September 27, 2012

PHNDC: report concerns about arena impacts to Atlantic Yards Watch, 311, 911, and/or the 78th Precinct

Atlantic Yards Report

As the Barclays Center arena opens tomorrow, September 28, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, a sponsor of Atlantic Yards Watch, reminds us that the impact on streets and sidewalks--traffic, crowds, drivers searching for parking--remain unknown.

To report concerns about the arena:

1) Call 911 (note complaint tracking number) to report any incidents that require immediate police attention. (Remember to note your complaint tracking number.)
2) Call 311 (note complaint tracking number) or the 78th Precinct (718-636-6411) to report any issues that are not emergencies but require attention the evening of an event, such as illegal parking, cars on sidewalks.
3) Go to Atlantic Yards Watch to file reports, ask questions, and upload video and photos, or call 760-569-6374. Incident reports are read regularly by the Mayor's Office liaison for Atlantic Yards, Empire State Development, and Forest City Ratner.

A calendar of arena events is available on the Barclays website. PHNDC will ask the Barclays Center to make the calendar more easily scannable for residents and develop other communications to keep the community informed about events and developments at the site.

link

Posted by eric at 9:44 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)

link

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

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.

article

Posted by eric at 9:04 AM

September 7, 2012

Brooklyn residents last gasp complaints over Barclays arena traffic and garbage before opening Sept. 28

Prospect Heights complain and worry about what's about to happen to their neighborhood

NY Daily News
by Reuven Blau

Residents near the Barclays Center lashed out at Forest City Ratner officials Wednesday over anticipated parking and trash problems before the arena opens in three weeks.

More than 150 angry Prospect Heights locals showed up at a meeting to complain about how the neighborhood was soon going to be taken over by thousands of cars and revelers expected for each basketball game and concert.

“You put an arena in a residential area and that's what's going to happen,” said Anthony Reves, 30, as he walked home after the meeting started at Latin Evangelical Free Church at 506 Bergen St.

FCR official Ashley Cotton told the audience the bright lights outside the arena would be turned off from 1 to 5 a.m. night and delivery trucks would be assigned to a specific route on main roads in an effort to reduce traffic down residential blocks.
...

Before the meeting started, community activist Tracy Collins, 48, stood outside reminiscing about the six year struggle. “I don't expect much to come of this,” he said.

Asked if he'd be attending events at the arena, he responded, "I don't envision myself paying money to see something at Barclays. I feel like I've already paid enough."

article

NoLandGrab: Wow, a whole four hours! We're surprised they didn't start out at two hours and say they'd been merciful.

Related coverage...

threecee via flickr, 2012 Barclays Center Arena Neighborhood Protection Plan Meeting

Speaking of Tracy Collins...

Posted by eric at 11:16 AM

September 6, 2012

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

Wary neighbors express concern about arena's operating impact; Council Member Levin suggests "facts on ground" after opening will spur changes; FCR nudges position on permit parking

Atlantic Yards Report

A wary, worried audience of Barclays Center neighbors--perhaps 120 people--came to a Prospect Heights church last night to hear two Forest City Ratner executives explain how the arena will interact with and impact neighbors and to provide an update on a proposed Neighborhood Protection Plan (NPP).

The latter was proposed by three civic groups, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, the Boerum Hill Association, and the Park Slope Civic Council, and includes such things as increased trash pickup, a dedicated hotline for community concerns, and residential parking permits (RPP).

Despite the cordial presence of Forest City’s Ashley Cotton and Jane Marshall, the developer has bent only a little; for example, it will fund garbage pickup on key corners on Dean and Pacific streets on the path to the Barclays Center from the on-site parking lot, but will not address the routes arena-goers will take to local subway stations.

The question of parking

The biggest issue, clearly, is parking, with residents facing an already competitive search for on-street parking fearful that an influx of arena-goers seeking free parking will flood the neighborhood, despite exhortations to use mass transit and pre-pay for spaces area parking lots.

"It's going to wreck our neighborhood," one attendee exclaimed.

Council Member Steve Levin, a supporter of the NPP and so-far nixed residential permit parking (RPP), gave a philosophical prediction: “I think the facts on the ground are probably going to be significant enough that a lot of things are eventually going to be adopted.”

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Posted by eric at 1:10 PM

August 31, 2012

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

August 30, 2012

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.

article

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

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.

article

Posted by eric at 2:41 PM

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.)

article

Posted by eric at 10:59 AM

August 21, 2012

Task force addressing quality-of-life issues won't emerge until Sept. 6, after liquor license meeting, rather than before, as once requested

Atlantic Yards Report

There will be a task force addressing quality-of-life issues regarding the Barclays Center arena, but it did not meet, as Community Board 6 initially requested, before the State Liquor Authority (SLA) held a hearing on the arena liquor license, nor will it meet before the SLA board votes on the license.

(There is a meeting tomorrow night at the 78th Precinct regarding somewhat more narrow public safety issues. A quality-of-life committee presumably would also address things like parking and sanitation, among other things.)

As part of its conditional support for the Barclays Center liquor license, Brooklyn Community Board 6 requested in May "that the applicants establish a community advisory task force whose purpose would be to meet periodically and on a regular basis to monitor and discuss quality of life impacts that the arena will have on its surrounding communities."

Such a task force could come out of an existing entity such as the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet, stated the letter, which stressed that the advisory body "should be appointed and convened without delay and we believe it should meet at least once prior to the 500-foot hearing we are expecting the SLA to schedule on this application."

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Posted by eric at 12:26 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 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

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

August 9, 2012

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.

link

Posted by eric at 11:40 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

August 6, 2012

Bars Around Barclays Tread Fine Line Between Locals and Arena Visitors

WNYC
by Janet Babin

The area around the new Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn has become a new bar and restaurant hotspot.

Entrepreneurs are trying to capitalize on potential new business that could come from the 675,000-square-foot venue at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

But there are concerns that the hoards of fans from Brooklyn Nets games or concert goers looking for an after party could clash with locals at these new neighborhood watering holes.

That’s why many bar and restaurant owners are trying to appeal to both regulars and arena clientele.
...

The neighborhood surrounding Barclays has not opened its arms to the arena and the potential headaches that will come with it. Residents are concerned about rowdy crowds spilling out of the 19,000 seat venue, could rattle regular diners, and may even keep them away – at least on game day.
...

According to local Community Board 8, just over two dozen new bar and restaurants have requested liquor licenses in the past 12 months in the area between Atlantic Avenue and Eastern Parkway, from Flatbush to Washington Avenues.

That compares with eight requests in the same time period in 2010 and 2011.

article

Posted by eric at 10:06 AM

August 1, 2012

Kemistry Lounge Files Application with SLA and Plans to Open in Sept.

Co-owner James Brown said the future for his upscale restaurant/lounge is clear and construction is continuing.

Park Slope Patch
by Will Yakowicz

Like Bruce Ratner's phantasmagorical Brooklyn Islander's dreams, Kemistry Lounge keeps coming back — but this nightmare may be real.

Despite staunch opposition from its neighbors, local politicians, having their liquor license application rejected by Community Board 6 and even getting sued by their landlord, Kemistry Lounge is forging ahead and plans to open in the end of Sept.

The owners of Kemistry Lounge, the upscale restaurant/lounge being built on Flatbush Ave., between Prospect Place and St. Marks Avenue, filed their liquor license application with the State Liquor Authority this week and told Patch that they plan to open their 245-person capacity space as planned.
...

Their application to the SLA is requesting a license for bottle service, but Brown said that they may be serving the bottles a little differently to make for a safer atmosphere.

“In light of the incident in the Manhattan night club we may still serve the full amount of what’s in a bottle but may serve it in a different container,” Brown told Patch on Tuesday, referencing the recent brawl between singer Chris Brown (no relation) and rapper Drake where multiple people were injured by bottles thrown at the club W.iP. “But again, you typically don’t have issues in bar/restaurant/lounge settings. Bottle service type issues tend to happen in club settings.”

Actually, bottle service-type issues tend to happen in places with bottle service. And nearby residents are much more concerned with the effect the contents of those bottles will have on the people drinking them than they are with what those people might do to each other with the bottles inside Kemistry Lounge.

Peter Adelman, Prospect Place Neighbor’s lawyer, said that they are ready to take measures to protect their community’s quality of life if Kemistry ignores their requests for compromise.

“We are dismayed at Kemistry’s refusal to cooperate with area residents and we are ready to fight this,” Adelman said. “I am prepared to respond appropriately and vigorously to their application to the SLA."

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Posted by eric at 7:52 PM

July 26, 2012

Promises, promises: how the ESDC said care would be taken at the construction site, how complaints have been documented, and what might be done about noise

Atlantic Yards Report

As I wrote yesterday, a new report validates neighbors' concerns about disruptive Atlantic Yards constructions, and documents suggest that the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and its environmental monitor have condoned a cover-up of a Forest City contractor's falsification.

Some 19 months ago, an ESDC attorney--in retrospect, not so wisely--assured board members that all commitments to mitigate neighborhood concerns would be followed.

The comment came in the wake of the ESDC's breakneck preparation (via consultant AKRF) that a 25-year Atlantic Yards buildout would not result in any community impacts not disclosed in the agency's previous study of an official ten-year buildout and a five year delay.

Such a finding, in a Technical Analysis (not to be confused with a Technical Memorandum issued in June 2009), was ordered by Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman, who ultimately ruled that it was inadequate, and that the agency had to perform a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to look at a 25-year buildout.
...

Board member's concern

After receiving the Technical Analysis (though with no evidence they'd had time to review it), the ESDC board on 12/16/10 unanimously approved the findings.

After the vote, public policy consultant Joyce Miller, as of June 2010 a new board member, offered a small olive branch to community members who'd expressed dismay and incredulity that a 25-year buildout, however attenuated, was no worse than a ten-year one.

"Having lived next to a construction site," said Miller, who lives on the Upper West Side near Riverside South, "I'm sympathetic to some of the complaints that are being made and I would like to know and be reassured that some of the complaints regard to construction hours, et cetera, noise you can't do anything about, obviously, pile drivers are pile drivers, but that care is taken to ensure that regulations and laws regarding the maintenance of the construction site, the hours of construction site, et cetera, the safety of the construction site, are all adhered to."

"Yes," came the response from ESDC attorney Robin Stout.

Actually, as the report compiled for Atlantic Yards Watch indicates, care has not been taken to follow the rules.

article

Posted by eric at 11:06 AM

Atlantic Yards Violations and Cover-up

Brownstoner

It appears the Nets have "discounted" their concern for Prospect Heights residents, as well.

A new report validates neighbors’ complaints about disruptive Atlantic Yards construction, writes Norman Oder in the Atlantic Yards Report. The sleep of the neighbors seems to have been sacrificed so developer Forest City Ratner could rush to finish the arena in time for the first Jay-Z concert Sept. 28. The report also suggests the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and its environmental monitor condoned a cover-up, he continues. Check out the full post here along with a Daily News article on the topic here.

link

Posted by eric at 10:44 AM

July 25, 2012

Atlantic Yards construction violations: not just neglect, but also a cover-up of "documentation falsified by the contractor"

Atlantic Yards Report

It's not the crime, it's the coverup. OK, it's the crime, too.

A new report, commissioned by the community initiative Atlantic Yards Watch, catalogs violations in depressing detail, suggesting that neighbors' interests have been sacrificed in developer Forest City Ratner's rush to get the Barclays Center finished for that first Jay-Z concert Sept. 28.

The state agency overseeing the project, Empire State Development (ESD, aka Empire State Development Corporation), has barely enforced the official mitigation protocols, nor have other agencies stepped up, according to the report. (ESD recently lost a lawsuit, and must analyze the community impact of a potential 25-year project buildout.)

Forest City Ratner's response was predictable. Spokesman Jonathan Rosen told the Daily News, “We take every complaint from our neighbors seriously and work hard to address them and meet our commitments to the community.”

A cover-up condoned

Maybe not so much. Not only has ESD neglected oversight, documents suggest the agency and its environmental monitor, Henningson, Durham & Richardson (HDR), have condoned a cover-up of a Forest City contractor's falsification.

Forest City was supposed to hire its own On-Site Environmental Monitor, meeting daily with contractors and observing site conditions. But the developer dragged its feet.

"During the second quarter of 2010, HDR expressed concerns with lack of oversight," the new report states. "Chuck Baldwin of Turner Construction was hired to handle the position until mid-July and HDR noted an improvement in on-site compliance."

However, that compliance relied on a wink and a nod, according to documents I discovered.

Each week, HDR compiles an "Atlantic Yards Field Inspection Report" for ESD. According to the non-public draft of the May 20, 2010 report, monitor Baldwin passed on to HDR sobering information: five pieces of heavy equipment lacked the required diesel particulate filter, aimed to reduce asthma-causing exhaust.

HDR "asked Chuck if FCRC has been keeping daily inspection reports for each piece of heavy machinery," according to the draft report. "He stated that while they have been maintaining this documentation, it had been falsified by the contractor." (Emphasis added.)

article

Posted by eric at 2:53 PM

Report validates neighbors' steady complaints about Atlantic Yards construction: "continual violations and difficulty with enforcement"

Atlantic Yards Report

So, maybe the neighbors near the Atlantic Yards project, who have filed complaints and reports about a never-ending stream of construction-related violations--late-night noise causing sleepless nights, dust clouds, illegal parking, jolting vibrations, use of residential streets for truck routes--will be taken more seriously.

And, as the opening of the Barclays Center arena approaches Sept. 28, perhaps officials will recognize that careful monitoring is necessary to ensure against untoward impacts.

A new report, prepared for Atlantic Yards Watch by a veteran environmental consulting firm, concludes that the Forest City Ratner and its contractors, bent on getting a huge project finished by a tight deadline, have regularly failed to comply with mitigation protocols officially agreed to, and that other mitigations were implemented late, poorly, or unevenly.

The report, Evaluation of Construction Air Quality and Noise Commitments and Mitigations, was conducted by Sandstone Environmental Associates of Metuchen, NJ and first previewed in the Daily News.

Sandstone was paid by Atlantic Yards Watch, via a $4,000 grant from Council Member Letitia James; the company does not limit work to community groups, as it was hired by Forest City Ratner for its Ridge Hill Project.

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Posted by eric at 11:39 AM

July 24, 2012

Atlantic Yards arena construction ignores tough regulations to reduce noise and pollution, new report claims

Complaints of "...sleepless nights...dust...(and) vibration damage" from nearby Prospect Heights residents

NY Daily News
by Reuven Blau

Construction crews racing to finish the Brooklyn Barclays Center are ignoring strict regulations to reduce noise and pollution, a new report by critics has found.

In 2006, developer Forest City Ratner agreed to keep the site safe for Prospect Heights residents, by limiting late night work; constantly washing down trucks from dangerous dust; and requiring heavy duty vehicles to use main streets in an effort to avoid residential blocks.

But the study by Sandstone Environmental Associates, an environmental consulting group, concluded that many of those strict precautions were being ignored at the arena and other related sites.

“The construction mitigation measures can be considered a failure for numerous citizens who have experienced extremely loud noise, consecutive sleepless nights due to 24/7 construction activities, clouds of fugitive dust, vibration damage, and other impacts,” the 71-page study said.

Apparently, someone needs to help the perps understand the meaning of "committed."

“As the report acknowledges, Forest City committed to strict rules governing construction noise, dust and traffic mitigation that go above and beyond New York City's own building code because we are committed to minimizing disruption to our neighbors,” Jonathan Rosen said. “We take every complaint from our neighbors seriously and work hard to address them and meet our commitments to the community.”

article

Related content...

Atlantic Yards Watch, Study finds many problems remain after years of reports showing noncompliance with environmental commitments were submitted to ESDC

An analysis of documents submitted by the environmental consultant HDR retained by ESDC to monitor compliance with Atlantic Yards' noise and air quality protocols has found that the agency has been advised of significant areas of non-compliance on an ongoing basis since construction began in 2010. The analysis is contained in a report prepared for AYW by Sandstone Environmental Associates of Metuchen, NJ. Sandstone also found that some air and noise mitigations originally planned were likely inadequate, several planned mitigations were implemented late or not at all, and others that had been implemented unevenly were not being enforced either by FCRC, ESDC or City agencies.

Click through for a lengthy list of the ways Forest City Ratner is failing to meet its "commitments to the community."

Posted by eric at 10:12 PM

July 8, 2012

The impact of third-shift work at the arena site, 11:30 pm: "Loud hammering, sawing, welding, yelling, and all sorts of incredibly loud noise"

Atlantic Yards Report

From Thursday night, July 5, as recounted on Atlantic Yards Watch, from a poster who preemptively takes the name "Not.A.NIMBY":

Location:
Barclays Center site
When:
July 5, 2012 - 11:14pm
311: 185447938
Loud hammering, sawing, welding, yelling, and all sorts of incredibly loud noise. Did not even start until 10.30 PM, so this isn't them working late to finish something, this is them deciding to start working very late at night. In a time of year when residents (and this is a heavily residential neighborhood) have their windows open, they should not be performing heavy and loud construction at almost midnight. They're still going strong at 11.30 PM, with no end in sight.

On June 25, workers began third-shift work at the arena site, involving elevator system electrical work, as well as work on the facade and roof. There was no indication of noise impacts.

link

Posted by eric at 9:47 PM

July 4, 2012

From the latest Construction Alert: Barclays sign being erected; work on perimeter of arena progresses; more noise in neighborhood

Atlantic Yards Report

Beyond the quiet announcement that pile/foundation work would start on the first tower, there are a couple of other notable mentions in the latest two-week Atlantic Yards Construction Alert, dated 7/2/12 (and embedded below) and released today by Empire State Development after preparation by Forest City Ratner.

Among them:

  • the Flatbush Avenue Barclays sign is being erected (it may not be the best time for a Barclays sign)
  • significant sidewalk and plaza work is being done around the arena (and blocking the sidewalk)
  • potentially noisy demolition will continue intermittently on Block 1129, site of the surface parking lot
  • nighttime work on the Atlantic Avenue medians would require jack hammers

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Posted by eric at 10:09 AM

Brooklyn Residents Less Than Thrilled About Atlantic Yards Congestion

NY Observer
by Sarah Grothjan

The residents in the neighborhoods bordering Barclays Arena will almost certainly be stuck with congestion and beer-swilling visitors, but at least they may be spared a multi-level nightclub.

The landlord is evicting Kemistry Lounge’s owners for non-payment of rent, putting a halt (if only a temporary one) to their clubbing brainchild, Brownstoner reports. That’s good news for those nearby the lounge’s would-be home at 260 Flatbush Avenue.

The prospect of the nightspot drawing a loud, young intoxicated crowd to an area that is likely to already be highly-trafficked by loud, young and intoxicated people left many in Community Board 6 unenthusiastic about its arrival.

link

Related coverage...

Bronwstoner, Kemistry Lounge’s Future in Question

Posted by eric at 9:39 AM

June 28, 2012

Consistently inconsistent: Marty Markowitz wants the Barclays Center (liquor license, metal detectors) to be treated like other sports facilities--except regarding its fundamental placement in a neighborhood

Atlantic Yards Report

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, in recent comments on the proposed liquor license for the Barclays Center and the plan to use metal detectors, has had a seemingly consistent message: treat the Brooklyn arena the same as any other sports facility.

The inconsistency? From early on, the Brooklyn arena was not treated the same as any other sports facility.

The state agreed to override city zoning that bars sports facilities from being within 200 feet of residential areas, as well as override many other zoning rules.

So the tight fit of the arena into Prospect Heights has to be recognized, as even Empire State Development CEO Kenneth Adams--whose agency overrides the zoning--acknowledged this week, pointing to the dicey operation of the arena loading dock, with no ramp or holding area for trucks.

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Posted by eric at 11:00 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

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

June 19, 2012

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

June 18, 2012

Noise from nighttime "cutover" of LIRR operations causes consternation for nearby residents

Atlantic Yards Watch

24-hour work to move LIRR operations from the southern to the northern half of Vanderbilt Railyards (referred to as the "cutover" in ESDC's Atlantic Yards construction alerts) is causing consternation among residents. AYW has received several complaints about jackhammers, saws, and the persistent beeping of reversing construction vehicles. One resident describes "jackhammering, tons of noise."

The video [below] is a of a worker using a saw on LIRR's tracks at 2 AM. The filer of the incident report that includes the video has a decibel meter and reports a 120 db level. No steps to attenuate the noise are visible in the video.

The use of noisy equipment like saws and jackhammers is not specified in the most recent construction alert. The alert warns the community about the intermittent use of the LIRR railyard's lights all night, and that from 3:30 PM to 1:00 PM "loud banging noises by dump trucks will occur as they empty their loads of stone in the east yard between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues." But it does not describe jackhammering or the use of saws, and the noisy work described ends at 1:00 AM, not the later hours that the incident reports from nearby residents describe.

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NoLandGrab: In case you can't make out the audio, the lovely fellow operating the saw at 2 o'clock in the morning says he doesn't "give a f**k" about the noise he's making.

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Atlantic Yards Watch: Construction Alerts did not warn of loud overnight noises

Atlantic Yards Watch follows up on the video posted yesterday about very loud noise at 2 am at the Vanderbilt Yard.
...

Indeed, see p. 7 of the Construction Alert, which describes the cutover as taking place over the course of two weekends in the middle of June, with the bulk of the work on one weekend.

Why the rush? They're trying to finish the Carlton Avenue Bridge before the arena opens on September 28, and the cutover is more than two weeks behind originally announced plans.

NorthJersey.com, NY: The city that never sleeps, Brooklyn edition

The Nets are a little over three months away from the grand opening of their $1 billion Barclays Center arena near downtown Brooklyn.

And it appears that they are working overtime – deep overtime – to get things finished on time.
...

Meanwhile, residents who live near the arena also are concerned about possible post-game drinking in the high-end clubs within the arena walls.

A Jay-Z “40-40 Club” is to be located on the suite level. A handy screenshot from the nightclub website shows that you can pay the same price for Belvedere or Grey Goose Vodka from other 40-40 clubs – $300 per bottle. The Remy Martin Louis XIII is going to cost you, though: $2,500 per bottle.

Posted by eric at 11:01 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.

link

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 15, 2012

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

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

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 8, 2012

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

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.
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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

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.)

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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 21, 2012

From the latest Construction Alert: noisy jackhammering on Atlantic Avenue will be by day, not night; surface parking lot scheduled to start soon

Atlantic Yards Report

The latest two-week Atlantic Yards Construction Alert, dated 5/21/12 (and embedded below) and released today by Empire State Development after preparation by Forest City Ratner, quietly reveals that noisy jackhammering along Atlantic Avenue will be done during the day, thus sparing residents' sleep, even as it may cause drivers to complain.

Work on raised medians along Atlantic Avenue from Flatbush Avenue to Vanderbilt Avenue--aimed to mitigate the impact of traffic and make it easier to cross--was supposed to begin in April but apparently has been delayed as the methods were debated. (Previous late-night jackhammering disturbed many residents.)

And while the state agency (via Forest City) had stated that work at night would be faster, the city Department of Transportation's Office of Construction Mitigation and Coordination (OCMC) "reviewed the scope and location of the medians and determined the work shall be performed during daytime hours."

That will take lanes out of service during the work period, though some traffic signal and street light conduit work may occur during nighttime hours. Because other project-related work will take lanes out of service, the median work must be scheduled block by block.

Other highlights: railyard lights, parking lot

Also noted in the Construction Alert, some railyard lights in the eastern portion of the yard will not be turned off at 3 am on some nights but will be left on during some light plumbing work that is described as quiet and subject to cancellation if there is rain.

Also, as work in the north rail yard is completed in preparation for cutover in mid-June, and work in the yard turns into a 24-hour a day operation around that time, yard lights will on all night, and it's possible "that yard lights may intermittently need to be turned on all night through the end of June."

This "is essential to timely completion" of the Carlton Avenue Bridge, which is supposed to be open before the arena opens September 28 but is currently delayed.

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NoLandGrab: Funny, we kinda thought not waiting for three years to begin reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue bridge after beginning its demolition in January 2008 would've been "essential to the timely completion" of the bridge.

Posted by eric at 11:27 PM

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.

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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

May 17, 2012

Railyard lights and construction may extend to 24 hours through June

Atlantic Yards Watch

Empire State Development continues to do absolutely nothing to protect the interests of people living near the Atlantic Yards site.

ESDC and FCRC have issued a supplemental construction alert giving notice that work in Vanderbilt railyard will be extended to 24 hours a day for some periods through June. Work already takes place in the railyard from 6 AM to 3 AM. The notice states that working hours are being expanded to help speed up the reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge. Work to reconstruct the bridge began in December 2010, nearly 3 years after it was closed for reconstruction.

According to the notice, plumbing work scheduled over the next few weeks and located in the section of the railyard between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues cannot be executed while other work is taking place there. It is described as "quiet work" that will be localized and intermittent. The work will be lit either by the LIRR yard's permanent lights (only those lights in the vicinity of the work), or by portable lights.

The hours the lights will be used will be expanded again when the "cutover" of LIRR operations from the southern tracks to the northern tracks takes place. Around the clock work will occur immediately before and during the cutover, which will take place over the course of two weekends in mid-June. Moving LIRR operations to the northern tracks is the next step in the construction of the railyard. The southern half now has to be lowered 27 feet to be at the same height as the recently excavated northern half.

Numerous complaints about the lights spilling over into nearby residences have been received by AYW. In the past, neighbors residing near the railyard have noted all the yard lights have been turned on even when a small number of workers have been concentrated in just a portion of the two-block area.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, A delay in the railyard cutover means... a delay in completion of the Carlton Avenue Bridge?

Posted by eric at 11:58 AM

May 14, 2012

Sleep tight: Railyard lights to be on all night to rush completion of delayed Carlton Avenue Bridge

Atlantic Yards Report

Ratner (and ESDC) to residents near Atlantic Yards site: "F**k you!"

Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing Atlantic Yards, today issued a Supplemental Report to its regular two-week Construction Updates.

The gist: floodlights at the Vanderbilt Yard that are supposed* to be off by 3 am may be on all night during the next two week period, in mid-June, and possibly through the end of June. That means residents nearby to ensure they have very thorough coverage blocking their windows.

Why'd I add the asterisk? Because residents have already reported, via Atlantic Yards Watch, that those operating the lights do not necessarily follow the stated plan.

The reason? Developer Forest City Ratner is rushing to achieve "timely completion" of the Carlton Avenue Bridge, indicated in the announcement by the rather cryptic initials CAB.

What's missing? That the current schedule for the bridge indicates completion in the week after the arena opens, though the reconstruction of the bridge is an "arena opening condition," and the state has asked Forest City Ratner to draw up mitigation plans in case the arena opens September 28 without having the bridge open. The bridge is a major artery between Prospect Heights and Fort Greene.

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Posted by eric at 5:05 PM

More than 1,000 Brooklynites call on Governor Cuomo and the State Liquor Authority to end liquor sales at Barclays Center by 10:00 PM

Local elected officials join call for policies to limit impact of arena crowds on residential neighborhoods

BrooklynSpeaks

The BrooklynSpeaks sponsors announced today that more than 1,000 Brooklynites have signed an online petition calling on the State to limit the hours of liquor sales at the Barclays Center arena, with a final cut-off time of 10:00 PM. The petition was first posted on BrooklynSpeaks’ web site on Monday, May 7.

“The response to BrooklynSpeaks’ petition says volumes about public concern for safety and neighborhood quality of life following the opening of the Barclays Center,” said Jo Anne Simon, Democratic Leader of the 52nd Assembly District. “The arena operators and concessionaires have an obligation to do what is reasonable and responsible to ensure that crowds leaving events late in the evening don’t disrupt residential life.”

Said City Council Member Stephen Levin, whose district includes the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill and Park Slope adjacent to the arena, “Residents don’t understand why Barclays should be reluctant to accept a 10:00 PM limit on liquor sales, when the same concession operator has a 9:30 PM curfew at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Barclays has a responsibility to ensure that rowdy crowds will not be spilling into our residential communities late at night, causing problems for the families who live here.”

“The only reason Barclays Center is being built at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues is because the State allowed overrides of City zoning regulations that would have prevented an arena being sited next to homes,” said Council Member Letitia James, who represents the adjoining neighborhoods of Prospect Heights and Fort Greene. “We now need the Governor and the State Liquor Authority to ensure we don’t end up with an all-night bar, too.”

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Posted by eric at 4:48 PM

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

May 10, 2012

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

May 9, 2012

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

May 8, 2012

From the latest Construction Alert: "loud banging noises" predicted until 1 am over ten days; work to begin on broadcast parking lot, comfort station at Dean Playground

Atlantic Yards Report

The latest two-week Atlantic Yards Construction Alert, dated 5/7/12 (and embedded below) and released yesterday by Empire State Development after preparation by Forest City Ratner, contains some warnings to neighbors near the site.

Notably, from 3:30pm – 1:00 am between May 10-20, residents should expect to hear "loud banging noises by dump trucks will occur as they empty their loads of stone in the east yard between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues."

Also, there will be additional demolition on the southeast block of the project site, Block 1129, in preparation for construction on the surface parking lot, which is to start May 15.

New broadcast parking lot, comfort station

A "vacant lot at the northeast corner of Dean Street and 6th Avenue that is currently being used as temporary NYPD parking will be improved for use as an at grade broadcast location for the Arena," according to the alert. Of course, the lot was dis-improved by being created out of, in part, two intact houses that were demolished. A Department of Buildings permit is expected within two weeks.

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NoLandGrab: As far as we know, those "loud banging noises" have nothing to do with James P. Stuckey.

Posted by eric at 1:14 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

"Mayor Bloomberg, I take sleeping pills in an effort to sleep through disruptions."

Atlantic Yards Watch

Below is a copy of an open letter sent to the Mayor and to The New York Times by a local resident. The resident lives near what is now the construction staging area for the project and will soon become a full block of surface parking. It is also currently anticipated to continue as a location for construction staging for 25 years or more. Unlike most arenas and stadiums around the country, the operation of Barclays Center is integrated into a residential community.

April 27, 2012

An open letter to Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York:

My daughter Chelsea was born December 29, 2010 in the nasty aftermath of the Blizzard that crippled New York. Conquering the obstacles of unplowed Brooklyn streets, we made it to the hospital in one piece and came home with our little girl. We’re New Yorkers and can navigate a difficult situation. However, since bringing her home almost a year and a half ago, her days and nights have been filled with the relentless noise, dust, dirt and vibration of a project that you’ve given your support to: The Atlantic Yards Project.

Our apartment on Carlton Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn faces the staging area for this development that few have rallied for and many have opposed. Last night at 11:00 pm our entire apartment shook with a force equal to or greater than that of the earthquake that hit this area last summer. This morning tractors were buzzing around at 4:00 a.m. This has become the status quo and I’ve had enough. I’m not opposed to development, but I am most definitely opposed to disrupting the sleep and well being of a community.

I now go to bed at night dreading the inevitable wake ups. My wife and I take sleeping pills in an effort to sleep through the disruptions. We create white noise in the bedrooms to drown out the noise. My blood pressure has gone up in this time and my daughter wakes up crying.

Click below to keep reading.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, From Atlantic Yards Watch: "Mayor Bloomberg, I take sleeping pills in an effort to sleep through disruptions."

Empire State Development CEO Kenneth Adams sounds concerned about getting community input regarding Atlantic Yards, but he really has much more urgent issues on his agenda, ones that were touched on but not fully explored during his May 2 community meeting.

Posted by eric at 10:25 AM

April 26, 2012

Regarding Kemistry liquor license application, Millman sends SLA letter urging recognition of concerns about bottle service and closing times

Atlantic Yards Report

Assemblywoman Joan Millman has backed Prospect Place residents' concerns about the pending state liquor license application from Kemistry Lounge, which on April 23 received a thumbs-down advisory vote from a committee of Community Board Six.

According to her April 24 letter to the State Liquor Authority (below), Millman is concerned about:

1) Bottle service: Kemistry Lounge wishes to be the second establishment in Brooklyn to offer bottle service. Bottle service drastically increases patrons’ incentive to drink and promotes dangerous levels of drunkenness.

2) Closing times: This establishment abuts a quiet residential block and is located near two day-care centers. A set of reasonable closing times must be established.

The proprietors and neighbors are far apart on the issue of closing times; for example, the former have requested a 3:30 am cutoff on weekends, while residents, as well as the North Flatbush Business Improvement District, asked for 2 am.

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Posted by eric at 10:47 AM

April 24, 2012

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

Community Board 6 committee disapproves Kemistry Lounge liquor license application; would be second bottle-service club in the borough (video)

Atlantic Yards Report

After hearing passionate criticism about the planned Kemistry Lounge on Flatbush Avenue near Prospect Place, the Community Board 6 Public Safety/Environmental Protection/Permits/Licenses committee voted to disapprove a liquor license application, agreeing with concerns expressed about late night hours and what would be only the second bottle-service club in the borough--and the first one particularly close to residences.

Here's a summary of concerns from Prospect Place Neighbors, a new organization formed in response to the application, which points out that the location is within 500 feet of eight establishments with full liquor licenses and on a block with six storefronts of preschool facilities. (Here's their press kit.)

The lounge would be a few short blocks from the Barclays Center, clearly a generator of patrons.

The committee's vote is only advisory, and the State Liquor Authority (SLA) has the final call.

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Related coverage...

Park Slope Patch, Community Board 6 Rejects Kemistry Lounge’s Liquor License Application

On Monday night, Community Board 6’s liquor license committee voted to reject Kemistry Lounge’s liquor license application, with a final vote of 12 in favor to reject, zero opposed and 2 abstentions.

Kemistry Lounge at 260 Flatbush Avenue, which is not open and still under construction, is located between Prospect Place and St Marks Avenue and plans to be a 225-person upscale lounge with bottle service at tables, a private party room with a dance floor in the basement and live music and DJs.

But the aspect that disturbed the residents of Prospect Place the most was the fact that the establishment runs from Flatbush Avenue to Prospect Place and has three large plate glass windows and an exit on to the residential street.
...

“There is going to be a lot less thump, thump, thumping than you guys think,” [Kemistry co-owner James] Brown said. “We are not a nightclub.”

But with bottle service, a 225-person capacity, live music and DJs, Lou Somes, a member of CB6, said it is hard to believe that Kemistry won’t at least be “like a club.”

“The bottom line is that it looks like a nightclub, it smells like a nightclub and I have a problem with having something like a nightclub in this area,” Somes said.

Posted by eric at 12:13 PM

April 19, 2012

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

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

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

As Brooklyn Paper whiffs on liquor license story, Veconi (on Patch) points out the unknowns--and how arena operators don't (yet) get it

Atlantic Yards Report

So what if the Brooklyn Paper's print deadlines might cut into coverage of Tuesday night events.

Would you believe the newspaper ignored the joint Community Board meeting last night on the Barclays Center liquor license?

It did.

(Former Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman, now at The Local, did a solid job covering it.)

Instead, the newspaper brings us the news and fluff listed at right.

Patch, by the way, had a reporter there, but I haven't seen a story yet.

link

Posted by eric at 10:41 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

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

February 15, 2012

Construction Noise Still Giving Residents Near Barclays Center a Headache

Loud construction noises and lights from Con Ed electrical work, as well as the rebuilding of the Carlton Ave. Bridge, have been keeping residents up at night.

Park Slope Patch
by Jamie Schuh

Construction in and around the Barclays Center arena has still been keeping neighbors up all night, says the Daily News.

The News says that residents around Fifth Avenue and Dean Street in Park Slope have heard Con Ed workers installing an electrical conduit at the arena until as late as 6 a.m., and about an hour later, construction on the arena itself begins.

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NoLandGrab: What a bunch of whiners. Brett Yormark gets by on one hour of sleep a night — why can't they?

Posted by eric at 4:00 PM

February 14, 2012

Nets arena construction at Atlantic Yards causes sleepless nights in Prospect Heights

All night jackhammering driving Dean St. residents crazy

NY Daily News
by Erin Durkin

Just like a good hellish neighbor, Bruce Ratner is there — nearly 24/7.

The Atlantic Yards project is causing a lot of sleepless nights for Prospect Heights neighbors.

All night jackhammering for utility work to prepare for the new Nets arena - expected to open in September- has residents on Dean St. near 5th Ave. ready to crack, they said.

And on the other side of the project site, the state last week authorized developer Bruce Ratner to work until 3 a.m. on rebuilding the Carlton Ave. Bridge, which he is scrambling to get done in time for the arena opening.

“It’s horrible,” said Gary Wiebke, 52, who lives on Dean St. “The noise levels are astounding. Our building shimmies, it shakes.”

Residents said the work on the electrical upgrades goes on until 6 a.m. - and about an hour later, construction work on the arena starts. They say it’s the latest in a series of arena-related infrastructure projects that have driven them up the wall. Wiebke said a tenant who rented the apartment across the hall from him moved out after less than a week because he couldn’t take it.

“I'm getting physically ill as a result of not sleeping,” said Alan Sondheim, 69. “The noise really got seriously intolerable.”
...

Over at the Vanderbilt Railyards, Ratner spokesman Joe Deplasco said the late-night work is “required to complete the rail yard work and north half of the bridge.”

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NoLandGrab: Maybe if they hadn't spent two years not working on the bridge after they tore it down in 2008, they wouldn't be working round the clock now. "F**k the bridge?" More like f**k the residents.

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report,

Now that Forest City Ratner is on an accelerated schedule to finish the Carlton Avenue Bridge by September, flood lights at the Vanderbilt Yard are on til 3 am:

Wayne Bailey, 57, who lives across from the yard, said as bad as the noise are the blinding flood lights that make it bright enough to read a book at midnight. “It is so extreme, it’s so glaring, it’s such light pollution that kids can’t go to sleep,” he said.

“This is a circumstance they created for themselves," said Peter Krashes of the Dean Street Block Association. They shouldn’t be let off the hook.”

But they can be, unless there's effective oversight.

Posted by eric at 1:32 PM

December 21, 2011

WPIX picks up on noisy generator story, gets response from FCR that it won't happen again

Atlantic Yards Report

You'd think that the myriad of incidents reported on Atlantic Yards Watch would be easy pickings for the press, but too many press outlets suffer from AY fatigue, indifference, or a willingness to follow the announced narrative.

But last night WPIX-TV's Monica Morales followed up on the story of noisy generators in the Vanderbilt Yard and got the same response from developer Forest City Ratner that I got from Empire State Development: it won't happen again, because noise-attenuating blankets will be used.

The lingering question: why weren't they used in the first place?

link

Related coverage...

WPIX, Brooklyn Generator Uproar

Atlantic Yards Report, ESD says next time noisy generators near residences will use noise attenuating blankets (but why didn't they do so originally?)

So, was there any response to the Atlantic Yards Watch posting that explained how noisy generators at Pacific Street and Carlton Avenue were annoying neighbors.

I quered Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, for Empire State Development, who responded:

The contractor will not be using the generator again in this area in the near future. The generator was placed on the street because there was no space in the yard where the generator could have been placed to do the necessary work on the south abutment of the bridge. If there is a need to use the generator in this area again, the contactor will be required to use noise attenuating blankets.

Posted by eric at 11:05 AM

December 20, 2011

From Atlantic Yards Watch: Generators at Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street disrupt residents

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder follows up on yesterday's Atlantic Yards Watch post on noisy generators.

Who wants to live near generators, especially when the decibel level gets stratospheric?
...

So, is "noisier equipment," as per the memorandum, situated "at locations that are removed from sensitive receptor locations and are shielded from sensitive receptor locations wherever feasible," provided with significant noise shielding?

Apparently not:

Although the Memorandum specifies a "minimum 8 foot height perimeter barrier (constructed of 3/4 thick plywood), with a 16 foot hight barrier (of 3/4" thick plywood) adjacent to sensitive locations, including locations along Pacific Street, Dean Street, and Flatbush Avenue opposite residences," there are no barriers of that description installed in this location. The generators are separated from residences by a chain link fence that does not shield noise.

Yesterday, I contacted the state and city officials in charge of Atlantic Yards construction issues, but didn't hear back yet.

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Posted by eric at 12:56 PM

December 19, 2011

Generators at Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street disrupt residents

Atlantic Yards Watch

Generators adjacent to perimeter fencing across from residences, and the absence of barriers to shield the residences from the noise they generate, appear to violate both the spirit and the letter of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments. The generators are apparently being used to facilitate construction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge.

They are situated directly across the street from residences on the north sidewalk of Pacific Street at the location of the Carlton Avenue Bridge. They are in a highly visible location close to the construction offices and along the walking route between the construction offices and the arena construction site.
...

The Memorandum states that contractors will situate "noisier equipment, such as generators, cranes, tractor trailers, concrete pumps, concrete trucks and dump trucks at locations that are removed from sensitive receptor locations and are shielded from sensitive receptor locations wherever feasible." If not feasible, another step contractors should utilize when practicable are "noise curtains and equipment enclosures . . . to provide shielding from significant noise-generating equipment to sensitive receptor locations."

Although the Memorandum specifies a "minimum 8 foot height perimeter barrier (constructed of 3/4 thick plywood), with a 16 foot hight barrier (of 3/4" thick plywood) adjacent to sensitive locations, including locations along Pacific Street, Dean Street, and Flatbush Avenue opposite residences," there are no barriers of that description installed in this location. The generators are separated from residences by a chain link fence that does not shield noise.

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NoLandGrab: It's possible it's just a test, intended to simulate the noise of a drunken crowd leaving a Nets game.

Posted by eric at 11:08 PM

October 7, 2011

Construction noise: waiting for answers, some curious (relative) quiet, and some TV coverage

Atlantic Yards Report

For the third time in four days, I ventured last night at 11 pm to the intersections of Fourth Avenue and Atlantic Avenue and Fourth Avenue and Pacific Street, site of overnight road/utility work that's been keeping residents up at night.

Last night, it was relatively quiet, at least until midnight when I left. There was very light work at Atlantic, and the work at Pacific, though it clocked at about 90 decibels from just off the opposite curb. Inside an apartment hallway (though not an apartment itself) on Monday, the ricocheting noise reached 94 dB.

The indoor limit is 65 dB, and that limit has been approached (64.5 dB in one apartment Monday) or exceeded in nearby apartments. More testing is needed, but clearly those affected include residents outside the zone where impacts were predicted.

Why the quiet? Could it be that they knew that WPIX-TV (below) had been out doing an article earlier that day? Could complaints to Empire State Development, the state agency in charge of the development (which has yet to answer my question about additional mitigation), have led to some phone calls?

article

Related content...

WPIX, Not Stop Contruction Headache

 

Posted by eric at 1:22 PM