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#136 Lex

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:20 PM

Lowball.

In 2004, when the MTA was considering selling the development rights to the land above the LIRR’s Atlantic Yards, the authority received a $214 million appraisal. At first, the MTA seemed ready to negotiate with Forest City Ratner for $50 million, but the agency faced some blowback under this below-market deal. With Extell offering up $150 million and some strings, Forest City Ranter up its price to $100 million, and the MTA accepted.

The public cried foul over this sweetheart deal. How could a cash-straped agency accept over 50 percent less than the market value of the land? Over the years, nothing has happened there, and Bruce Ratner has yet to make a payment on the land. He and his company have been mired in eminent domain lawsuits and, with the recent economic downtown, may or may not have the funds on hand to start construction.


That article has lots of other juicy details.

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#137 Lex

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:21 PM

Dammit lex. post everything at once. your second post is far more damning.

I'm Googling as fast as I can! :lol:

“I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.”

"One of the Evil Twin beers I tried smelled like a foot." - LiquidNY

"Sorry about your cookie." - Steve R.'s response to Jim Leff's epic rant.


#138 Rail Paul

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:31 PM

The MTA has long been viewed as a creature of the large developers, several of whom have been on the board over the years.

The board is composed of members nominated by the governor, by the mayor, by member county executives, and by labor leaders. There's a fixed number of seats allocated to each, and there's considerable demand for them. So much that several members serve in "holdover" status as the patron selects their replacement.

Bloomberg's appointees largely come from the city's OMB or economic development departments, while the governor's have come from corporate finance departments of large investment firms and law firms. Freddy Ferrer is the only current elected official on the board. The union guys(the board has only two women, I believe) come from the ranks of bus drivers, LIRR mechanics, etc. There is one member nominated by customers of the rail, highway, bridge, bus etc constituency. There are three vacancies, as well as the holdover positions.

MTA projects enjoy a degree of independence from NYC rules, as was recently demonstrated by the west side crane collapse. As a state agency, the projects it undertakes are largely immune from city rules when city rules are more stringent. The Port Authority has a similar status in its projects.


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#139 Sneakeater

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:35 PM

One thought:

It's clear that the area is going to be high rises and an arena, the problem, and this may be Orik's economic argument in another guise, is that Hooters is about the most offensive thing to the area restaurants that could go in there - it shows no sensitivity to the preferences of those that live nearby. If this was a Gin Mill, or Brother Jimmy's, or something vaguely New York, maybe with a Shake Shack attached (think about the City Field model), it would at least be an admission that yes, this area will now be filled with drunk sports fans but, dammit, they'll be attending slightly more acceptable New York mini chains. Maybe it's because Brother Jimmy's affects property values less negatively than Hooters, but I do think it's a bit more visceral than that.


Right. Exactly.

(Understand that this Hooters isn't a part of or attached to the official arena development, and isn't being forced on the neighborhood by the developer. Rather, it's a business that is trying to enter the neighborhood around the development, to take advantage of demand that the arena will create.)
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#140 H. du Bois

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:51 PM

I didn't know about Sneak's neighborhood but in Park Slope zoning doesn't allow for high rise buildings.


Since a row of high-rise buildings is about to be built in my neighborhood, I have to assume it's zoned for them.

Even though Fourth Avenue doesn't count as Park Slope, it's been sold out to the developers. And I've lost my view of the western sky to the butt-ugly high rises they're building there, even though I'm in Park Slope. The proximity of these things (the Ratner monstrosities, etc.) matters. It matters a lot.

#141 H. du Bois

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:57 PM

How do you know it was lowball - you need to know what the other bids were. Or what the other options were to monetize the air rights.

Its perfectly reasonable to say the air rights shouldn't be sold, but once you decide to sell the rights you can't assert it is a "Sweetheart Deal" w/o knowing what the other prices were. Or show me math that values the air rights. What are you going to let them build on that, how much money are they going to make selling it (and that needs to be a huge range) and then what is the equitable return for the investors given the riskiness of the deal, and then the city gets the rest.



Of course they renegotiated the '06 deal down in '09. You would too if you realized more money would just mean more losses.

There's a very good film on this subject, "The Battle for Brooklyn." Ratner was given the deal, even though another developer* bid much higher.

* ETA - IIRC, the higher bid was from Extell. I can't remember what the difference was, but it was substantial.

#142 H. du Bois

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:02 PM




And is anybody going to try to put a Hooters there?


Imagine a Hooters in Washington Sq!

We have a whole lot of shite just one block away from W Sq: Subway; McDonalds...


I actually think it would be quite difficult to put a Hooters in Washington Sq, NYC. There's a big difference in most people's mind btw Subway and Hooters. And Greenwich Village is perfectly capable of throwing a fit.

I'm just hoping that Park Slope moms divert their prodigious energies from hating on ice cream vendors in the park to hating on national chain sleazeball t&a beer and wing joints.

#143 g.johnson

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:06 AM



ultimately, it's high density that makes a city a city...everything springs from that. so tweeners want to enjoy the benefits of the city without the density...and it can't last.

You're forgetting about zoning. I didn't know about Sneak's neighborhood but in Park Slope zoning doesn't allow for high rise buildings.



the zoning will change when it becomes economically untenable. the primary factor behind DC's high rents is the ban on high rises...but that ban is already being skirted and will fall because of too many jobs, too little housing. same thing happened in Austin during the past decade. they had a DC style height restriction....too little housing in the urban core (and office space)....a developer found a loophole and it was followed by the eventual lifting of the zoning.

the reality is that with the rising costs (both at the pump and in externalities) from fossil fuels...we can't keep pushing people further and further away from their jobs...thus the return to density...

Currently favored new house:

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#144 splinky

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:13 AM




ultimately, it's high density that makes a city a city...everything springs from that. so tweeners want to enjoy the benefits of the city without the density...and it can't last.

You're forgetting about zoning. I didn't know about Sneak's neighborhood but in Park Slope zoning doesn't allow for high rise buildings.



the zoning will change when it becomes economically untenable. the primary factor behind DC's high rents is the ban on high rises...but that ban is already being skirted and will fall because of too many jobs, too little housing. same thing happened in Austin during the past decade. they had a DC style height restriction....too little housing in the urban core (and office space)....a developer found a loophole and it was followed by the eventual lifting of the zoning.

the reality is that with the rising costs (both at the pump and in externalities) from fossil fuels...we can't keep pushing people further and further away from their jobs...thus the return to density...

Currently favored new house:

Posted Image

how close is the mcdonald's and do domino deliver?

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#145 g.johnson

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:17 AM

A message is sent via cleft stick in a wherry to Ely, where it's transferred to carrier pigeon and taken to Cambridge which has the nearest internet connection. The order is the emailed to Domino in Leeds who despatch a motor cycle delivery boy who arrives a mere 36 hours after the order is placed.
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#146 splinky

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:24 AM

A message is sent via cleft stick in a wherry to Ely, where it's transferred to carrier pigeon and taken to Cambridge which has the nearest internet connection. The order is the emailed to Domino in Leeds who despatch a motor cycle delivery boy who arrives a mere 36 hours after the order is placed.

excellent! and will the other dr johnson be shaking it, for tips, at the downtown diss hooters?

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#147 Rail Paul

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:31 AM

A message is sent via cleft stick in a wherry to Ely, where it's transferred to carrier pigeon and taken to Cambridge which has the nearest internet connection. The order is the emailed to Domino in Leeds who despatch a motor cycle delivery boy who arrives a mere 36 hours after the order is placed.


You don't have a pizza chef at the ready alongside your 13th century stone oven?

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#148 splinky

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:38 AM


I didn't know about Sneak's neighborhood but in Park Slope zoning doesn't allow for high rise buildings.


Since a row of high-rise buildings is about to be built in my neighborhood, I have to assume it's zoned for them.

Even though Fourth Avenue doesn't count as Park Slope, it's been sold out to the developers. And I've lost my view of the western sky to the butt-ugly high rises they're building there, even though I'm in Park Slope. The proximity of these things (the Ratner monstrosities, etc.) matters. It matters a lot.

the 4th ave developments are a disaster and totally out of character with the neighborhood. in addition, as they went up there was more sewer flooding and more brownouts in the neighborhood, as well as an impressive line up of straphangers between president and union streets just to go down the stairs to the union street subway. i'm so glad that i sold up before i lost my manhattan skyline view.

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#149 Sneakeater

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:53 PM



So, more rich folks will be moving into the area. That seems like a good thing for creating more restaurants, art facilities, Starbucks, etc. Raises property values, etc. Batali and Bastianich will be looking for space, etc


I think you misunderstand what Brooklyn is like if you think we're lacking in restaurants, art facilities, coffee places, etc. The effect on property values will be interesting, in that this development will turn the surrounding neighborhoods into exactly what the people who traditionally moved there were trying to get away from. The same goes for Batali and Bastianich: people who have moved to Brooklyn don't WANT that.


Isn't that kind of discounting where Batali and Bastianich are coming from? They weren't always "Batali and Bastianich" like that. But Po (of yore) was the exact sort of restaurant that Brooklynites love. I never get the sense that people who have moved to Brooklyn are doing it to escape Michelin stars or quality. In many ways it is a more hyped food scene than NY (Robertas has a RADIO STATION for godsake). Sure, there's a resistance to 'big box' even if that box holds Mario or Bastianich, but it isn't as though there aren't Brooklyn chefs who are growing little empires. They'll be the Batali's and Bastianich's of the future and while you might object...plenty of Brooklynites won't.


Sorry to bring this back to so frivolous a subject as food after that very erudite discussion of the demerits of the Atlantic Yards project, but it occurs to me that we probably aren't even disagreeing.

I was talking about "Batali & Bastianich" SPECIFICALLY -- i.e., the assumption that what people in Brooklyn want is branches of Manhattan restaurants or extensions of Manhattan chains. I have no doubt that equivalent Brooklyn chains will develop. But they'll be just that -- Brooklyn chains. To the extent it's just B&B and Danny Meyer, Brooklyn will indeed be "over". But I think there's just as much resistance in Brooklyn to Manhattan transplants as there is in Manhattan to out-of-town transplants. Look at how poorly most of the straight transplants from Manhattan have done in Brooklyn. Not just Po, but Mercat and others I can't think of right now.* (Bubby's and a few others like it are exceptions that prove the rule -- that's nothing like a B&B restaurant.) Brooklyn restaurants expanding to Manhattan have been much more successful.

Having said that, I am sorry to say that there also has been resistance in Brooklyn to higher-priced restaurants, which in my view has tamped the scene down. Not just in Williamsburg, where at least it's understandable. But also in Park Slope, where people can afford to pay more but refuse to (on local restaurants). I do agree that that eventually will be overcome. (Brooklyn Fare stands somewhat outside this, as I don't think it was ever conceived as serving the neighborhood.)
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* Taavo Somer showed how to do it: open something in Brooklyn that has no resemblance to your Manhattan restaurants.
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#150 Sneakeater

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:44 PM

Interesting Times piece on The Park Slope Of New Jersey.

My point here is that people do choose to live in places for what you might broadly call cultural reasons -- and accordingly do think in terms of values in addition to property values (even if they're deluding themselves that the two are different). This may be hard for young people living in Manhattan to comprehend, because they probably haven't yet committed themselves to a neighborhood as a place to live, and are willing to keep moving around as things change (or as they just get bored). But as you become rooted somewhere, you start to care about its retaining the characteristics that caused you to choose to live there in the first place. Did your parents lightly move your family around every two or three years -- or did they work to try to maintain the quality of your town or neighborhood?
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