Brooklyn's $4.9-Billion Atlantic Yards Development Gets a Jump Start
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) recently announced a plan to accelerate construction of the residential components—including 2,250 units of affordable housing—of the $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards transit-oriented sports village in Brooklyn, N.Y., most of which is sited over public land. Under the new scheme for the 22-acre development, the affordable units would be completed by 2025 instead of 2035.
"We are putting the development of Atlantic Yards on the fast track and expediting the construction of thousands of units of affordable housing in Brooklyn," said Gov. Cuomo in a statement.
The June 27 announcement follows a vote by the Empire State Development Corp., which is the public partner in the project with the developer Forest City Ratner Cos. (FCRC), to amend the master plan for the Atlantic Yards Project. The amendment also includes a deal to create an advisory board, called the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corp., to provide input on development, housing and community impact. In addition, New York City will provide financial support to ensure the delivery of two all-affordable housing buildings containing at least 590 units. The construction start for these is expected by December.
The first building completed in the "sports village" is the 18,000-seat Barclays Center Arena, which opened in fall 2012. Plans for the village, which has been delayed by lawsuits, a redesign of the arena and the recession, include 16 buildings for residential, office and retail space and possibly a hotel. There are 6,430 residential units in the scheme, including 4,500 rental units. Currently, a 32-story apartment building, on deck to be the world's tallest modular building, is up eight or nine stories.
Most of the Atlantic Yards buildings are to be constructed on a platform over railyards for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Long Island Rail Road. Under the revised plan, FCRC will build a new railyard on the site by December 2017, instead of December 2016. Late last month, the MTA approved a plan to speed construction of the building foundations in the railyard, which would allow concurrent railyard and platform construction, according to the MTA.
On July 1, Forest City Enterprises Inc., FCRC's parent, and Greenland USA, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Greenland Group Co., announced they had closed the day before on a joint venture to develop Atlantic Yards. The agreement excludes Barclays Center and the modular tower, called B2 BKLYN. It includes infrastructure, the MTA railyard, the platform, and all future residential and commercial development. The deal, which gives Greenland 70% of the project, has been approved by the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, housed in the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury, and the government of China.