SBD/Issue 236/Facilities & Venues

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  • Forest City Scaling Back Plans For Atlantic Yards Complex

    Ratner Scales Back Atlantic Yards Plan
    Forest City Ratner “plans to reduce the size” of the $4.2B Atlantic Yards complex by 6-8%, “eliminating hundreds of apartments from the largest development proposal in the city,” according to government officials and execs cited by Bagli & Cardwell of the N.Y. TIMES. Forest City is also “considering reducing the height of the project’s tallest tower, which is known as Miss Brooklyn, to get it under the height of the borough’s tallest building, the nearby Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower.” But architect Frank Gehry “has objected to any changes in his design for Miss Brooklyn,” and Forest City “will continue to set aside 2,250 apartments for low, moderate and middle-income tenants.” New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has supported the project, said, “I’ve been told they will modify the project in order to address some of the concerns about the development. I’m not sure all the criticisms will be addressed or that all the critics will be happy.” Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn spokesperson Daniel Goldstein, whose group opposes the project, said, “They could chop Miss Brooklyn in half in terms of the height and that won’t change our position” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/5).

    REAX: N.Y. City Council member Letitia James, who represents Brooklyn, said the reduction is “obviously not enough. They’ve got to really go back to the drawing board and dramatically downscale this project if they want support in the community.” But Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, “a project cheerleader who called for Miss Brooklyn to be scaled back, said he welcomed the changes.” Markowitz: “This step will help make a good project even better for Brooklyn. It’s the right project in the right place at the right time” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/6). In N.Y., Nicholas Confessore notes the “reaction from people who work and live nearby was almost uniform: Big deal.” See SportsBusinessDaily.com to read the story (N.Y. TIMES, 9/6).

    POLL BACKS COMPLEX: A poll of 601 N.Y. residents from August 23-28, commissioned by CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS, found that the Atlantic Yards development is favored 60% and “disliked by only 25%.” Support in Brooklyn is 60% with 33% “viewing it unfavorably.” The complex is viewed favorably by 56% of African-Americans, 58% of whites, 68% of Latinos and 72% of Asians. Respondents cited jobs and affordable housing “as the two most important benefits of the project,” while the Nets’ move from New Jersey “is less of a factor.” The poll was conducted by Charney Research and has a margin of error of 4% (NEWYORKBUSINESS.com, 9/5).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, San Francisco 49ers
  • 49ers Add Last-Minute Arena To Stadium Complex Plans

    49ers' Stadium Project Could Include Arena
    The 49ers and Lennar Corp., which is handling the team’s stadium project, “are wrapping up a long-awaited megaplan for a new, 68,000-seat stadium at Candlestick Point — as well as a possible last-minute addition, a 12,000-seat arena,” according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Lennar spokesperson Adam Alberti said the arena “is part of the uses being considered.” 49ers VP/Communications Lisa Lang said the arena is “just an idea, and it isn’t really connected to the Niners.” But Lang “did not rule out the possibility that the team could lease the arena” if 49ers co-Owners John and Denise York “exercise their rights to an [AFL] team.” Matier & Ross note Lennar is negotiating with Forest City Enterprises “to develop the retail portions” of the project. In a poll commissioned by Lennar to “test the Candlestick plan” with S.F. voters, the proposal includes the football stadium, 6,000 units of housing, “and open space and parks — all to be ‘privately financed,’ with an eye toward using the sports venues for the 2016 Olympics.” Alberti declined to give details, but said the poll of more than 400 registered voters was “quite encouraging for the land plan and the private financing of the stadium” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/6).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, MLS
  • Pro Soccer Stadium At New Jersey’s Rowan Univ. Put On Hold

    Rowan Univ. (RU) officials said that the $1B MLS stadium project at the school — “comprising the stadium, restaurants, stores and student housing — was put out of action” by the state of New Jersey’s “fiscal crunch,” according to Wendy Ruderman of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. RU needed the state to borrow about $100M to pay for infrastructure, including roads, parking, water and sewer. Debt service on such a bond would have cost state taxpayers $6-8M a year for 30 years. Brendan Gilfillan, a spokesperson for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, said that Corzine was “still reviewing [RU’s] stadium proposal and that the subject was not dead.” New Jersey state Senate President Richard Codey, who supports the project, said that he “expected to meet with Treasury officials and [RU] leaders to discuss the proposal this month.” But RU President Donald Farish said that he “was not banking on the state’s financial help,” stating that the project “would only move forward without financial help from New Jersey taxpayers.” Farish added that developer Milestone Investment Group, which missed a July 1 deadline to secure financing and submit a stadium plan to MLS, is “still interested in the project but was trying to determine whether the investment was still profitable” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/2).

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  • NYRA Touts Saratoga Meet Success In Bid To Keep Franchise

    Saratoga Race Course’s summer meet ended Monday with “attendance and on-track handle roughly equal to last year’s averages, and a nearly 5[%] increase in total wagering,” according to Dennis Yusko of the Albany TIMES UNION. Attendance for the ’06 season totaled 908,569, “far short of the golden 1 million mark reached in years past, but on par with last year’s meeting, during which the daily average was nearly 26,000.” This year’s meet had one fewer racing day than in ’05 “because of a heat-related cancellation.” Average on-track wagering “fell slightly” from ’05, but total average betting including simulcasting “was $15.6[M], an increase over last year.” NYRA said that the success of the meet “proves that it deserves to have its franchise to operate Saratoga and [Aqueduct and Belmont parks] renewed by state leaders in the coming years.” NYRA Senior VP Bill Nader said, “Someone else could try to do it as well, but no one could do it better” (Albany TIMES UNION, 9/5).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Indianapolis Colts, Int'l Speedway Corp., Jacksonville Jaguars, MasterCard, Minnesota Twins, NASCAR, Nextel, San Francisco Giants
  • Facility Notes

    Campaign reports for three Hennepin County (MN) Commissioners that supported a new Twins ballpark “indicated that accepting money from Twins officials is a touchy issue so soon after the county voted to help finance” the new $522M ballpark. Commissioner Mark Stenglein said that he returned campaign money from Jim Pohlad, the son of Twins Owner Carl Pohlad, while Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, “who had accepted money from the Pohlad family in the past, did not take any money from the team owner this year.” Commissioner Mike Opat, the lead proponent of the new Twins ballpark, “likewise stayed away from accepting money from the Pohlads” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/6).

    ALLTEL STADIUM: A source said that a Jacksonville-area company offered $2.5M annually over ten years for the naming rights to Alltel Stadium, which the Jaguars “rejected because they are looking for something in the [$5-6M] range.” Jaguars Senior VP/Stadium Operations & CFO Bill Prescott: “We think we really need to tap into the national market” (JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/1 issue).

    NOTES: In L.A., Jim Peltz noted “although not every seat was filled” at California Speedway for Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Sony HD 500, there were “few patches of empty seats.” There “appeared to be at least 85,000 spectators in the grandstands,” in addition to 10,000-plus fans in the infield. NASCAR’s unofficial estimate was 102,000 (L.A. TIMES, 9/5)....MasterCard’s new PayPass wristband will be given to the first 5,000 fans entering Giants Stadium for Sunday’s Colts-Giants game. The wristbands feature Giants team colors and will be pre-loaded with $25 (MasterCard).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Home Depot
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