eight years, thousands of people living near the project have been used to thinking of the site as “Atlantic Yards” or “Barclays Center,” in part because Forest City Ratner has spent hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of dollars publicizing those names. Nobody recognizes “620 Atlantic Avenue.” However, we were told that enabling the 311 system to key incident reports to “Atlantic Yards” or “Barclays Center” would require the entire system to be rewritten.

We admit we found this hard to believe. It doesn’t seem possible that 311 is unable to take a report based on a common place name instead of a street address. We doubt many people know the street addresses of Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, or Citi Field, for instance. We would like to think that a person calling 311 about a problem at the Grand Army Plaza subway station would be able to be served.

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NoLandGrab: Maybe there should be a separate phone number for reporting ceaseless Atlantic Yards infractions. Do you think 666 is taken?

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Atlantic Yards Watch: maybe "620 Atlantic Avenue" isn't such a good ID for AY-related incidents

Posted by eric at 12:45 PM

April 10, 2012

Long Island’s asbestos may send hockey to Barclays Center

The Brooklyn Paper
by Daniel Bush

Will the Islanders-to-Brooklyn nonsense never cease?

Nassau Coliseum’s asbestos problem could be the Barclays Center’s biggest coup.

A state investigation into claims that the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum — where the New York Islanders’ hockey team plays its home games — is filled with the cancer-causing fiber could bring the team to the $1-billion, asbestos-free Prospect Heights arena if the lethal substance isn’t removed by the start of next season.

The state Department of Labor launched a probe of the Long Island sports complex on March 30, after more than 75 workers alleged the facility was filled with asbestos in a bombshell lawsuit filed against Nassau County, which owns the Coliseum.

“The whole place is covered in it,” said Joseph Dell, the plaintiffs’ attorney. “The county is responsible for keeping Nassau Coliseum safe but it never renovated it or did an asbestos abatement.”
...

State labor officials did not return calls seeking comment, but county officials said they conducted a study last month that found small amounts of asbestos in areas of the Coliseum that are off-limits to the public.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Islanders to Brooklyn? Asbestos problem at Nassau Coliseum under investigation

Are the New York Islanders headed for the Barclays Center because of an asbestos problem at the Nassau Coliseum?

That's the suggestion in a Courier-Life article about charges filed by a plaintiffs' attorney:

If a cleanup of the Nassau Coliseum stretches beyond the start of the hockey season this fall — or if the asbestos problem forces county officials to close the arena — the Islanders would be forced to find a new home, and the Barclays Center is an easy option....

An asbestos-abetted move to Brooklyn is all but inevitable according to sports talking heads including Mike Francesa.

Well, that same article quoting the authoritative sports talking heads stated:

Asbestos contamination has been found in four locations throughout the Nassau Coliseum , but inspection reports show air quality is safe in public areas of the arena, according to a consulting firm hired by Nassau County.

The attorney says a study he ordered showed cancer-causing asbestos in numerous public areas. For now the issue is unresolved, given a new state investigation.

New York Islanders Adrift, Nassau Coliseum Consider Safe for the Public even with Asbestos

Park Slope Patch, With Nassau Coliseum Asbestos Woes, Islanders Could Move to Barclays Center

NoLandGrab: Next week's headline: "Could vampire-bat infestation mean Islanders will play home games in Brooklyn?"

Posted by eric at 12:18 PM

Developer Bruce Ratner shows #NETS owner Mikhail Prokhorov the future practice court

netsbasketball via yfrog

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NoLandGrab: "There, Patti Hagan, right over there!"

Posted by eric at 12:00 PM

EB-5 follies: are immigrant investor funds going into the Brooklyn arena?

Atlantic Yards Report

Like a game of telephone, news can be distorted along the line. Take for example coverage in Bloomberg Business Week about the EB-5 program of investment immigration...

article

Posted by eric at 11:36 AM

April 9, 2012

Arena Foes Will Fight Barclays Center Booze Permit

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Gersh Kuntzman

Thousands of boozed-up sports fans will pour out of the Barclays Center onto local streets after games, ruining the quality of life for residents of the low-rise neighborhoods nearby — so the state should hold off on giving the arena a liquor license until some mitigation plan is in place, say opponents, who will converge on a public hearing tomorrow night over the booze permit.

It is virtually impossible to conceive of a sports venue not serving beer, wine or liquor — indeed, even the home of the Utah Jazz in famously dry Salt Lake City sells alcohol. But the joint Community Board 2 and 6 hearing tomorrow has Barclays Center foes sounding a bit like Carrie Nation.

“The arena is a monstrocity to begin with, but with a liquor license, there will be drunk guys vomiting and peeing in the street,” said Wanda Fleck, a resident of nearby Boerum Hill who opposes the license, though it is not likely that the State Liquor Authority will deny the permit.

Opponents say they understand that reality, but object to the permit on the grounds that neither arena operators nor their food service providers, Levy Restaurants, have presented any evidence that they will be able to handle the sheer quantity of drunk customers as they leave events at the 18,000-seat arena.

“It’s premature for them to get community board support for a liquor license when they haven’t even made public any plans for security or crowd control of 18,000 people,” said Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and a Prospect Heights resident. “They haven’t shown how they can protect quality of life for the neighbors.”
...

Barclays Center officials did not return repeated requests for comment for this story, saying that the company will answer questions on Tuesday night.

The silence from Barclays officials serves only to magnify opponents’ main concern that arena operators have not provided any evidence that they can and will control crowds after events. As such, booze sales should be curtailed earlier than the start of the fourth quarter — currently, the NBA standard — some foes say.

“A strong argument should be made that Brooklyn’s arena respect its unique situation and [have] a half-time cut-off,” said area resident Jon Crow.

article

Related coverage....

Atlantic Yards Report, With no code of conduct yet for arena, Barclays Center neighbors seek delay on liquor license

The arena encroaches on a residential neighborhood, as the state overrode zoning that requires a 200-foot cordon around a sports facility. Those returning to the interim surface parking lot would walk on sidewalks as narrow as six feet wide.

And the arena code of conduct, promised for this spring, is not yet available. Forest City Ratner officials told The Local they wouldn't comment on the liquor license application until tomorrow night's meeting, at 6:30 pm at the 78th Police Precinct, 65 6th Avenue, just a block from the arena.

Beer cutoff

One issue: would beer sales be cut off earlier than the start of the fourth quarter, which is the NBA rule, set in 2005, in response to a brawl between players and fans in Detroit.

As I wrote in January, no NBA arena will be abutting a residential neighborhood as closely as the Barclays Center, scheduled to open for basketball in October, and neighbors are concerned about noise, sanitation, driving--and inebriated fans leaving the arena.

At the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting January 26, Forest City Ratner executive Jane Marshall said that a code of conduct is being developed for the arena, and will be shared with the public, but not until the end of the spring.

Is there any possibility that the beer cutoff could be earlier than the end of the third quarter?

"I'm saying that I think it's impossible," responded Marshall.

Posted by eric at 11:37 AM

April 6, 2012

Community Boards 2, 6 To Review Barclays Center Liquor License

Joint Meeting Planned April 10

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Congrats to The Eagle on its new look — a vast improvement.

Community Boards 2 and 6 have both received the statutorily required 30-day notice stating that Levy Premium Foodservice LP and Brooklyn Events Center LLC intend to apply for an on-premises liquor license for the Barclays Center, which straddles the boundary between the two community boards.

The two boards will, therefore, conduct a joint meeting on Tuesday, April 10, to hear a presentation by representatives of the applicant and the arena operator with input from the New York Police Department and review the application.
...

The meeting, set to begin at 6:30 pm, will take place in the auditorium of the 78th Precinct, 65 Sixth Ave., between Bergen and Dean streets. Although not a public hearing, the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and comment.

Ashley Cotton, a spokesperson for Barclays, told the Eagle, “This is a formal review process. We will meet with the community boards on April 10th to discuss the application and answer their questions.”

link

NoLandGrab: Okay, then here's a question — why does a company that's broken every promise it's made to the community deserve the community's support for its liquor license?

Posted by eric at 10:34 AM

April 5, 2012

With Golden Gloves at Barclays, Is the Arena Beginning to Overtake MSG? [POLL]

A number of prestigious sports events and concerts are choosing the Barclays Center over Madison Square Garden – will it last?

Prospect Heights Patch
by Jamie Schuh

Oh, please. One is the World's Most Famous Arena, the other is the World's Most Rusty Arena™.

The Brooklyn Paper questioned Monday whether the brand-new Barclays will begin to draw more big events away from Madison Square Garden. There is, after all, the Coaches vs. Cancer basketball tournament that is also being pulled away from MSG when the Brooklyn arena opens, as well as The New York Masters horse-jumping competition. And Manhattan's arena may host Rangers hockey games, but the Islanders will take on the Devils for a one-off game in October.
...

Could the Barclays Center overtake Madison Square Garden as New York City’s most prestigious venue? Vote in our poll below, or let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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NoLandGrab: In order to "draw more big events away from Madison Square Garden," the Barclays Center will first need to draw a big event away from MSG. Things like the Golden Gloves and Coaches vs. Cancer are peanuts. The Knicks and Rangers sell out 100% of their games, while the Nets and Islanders (who aren't ever moving to the Barclays Center, anyway), rank last and next-to-last in league attendance, respectively. Do we really think Jay-Z isn't going to play the Garden anymore? He's a business, man.

Posted by eric at 10:27 AM

April 4, 2012

Downtown Brooklyn Marriott named official hotel of Barclays Center

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com]
by Rich Calder

What?! How about the Best Western Arena Hotel?

The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge has been named the Barclays Center's official hotel -- and officials say the designation means the hotel will be a top choice of visiting basketball teams, performers and others attending future arena events.

Officials for the under-construction, 18,000-seat Prospect Heights arena and Muss Development, which oversees the nearby 667-room hotel in the borough's Downtown, announced the partnership yesterday. It includes a number of cross-promotional activities, including two branded guest service centers at the NBA's Nets new arena, which opens Sept. 28.

The Atlantic 10 conference is among the first to take advantage of the partnership. The league will be using the Brooklyn Marriott on Adams Street as its hotel headquarters for the A-10 Men's Basketball Championships next season, which will be held at Barclays Center.

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Posted by eric at 12:24 PM

Barclays should court these MSG events

The Brooklyn Paper
by Daniel Bush

The Barclays Center has already stolen major gigs away from Madison Square Garden, but the Manhattan venue still boasts a number of offerings — from sports to rodeos — that could be ripe for the taking:

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Dog-loving Brownstone Brooklyn could be a great home for the 136-year-old poochfest, especially considering that the Brooklyn Mutt Show is already a big hit.

The Professional Bull Riders Invitational

A bull-riding contest might seem out of place in Brooklyn, but with all its ups and downs it could be a perfect fit for an arena that’s a part of the controversial $5-billion Atlantic Yards project.

The Public School Athletic League basketball championships

Brooklyn-born greats like former Lincoln High School star Stephon Marbury would have home field advantage if city school finals moved to the borough.

American Cup

The world’s best gymnastics tournament doesn’t necessarily need to be held in the world’s most famous arena — and who says Madison Square Garden will keep that title for long, anyway?

link

NoLandGrab: From the World's Most Famous Arena to the World's Most Subsidized Arena™!

Posted by eric at 12:16 PM

Golden Gloves coming to Barclays instead of Madison Square Garden

The Brooklyn Paper
by Daniel Bush

The soon-to-open Barclays Center snagged the Golden Gloves amateur boxing finals from Madison Square Garden, dealing its world-famous rival in Manhattan a big blow in the budding rivalry between the two high-profile arenas.

The nation’s best young boxers will slug it out at the $1-billion arena on Flatbush and Atlantic avenues next year instead of at the aging but recently-rehabbed Manhattan venue — marking the first time in the contest’s 86-year history that fighters won’t take their corners in the squared circle at Madison Square Garden, officials at Barclays announced on Tuesday.

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Posted by eric at 12:12 PM

Will Nets Fans Need Drinks? Community Board Meeting on Ratner Liquor License Application

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

Should Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov's Barclays Center Mall Restaurant Bar Arena be granted a liquor license? With the product they're putting on the court they and their customers are gonna need a few drinks something awful.

Anyway, if you're interested in why they think 18,000 (minus everyone under the age of 21 without fake IDs) should be able to belly up to the bar at once and chug down some of the best swill around and how they'll handle it, AND ask questions....you're in luck.

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Posted by eric at 11:40 AM

April 3, 2012

Coming April 10: Presentation on liquor license application for the Barclays Center

Atlantic Yards Report

Community Board 6 announces a joint meeting with Community Boards 2 & 6 at 6:30 pm on April 10:

Public Safety/Environmental Protection/Permits/Licenses
Presentation and review of an on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of Levy Premium Foodservice, LP and Brooklyn Events Center, LLC at the Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue (between Flatbush/5th Avenues).

78th Police Precinct
65 6th Avenue, Courtroom
(between Bergen/Dean Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11217

CB 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman notes that the joint review session is being held because the arena and site spans multiple Community Districts. Community Boards don't see the liquor license applications, but get a standardized form that provides a 30-day notice of an applicant's intent to file an application, which is what triggers the review process.

CB 6 asks applicants to complete a liquor license questionnaire, which includes the names of officers/managers/owners, the previous premises they've operated, and details about the operation, including cuisine, target age of customer base, music/entertainment plans, hours/days of operation, and square footage/seating capacity/floor plan.

Community Boards cannot veto or approve a license application, but have an advisory--and sometimes mediating--role. CB 2 stated in a notice:

Representatives of the applicant, the arena operator and the New York Police Department will be present at the meeting. Although not a public hearing, the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and comment.

link

Posted by eric at 9:21 PM

Jay-Z's new commercial: from Marcy to Barclays (sort of); "Empire" tops Time Out New York's Best NYC songs (but what about C.R.E.A.M.?)

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder reports on the latest Jay-Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... oh, what's that? Sorry, nodded off there for a moment. The latest Jay-Z "news."

From Rap-Up, JAY-Z GOES FROM ‘MARCY TO BARCLAYS’ IN ROCAWEAR COMMERCIAL:

Jay-Z reflects on his inspiring journey to the top in the first-ever Rocawear commercial, directed by Anthony Mandler. Mr. Carter describes himself as a kid growing up in the Marcy Projects of Brooklyn to eventually becoming an executive of many brands including his clothing line Rocawear.

“My goal was to have one gold album and that was it,” says the Roc Nation mogul. “And then it became, I want to show that an artist can ascend to the executive ranks.”

No, despite what Rap-Up says, Jay-Z's not scheduled to play eight concerts starting in September; no number has been released. And Barclays isn't so much in the video as in a billboard in the video; for the record, that billboard looks like it's even farther from Marcy, in Manhattan's Times Square. Apparently it was broadcast last night during the NCAA finals.

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Posted by eric at 9:51 AM

April 2, 2012

Charlie Rose Does Infomercial For Forest City Ratner

Noticing New York

Michael D.D. White returns from an Atlantic Yards hiatus with a takedown of the Channel 13 interview he very aptly terms an "infomercial."

On March 10, 2012 Charlie Rose broadcast what was in effect a half hour, high production value infomercial for Bruce Ratner, his arena and his proposed Atlantic Yards.
...

Rose's interview of Ratner was so much like a late night infomercial that you can read Rose’s questions to, and other exchanges with, Ratner without reading Ratner's responses to know approximately what Ratner came prepared to say and ultimately did say during the interview. I am providing them further below in this article so you can put this assertion to the test. Rose's exchanges are like cue cards to keep Mr. Ratner on track with a predetermined message. Rose's side of the conversation consisted of three categories of things: 1.) friendly and leading questions, 2.) helpful restatements of what he suspected Ratner hadn't said well enough, 3.) oddly enthusiastic exclamations of praise. The eager breathlessness with which Ratner tumbled out his responses added to the feel of this being an infomercial.

Read on for more, including the fascinating one-sided transcript (Charlie could really have handled the infomercial solo), and White's exposure of bad-poker-player Bruce's "tell."

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Posted by eric at 11:05 AM

March 31, 2012

Brooklyn Barclays Center Sends Ratner, Daily News Into Frenzy

New York Magazine Daily Intel
by Eliza Shapiro

Ratner, who has been unfavorably compared to a modern-day Robert Moses, has waged a long and costly battle for the space over the last decade. He is also finding an outlet for his excitement in hyperbole: “This is the first truly 21st-century building in New York City.” He also calls it "the greatest arena I've ever seen."

Sheftell likens the space to other great New York "civic spaces" like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The excitement is spreading — at least to other people with major investments in the project. "When the Nets get good, the place is going to hop," said Gregg Pasquarelli, a partner at SHoP, one of the architecture firms that designed the Center.

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Posted by eric at 11:31 PM

In Daily News, Bruce Ratner packs multiple lies into one sentence: "For 100 years, this was a train depot in the middle of downtown Brooklyn."

Atlantic Yards Report

Bruce Ratner tells the New York Daily News, "For 100 years, this was a train depot in the middle of downtown Brooklyn. Now it’s the greatest arena I’ve ever seen.”

No, it wasn't.

About half the arena site was a railyard used to store and service trains. The rest consisted of buildings where people lived and worked, as well as a public street.

Nor was that a depot, in the common definition: a "building for railroad or bus passengers or freight."

Nor was it "in the middle of downtown Brooklyn" but rather in Prospect Heights. And even if you consider the arena site an extension of Downtown Brooklyn--as Forest City surely will argue--it's by no stretch of the imagination in the middle.

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NoLandGrab: And that was the least objectionable part of the article.

Posted by eric at 12:01 AM

March 30, 2012

Barclays Center arena will change Brooklyn forever

'This is the first truly 21st-century building in New York City': Bruce Ratner

NY Daily News
by Jason Sheftell

We recommend a little editing to that headline. How about "Here's something to distract you from all the news about the guilty verdicts in Yonkers?"

And one warning: you'll need a shower after reading this one. It may be the single greatest piece of drivel ever written about Atlantic Yards.

Even in midconstruction, there are moments touring the Barclays Center in Prospect Heights when you can’t help but feel extreme joy. It’s like walking the Empire State Building, I imagine, when the thing was all girders and steel. You just know this building will change New York City and the borough of Brooklyn forever. No longer will Brooklyn play second fiddle to Manhattan, or any other city such as Chicago or Miami.

It’s not just that pro sports are back in the borough for the first time since 1957; it’s the arena’s shape, design, intent, location, housing, public space and stubborn persistence it took to get this here. There are 11 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road flowing underneath. Over 6,400 housing units will back the arena, with 2,200 units affordable. How can anyone argue with that?

I guarantee the first time anyone sets foot near or inside this building, opening on Sept. 28 with a Jay-Z concert, they will get goosebumps.

Those aren't goosebumps, Jason — they're hives.

“The pedestrian experience was very important to us,” says Ratner, walking the arena and stopping to talk to some of the 620 construction workers on site daily. “The entrance was key. One of the problems with sports arenas is there is no central entrance or exit. I wanted a front door, a place for people to congregate, to feel part of the place. The entrance needs to be the beginning of the entertainment experience that you’ll share with 18,000 other people.”

Ratner and SHoP achieved that goal. Entering will feel like moving into a great civic space, like Grand Central Station or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, only built for and of this time.

Actually, that was supposed to be the "Urban Room," which got shelved when Ratner scrapped plans for a demandless office tower (and its thousands of promised office jobs).

The housing surrounding the arena is as advanced.

Except there is no housing surrounding the arena. He means "promised housing" that may or may not ever get built.

Here's a good one:

After an initial period of confusion about fear of crowds after games or events, locals in every direction seem excited. Of 10 randomly questioned people walking nearby, only one spoke against the arena.

Does he mean "10 randomly questioned construction workers?"

And finally, cue the Star-Spangled Banner:

Call me pro-development or polyanna, but I believe in great civic projects like this. I believe in grand architecture. And I believe in Brooklyn.

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NoLandGrab: Can someone pass the Kleenex? Even we're getting choked up. Or is it a gag reflex?

Posted by eric at 11:41 AM

March 26, 2012

Old Orlando arena dies at age 23 of being insufficiently subsidized

Field of Schemes
by Neil deMause

With the full Atlantic Yards build-out possibly taking as long as 25 years (and that's the official worst-case scenario), it's not a long shot that we might one day witness the controlled implosion of the Barclays Center before the rest of the Atlantic Yards project is even done.

The Orlando Magic's old Amway Arena was demolished yesterday, if "old" is the right word for it: The arena was just 23 years old, and had been targeted for replacement by its NBA tenants pretty much since it opened.

The Magic's owner (Amway kingpin Rich DeVos) complained from the start that the building was economically obsolete, because it lacked the kind of luxury and club seats that other, newer arenas built in the 1990s had.
...

In other words, the old arena wasn't making enough money for DeVos' tastes, and spending $75 million on renovations would only make profits go down. But an entirely new arena that cost six times that amount was just what the doctor ordered, so long as taxpayers paid most of the tab and the Magic kept all the revenues.

If you want the template for stadium and arena development over the last 20 years, there it is in a nutshell.

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Video by TwinTurboUCF via YouTube

Posted by eric at 5:51 PM

Brooklyn center turns to Boca for its 'Brooklyn' bagels and water

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
by Larry Barszewski

A major Brooklyn sports and entertainment venue has found the essence of Brooklyn bagels and tap water — in Boca Raton.

New York's famed bagel shops may be miffed, but Barclays Center has chosen Boca Raton's Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company as its bagel vendor.
...

Its operation at Barclays Center will take Brooklyn's New York City tap water and turn it into — Jerry Seinfeld couldn't make this up — Brooklynized water.

"They're going to turn it into better Brooklyn water," said company attorney Robert Mayer. "It's only going to have the good stuff."

Be sure to watch the video to hear real ex-New Yorkers sing the praises of their Florida Brooklyn bagels.

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Posted by eric at 10:20 AM

New Brooklyn arena puts Islander tix on sale

The first National Hockey League game to be played at the Barclays Center, featuring the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, will go on sale on Thursday.

Crain's NY Business
by Adrianne Pasquarelli

After years of waiting, the first sporting event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center is nearly upon New Yorkers. Tickets for the Oct. 2 National Hockey League game, which will pit the New York Islanders against the New Jersey Devils, will go on sale Thursday.

Someone's been studying at the Brett Yormark Institute of Hyperbole:

“We're extremely excited to play the first NHL game in the new, state-of-the-art Barclays Center,” said Garth Snow, general manager of the Islanders, in a statement, noting that a large part of the team's fan base is already in Brooklyn.

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NoLandGrab: We know a thing or two about the NHL, and we can honestly say we have never, ever encountered an Islander fan in Brooklyn.

Then again, "a large part" of the Islanders' "fan base" would fit neatly into Freddy's Backroom.

Posted by eric at 10:10 AM

March 24, 2012

Ratner amps up the Jay-Z claim: "He is the one that is not only designing the suites, but the lounges, the restaurants, giving the thing a whole feel."

Atlantic Yards Report

Bruce Ratner gives a tour of the under-construction Barclays Center to the ever-unskeptical Fox 5.

"Everything in this arena is related to Brooklyn. What do I mean by that? The exterior has a certain toughness to it, a certain grittiness to it. It's made out of a kind of steel that hasn't even been painted. It's beautiful, on one hand, but tough on another hand."

(Just like the "Brooklyized" water?)

"It's built to be basketball-centric," Ratner says, but of course isn't asked why that was so: the developer shrunk the building to save money, and preclude (they thought) major league hockey.

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Posted by steve at 6:44 PM

March 21, 2012

Yormark's big Barclays Center news: adidas will operate Nets Shop

Atlantic Yards Report

When Nets/Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark tweeted "Be on the lookout for some great barclays center announcements this week," he was not talking about the news about the arena's dubious "Brooklynized" water.

Rather, he must have meant the announcement, dutifully covered by the New York Post (which did cover the water) and Crain's New York Business, that adidas will operate the Nets Shop at the arena.

Click through for the Nets' typically understated press release.

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Posted by eric at 7:22 PM

In Barclays Center’s Shadow, Awaiting What’s Next

The New York Times
by Fred A. Bernstein

Triangle Sports has occupied the same three-cornered site on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn since 1916. But in January, the store’s owners put the 1,570-square-foot parcel on the market.

What motivated them was the behemoth across the street — the Barclays Center, the 19,000-seat arena where the Nets will play, and which is expected to open in just six months. The Nets’ home games, as well as a full schedule of concerts and the traffic that will accompany them, promise to bring wholesale change to the surrounding neighborhood — and a corresponding increase in real estate prices.

Maybe. On the other hand, stuff like this makes it sound as if there's an arena-driven real estate bubble getting ready to pop.

Cyril Aouizerate, the owner of Mama Shelter, a stylish boutique hotel in the outlying 20th Arrondissement of Paris, said he was “90 percent sure” he would be opening a Mama Shelter at a site near the arena. Mr. Aouizerate said he had rejected neighborhoods like Williamsburg as “too bourgeois-bohème,” in favor of the less established Boerum Hill area, where he is negotiating with property owners.

Though he is aware that the building is named for a bank and will house a basketball team, he said, "I’m more interested in the fact that Jay-Z is involved."

“That’s a name,” he said, “that we can sell to customers around the world.”

Yes, people will be lining up to stay in a hotel a few blocks from an arena that houses a losing team that's less than 1% owned by Jay-Z.

The arena will brand the neighborhood around it, said Louis V. Greco, a prominent Brooklyn developer. “People will be able to say, ‘I live a block from Barclays Center,’ ” Mr. Greco said.

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NoLandGrab: Except they're likely to be saying that through clenched teeth, and you won't be able to hear them over the sound of the honking.

Posted by eric at 10:31 AM

March 20, 2012

Nets Gain—and Losses

Brooklyn Based

So, it looks like Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard isn’t moving north anytime soon.

And All-Star point guard Deron Williams may not be moving east with the rest of his team when they leapfrog over Manhattan from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

In other words, our soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets don’t seem likely to give us the opportunity to root for the winning team all that often. Barring some miracle finish to the shortened season, right now the Nets are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the fifth year in a row. The franchise is only two years removed from the worst NBA record of all time [NLG: Not Quite. The Philadelphia 76ers won three fewer games in 1972-73]. Next year has the potential to be a long season, which could add to the frustration Brooklynites are already likely to feel amid all the talk of eminent domain, traffic jams and affordable housing bait-and-switch that already surrounds the Barclays Center, the Nets’ arena.

So what does it mean to Brooklyn basketball fans if, in fact, our new home team sucks?

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Posted by eric at 10:39 PM

Adidas will open first Brooklyn shop, at Nets arena

Crain's NY Business
by Adrianne Pasquarelli

German apparel manufacturer Adidas, which makes most of its sneakers (under suspect conditions) in Indonesia, is coming to Brooklyn, yo.

Brooklynites craving the latest New Jersey Nets-branded merchandise made by Adidas will have to look no farther than the new Barclays Center near Atlantic Terminal.

The Nets announced Tuesday that Portland, Ore.-based Adidas has signed a partnership to operate a 4,000-square-foot store at the new Barclays Center. The center is scheduled to open in September, in time for the Nets' 2012/2013 playing season.

“No other place in the world has such a unique mix of basketball-influenced sports and style culture,” said Nic Vu, vice president of retail for Adidas North America, in a statement about Brooklyn.

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NoLandGrab: Well, sure, but have you tried the water?!

Posted by eric at 4:16 PM

Barclays Center Will Sell Bottled "Brooklyn Water" Imported From Florida

Gothamist
by John Del Signore

This is too perfect: When the controversial Barclays Center opens in Brooklyn, the arena will serve "Brooklyn Water," which is produced in Florida. Norman Oder, a longstanding opponent [NLG: Oder would call himself a critic] of Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, writes on Grub Street that even though Ratner has made a big deal about seeking Brooklyn-based vendors for the arena, the water will be shipped up from Florida, where it's "created" (as the company puts it) in a bottling plant called Brooklyn Water Enterprises Inc.

The plant has the capacity to produce "50,000 bottles of Brooklynized water per day" using a "14-step proprietary water technology to create Brooklynized water." This is the water that's used to make The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. bagels, which is also based in Florida.

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NoLandGrab: With apologies to Umar Jordan, "if you bottled or baked in Florida, you ain't from Brooklyn."

Related coverage...

The Huffington Post, Barclays Center To Sell 'Original Brooklyn Water Bottling Company' Water Shipped From Florida

Despite a declaration to envelop itself in "quintessentially Brooklyn" cuisine, Barclays Center will be selling "Brooklyn" branded water produced some 1,250 miles away in Boca Raton, Florida.

Grub Street points our attention to the hokey water branding from the Florida-based, Original Brooklyn Water Bottling Company, which promises to successfully have developed a formula to "Brooklynize" water through a special filtration process in order to create "Brooklyn" bagels.

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill], The Day: What You Need Is A Cool Glass of ‘Brooklyn’ Water

One other problem? There’s no such thing as “Brooklyn water.” All New York City water is the same, isn’t it?

Posted by eric at 10:12 AM

"Brooklynized" water and Barclays Center: teasing out the ironies, plus the Yormark connection

Atlantic Yards Report

Can "Brooklynized" water be recreated in a lab and marketed by a Florida company?

And then can it be sold, straight-faced, to people in Brooklyn, who could get "Brooklyn" water through a much easier process, especially when the water is the subject of a lawsuit challenging its authenticity?

That's the subject of a brief article I have today in New York magazine's Grub Street blog, which points to the contrast with Bruce Ratner's professed interested in authentic Brooklyn purveyors.

Below, much more detail, including--natch--the role of the ubermarketing Yormark twins.

(The New York Post has a follow-up too, with no credit to the Grub Street story that inspired it. But the Post has the news that the water will be bottled in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and upstate New York, and dismay from local bagel makers. All that's been previously announced is that the water, not the bagels, would be sold at the arena. But the Post is right in characterizing how arena operators "grudgingly confirmed" the Brooklyn water deal; after all, it has not been played up.)

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Related coverage...

NY Post, Florida-based 'Brooklyn Water' and bagels coming to Nets' Barclays Center

The locally monikered H2O, called "Brooklyn Water," will actually be produced in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and upstate New York, company officials confirmed.

"There’s nothing Brooklyn about this water," cracked Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn), a longtime critic of the arena.

And as part of the Barclays Center deal, the company’s subsidiary, Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company, will open its first metro-area restaurant at the arena and bake on-site.
...

However, arena officials chose the out-of-state bagel franchise over the Big Apple’s more than 440 bagel shops, which include at least 115 in Brooklyn, according to Yelp.com.

NoLandGrab: Like Jay-Z likes to say, keep it real.

Posted by eric at 12:03 AM

March 19, 2012

Brooklyn Arena Will Sell ‘Brooklynized’ Water, Formulated (and Facing Legal Scrutiny) in Florida

Grub Street New York
by Norman Oder

We suggest the following tagline: "Just as legit as the rest of the Atlantic Yards project!"

Even more Brooklyn branding: When the Barclays Center, the new Nets arena at Atlantic Yards, opens in September, all of the bottled water on sale will be "Brooklynized." It may seem to fit with Bruce Ratner's statement that "we are excited to ... make Barclays Center’s culinary experience as quintessentially Brooklyn as it gets." Unfortunately, the water itself comes from the Original Brooklyn Water Bottling Company — which is based in Boca Raton, Florida. And the water doesn't just present a curious, almost Borgesian selling proposition, it also comes with a few legal questions about its legitimacy.

The water comes from a new but rapidly growing Florida-based, Larry King–approved franchise, the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co., which claims it's found the secret to making great bagels: "Brooklynize" the water via a custom filtration process so it resembles "Brooklyn" water, which of course is actually just New York City water. (The company says the water itself comes from "regional bottling facilities.")

At least one person is already going after "Brooklynized" water. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported last week that a franchise buyer in Florida sued the company, claiming that "the water filtration system is not unique and does not render water equivalent to Brooklyn water."

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NoLandGrab: And it's great for the environment, too!

Posted by eric at 1:42 PM

No interim report yet on arena Transportation Demand Management plan, originally due in December, now planned for May

Atlantic Yards Report

Jobs, Housing, Hoops and a Transportation Demand Management plan?

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting on March 15 covered a lot of ground, but one key issue related to the Barclays Center arena remained shunted to the side, despite promises last year it would have been on the table well before this month.

Where's the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan, the multi-faceted effort--free MetroCards, cross-marketing with local businesses, remote parking, etc.--to get fewer people to drive to the arena and instead choose public transit?

Only with a robust TDM plan can the interim surface parking lot--between Dean and Pacific streets and Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues--but shrunk from the now-planned 1100 spaces, which would require (potentially noisy and unwieldy) stackers, to a more manageable, greener configuration.

City Council Member Letitia James asked for an update on the plan, and Forest City Ratner agreed, but the issue was dropped and no discussion surfaced during the meeting, which lasted less than 90 minutes.

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Posted by eric at 11:32 AM

Remote parking garages near Atlantic Avenue? How about LICH and One Brooklyn Bridge Park?

Atlantic Yards Report

So, where might those remote parking garages be located, where those attending Nets games in Brooklyn can park and take shuttle buses to the Barclays Center arena?

At the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting on March 15, Forest City Ratner executive Jane Marshall said the company had identified two garages for remote parking, "focused on Atlantic Avenue" and "right off the BQE [Brooklyn-Queens Expressway]."

That would allow shuttle buses to follow MTA bus routes along Atlantic Avenue and, presumably, do a drop-off along Atlantic Avenue outside the arena rather than along Flatbush Avenue or the narrower lanes of Dean Street or Sixth Avenue.

Where might they be?

After the meeting, Rob Perris, District Manager for Community Board 2, and Jim Vogel, an aide to state Senator Velmanette Montgomery, both Brooklyn residents, gave it their best guess:

  • Long Island College Hospital (LICH), now part of Downstate Medical Center
  • One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a luxury condo building

Both certainly fit Marshall's description.

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Posted by eric at 11:27 AM

Brooklyn buzz

NorthJersey.com
by John Brennan

A little cold water for the Brooklyn Islanders fantasy.

The Brooklyn site can only properly seat just under 15,000 (tops) for hockey due to the revamped construction plans once larger-than-life architect Frank Gehry bailed out a couple of years ago. That would make the site the National Hockey League’s smallest arena.

Could the Islanders really survive there longterm?

If survive means losing less money than owner Charles Wang is hemorrhaging now at the 40-year-old, over-the-hill Coliseum, then yes.

But a return to profitability? That probably only can come if Wang gets a sweetheart deal to be the premier tenant at a new Long Island facility (oh, and if he can finally turn the team into a winner after decades of struggle).

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Related content...

YFrog, Barclays center will have best sightlines of any arena

...or so says amateur photog Brett Yormark.

Except for hockey, of course.

Posted by eric at 11:12 AM

March 17, 2012

Even after Dwight Howard move falls through, Nets CEO Yormark claims, "I'm thrilled with the pieces we have"

Atlantic Yards Report

WhenNets/Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark was booked for an "exclusive" interview this afternoon on the Fox Business Channel, both he and the bookers had to be betting the Nets would have big news to report, notably the acquisition of star Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard.

But Howard decided to stick with the Magic for another year, and the Nets' big move was a trade--which some saw as lopsided against them (though others don't)--for Portland Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace.

Nevertheless, Yormark put on his game face and insisted, with all the sincerity's he's mustered in the past, "I'm thrilled with the pieces we have."

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Posted by steve at 11:14 PM

March 16, 2012

Deck is stacked against stack-parking plan for Barclays Center

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com]
by Rich Calder

A top official for the developer building Brooklyn’s Barclays Center said today it’s her “mission” to reduce hundreds of spaces at a parking garage going up next to the NBA Nets' future home to avoid using controversial stack-parking spaces there.

Jane Marshall, an executive vice president at Forest City Ratner, told community leaders and city officials at Borough Hall yesterday that the company “is doing everything we can to avoid it” and the potential traffic problems such a system could bring.

Who wants to wager that Jane comes up a little short of fulfilling her "mission?"

As the Post reported in February, stack parking spaces -- which use hydraulic lifts to stack anywhere from two to four cars atop one another -- are currently in FCR's playbook for operating the 18,000-seat arena. But these spaces are a huge concern of neighborhood residents, who fear they would slow the entry and exit of cars from the lot and create major traffic jams.

No current New York pro-sports venue uses stack parking.

The concern, neighborhood residents say, is that hydraulic systems and valet service associated with stack parking slow the entry and exit of cars from the lot, potentially creating bumper-to-bumper traffic on surrounding streets and sending antsy drivers to seek the area’s few remaining curbside spaces.

article

Related coverage...

The Real Deal, Barclays Center parking should be pre-paid, not stacked: Forest City

Posted by eric at 2:50 PM

New York Islanders/MSG Just Happen To Interview Brooklyn Barclays Center Developer Bruce Ratner

Lighthouse Hockey

Poor Bruce Ratner is milking the big lie about hockey at the Barclays Center for everything it's worth. Though hockey ambassador Bruce's "real goal is to make sure the Islanders stay in New York honestly," which, considering the source, is kind of an oxymoron.

The first intermission of MSG's broadcast of the New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers game carried an interesting surprise: A lengthy interview between Islanders play-by-play announcer Howie Rose and Bruce Ratner, the original developer of the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn arena many hope the Islanders will one day call home.

The Islanders will play a preseason game there against the New Jersey Devils Oct. 2 (tickets, it was mentioned, go on sale March 29), so there is your ostensible reason for the interview. But the interview on the home team's broadcast was not treated as a sales pitch for the preseason game -- it was an open "So, could the Islanders move to Brooklyn?" forum with only cursory verbiage paid to finding a solution in Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead that has been such a gracious home.

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Posted by eric at 1:03 PM

What Precinct Should be the Point Guard for the Barclays Center? [POLL]

Initial reports said that the 78th Precinct would police the arena, but the final decision has yet to be made.

Park Slope Patch
by Will Yakowicz

The Barclays Center footprint straddles two police precincts and two community boards—making the decision of which precinct should police the arena when it opens in September a hard one.

Initial reports said that the 78th Precinct, which is only a block away on Sixth Avenue, will police the arena. However, the Barclays Center is technically located within the 88th Precinct’s borders, but it is a half-mile away from the precinct’s station house in Clinton Hill.

On Wednesday Patch reported that the decision, which will be finalized by the Mayor and City Council, is still up in the air.
...

What do you think? Who should police the new arena?

Click the link to take the poll.

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NoLandGrab: This is likely a contest without any winners.

Posted by eric at 12:48 PM

March 15, 2012

Barclays Center plans global social media push

The Brooklyn arena has partnered with a company to expand its marketing reach by instantly translating its Web content into more than 50 languages.

Crain's NY Business
by Ali Elkin

Wow! News is this? Are not reading sheep enough web portal of U.S.? Uzbekistan fans not of team record with 15-29 however language many.

When Jay-Z throws his housewarming concert at the Barclays Center in September, fans around the world will get live updates about “99 Problems” in 53 languages.

It's part of the arena's owners' plan to build a tricked-out corner of the Internet where the Brooklyn venue can connect with music and sports fans. They announced Thursday plans to partner with Ortsbo, a Toronto-based technology company that specializes in instantly translating text, often for Tweets, chats and live blogs. Ortsbo's service will translate content on the Barclays Center website.

“We've now partnered with Barclays to create a global broadcasting center,” said Ortsbo CEO David Lucatch.

Ortsbo will lead Barclays Center's global social media push by instantly translating spoken or written text on the arena's website into more than 50 tongues. That way, users can view an international chat thread in their native languages.

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NoLandGrab: Call him Genius Yormarketing for do they nothing.

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Crain's publishes puffery: Barclays Center plans global social media push

Posted by eric at 5:37 PM

Forest City Enterprises executives talk at property conference: little apparent change in amount of contractually obligated arena revenue

Atlantic Yards Report

Forest City Enterprises President/CEO David LaRue and Executive VP/CFO Bob O'Brien participated in a roundtable presentation yesterday at the Citi 2012 Global Property CEO Conference in Palm Beach, FL. It was open to listeners on an audio link.

One question raised by their presentation is how much revenue is committed to the Barclays Center arena, built and (in the majority) operated by subsidiary Forest City Ratner. Contractually obligated income will represent 70% of the total revenue of the arena, O'Brien noted. "Of that 70%, we have more than 50% signed and leased today."

Maybe he was just being casual, but the number isn't too impressive. LaRue said in December, “Approximately 56% of forecasted contractually obligated revenue for the arena is currently under contract,” he said. “This is flat with what we reported at the end of the second quarter, but we expect activity to regain momentum once the NBA season starts.”

And it appears somebody forgot to send the CEO the memo about maintaining the fantasy that the Barclays Center could be home ice for an NHL team.

One slightly contentious question was "why didn't you build this for hockey?" The hockey Islanders, whose lease with the Nassau Coliseum, is up in 2015, are talking with the Barclays Center owners, but a good chunk of seats would have to be eliminated to fit a hockey rink, making it the smallest NHL arena.

"The strategy centered around clearly the basketball team we owned at the time," LaRue said, omitting the need to save money. "The design is specifically for basketball, the sight lines, angles of the seating... We did not have a commitment form the Islanders, to say, Boy, I'd like to be there. We knew we wanted to create a venue that was going to be Class A, and the best use for what we had, and that was for basketball."

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Posted by eric at 12:45 PM

Barclays Police Detail Still Up in the Air

News that the 78th Precinct would police the arena was premature, according to CB 6 district manager Craig Hammerman.

Park Slope Patch
by Will Yakowicz with Paul Leonard

The city is still bouncing around who will be in charge of policing the Barclays Center when the 19,000-seat arena opens in September.

Although it was initially reported that the 78th Precinct would police the Barclays Center, the decision on which precinct will keep order around the arena has yet to be confirmed, officials said.

"No decisions have been made," Craig Hammerman, the district manager of Community Board 6 said on Wednesday night. "The police are unable to identify who leaked the information from the police to the press, but it's not true."

The arena is technically in the 88th Precinct's borders, but a half-mile away from the station house in Clinton Hill. The 78th Precinct on Sixth Avenue in Park Slope is a stone's throw away from the arena.

Since police precincts must coincide with community board boundaries, a variance will have to be voted on by the City Council before 78th Precinct can take over policing.

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Posted by eric at 11:46 AM

Payback: LIU, fervent supporter of Atlantic Yards, will play at least four games a year at Barclays Center

Atlantic Yards Report

So now we know a little more why Long Island University Provost Gale Stevens Haynes has been so gung-ho for Atlantic Yards.
...

The goal is to use the Barclays Center the way the St. John's University program uses Madison Square Garden. In other words, basketball boosts the university's image. The rest of the specific benefits seem pretty paltry.

After all, LIU has its own new and very serviceable gym, the Wellness, Recreation, and Athletics Center (WRAC), which seats 2500 (the Post said 2000 and the Times last year said 1800).

When I saw a game last month against crosstown rival St. Francis, even that wasn't sold out. Last year, according to the Times, "the team did not sell out its home games until the Northeast Conference final."

link

Related coverage...

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill], Barclays Center Deal Puts Blackbirds In A Much-Bigger N

"Paltry?" Au contraire, Norman Oder. LIU students are going to get schooled by the best.

The deal with Barclays Center officials also includes a small educational component: Students in sports journalism and management will get five, one-hour classes featuring executives from the Brooklyn-bound New Jersey Nets.

NoLandGrab: One can't put a price tag on the opportunity to listen to five hours of bulls**t from the likes of Brett Yormark and Barry Baum.

Posted by eric at 11:33 AM

March 14, 2012

Nets’ arena for LIU-B’klyn

NY Post
by Rich Calder

LIU-Brooklyn Provost Gale Stevens Haynes's pimping of her school for Bruce Ratner's benefit seems to have paid off.

As LIU-Brooklyn launches its long-odds dream of a trip to the Final Four, it has already taken a big step toward shedding its Cinderella status.

The Blackbirds have been offered a “second home court” at the Barclays Center — soon-to-be home of the NBA’s Nets —to play at least four games a year.

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Posted by eric at 10:50 AM

March 13, 2012

Brooklyn Nets arena will host KHL regular-season games, according to Medvedev

Yahoo! Sports
by Dmitry Chesnokov

Well, well. Brett Yormark has gone and made liars out of us. Regular-season professional hockey is coming to the Barclays Center — Russian professional hockey, that is.

You can't make this stuff up.

We've heard of Moscow on the Hudson; how about on the East River?

Kontinental Hockey League President Alexander Medvedev said on Monday that Barclays Center, which will be the new home for the New Jersey Nets beginning in the 2012-13 season, will host KHL regular-season games and exhibitions, marking the first time the League has made an attempt to bring its product to North American ice.

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Related coverage...

SBNation.com, KHL To Play Regular Season Games At Brooklyn's Barclays Center

Gary Bettman and the NHL are apparently on board with the KHL attempting to promote its product in North America, and Brooklyn makes sense for the KHL in more ways than one.

Nets owner Prokhorov is Russian and has deep ties in the business community there, and he's also a major investor in the new Brooklyn arena. There's also a large Russian and Ukrainian population in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay, so the audience is certainly there for the KHL.

ESPN New York, Barclays Center may host KHL games

Barclays Center officials are currently in discussions with Russia's Kontinental Hockey League about hosting some regular season games at the Nets’ future home in Brooklyn next season, according to Brett Yormark, CEO of the $1 billion arena.

“Hockey will have a place at Barclays Center,” Yormark said Monday in an e-mailed statement.

NoLandGrab: Hockey will have a place — it'll just be a little off to one side.

Posted by eric at 1:34 PM

A look at the men's basketball tournaments Atlantic City could go after next

Press of Atlantic City
by Susan Lulgjuraj

From Atlantic City to "Atlantic City Yards."

After six years in Atlantic City, the Atlantic 10 Conference men's basketball's run is over.

The A-10 is going to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. next season for the start of a five-year contract.

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Posted by eric at 12:56 PM

March 12, 2012

How the Barclays Center is spending some of that advertising money (and perhaps winning over publishers)

Atlantic Yards Report

link

(Photo via @BarclaysCenter)

Posted by eric at 11:18 PM

College Basketball to Raise Bucks for Cancer at Barclays Center

Coaches vs. Cancer will take place in November at the arena, and tickets will go on sale this weekend.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

Civically minded holistician Bruce Ratner is outdoing himself.

Coaches vs. Cancer, a fundraising effort between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches will bring teams from BYU, Florida State, Notre Dame, and Saint Joseph’s to the Barclays Center this fall to hopefully raise big bucks for cancer research.

Since 1993, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised more than $80 million to fund research, provide up-to-date cancer literacy, advocate for public health policies and help to improve the quality of life for patients and families.

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Posted by eric at 10:55 PM

Poll: Is Ratner's/Prokhorov's Barclays Arena Ugly? Why Stop There?

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

Park Slope Patch is running a poll on whether readers think Poor Bruce Ratner's and Mikhail Prokhorov's Barclays Center Arena is "ugly." While there is no accounting for taste there is also nobody being held accountable for the fact that the Atlantic Yards project as a whole is one of the ugliest cases of corrupt urban development and kleptocracy in a long, long time.

link

Posted by eric at 10:52 PM

The Day: A Murder Arrest and a Jury Deliberates An Arena

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]

Late last week, our friends at Patch had some fun with the Barclays Center arena, asking readers if the 19,000-seat venue is ugly or not. Sure, the building isn’t really done yet, but who cares — we Brooklynites aren’t afraid to express our opinion even before its valid! So far, a couple hundred people have voted — and the verdict? “Eyesore” is winning with 65 percent of the vote.

link

Image: SHoP Architects

Posted by eric at 10:48 AM

March 9, 2012

Is Barclays Center Ugly?: [POLL]

Judging the aesthetic merits of the city's newest sports arena.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

Does a bear s**t in the woods? More like a giant bear from outer space s**t in Prospect Heights.

Designed by Ellerbe Beckett and SHoP Architects, Barclays Center's mirrored glass and aged steel exterior continues to rise just a stone's throw away from some of the oldest and most historically significant housing stock the city has to offer.

So as Barclays begins to take its final shape in the middle of Brownstone Brooklyn, a question:

Is the Barclays Center ugly?

Or is it a welcome, intrinsically modern, addition to the landscape of the borough?

Take the poll.

link

Posted by eric at 3:30 PM

March 6, 2012

Barclays Center to Host Winter College Hoops Doubleheaders

The Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival and Holiday Invitational will take place in December, and tickets for both will go on sale this month.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

From the Department of Rewritten Press Releases...

The Barclays Center is still about seven months from opening day, but the arena has already announced the college basketball teams that will be going head to head at the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival and Holiday Invitational, both in December.

On December 15, Michigan will take on West Virginia and Fordham will go up against Princeton for a college hoops doubleheader. This will be the first time that Michigan and West Virginia meet on the court, and the game will be telecast on ESPN.

On December 22, the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational will feature Long Island University versus Seton Hall, and Manhattan College versus South Carolina.
...

“Barclays Center is quickly becoming a must-play for major college basketball teams in the nation,” Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said, in a statement.

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NoLandGrab: Yes, a "must-play" arena — that has yet to host a game.

Posted by eric at 9:39 PM

Burger boom sizzles near arena

The Brooklyn Paper
by Eli Rosenberg

Hey, just what the neighborhood needed — more burger joints! Beats strip clubs, though.

It’s not just properties that are flipping near the soon-to-open Barclays Center — it’s patties.

Burger joints are bouncing up around the nearly completed home of the Nets like loose balls as national chains vie with local businesses to win over thousands of hungry fans expected to hit the neighborhood in search of game-time grub.

No less than five new burger spots have opened in the last year within a half mile of the arena — and while the Nets won’t tip off there until September, restaurant owners say the game is already on for them.

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Posted by eric at 1:37 PM

VIDEO: New ad prepares Brooklyn for Barclays Center

Metro NY
by Cassandra Garrison

Hey, Brooklyn. You've got a rich cultural identity and diverse neighborhoods. And all of that has been preparing you for the cultural and environmental synergy that is the Barclays Center.

A new TV spot offers a glimpse at the soon-to-open 18,000 seat arena. The ad mostly seems like an attempt at convincing Brooklyn to like the Barclays Center, which, mission accomplished, because they got Jay-Z.

Um, what are we missing?

Now to the good part.

"The transformation of its residential and business areas has prepared this great borough for an even greater future. It has prepared Brooklyn for the Barclays Center."

You heard it right, Brooklyn. All that history was just preparing you: You're ready now, Brooklyn. You're ready for Barclays. Spread your wings and fly.

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NoLandGrab: Did someone ask Metro to tone down the headline? 'Cause the article link indicates that they lost an adjective somewhere along the way: video-ridiculous-new-ad-prepares-brooklyn-for-barclays-center.

Posted by eric at 11:49 AM

March 5, 2012

New Barclays Center video features Jay-Z over Ratner; claims arena is at Ebbets Field redux; says borough's transformation "has prepared Brooklyn for the Barclays Center"

Atlantic Yards Report

A new Barclays Center Video, produced for Nets Basketball and released last month, is a curious document, with a sampled hip-hop soundtrack, an upbeat narrator, exactly one person interviewed (Jay-Z).

The m.o. is apparently collages of Brooklyn icons, artisanal/hipster creativity, and historic architecture. Of course, there's no recognition of any controversy over the arena, nor the larger project to which is supposedly tethered. Below, I reproduce the narrator's copy, then interpolate my analysis, coupled with screenshots.

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Posted by eric at 10:07 AM

Arena a Net gain for cops

NY Post
by Rebecca Harshbarger and Rich Calder

It was a jump ball, and the 78th Precinct won it.

NYPD brass are set to tap Brooklyn’s 78th Precinct to maintain order at the NBA Nets’ new home — the Barclays Center — when it opens in September, bypassing the 88th Precinct, whose current boundaries actually include the Prospect Heights-based arena, The Post has learned.

Supporters say the move makes sense logistically because of the arena’s proximity to the 78th’s station house. But foes are crying foul.

The plum designation, confirmed by NYPD sources, ends a behind-the-scenes lobbying battle between both precincts for the arena gig.

The move is expected to increase staffing at the 78th Precinct, which predominately covers affluent Park Slope, and create potential mega-overtime for the cops there to cope with arena traffic and patrons.

NYPD sources and Park Slope community leaders say the decision makes sense.

The under-construction, 18,000-seat arena at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues technically falls within the 88th Precinct, but it’s a half-mile from the precinct’s station house in Fort Greene — yet just a block away from the 78th Precinct.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Post: 78th Precinct chosen to oversee arena; it's closest, though technically includes only part of site

The Post quotes NYPD and community leaders as endorsing the plan, given the proximity of the 78th station house, at Bergen Street and Sixth Avenue one block south of the arena.

There is a logic there, but, as the graphic (from Blight Study attached to the Atlantic Yards General Project Plan) indicates, the arena site--west of Sixth Avenue and between Dean Street and Atlantic Avenue, is not solely in the 88th Precinct, but rather shared with the 78th.

Posted by eric at 9:57 AM

Barclays Center begins new marketing plan; Post says it's supposed "to sell Brooklyn as much as basketball;" includes images of non-existent towers

Atlantic Yards Report

A new “seven-figure” Barclays Center marketing push, according to a New York Post Business page article today, "is part of a plan to sell Brooklyn as much as basketball."

I'm not so sure, as the ad, seen in today's New York Daily News (but not the Post or Times, yet), seems to be selling events more than location. It includes images of three non-existent towers ringing the arena. And it makes no mention of the "community involvement" touted in a Barclays Center video.

link

Posted by eric at 9:29 AM

Brooklyn stars in Barclays Center ad push

NY Post
by Claire Atkinson

With the clock counting down to its official opening, Barclays Center is casting a wide net to lure sports and entertainment seekers to Brooklyn.

Beyond basketball, a new ad blitz for the 18,000-seat arena, which will bring the New Jersey Nets to downtown Brooklyn, will give equal billing to the arena’s other attractions.

The Nets may visit "downtown Brooklyn" occasionally, but they'll be playing their games in what's actually Prospect Heights.

The first ad in the “In Brooklyn” campaign will tout college basketball, boxing, concerts and family-friendly shows like the circus, in addition to the arrival of the Nets, when it kicks off today.

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Posted by eric at 9:23 AM

March 1, 2012

Forest City plays nice: just after Bender reveals corporate hardball in court, successor Cotton introduces herself to neighbors, promotes effort to recruit Brooklyn food firms big enough to serve arena

Atlantic Yards Report

Yesterday, a select group of neighbors got the following message from Ashley Cotton, the former city official hired to replace Bender:

Dear Neighbors,

I am writing to introduce myself and share some exciting news about the Barclays Center. I started this week at Forest City Ratner as the head of Government and Public Affairs and look forward to working with all of you. We plan to regularly share news about the arena going forward and I hope you won’t hesitate to call me at any time.

Today we announced that the Barclays Center is expanding its already extensive search for Brooklyn-based food service businesses to become an integral part of the arena when it opens on September 28, 2012. I have attached our press release to this email.

Barclays, Forest City Ratner and Levy are committed to working with local businesses and suppliers, and to integrating local companies into the Barclays Center food program.

We are committed to bringing the best of Brooklyn to Barclays Center. Drawing on the borough’s dynamic food scene, we are excited to cast a wide net to make Barclays Center’s culinary experience as quintessentially Brooklyn as it gets.

Interested Brooklyn-based food businesses should visit www.atlanticyards.com to complete our online survey and read more about the process. The survey will be open for responses from Monday, February 27 until Monday, March 26, 2012.

We hope you will share this information with interested businesses in your community.

Thank you,
Ashley Cotton
Vice President
Forest City Ratner Companies

The news already shared

The news in the press release had already been handed yesterday morning to the ever-eager New York Daily News, which, perhaps not coincidentally, had chosen not to cover the ongoing Yonkers trial.

link

Related coverage...

The Huffington Post, Barclays Center At Atlantic Yards, New Brooklyn Nets Arena, Searching For Local Food Vendors

Barclays spokesman Barry Baum describes the plan, "We’re looking for everything from pickles to pizza and from silverware to sandwich picks. We really want to showcase all Brooklyn-based items that might not otherwise have an opportunity to be considered for an arena."

Hear that McClure's?

NoLandGrab: Um, yeah, we hear it, and if we have anything to say about it, that ain't happening.

Gothamist, Smorgasburg Meets Backboard? Barclays Center Has High Local Food Hopes

In our dream world this will lead to an arena-sized version of Smorgasburg, but we have a sneaking suspicion that it'll just means we'll be getting chicken wings from Jay-Z's cousin's restaurant and hot dogs from Nathan's served with some of those custom Brooklyn Coke flavors we were promised. Maybe a few bottles of beer from Brooklyn Brewery if we're lucky.

Park Slope Patch, Barclays Center Seeking Brooklyn Food Vendors

Posted by eric at 9:30 AM

February 29, 2012

Barclays Center looks for Brooklyn foodies to vend at new Nets arena

"Everything from pickles to pizza," say officials

NY Daily News
by Erin Durkin

While testimony in a political corruption trial in Manhattan is making it quite clear that executives at Barclays Center developer Forest City Ratner should be on trial rather than prosecution witnesses, the Daily News is across the river covering arena dining options.

The new Nets arena is searching for Brooklyn foodies to serve up their wares at its basketball games and concerts.

Barclays Center officials are distributing a survey to find borough restaurants and food service businesses that can give a little Brooklyn flavor to the new Prospect Heights arena, set to open in September.

“We are committed to bringing the best of Brooklyn to Barclays Center and to draw on the borough’s dynamic food scene,” said developer Bruce Ratner. “Our goal is cast a wide net to make Barclays Center’s culinary experience as quintessentially Brooklyn as it gets.”

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NoLandGrab: "Quintessentially Brooklyn" offerings will be dominated by Coca-Cola and Budweiser.

Posted by eric at 8:57 AM

February 28, 2012

Barclays Center At Atlantic Yards: New Home Of The Brooklyn Nets Nearing Completion

Newsday via The Huffington Post

After years of controversy, Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards--future home of the Brooklyn Nets--is "much more than halfway complete" according to Bob Sanna, Executive VP of Forest City Ratner Companies.
...

24 months since construction on the site started, construction workers are already installing elevators and the Prospect Heights stadium is finally taking shape.

link

Related coverage...

The Source, Barclay Center For BK Nets Almost Complete

A fall opening is expected for the 18K seats arena just in time for a Nets preseason game in their new kingdom. It was Jigga's idea, so it has to work, right?

NoLandGrab: Yeah, right.

Posted by eric at 11:43 AM

February 27, 2012

David Stern on relocation, arenas, Hornets sale

CBSSports.com
by Ben Golliver

Golliver traveled to the NBA All-Star Game in Orlando to report on David Stern's pontificating.

No new teams, no relocating teams if at all possible, and a few moments of appreciation for the majesty of world-class arenas.

Those were the takeaway business points from NBA commissioner David Stern, who held his annual press conference before All-Star Saturday, addressing a crowd of more than 100 reporters inside Orlando's new Amway Center.
...

The New Jersey Nets' move to Brooklyn

Stern got back into salesman mode when discussing the upcoming move of the New Jersey Nets to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2012-2013 season. He lauded the building and sounded genuinely excited about a transformed rivalry between the Nets and the Knicks.

"We are very happy for Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov that this building has not only risen from the ground, but it's going to be indoors, completely pretty soon, and it's going to be on time and opening," Stern said. "It is great for Brooklyn. It is great for the Knicks. We're going to have a spectacular rivalry. And it's going to be great for the fans of New York City and the NBA to have that kind of a rivalry and that kind of a new building."

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Posted by eric at 9:12 AM

February 24, 2012

Before a Dribble, Real Estate Scores Points

The Wall Street Journal
by Kavita Mokha

For Sharon Davidson, whose job includes encouraging businesses to set up shop in downtown Brooklyn, there is no difficulty in pinpointing the biggest change in her work.

"Five years ago, it was difficult to get anyone to rent in this district," said Ms. Davidson, executive director of the North Flatbush Business Improvement District. "Now with the arena, the rents have doubled and I get calls from people who want to move to this area."

The arena, of course, is Barclays Center, the future home of the New Jersey Nets that is scheduled to open in September. But the complex, part of a larger planned business and residential development, has already touched off a significant spurt in commercial and residential real-estate activity spreading out from the junction of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

"On every corridor and street that leads to the arena, there is a rush for retail space," said Paul Zumoff, an agent with Corcoran Group and an area resident.

Not everyone is happy about the gentrification bonanza, however.

"It's great for the landlord—it's like they found oil," said Sury Mukherjee, owner of Mondini Fashion, a clothing store that has been on Pacific Street for 33 years. "The arena will bring more business here, but some of us will be outta here by then."

Mr. Mukherjee added that he didn't have a long-term lease and has been told to expect a four-month termination notice from his landlord.
...

And while some local area residents welcome the changes in the pipeline, others remain skeptical.

"I moved here five years ago because it had a family vibe to it," said 35-year-old Marta Betancourt, a graphic designer who lives on Flatbush Avenue with her husband and two children. "I'm not sure how the neighborhood will absorb a Madison Square Garden-type complex smack in the middle of it."

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NoLandGrab: Actually, the North Flatbush Avenue BID covers the stretch from Atlantic Avenue to Plaza Street, not "downtown Brooklyn," which begins north of Atlantic.

Related coverage...

Crain's NY Business, Barclays Center is a slam dunk for real estate

Posted by eric at 11:15 AM

February 23, 2012

Barclays Center could be a good fit for Isles

Newsday
by Neil Best

Except for the fact that the Barclays Center's ice rink doesn't actually fit in the Barclays Center. But let's never mind reality.

Barclays Center was built primarily by and for the Nets, but as the arena takes its final shape, another potential use has become clearer than ever.

Evident around the perimeter of the arena floor in the heart of Brooklyn is the outline of a hockey rink, the one that on Oct. 2 will host the first sports event in the building -- an Islanders preseason game against the Devils.

That game inevitably has prompted speculation the site could be a landing place for the Islanders after their lease at Nassau Coliseum expires in 2015. It is too soon to assess the likelihood of such a move; it is not too soon to assess the arena's ability to accommodate it.

"That, physically, is easy to accomplish,'' said Bob Sanna, an executive vice president of Forest City Ratner who is in charge of construction. He said the building always was designed with a regulation rink in mind and has plenty of locker room space to house a home team.

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NoLandGrab: Three weeks ago in The New York Times: "Mr. Sanna said the construction team would also have to design additional locker rooms for hockey players."

Posted by eric at 11:27 AM

February 22, 2012

New Nets arena shaping up

The Brooklyn Blog [NYPost.com]
by Rich Calder

“This is that magic time when the building really begins to take shape, so that you can finally feel it’s an arena,” said Bob Sanna, executive vice president for construction at Forest City Ratner Cos., developer of the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets’ 18,000-seat arena.

Yes, magical.

Although it will be months before the Nets' future hardwood-playing floor is installed, much of the arena's interior is starting to shape up.

Premium seats are now being installed in the arena’s lower bowl. The upper-bowl’s seating is already complete, along with the lower and upper concourses.

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Photo: Paul Martinka/NY Post

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Post: arena "still on schedule to open in September" (but that schedule's less than a month old)

In the New York Post's Brooklyn blog, New Nets arena shaping up, Rich Calder reports today:

Workers earlier this month buttoned up the top of the under-construction Barclays Center in Prospect Heights by completing its steel-roof deck, and they also recently began insulating the rooftop and waterproofing it with a light-gray covering.

...[Forest City executive Bob] Sanna during an interview with the Post yesterday said about 35 percent of the 188,425-square-foot roof is complete and that Barclays Center is still on schedule to open in September.

“We got lucky with the warm weather we've been having. You usually aren't able to get roofers on a roof in February,” said Sanna.

Yes, the warm weather does eliminate certain potential construction challenges. But "on schedule to open in September" is a bit incomplete, given that only this month was the substantial completion date pushed back from late August to early September.

Posted by eric at 12:40 PM

February 21, 2012

When did the Barclays Center lose out on the 2013 NBA All-Star game? Maybe back in April 2011. Why 2014 may be in question, too.

Atlantic Yards Report

After the Barclays Center began construction in 2010, with an expected opening for basketball in October 2012, there was some speculation that the new Brooklyn arena could host the NBA All-Star game and the surrounding weekend festivities in February 2013.

Take, for example, a 2/22/11 piece headlined Will Brooklyn, Nets Be Ready To Host The NBA All-Star Game? by Barry Janoff on NYSportsJournalism.com:

Even without Carmelo Anthony, there is an all-star coming to the NBA's Nets in the near future — either the 2013 or 2014 NBA All-Star Game.

But two key questions may not be answered for several months: Will the Nets' new venue, Barclays Center in Brooklyn be completed as scheduled in 2012? And will the arrival of Anthony with the New York Knicks tip the All-Star Game scales in favor of Madison Square Garden?

Well, the arena likely will be completed--just barely--in time for the scheduled 9/28/12 opening, with a Jay-Z concert.

But delays along the way likely were enough to take 2013 out of the running. And they might even affect 2014.
...

Just last week, the NBA unveiled Houston as the host city for the 2013 All-Start Game, leading Janoff to write that "[t]here is strong speculation that the 2014 All-Star Game could be played in Brooklyn, NY." It also could be held in a renovated Madison Square Garden.

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Posted by eric at 11:17 AM

February 17, 2012

Bigger Slope historic district could curb development near arena

The Brooklyn Paper
by Natalie O'Neill

Preservationists and elected officials are pushing to expand Park Slope’s historic district — a move that could protect the neighborhood’s charm amidst a predicted wave of development sparked by the soon-to-open Barclays Center.

Councilmen Steve Levin (D–Park Slope) and Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) are throwing their weight behind a longstanding Park Slope Civic Council effort to extend the community’s already substantial landmark district to include 12 blocks of buildings between Fifth and Sixth avenues bounded by Flatbush Avenue and President Street — effectively barring non-contextual construction in the neighborhood anywhere near the arena.

“For people who live nearby, this is a pretty important thing,” said Park Slope historian Francis Morrone, noting that stadiums rarely rise so close to buildings with so much history and unique style. “Without protection, there’s every reason to think [future development] would be inconsistent with the historic character.”
...

[Park Slope Civic Council Historic District Committee Chair Peter] Bray claims the landmarking push isn’t a direct response to scheduled opening of the Barclays Center, as the proposal has been in the works for years. But he says the historic zone would help if an arena-influenced wave of development hits Park Slope.

“It’s a tool for preserving architecture integrity, the character of the streetscape and quality of life — and Atlantic Yards has some bearing on that,” said Bray.

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Image: Brooklyn Paper

Posted by eric at 10:53 AM

February 16, 2012

Brooklyn Basketball Arena Nears Final Buzzer

Engineering News Record

A major design goal was to integrate the facility into the local bustle. It includes exterior views into the seating bowl, says Stephen Duethman, Midwest region managing principal for lead architect AECOM. "The whole dynamic of the interior is based on the industrial and nightlife theme, the feeling of the streets of Brooklyn," he adds.

That transparency was a feature of the original design, though little else of that eclectic vision remains other than Gehry's master plan for the Atlantic Yards. "The building had to be transparent and activate the street—not just a big blank wall," Sanna says.

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NoLandGrab: That view from the street into the arena is the only thing that's been transparent about the Atlantic Yards project. Case in point — the article's faulty parroting of this classic Forest City fallacy: "Opponents filed 37 lawsuits, none of which the developer has lost."

Related content...

News 12, via NBA.com, Barclays Center

Posted by eric at 11:33 AM

February 10, 2012

Barclays Center completion date pushed back a week, but arena "is slightly ahead of schedule." How so? They changed the schedule to erase delays.

Atlantic Yards Report

Before you drop $1.65 million on your three-year commitment to "The Vault," you might want to make sure the arena's actually built.

Delays are taking their toll on Barclays Center construction, pointing to a hectic--and perhaps nerve-wracking--pace to the finish line.

Not only is the Carlton Avenue Bridge delayed, the substantial completion date for the arena has been nudged back one week for the second time in five weeks, to 9/5/12. That gives arena operators little more than three weeks to test building systems before the first event, a 9/28/12 concert with superstar Jay-Z.

Also, after a report in January indicated that the Barclays Center was behind schedule, a new report from the same construction monitor asserts that the arena is "slightly ahead of schedule," based on actual cash flow versus projected cash flow.

(The final completion date is 6/30/13, which indicates additional work will have to be done while the building is operating.)

Presto: the arena's ahead

That happy conclusion, however depends on changing the schedule, a slight-of-pen unacknowledged in the latest Site Observation Report by Merritt & Harris, the real estate consultant to the arena PILOT Bond Trustee.

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Posted by eric at 10:20 AM

This Just In: The Rich Are Different From You and Me

The Local [Fort Greene/Clinton Hill]
by Gersh Kuntzman

Rapper Jay-Z only owns a minuscule portion of the Brooklyn-bound New Jersey Nets — but the influence of the millionaire rapper continues to be felt at the Barclays Center arena.

We just received a press release from arena officials touting “The Vault at Barclays Center,” a Jay-Z “inspired” clubhouse for well-to-do fans of the last-place team. It’s so perfectly worded that we present it here, unedited.

Click the link for the typically understated Barclays Center spin.

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Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, The Vault at Barclays Center Offers Luxury Suites at $550K Per Year

If you’ve got the money to splurge, each Vault suite owner will receive eight premium tickets in the first 10 rows of the lower bowl to all Barclays Center events, including Nets games, as well as boxing and concerts. The suites are also described in a release as having “sophisticated lounge seating,” and flat-screen TVs. Suite guests will have access to the Armand de Brignac Champagne Bar (whose bottles go for about $300).

Posted by eric at 9:55 AM

February 9, 2012

Workers file suit against arena facade fabricator ASI Limited based on failure to warn of (temporary) shutdown

Atlantic Yards Report

Well, the Indiana firm ASI Limited may be back at work fabricating the exterior panels for the Barclays Center, thanks to the firm's insurer stepping in, but it still may have to pay for its abrupt shutdown on or around 12/22/11.

According to a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Indiana, employee Andrew Shepherd, on behalf of himself and those similarly situated, have sued ASI Limited for collection of unpaid wages and benefits for the 60 days required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) of 1988.

Firm of a certain size are required to provide at least 60 days’ advance written notice of termination.

According to the lawsuit, about 200 employees were abruptly laid off, and those employees were denied not only wages but holiday pay and health and other benefits.

There's been no response yet in court to the suit, which was filed 2/6/12.

link

Posted by eric at 11:23 AM

Jay-Z steering Barclays style, also making bank on the champagne served in the luxury suites?

Atlantic Yards Report

Hey, if Forest City stock gets talked up by the same people who earn fees from Forest City, why shouldn't Jay-Z insist that the Barclays Center serve ridiculously pricey and not very good champagne from which he earns an even more ridiculous profit? Exactly.

A 2/8/12 article in the Wall Street Journal, Jay-Z Determined to Make the Nets Stylish: As the Team Moves to Brooklyn, the Rap Mogul and Part-Owner Is the Czar of Aesthetics; Don't Skimp on the Forks, is essentially a commercial--sans any contribution from the man of honor--about how Hova steers Barclays/Nets styles:

In addition, the Nets are set to begin marketing 11 luxury suites that will be known as "The Vault at Barclays Center," a small, high-end space on the event level of the arena. Yes, Jay-Z chose the forks—in addition to offering his input on the Champagne ($300 bottles of Armand de Brignac), the layout (asymmetrical) and much of the décor (lots of black and shimmering metallics).

Hmm, his input on the Champagne.

About that champagne

In an excerpt from Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office, run (and pulled) from The Atlantic, Zack O’Malley Greenburg wrote about a particular business deal:

So why would Jay-Z get involved with a second-tier cham­pagne? Because of the immense profit potential. Fass estimates that Cattier’s pro­duction cost for each $300 bottle of Armand de Brignac is a mere 10 euros. Assuming Jay-Z is an investor, the connection could be through any number of outlets: Cat­tier itself, the brand Armand de Brignac, the importer, the exporter, or the distributor...

Greenburg, who did get much of the Atlantic Yards story wrong, seems on firmer ground here, since he interviewed several people "close to the matter... when I related everything I’d learned, all of them confirmed that Jay-Z receives millions of dollars per year for his association with Armand de Brignac."

But Jay-Z would rather be seen as a connoisseur than someone paid to promote. And the money could be very good, suggests Greenburg:

The production cost per bottle of Armand de Brignac is about $13; the wholesale price is $225. The maximum output is 60,000 bottles per year. If Jay-Z splits the $212-per-bottle profit evenly with Cattier and Sovereign, a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests his annual take would be a little over $4 million. One of my sources confirmed that number, and added that Jay-Z may have received equity in Sov­ereign Brands worth about $50 million. All for dropping a few lyrical references and featuring Armand de Brignac in a couple of videos.

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Related content...

The Wall Street Journal, article

Jay-Z was sitting on the edge of his impossibly large oak desk when he stressed the importance of flatware.

Forks need to be heavy, he told his small audience, which included Chris Sharples, the architect in charge of designing a block of luxury suites at Barclays Center that would bear the rap impresario's imprint. Forks, Jay-Z said, need to have substance. A plastic fork? Please. Even stainless steel was out of the question.

Wait. Was that Jay-Z, or Yoda?

Last spring, when Sharples and his team first met with Jay-Z, they had him watch an animation that revealed some of the details of the building's ongoing construction. Sharples recalled that Jay-Z got up from behind his desk, leaned toward the screen and, when it was over, sat quietly for several moments before he shared his vision for the suites—the ambience, the color, the experience.

How much does Jay love his champagne?

"I think he treats it the way I treat Diet Coke," said a spokeswoman for the winemaker.

Posted by eric at 10:33 AM

Is this the start of a Barclays Center gold rush?

The Brooklyn Paper
by Eli Rosenberg

The oddly shaped sporting goods store has already gotten the attention of McDonald’s, which eyed the triangular lot bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and Dean Street, a spokesperson from the burger purveryors said.

TerraCRG, the real estate company marketing the Triangle Sports property, has been using the site’s location just steps from the entrance of the Barclays Center — where the Nets are scheduled to take the court this fall after concerts by rap mogul Jay-Z — as one of its main selling points.

“The Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards development will add exponentially to this demand, causing rents in the already scarce available retail space to surge based on proximity to the stadium,” the firm wrote in a glossy pamphlet marketing the property.

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NoLandGrab: But don't worry, surely Atlantic Yards won't cause residential rents to go up, displacing lower-income residents. Right?

Posted by eric at 10:07 AM

February 7, 2012

Arena operator seeks Community Affairs Manager; aim is to "build brand visibility," not manage relations with those bearing the brunt of arena operations

Atlantic Yards Report

The Brooklyn Events Center, operator of the Barclays Center arena, is seeking a Community Affairs Manager.

Is that job aimed at ensuring good relationships with immediate neighbors, so that Prospect Heights residents aren't disturbed by arena-goers who might forget the arena Code of Conduct or car stacked up on residential streets?

Nah. It's a business, man, and that business, while pretty vague in the job description, is about "brand visibility":

The Community Affairs Manager will be responsible for ensuring active and engaged communities around a defined topic or topics by managing calendars and participating in conversations to build brand visibility and thought leadership.

Main duties

The "essential duties and responsibilities" include:

  • Communicate issues, opportunities, and insights to the company at large;
  • Participate in professional networking by following the prominent bloggers and online writers and attending events;
  • Work with local organizations to develop master list of project ideas and plans;
  • Coordinate logistics, planning, promotion and staffing of volunteer initiatives;
  • Coordinates advertising schedules and placement, as required for ads placed in community program books, newsletters, etc.;
  • Liaises with parties identified in CBA – external law enforcement, political, and public agencies;
  • Involvement in city council meetings and activities;
  • Coordinate all MWBE initiatives and report quarterly results to CBA executive board

In the list above, I think there's some awkward punctuation in the third-to-last item; law enforcement, political, and public agencies are not part of the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) but would be separate parties.

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NoLandGrab: Now when we have the feeling we're being followed, we'll know why.

Posted by eric at 8:42 AM

A Sneak Peek Inside Barclays Center: [VIDEO]

A tour of the future home of the Brooklyn Nets yields some surprising elements—both large and small

Bed-Stuy Patch
by Paul Leonard

A tour Friday of the still very active construction site revealed not just the biggest elements of the basketball arena and events center, but also smaller, yet vitally important, details as well.

That list includes ground floor retail with street access to Flatbush Avenue, the first "green roof" proposed for an MTA subway entrance and Ipe wood benches lining the plaza of Barclays Center.

And then there is the colossal: 18,000 seats for basketball games in a "tight bowl" configuration meant to provide a sense of being on top of the action—even in the highest and cheapest rows.
...

But for area motorists, what is perhaps most notable at the enormous construction site is what is not here—namely, a surplus of parking spaces.

With almost 20,000 capacity for events at the arena, Chiarelli confirmed only 1,100 spaces planned for the block bounded by Pacific and Dean streets and Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues.

That has some residents and elected officials concerned about a flood of cars taking up valuable street parking space in the blocks around Barclays Center.

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NoLandGrab: Actually, residents and electeds are concerned that an 1,100-space parking lot is too BIG, and will draw too much traffic to a quiet residential neighborhood.

Posted by eric at 8:19 AM

February 6, 2012

Andrea Bocelli

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 at [Time TBA]
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Ticketnetwork

One enterprising Barclays Center suiteholder (Roger Green?) is already offering up his Andrea Bocelli tickets on the secondary market...

$97 for parking? No thanks, we'll circle local blocks for a few minutes before creating our own "parking space."

Wiser opera fans might just choose to make a $1,250 contribution to Channel Thirteen, instead...

Featured Thank You Gift:

2 Tickets: Andrea Bocelli Dec. 5, 2012 at Barclays Center Brooklyn NY Gold Level Orchestra & Front side of Arena plus DVD: Andrea Bocelli Concerto, One Night in Central Park
EXCLUSIVE seats! New York Public Television is the only place to secure tickets to see the one and only Andrea Bocelli LIVE in concert on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 in his only NYC area appearance. He will perform at the brand new Barclays Center, centrally located in Brooklyn! Barclays Center will be served by 9 different subway lines and the LIRR. It is 8 minutes from Wall Street, 18 minutes from Penn Station and 20 minutes from Times Square or Grand Central Station. The Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and the Holland Tunnel are a quick drive away!

NoLandGrab: That stage configuration looks suspiciously like the proposed "hockey horseshoe."

Posted by eric at 10:45 AM

February 4, 2012

Gallof: Brooklyn Going After Islanders Hard, Making ‘Aggressive Sales Pitch’

CBS 2 New York
By B.D. Gallof, WFAN.com

Despite earlier skepticism and the lack of any new developments since being mentioned two days ago, this author has written a new article covering this story.

The confirmed preseason NHL game next season at the Barclays Center is part of a larger initiative to get the Islanders and owner Charles Wang to consider permanent relocation to Brooklyn, WFAN.com has learned.

The Islanders will host the Devils on Oct. 2, a fact that I first reported two weeks ago and was made official on Thursday.

According to sources, including one within the NHL and another with knowledge of the Barclays Center, the venue is making an “aggressive sales pitch.” In addition, the league source said “the chances of the New York Islanders to Brooklyn are actually pretty good.” The preseason game, sources said, is being viewed as a chance for Wang to get a sense of what life would be like in Brooklyn.

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Posted by steve at 2:54 PM

February 3, 2012

Gallof: A New Home? Don’t Believe The Hype, Islanders Fans

Brooklyn! Trades! Venues! Excitement? It's Time To Temper The Expectations

CBS New York
by B.D. Gallof

More cold water for the Brooklyn Islanders fantasy.

Despite the inevitable media buzz and the glimmer of hope this will create for a downtrodden fan base, the realities of Brooklyn being any more than a diversion and attempt to pick up some interest from other areas, like Queens and Suffolk, while sending a message to Nassau, aren’t many.

The ultimate goal with these smokescreens is to get someone to ante up some options for the team as its lease with Nassau County winds down. The idea of Brooklyn two or three years ago might have had more promise. Back then, the media and blogosphere would innocently parrot notions. Now, anyone parroting them is instead feeding into the Islanders’ own PR aims and hype.

Brooklyn is wrought with issues.

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Posted by eric at 1:48 PM

February 2, 2012

The Islanders Are Coming! The Islanders Are Coming!

Runnin' Scared
by Neil deMause

There's one problem with that scenario: As part of the frugality-induced downsizing of the Nets' arena that took place when Ratner sacked architect Frank Gehry in 2009, the building's floor is now sized only for hoops, not pucks. The solution proposed by the Brooklyn arena operators has been to reduce the building's capacity from 18,000 to 14,500 seats for hockey. Nets spokes-VP Barry Baum tells the Voice that this "would involve a decreased capacity in the upper and lower seats behind one of the goals" — likely along the lines of what the AT&T Center in San Antonio does for the minor-league Rampage, with one entire end taken up by a giant ad board.

That works fine for minor-league hockey, and should be good enough for an exhibition game, especially when the Islanders aren't even drawing 14,500 fans a game out in Uniondale. But for a permanent home of an NHL franchise? That'd be more problematic.

First off, a hypothetical Brooklyn Islanders would be playing in the league's smallest arena: The Winnipeg Jets are the current record holders, squeezing into the 15,000-seat MTS Centre. At 14,500 seats, in fact, the Isles would be doomed to draw less than all but two non-Islander NHL teams (the Dallas Stars and the when-are-they-moving-to-Canada-already Phoenix Coyotes) — not a vision to warm the cockles of a pro sports owner's heart.

Then too, there's the little matter that the Islanders would be sub-tenants of the Nets in Brooklyn, which means giving up first dibs on all the suite revenue, ad board and concessions sales, and other boodle that makes having a brand-new arena such a lucrative prospect for sports teams.

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Related coverage...

F'd in Park Slope, MARTY PUTS THE BARCLAY CENTER ON ICE

As for Marty, he said ice hockey is the tip of the iceberg for the ugliest arena ever built. He has dreams of monster truck races, Ringley Brothers Circus and concerts from Jay-Z, just to name a few. Sorry Marty, no matter how many awesome monster trucks or gentle elephants in festive head gear you parade through that rat's nest, it won't make it any prettier.

Posted by eric at 12:50 PM

Brooklyn 'courts' more tourists with Barclays Center venue

amNY
by Erik Ortiz

Brooklyn's making a play for the millions of tourists who come to the city -- and wagering that its new arena will win over more visitors.

Elected officials and sports execs want to give Manhattan a run for its tourism dollars, although it is uncertain whether the new Barclays Center -- set to open Sept. 28 with a gala concert by Jay-Z, a part owner of the Nets -- will score.

"When all is said and done, it will be another jewel in the crown of Brooklyn," Tony Muia, who runs "A Slice of Brooklyn" bus tour, said of the upcoming arena.

Tour buses are exactly what we need at the confluence of Flatbush, Atlantic and Fourth Avenues.

Triangle Sports, a 96-year-old business across from Barclays Center, is being sold. It could become an upscale restaurant or retailer catering to visitors and locals alike.

"The stretch [of Flatbush Avenue] is packed," said Geoff Bailey, vice president of retail services for TerraCRG, which is marketing the Triangle Sports property. "There are new restaurants coming and [that are] rumored to include big New York chefs. It gives people a reason to come to the area and linger."

Because nothing says "fine dining" like an arena.

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Posted by eric at 11:10 AM

February 1, 2012

Testing the Ice Where Hockey Was an Afterthought

The New York Times
by Liz Robbins

The New York Islanders, tied for last place in their conference and playing in the obsolete Nassau Coliseum, are scheduled to play an exhibition game against the New Jersey Devils in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Oct. 2, perhaps to test the ice for a future move.

The arena that had been designed, and redesigned, for basketball will now transform somewhat awkwardly to accommodate hockey for its first sporting event days after the building opens with a concert by Jay-Z. The Nets will start playing there in mid-October.
...

The Barclays Center, under the original design of Frank Gehry, was configured to accommodate professional hockey. But when Mr. Gehry was replaced by SHoP Architects and the company now known as Aecom, hockey became an afterthought. Now, the developer of the arena and the surrounding Atlantic Yards site, Forest City Ratner Companies, is adjusting to make the arena suitable for hockey.

According to Robert Sanna, Forest City Ratner’s executive vice president for construction and design development, the seating capacity will be reduced to 14,500 from 18,000 for basketball, which would make it the league’s smallest rink. Retractable seats will mostly be collapsed on one end, closest to the Atlantic Terminal side, and therefore the alignment around the rink will resemble a horseshoe.

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NoLandGrab: "Somewhat awkwardly?" That's an understatement. "Suitable for hockey?" Well, yes, it would have ice.

Related coverage...

Let this once and for all put an end to talk of an NHL team calling the Barclays Center of Brooklyn™ home — we're certain no NHL rink is configured as "somewhat awkwardly" as this...

New York Islanders Adrift, The Hockey Configuration of the Barclays Center

The configuration for hockey will be the horseshoe shape that I thought it would be according to a New York Times article.

The New York Times, Islanders to Play Devils in Preseason Game at New Arena in Brooklyn

For the Islanders, this is purely a scare tactic...

The announcement serves as another shot across the bow of Nassau County politicians and voters, who have rejected every effort by Islanders owner Charles Wang to upgrade or replace Nassau Coliseum, the club’s 40-year-old home. Although the 16,250-seat Coliseum is one of the N.H.L.’s best buildings for sightlines and intimacy, it is virtually inaccessible by public transit and has few of the money-spinning corporate luxury enticements that provide revenue at other arenas.
...

N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman has been a vocal supporter of Wang’s efforts to get a new or extensively upgraded building for the Islanders. He commented briefly on the Islanders situation in answer to reporters’ questions Saturday during the N.H.L. All-Star weekend in Ottawa.

“They still have three and a half years to go,” Bettman said, referring to the club’s Nassau Coliseum lease. “Long Island deserves a new building, not just for hockey but for concerts and family shows and the like.”

Gothamist, Islanders To Play In Brooklyn! For One Game

GOAL! The rumors were (sort of) true! Hockey is really coming to Brooklyn...for at least one game. Yup, despite concerns that the Barclays Center was too small for regulation hockey, the much-maligned Atlantic Yards stadium has announced that on October 2, 2012 the Islanders are going to play the New Jersey Devils. In Brooklyn!

Posted by eric at 12:44 PM

YIKES! Brooklyn Nets’ Barclays Center 1.0 “Concept Court” Looks Frighteningly Real

Brooklynian

Wow! Or Yikes! Or both. Mythbuster created this “Concept Court” called Brooklyns Nets’ Barclays Center 1.0. So Brooklyn basketball is just around the corner (literally). This brings it all into focus. Maybe a bit too sharp. Until now, “Brooklyn Nets” has seemed like some distant figment of Bruce Ratner’s imagination (or Jay-Z’s). What has it been, 7 years??

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NoLandGrab: Seven minutes gone and the Nets haven't put any points on the board? Seems pretty real to us. And it's been eight years.

Posted by eric at 12:05 PM

January 31, 2012

Islanders head to Brooklyn -for one game

Newsday

Et voila, exactly as we predicted: the Islanders are coming to Brooklyn — for three hours.

The Islanders announced Tuesday they will play a preaseason game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn against the Devils on Oct. 2, marking the first NHL game ever to be played in Brooklyn.

Jay-Z will open the new arena with a concert on Sept. 28 followed by the Islanders-Devils preseason game four days later.

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NoLandGrab: Exhibition hockey. Just as exciting as regular-season Nets basketball.

Posted by eric at 11:56 AM

Marty’s goal: Hockey in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Daily
by Dan MacLeod

Like the antagonist in a bad horror movie, the phony idea that a pro hockey franchise might someday call the Barclays Center of Brooklyn™ home keeps coming back from the dead — despite being killed again and again.

Borough President Markowitz wants to put the Barclays Center on ice — and hinted that hockey will indeed be coming to the soon-to-be-opened $1 billion arena as he teased his agenda for the coming year at the Bay Ridge Community Council’s Presidents’ Luncheon on Saturday.

“It would be great to see some hockey at the arena,” the uncharacteristically tight-lipped Beep told us before zipping out of the Bay Ridge Manor on 76th Street, claiming that any official announcements will be made at his annual State of the Borough address tomorrow. “In Brooklyn, there should be an NHL team, no question.”

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NoLandGrab: "Some hockey?" Sure, the Islanders might schedule an exhibition game or two in Brooklyn. It's possible the Rangers might do the same as they complete the Madison Square Garden renovation next fall. But the seating capacity and awful sightlines make the arena an untenable home-ice disadvantage.

Posted by eric at 10:34 AM

January 30, 2012

Lingering questions: Where's the Barclays Center security plan? What precinct will be in charge? Who'll pay for traffic agents?

Atlantic Yards Report

Local elected officials are still waiting to examine the security plan presumably prepared for the Barclays Center arena, but are not getting very far. No one knows yet which police precinct will be in charge of the arena.

And there's still no clarity on whether the developer would pay for traffic agents needed for the area.

In other words, as the opening of the Barclays Center approaches in September, some major questions remain unanswered, as was aired at the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting January 26, held at Brooklyn Borough Hall with agencies and officials whose work touches on the project.

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NoLandGrab: Don't worry, the NYPD has this covered — they're just going to show The Third Jihad on the Jumbotron before every arena event.

Posted by eric at 11:28 AM

With transportation plan delayed, Nets finally survey fans about transportation options regarding Barclays Center attendance

Atlantic Yards Report

What a coincidence: a day after a public meeting in which officials revealed delays in the long-awaited Transportation Demand Management plan for the Barclays Center, Nets Basketball on January 27 sent "an important online survey about our move to Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season" to those on its mailing list.

The survey, which offered the opportunity to win "autographed merchandise, courtside seats to a NETS game or a NETS Fan Experience package!," seemed designed to alert people to the extensive public transportation options and deter them from driving.

However, should word-of-mouth or advertising attract drivers to non-arena-related garages or to residential streets in search of free parking, that will hamper the effort to promote transit use.

Last week, Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, for Empire State Development suggested that the delay in the NBA season hampered development of the plan. Perhaps, but there's no reason why those on the Nets' mailing list could not have been previously surveyed.

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Posted by eric at 11:21 AM

January 28, 2012

Could Barclays Center beer sales be cut off before third quarter ends? Nope

Atlantic Yards Report

In 2005, in response to a brawl between players and fans in Detroit, the National Basketball Association promulgated a Fan Code of Conduct, including a a ban on alcohol sales during the fourth quarter, a 24-ounce limit on the size of alcoholic drinks and a limit of two alcoholic drinks per customer.

But no NBA arena will be abutting a residential neighborhood as closely as the Barclays Center, scheduled to open for basketball in October, and neighbors are concerned about noise, sanitation, driving--and inebriated fans leaving the arena.

At the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting January 26, Forest City Ratner executive Jane Marshall said that a code of conduct is being developed for the arena, and will be shared with the public. "I believe the NBA requirement is: after the third quarter, they stop [beer sales]. I don't believe we will be able to go any earlier than that.

When will that code of conduct be available?

"We're shooting to have a robust discussion about a lot of these issues, starting at the end of the spring," Marshall said.

Is there any possibility that the beer cutoff could be earlier than the end of the third quarter, asked Rami Metal, representing Council Member Steve Levin.

"I'm saying that I think it's impossible," responded Marshall.

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Posted by steve at 5:22 PM

January 26, 2012

Florida Law Implemented in New York Would Actually Bring Housing to Atlantic Yards Site

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

New York ain't Florida but the following article reminds us of two things:

1. Bruce Ratner demolished a long-term homeless shelter scattering the most vulnerable amongst us all over the city in order to build a... long-term surface parking lot that will include parking for the Barclays Center of Brooklyn©.

2. If New York had this Florida law and implemented it at least Atlantic Yards would actually provide some form of housing, which it currently is not doing at all:

Florida law would turn its publicly funded ballparks and stadiums into homeless shelters
By 'Duk | Big League Stew | Yahoo! Sports

Could the new Marlins ballpark or the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field serve as a homeless shelter for the 270 or so nights a year that they're not used for baseball?

If two Florida lawmakers have their way, they might. As reported by the Miami Herald, state legislators have unearthed an obscure law that has not been enforced since it was adopted in 1988. It states that any ballpark or stadium that receives taxpayer money shall serve as a homeless shelter on the dates that it is not in use.

Now, a new bill would punish owners of teams who play in publicly funded stadiums if they don't provide a haven for the homeless.

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Posted by eric at 11:01 AM

January 22, 2012

Nets/Barclays CEO Yormark claims "all I’m seeing is support for this project" and every decision has "put Brooklyn first"

Atlantic Yards Report

SLAM magazine recently held a Q&A with Nets/Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, who confirmed that he is truly looking through rose-colored glasses.

...

But I think this project, from Day One, has been about bringing sports entertainment back to Brooklyn. It’s been about Brooklyn, it’s been about job creation, it’s been about affordable housing. It’s been out doing what’s right for Brooklyn. There hasn’t been a decision that we’ve made that hasn’t put Brooklyn first and the people of Brooklyn first. If there are a few people out there who aren’t supportive, so be it. It is what it is.

...

Every decision has "put Brooklyn first"?

How about Bruce Ratner's acknowledgment that "the existing incentives for developments where half the units are priced for middle- and low-income tenants 'don't work for a high-rise building that's union built'" and that the announced and promoted ten-year timetable "was never supposed to be the time we were supposed to build them in.”

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Posted by steve at 11:27 PM

January 19, 2012

Local report: still murkiness about reopening of ASI Limited, arena facade contractor; company won't provide info about number of people working

Atlantic Yards Report

While the shell of Bruce Ratner's modular residential building may be ugly, at least it will have a shell.

When Crain's New York Business last week reported that ASI Limited had resumed production of the weathered steel panels for the façade of the Barclays Center, it noted that contractor Hunt Construction was "looking for additional companies to make the steel."

That suggested there was lingering doubt, and a report yesterday in the Zionsville Times-Sentinel, Contractor, Ohio bank assume control of ASI, leaves some additional doubt.

While ASI Limited has apparently reopened, thanks to the role of a bonding company, Employment Plus Inc., of Bloomington, is suing ASI "for nearly $838,000 it alleges is owed in salaries for temporary workers," the newspaper reported.

Moreover, the newspaper reported,"the Indiana Department of Workforce Development has still not been contacted by ASI about the number of persons who have gone back to work," despite email and voicemail messages requesting information.

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NoLandGrab: Why do we get the feeling there's more to this story than has yet come to light?

Posted by eric at 5:02 PM

January 16, 2012

One arena, three flags and a tree at 6th & Pacific

threecee via flickr

Barclays Center Arena of Atlantic Yards
Pacific Street at 6th Avenue
Prospect Heights
Brooklyn, New York

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Posted by eric at 11:36 AM

January 13, 2012

Nets top off – quietly

NorthJersey.com
by John Brennan

One of the staples of major sports venue construction is the “topping off” ceremony – almost as much so as the “shovels-and-hard-hats” groundbreaking event that formally kicks off construction. I’ve been to plenty of these in the last decade in this metropolitan area – heck, even dormant Meadowlands Xanadu had a topping off ceremony for its parking garage (back in 2005, when that entertainment and retail project was supposed to open a mere two years later).

But for whatever reason, Forest City Ratner celebrated the Barclays Center’s topping off on Thursday with a mere press release.

The developers of the Nets’ new home – scheduled to open in September – invited 500+ workers instead of the media (usually it’s both) to hear CEO Bruce Ratner tout the progress on an arena that was first pitched by Ratner as a concept in 2003.

While the steel frame of the arena is now topped out, the developers still have lots of work to do (keep in mind that the worst-case scenario is a third year at Newark’s Prudential Center in 2012-13).

article

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Why no press conference for the topping-out ceremony? Maybe to avoid questions about the schedule

Whatever reason, I suspect, is that they didn't want to answer questions about how the schedule has slipped, with a very tight deadline to finish site work before the first Jay-Z concert in September, and what the plan is to ensure that the exterior cladding, produced by closed-and-reopened ASI Limited, would get done.

Brennan points to a cautionary tale across the river:

The Nets will just have to hope that they don’t run into similar deadline challenges to the Devils when they opened the Prudential Center in 2007. The team had to play its first nine games of the 2007-08 season on the road, and when it did open, many of the upper-level seats were suitable only for the sub-200 pound crowd – a dwindling demographic in the U.S. in recent years. The Devils eventually settled a lawsuit with the seating company for undisclosed terms.

NoLandGrab: Meanwhile, the Nets may have held their own "topping off" ceremony on January 6th, when they beat the Toronto Raptors, 97-85, possibly capping their season win total at two.

Posted by eric at 11:53 AM

Barclays Center Holds 'Topping Out' Ceremony

Event marks the complete installation of 10,400-pounds of structural steel at the site.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

Construction at Barclays Center hit a major milestone Thursday with the announced "topping out" of structural steel by developer Forest City Ratner.

Members of Ironworkers Local 361 joined CEO Bruce Ratner at the site to celebrate completion of the installation of 10,400-pounds of structural steel, which began in November 2010.

At the event, Ratner vowed to complete Barclays Center in eight months—just in time for the future home of the Nets basketball organization's scheduled Sept. 28 opening date.

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NoLandGrab: That's gotta be a typo — 10,400 pounds of steel is the equivalent of three full-size sedans.

"Just one of the boys" photo: Nets Basketball

Posted by eric at 12:15 AM

January 12, 2012

Report: Islanders in talks to play a preseason game in Brooklyn

The Sporting News

The New York Islanders are in talks to host a preseason game next season in Brooklyn at the yet-to-be-finished, future home of the New Jersey Nets, the Barclays Center, according to WFAN (660 AM) New York.

The Islanders lease at Nassau Coliseum ends at the end of the 2014-15 season.

There has been no movement between the team and Nassau County on a new or refurbished arena, especially since a failed Aug. 1 referendum vote that shot down a bid for a new arena on Long Island.

Former Nets owner and Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner has shown an interest in the Islanders moving to Brooklyn when their lease is up.
...

The Islanders have also already committed to playing a preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers at Evraz Place in Saskatchewan on Sept. 27, 2012.

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NoLandGrab: And given the Barclays Center's tiny hockey capacity and terrible hockey sightlines, it's far more likely that, come the 2015-2016 season, it'll be the Saskatchewan Islanders rather than the Brooklyn Islanders.

Posted by eric at 11:50 PM

January 11, 2012

How many Nets fans from NJ will cross the river (and bring new tax revenues)? "You’re not going to have a lot of people from New Jersey following us," CEO Yormark acknowledged in 2009

Atlantic Yards Report

Despite claims from fellow boosters of the Nets' move to Brooklyn, team CEO Brett Yormark, in a moment of candor, more than two years ago acknowledged that relatively few Nets fans from New Jersey would make the move to Brooklyn.

That won't necessarily affect the bottom line of the team and arena, since new fans from New York surely will buy seats and suites.

But it does diminish the argument for city and state arena subsidies, which were based in part on expectations of new tax benefits to the city and state from out-of-state visitors.

In other words, poaching a team may not be worth what it's cracked up to be.

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Posted by eric at 12:39 PM

January 6, 2012

Report Reveals Barclays Center Slightly Behind Schedule

Between September and November, Atlantic Yards construction was behind schedule, and now the completion of the arena has been pushed back a week, to Aug 30.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

While Forest City Ratner doesn’t believe that their steelmaker going out of business will affect the construction time of the Barclays Center, new data shows that construction has been behind schedule for three months, according to Atlantic Yards Report.

AYR says that the completion date of the arena has now been pushed back a week, to August 30, 2012, with site work like landscaping, tree planting and sidewalk installation pushed back a month to September 25, 2012. The blog says that’s just three days before Jay-Z is scheduled to perform an opening night show at the arena.

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Posted by eric at 12:41 PM

Forest City avoids the question of how they'll get that exterior steel; local officials in Indiana still baffled by firm's closing

Atlantic Yards Report

So Forest City Ratner yesterday told Crain's New York Business, regarding the closure of steel fabricator ASI Limited, "we don't believe it will affect our construction schedule."

And they told Patch that they don't believe it "will aversely affect the timeline."

Well, that's possible, since the exterior was supposed to be finished by May and presumably there's some flex in the timeline--as long as ASI Limited reopens or (with more difficulty) a new supplier of such custom work can be found.

But that doesn't sound yet like a plan to get that work done. So, until Forest City offers specifics, they don't sound too convincing.
...

Surely Forest City Ratner and its allies could muster [new capital for ASI] up in a pinch; a delay in the arena opening threatens an enormous amount of contracted revenue, such as for sponsorships and naming rights.

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NoLandGrab: It would be a delicious irony if ASI were able to force Forest City to inject some funds into the company, given the latter's penchant for such hardball tactics as threatening to stop construction of "New York by Gehry" at half its planned height in order to gain union concessions.

Posted by eric at 12:22 PM

Barclays Center developer says show will go on

Despite the recent demise of the company fabricating the weathered-steel skin for the new home of Brooklyn Nets basketball team, the opening is still set for later this year.

Crain's NY Business
by Theresa Agovino

The developer of the Barclays Center arena in downtown Brooklyn says that the year-end demise of the company that is fabricating the weathered steel for the arena's distinctive façade will not result in any construction delays.
...

“We are concerned when any of our partners has problems, but we don't believe it will affect our construction schedule,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, executive vice president of Forest City Ratner, referring to steel fabricator ASI Limited having gone out of business. “We can still continue with construction.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Forest City said the site's construction manager, Hunt, and the bonding company for ASI have developed an action plan. They have already started work on site and have developed several options for on-going fabrication. It didn't specify the options.

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Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, Barclays Center Will 'Open as Scheduled' Despite Steel Snafu: Ratner

According to Atlantic Yards Report, which first broke the story on Tuesday, ASI's apparent demise raised questions as to whether the remaining specialty steel would be delivered and how this might affect Barclays Center's tight construction timeline.

When contacted Thursday, Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco dismissed those concerns, saying, "We do not think [ASI's closure] will aversely affect the timeline, and the arena is still planned to open as scheduled."

Curbed, It May Be Naked, But Barclays Will Take Stage

Not even the possibility of a calamitous costume snafu will prevent the new Barclays Center arena in Prospect Heights from making its scheduled debut at the start of the 2012-13 NBA season. Or so says Forest City Ratner, after subcontractor ASI Limited shut its doors and went out of businesses in late December.
...

Forest City Ratner says that it has developed several ongoing but unspecified alternatives for the fabrication of the necessary steel panels.

NoLandGrab: We've already suggested this alternative, but we'll repeat it in case MaryAnne Gilmartin missed it the first time around.

Posted by eric at 11:58 AM

January 5, 2012

Bollard plans approved by DOT, but only after new technical memo saying sidewalk with effective width in one spot of just two feet would be OK

Atlantic Yards Report

So, what if the sidewalks around the Barclays Center will be smaller than analyzed in the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), presenting potential bottlenecks?

It'll be fine, says the Department of Transportation (DOT)--but that required not one but two technical memoranda produced by a consultant to to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) to say that a narrow sidewalk, with an effective width in one spot near the arena of just 2 feet, would be OK.

So that means installation of 206 security bollards--178 fixed, 28 removable, one foot in diameter--and other street furniture has gone on as planned.

And, I'd bet, we'll see arena-goers stepping into Atlantic Avenue lanes adjacent to the sidewalk.

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NoLandGrab: So who's going to be responsible when the first pedestrian fatality occurs?

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Watch, DOT approves plan for arena block bollards after yet another Technical Memo attempts to patch a flawed analysis

Although the plans submitted by FCRC in August showed both temporary and permanent departures from conditions analyzed in the project's Final Environmental Impact Statement, ESDC apparently did not ask its environmental consultant HDR to review the plans until after AYW's initial analysis was published.

What followed is a quintessential Atlantic Yards story. The deadline for public comment, initially scheduled for mid-August when Community Boards do not meet and residents are often away, was extended when it was discovered the incorrect Community Board had been provided the plans for review and approval. The deadline was extended a second time when it was discovered a security wall (the same wall producing the narrowest sidewalk on the arena block) had not been colored red (as new) in the plans. A Technical Memo written by HDR was released to the public less than 24 hours before the revocable consent hearing on October 5th, which acknowledged narrower widths but maintained that the level of service (LOS) of the sidewalks would remain within an acceptable range. Our review of the Technical Memo pointed out shortcomings in its analysis, stating the analysis did not take into account in full the obstructions and shy distances evident in the bollard plans, or changes to pedestrian walking routes on sidewalks.

Posted by eric at 12:45 PM

New report: for three months, arena has been (slightly) behind schedule; completion date for arena nudged back; site work could continue almost to Jay-Z concert date

Atlantic Yards Report

Delays are taking their toll on Atlantic Yards construction, with new data from November indicating--for the first time--that the arena is now behind, and had been slightly behind for three months.

Apparently as a consequence, the substantial completion date of the arena has been pushed back a week to 8/30/12, and the substantial completion date of site work (landscaping, trees, sidewalks, bollards, etc.) pushed back a month to 9/25/12, just three days before Jay-Z is supposed to inaugurate the Barclays Center.

The information comes from the latest Site Observation Report, based on a visit of 11/22/11 and documents made available on 12/20/11, from Merritt & Harris, the real estate consultant to the arena PILOT Bond Trustee.

Cause for worry?

The report, dated 1/4/12, indicates that work seems to be proceeding appropriately. Confoundingly, it does not acknowledge in its text that the arena is behind, as a chart indicates.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Big jump in workers at Atlantic Yards site reported by real estate consultant, but 645 still doesn't match 779 reported by Forest City

As of November, there were 645 workers at the Atlantic Yards arena site and Transit Connection, according latest Site Observation Report, based on a visit of 11/22/11 and documents made available on 12/20/11, from Merritt & Harris, the real estate consultant to the arena PILOT Bond Trustee.

FCR's numbers

In mid-November, Forest City Ratner told the New York Daily News and Patch that there were 779 workers on site as of November 11.

Why the discrepancy? There surely are dozens of additional workers at the railyard--not covered by Merritt & Harris. But 134? That seems questionable, given observations by site neighbors.

Posted by eric at 12:38 PM

‘Mouse’ cleaning for Nets

NY Post
by Rich Calder

Trying to bring a theme-park feel to the team’s new arena in Brooklyn, Nets brass have hired Walt Disney Co.’s training arm to teach the Barclays Center’s employees the secrets of its Magic Kingdom.

“We want to create a magical experience where everyone is treated like a VIP no matter where they sit, and no one does it better than Disney,” Nets/Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark told The Post.

The goal, he added, is “redefining customer experience” for sports and entertainment venues with “unmatched, street-to-seat” service and hospitality.

The team is even considering tapping into so-called 4-D technology Disney theme parks are famous for, so fans can experience some arena attractions not only by sight and sound — but also by touch, taste and smell.

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NoLandGrab: Ah, yes, we recognize that scent.

Related coverage...

The L Magazine, Company Making Barclays Center Tiles Goes Broke; Company Making Barclays Center Employees is Disney

The Post is quick to note that [while] none of the arena's 1,500 full- and part-time employees will be donning cartoon character costumes, the Disney Institute will help to design Barlcays Center workers' uniforms. "You don’t wear a uniform — you wear a costume,” noted Disney Institute content specialist Tom D. Thomson. Oh. Sorry?

Runnin' Scared, Brooklyn Nets Set To Go All Disney On Their Employees

When you have to open an arena that seats a crowd of 18,000 skeptical New Yorkers, there's really only one person you can call to give you advice -- dear old Mickey Mouse. The House of Mouse entertains visitors with extreme robotic precision and that's what the Brooklyn Nets are looking to emulate.

Posted by eric at 11:50 AM

January 4, 2012

Prokhorov and Ratner Preparing to Move Semi-pro Team into Naked Arena

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

One has to wonder, what exactly are Bruce Ratner and Mikahil Prokhorov planning on bringing to Brooklyn. A team that can hardly call itself professional and a naked arena?

The New Jersey Nets, once again, are stinking up the joint and the Barclays Center arena is in jeopardy of being facadeless come projected completion in September 2012 now that the custom manufacterer of the rusty panels has gone belly up.
...

Will the arena in Brooklyn be ready when the semi-pro Nets are ready to move? That is now a question worthy of a "no comment" from Forest City Ratner.

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Related coverage...

Brownstoner, Barclays Center Facade Maker Goes Out of Business

Posted by eric at 11:56 AM

Watch out: Here’s our 12 to watch in 2012

Brooklyn Daily
by Aaron Short

When the big crystal ball falls in Times Square, some of us make resolutions. Others make predictions. But we at Courier Life make lists of the people who we know will make headlines in the next 12 months. So without further ado, here are our 12 to watch in 2012!
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#1:Brooklyn Nets, basketball team

Call ‘em the Brooklyn Nets — finally.

The soon-to-be-renamed New Jersey Nets are moving to the Barclays Center in Prospect Heights this fall after years of hold-ups from opponents of developer Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards mega-project, which includes the arena and 16 planned residential buildings.

The $1-billion Barclays Center rising on Flatbush and Atlantic avenues is scheduled to open in late September, with a series of highly anticipated concerts by Nets part-owner and rap mogul Jay-Z — there’s no doubt that the Marcy Houses native’s shows will fill the 19,000-seat arena. Whether or not the Nets can do the same is anyone’s guess.

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NoLandGrab: Can you feel the excitement?

Posted by eric at 11:33 AM

January 3, 2012

Company fabricating metal arena facade shuts down; work was supposed to extend through May; no comment from Forest City at this time

Atlantic Yards Report

Trouble in Ratnerville? The company that makes the façade panels for The World's Most Infamously Ugly Arena™ has suddenly gone all Nets on us belly-up.

The Whitestown, IN-based company that has been fabricating the weathered steel for the Barclays Center facade unexpectedly went out of business last week, raising questions about whether and when the additional steel needed would be delivered, and how the overall project timetable may be affected.

It's unclear how much of the steel has been fabricated and delivered by ASI Limited, but a considerable amount of facade work remains to be done. Some steel has been delivered to and is stored at the southeast block, Block 1129, as shown in the photo above, taken today by Tracy Collins.

A spokesman for developer Forest City Ratner said "we cannot comment at this time." The Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency overseeing Atlantic Yards, said it was a question for Forest City.

ESD at 5:30 pm today issued a two-week Construction Alert (prepared by Forest City) covering work beginning this week; it indicates continued work on the facade, and does not disclose anything about the facade fabricator.

Work extending through May

The Exterior Skin--which likely includes more than the metalwork--is not supposed to be completed until the "Early Finish" date of 5/13/12, according to a report from Merritt & Harris, construction monitor for the arena bond trustee.

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NoLandGrab: Not to worry — we got a lead on some replacement parts.

Related coverage...

NY Observer, Tip-Off Tip Over? Barclays Center Facade Maker Goes Out of Business, Possibly Imperiling Opening Day

Replicating the process elsewhere could present a challenge, especially considering the weathering process was already running behind schedule, according to Mr. Oder. Add in the fact that the arena was scheduled to open in only a matter of months, and solving this problem seems as challenging as the Nets making the playoffs.

NLG: Add in to that fact the fact that the Nets are truly awful, and nobody's going to much care if the arena ever opens.

Posted by eric at 10:54 PM

December 16, 2011

Did Bloomberg's Olympic legacy really pay off? Some dissent to the new narrative, and an odd attempt to shoehorn in Atlantic Yards

Atlantic Yards Report

A new report, How New York City Won the Olympics (also embedded below), argues that most of the benefits of the city's 2012 Olympics bid have been achieved, and without the crushing costs of the event.

It has drawn supportive coverage from the New York Times (though see this cautionary comment) and an enthusiastic New York Daily News editorial, plus coverage in The Bond Buyer.

But it should be taken with significant skepticism. The report is authored by the much-quoted Mitchell L. Moss, Director, Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University.

Moss, an advisor to Mayor Mike Bloomberg's 2001 mayoral campaign, has often defended Bloomberg and the Olympic Plan's chief architect, former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, so--despite failure to mention that connection in press coverage--that connection must be layered on his academic credentials.

Also, the report includes some strained attempts to attach the Atlantic Yards arena and plan to the Olympics legacy, though that's not backed up by evidence.

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Posted by eric at 11:24 AM

December 15, 2011

David Burke in Talks to Bring Mini-Food-Trucks to Barclays Center

Grub Street New York
by Beth Landman

Lots of big-name chefs are consulting on food gigs at Madison Square Garden, and now David Burke tells us he's close to signing a deal with the forthcoming Barclays Center in Brooklyn. "We have been in discussions, and we just have some things to iron out,'' Burke says. He explains that unlike his consulting situation with Bowlmor, this will me more hands-on: "I have an idea for baby mobile food trucks — gate 1A could be serving sliders at one point during a game, then gate 2B would have cupcakes."

He says he'd use social media or in-stadium announcements to let people know what food is being served at any given time: "We would have a few trucks, and they would drive by with items until they sell out." He adds, "The food might also be related to the team playing, like Philadelphia cheesesteaks.''

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NoLandGrab: Right, because fans always want to celebrate the opposing team by eating their food. Next thing you know, they'll be giving away reversible jerseys with the visiting team's star on the other side.

Posted by eric at 10:50 AM

December 13, 2011

Barclays Center: Then, Now and In-Between

A photo document of construction at the site from October 2010 to December 2011.

Park Slope Patch
by Paul Leonard

Patch has a collection of photos "documenting the pace of construction at the Barclays Center site from Oct. 2010 to Dec. 2011."

link

Posted by eric at 11:32 PM

December 6, 2011

Andrea Bocelli, and the Brooklyn Academy

l'Espresso
by Andrea Visconti

The Google translation leaves a bit to be desired, but absolutely nails one aspect of the story (look for our hint).

Andrea Bocelli for his only concert in New York in 2012 and straight stitch snubs Manhattan to Brooklyn instead. Do not sing at Madison Square Garden as he did many times in the past but chose instead the new Barclays Center.

Beyond the fact that a performance in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan is a sign of how New York is changing I would not have taken had I not seen this news just this week the film "Battle for Brooklyn." This is a new documentary that is currently in the pipeline for the Oscars. It is part of the finalists in the preselection for the nomination.

The theme of "Battle for Brooklyn" is precisely the battle lasted seven years to try to block the construction of the Barclays Center. A battle between a major real estate speculator and a community of about a thousand people who are forced statre with good (money) or bad (the legal process) to clear the area and make room for a huge multi-purpose project.

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Posted by eric at 11:45 AM

December 5, 2011

Brooklyn ‘lands one’

Tenor picks new arena over MSG

NY Post
by Rich Calder

With this, our final NoLandGrab post, we would like to thank all of our readers for their loyalty during the past eight years. But now that the Barclays Center will indeed become the 18,000-seat opera house that we've always hoped it would (added bonus: also future home to the world's most chichi equestrian event), we don't see the point in fighting it any longer.

Bravo, Bruce Ratner!

The World’s Most Famous Arena is getting a run for its money.

Renowned Italian classical vocalist Andrea Bocelli will shun Madison Square Garden next holiday season to perform instead at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, The Post has learned.

“It’s always a pleasure for me to play in New York, but I’m particularly excited to perform in Brooklyn for what will be my only 2012 performance in the city that has given me such affection,” Bocelli, known as “The Fourth Tenor,” said yesterday in a statement.

Bocelli had played nine straight holiday shows at the Garden, but has booked Dec. 5, 2012, at the Barclays Center — becoming the biggest name yet to be lured away from MSG to the future home of the NBA’s Nets.

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Posted by eric at 11:33 AM

December 4, 2011

Horse show at arena brings complications; in Washington, DC, they closed city streets

Atlantic Yards Report

Atlantic Yards Watch offers a follow-up on some recent news, Gucci horse competition coming to Barclays, but where will the horses go?, where we learned that 70 to 80 horses would be stabled inside the building, with more than 200 horses in tenets nearby.

Writes Danae Oratowski:

The Paris Gucci Masters is held at the Salon de Cheval, a dedicated horse show facility that includes warm-up rings and trailer parking in addition to stables and show rings. Instead, the Barclays event will resemble the International Horse Show at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., which needed closed three city blocks around the arena this October.
In addition to outdoor stables, there’s likely to be a need for an outdoor warm up ring, since the backstage areas of the Barclays center may not be large enough. There’s also the small matter of a few hundred horse trailers that will arrive and unload (most likely in the middle of the night to avoid traffic).

A commenter on my earlier piece had written:

Temporary stalls can be set up anywhere. The Washington Int'l is held in the Verizon Center, stalls and warmup rings are in a nearby parking garage.

Closed streets in Washington

Actually, no. WTOP reported 10/26/11, "We noticed that 6th Street NW and F Street have been blocked around the Verizon Center." The Washington Post reported 10/24/11 that "F Street between Fifth and Seventh, and Sixth Street between F and G will be closed for the week to house temporary stalls for horses."

In a 3/15/11 statement, the Washington International Horse Show announced a three-year deal with Verizon Center to extend its run at the venue through 2013:

"We are thrilled to remain at Verizon Center and continue this great Washington tradition. Verizon Center has been home to WIHS for 12 years, and while there are complexities in producing an urban horse show with shipping horses in and out of the city and closing city streets to create stables, it also makes us one of the most exciting horse shows in the country," said Anthony F. Hitchcock, chief operating officer of WIHS.

(Emphasis added)

And in Brooklyn?

Note that the Verizon Center, unlike the Barclays Center, does not directly border a residential neighborhood.

In Brooklyn, I'd bet we see Sixth Avenue closed outside the arena, and maybe parts of Dean and Pacific Street. But if anyone official knows differently, please let me know. Print

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Related coverage...

Atlanltic Yards Watch, Gucci horse competition coming to Barclays, but where will the horses go?

Posted by steve at 11:02 PM

No Land Grab: The Rip Van Winkle Edition

Here are two items filled with stale information.

Architectism, Atlantic Yards: B2 Bklyn Building by SHoP Architects

Here's an outdated description of the Atlantic Yards project that even the developer doesn't use any more. There's an added bonus of the invocation of starchitect Frank Gehry even though he was thrown off the project years ago as a result of "value engineering".

The Atlantic Yards area is in a current development,striving to be a residential zone.The project wants to redevelop 22 acres of Downtown Brooklyn and the aimed areas are: Flatbush Ave, Fourth Ave, Vanderbuilt Ave and Dean St.The initiators of this project were Forest City Ratner Companies.

Frank Gehry designed the plan and this is how he divided the buildings: 6 million square feet were reserved for the residential space, Barclays Center and an entertainment area while 247,000 square feet are for retail purposes,336,000 square feet are for office spaces and 8 acres are spared for an open space.

New York Islanders Adrift, Barclays Center Still Short of Goal

"Value engineering" of the Nets arena rendered it too small to accommodate professional hockey, but fanciful discussion persists.

The Barclays Center management set a goal of 220 events for its opening year and they are still 50 events short. The fact that Brooklyn still needs to fill events helps the Islanders leverage when dealing with the Barclays Center. This creates a need for the Islanders 41 home games to fill the void for the opening season and future ones as well.

Posted by steve at 10:34 PM

Andrea Boccelli Will Sing At Barclays Center Instead Of MSG

Gothamist

Following in the footsteps of Jay-Z, famous Italian tenor Andrea Boccelli will sing at the Barclays Center next year. And the Post notes it's quite the coup for the under-construction arena, since Boccelli had been performing his annual holiday show at Madison Square Garden.

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Posted by steve at 10:29 PM

December 1, 2011

Elite show-jumping competition coming to Barclays Center in 2013, with 200 horses stabled in tents "just outside" (where?)

Atlantic Yards Report

"[J]ust outside" suggests space in the rather small footprints of the apartment towers to be built adjacent to the arena.

Or maybe they'll use the small lot just east of Sixth Avenue on Dean Street.

Or will they close down the plaza that's supposed to be a public amenity?

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Related coverage...

Gothamist, Elite Horse Competition Will Slum It In Brooklyn

You know what "edgy" Brooklyn needs? Rich people who ride pretty horses at exclusive champagne-fueled events. Fortunately, the Gucci Masters horse-jumping competition is coming to the Barclays Center in 2013, and organizers are using the opportunity to trot out as many trite Brooklyn cliches they can think of.

Crain's NY Business, Brooklyn jumps ahead

Posted by eric at 1:53 PM

The Horses Will Jump in Brooklyn

The Wall Street Journal
by Sophia Hollander

The Gucci Masters is to Roger Green's hypothetical "18,000-seat opera house" as the hypothetical opera house is to monster trucks or professional wrestling.

At the 2011 Gucci Masters, a prestigious show-jumping event that begins in Paris this weekend, spectators can enjoy free on-site manicurists and hair stylists, a Champagne bar and a private pony paddock for children.

It's typical glamour for a sport that has attracted celebrity offspring such as Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Jessica Springsteen, daughter of Bruce. Hong Kong is also part of the show-jumping series, and organizers are now planning to add a third site.

They've picked Brooklyn.

The Barclays Center will host the new elite show-jumping competition in 2013, drawing the world's top 30 riders to compete for $1 million in prize money, officials were scheduled to announce on Thursday in Paris.
...

[Ashley Herman-Griffin, project manager for the New York Masters] added, show jumping remains a spectacle predicated on horses that can cost up to 10 million euros each, world-class chefs, and extravagant production values. The New York event will cost $6 million to produce, including prize money, and will be broadcast to a global audience estimated at 550 million households, she said. "It's not a hipster event," she said.

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NoLandGrab: Don't say we didn't warn you that something like this could happen.

Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, Barclays Will Host Elite Show-Jumping Event

Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that the arena will also be home to the 2013 New York Masters, an elite show-jumping competition that’s part ponies, part champagne, caviar and celebrities. The event will pit the world's top 30 riders against each other (in the most civilized way possible) for a $1 million prize.
...

The Journal says that the event will cost $6 million to produce, with around 80 horses stabled inside the arena, and more than 200 in tents outside.

NLG: 200 horses in tents "outside?" In the "temporary surface riding stables," perhaps?

Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Posted by eric at 12:35 PM

PHOTOS: The Barclays Center Has Risen

A monthly photo essay documenting the construction of the Barclays Center, which the Brooklyn Nets will soon call home.

Park Slope Patch
by Will Yakowicz

Piece by piece and month by month, the Barclays Center has grown. Now, with the frame complete and the glass walls filling in, the arena is looking like the soon-to-be home of the Brooklyn Nets.

The enormous footprint lies within the intersection of Flatbush, Atlantic, Fifth Sixth [NLG: Thanks to Bruce Ratner, Fifth Avenue no longer exists northeast of Flatbush] and Fourth avenues.

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NoLandGrab: The fire hydrant at left indicates just how close the arena will be to Flatbush Avenue. That shouldn't be a problem, right?

Posted by eric at 10:42 AM

November 30, 2011

Meet The Women Behind The Brooklyn Nets

Forbes

Deep inside the steel skeleton of the soon-to-be Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, drills are whirring, hammers striking and cranes excavating. The air is dusty and the ground littered with piles of wires, metal beams and loose hardware. Despite her suit dress and open-toed heels, an unconcerned MaryAnne Gilmartin, the arena’s lead developer, simply steps around the debris. In just 10 months, these gaping bones will welcome the NBA’s New Jersey Nets to their new home—as the Brooklyn Nets—thanks to two powerful women working vigorously behind the scenes.

If real estate mogul Bruce Ratner and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov are the faces of the New York-bound basketball franchise, Gilmartin and Irina Pavlova are the feet on the ground, clearing the way. As EVP of Forest City Ratner Companies, Gilmartin manages development of the near $1 billion arena, which anchors the larger $4.9 billion, 22-acre Atlantic Yards project in the heart of Brooklyn. Pavlova represents the interests of Prokhorov, the minority owner of the arena and majority owner of the Nets, its major tenant.

We'll leave it to Atlantic Yards Report to dissect Gilmartin's fantasy version of events. Here's some of the bit on Pavlova.

Spearheading the excitement over the 18,000-seat arena, Pavlova, 41, gets a live video feed of construction on her desktop and gushes that she cheers so hard at Nets’ home games she loses her voice. The Russian-American has dual citizenship, speaks five languages (with varying levels of fluency) and has worked all over the world. She started her career at Prudential in New York, and in 2005 launched the Moscow office of Google. In 2010, the chief executive of Onexim, Prokhorov’s company, told Pavlova over a casual dinner about a little deal with an American team, and asked if she’d be interested in “keeping an eye on things” in the States. “I don’t know a thing about basketball,” she said, but soon agreed.

Which would explain why she shouts herself hoarse at Nets' games.

And she learned quick. “It took me a few months to get my hands around the business and get comfortable with how things work,” Pavlova says with a subtle accent. “I’ve learned it’s tickets, sponsorships and suite sales. It’s not rocket science.”

Which would explain how the Nets' CEO qualifies as a "Yormarketing genius."

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Posted by eric at 11:57 AM

November 29, 2011

Notre Dame finds pre-Big East milepost at Gonzaga

Chicago Tribune
by Brian Hamilton

In 2013-14, there is one headline event thus far: A preseason tournament that features three games at home for the Irish ... and then a glamor date against Kentucky at the sparkling new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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NoLandGrab: What?! We must've missed the press event featuring Brett Yormark, Bruce Ratner, John Calipari and the Pope.

Posted by eric at 10:50 AM

November 28, 2011

So, how much did unions give up to get the Barclays Center going?

Atlantic Yards Report

On Local 157 blogspot, "Where New York City District Council Carpenters Communicate, Connect and Stay Informed!" there's an intriguing comment posted in response to a reposting of Daily News columnist Denis Hamill's valentine to Forest City Ratner's Bob Sanna and the union workers building the arena.

Wrote the anonymous commenter:

How about some free tickets for the men who took the hit on the PLA's [Project Labor Agreements] to make it happen.

Time to have a Trades Night out when the season starts next year. You can go by the Certified Payroll records on file with the CM [Construction Manager] & Project Owner.

C'mon - set it up. Let's see if Ratner appreciates the effort and steps up

Forest City Ratner stopped construction of the Beekman Tower (aka 8 Spruce Street) to negotiate a PLA.

I'm not sure if Forest City simply took advantage of an existing general PLA or negotiated one specifically for the arena. But it sure seems that the developer shaved savings on labor costs.

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NoLandGrab: Seeing how giving away unsold seats — of which there are likely to be plenty — won't cost Ratner a dime (and will generate otherwise-foregone concession revenue, to boot), this commenter will surely get his wish.

Posted by eric at 11:51 AM

November 27, 2011

Denis Hamill tells why there is so much union pride in building Barclays Center in Brooklyn

Daily News

The reason for building Atlantic Yards isn't to benefit billionaire developer Bruce Ratner. No, we're doing this for the kids. It's funny how all the tangible benefits go to Ratner.

As a sports-crazed kid who grew up 11/2 miles from here, I know this new arena will have a profound effect on Brooklyn kids, their parents and new immigrants who will unite behind a true home team, the way the Brooklyn Dodgers made my immigrant father more of a true American than his citizenship papers did.

link

Related coverage...

Develop Don't Destroy, Denis Hamil