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POST-BARCLAYS CENTER: NEXT STEPS

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POST-BARCLAYS CENTER: NEXT STEPS
Opening Barclays Center is only half the battle. Brooklyn VIPs tell Bisnow that after partial owner Jay Z's concert heralded in the loooong-sought milestone, it's time to get people to live, work, and play nearby. Sign up to learn from these folks and 12 more atBisnow's Nov. 2 Future of Brooklyn event.
1) LIVE
Melissa Burch on oct. 17, 2012
Forest City's Melissa Burch says the next step is to start rolling out the 6,400 residential units next to the arena. First up is a Dec. 18 groundbreaking for B2, a 363-unit, 32-story apartment building. She says only recently have market rents pierced the level at which an 80/20 (market rate/affordable) project is attractive in Brooklyn (see her firm's 365-unit 80 DKLB and Two Trees' 125 Court St). But B2 will actually set aside 50% of the B2 units for low- and middle-income households with the help of low-interest financing—in the form of a second mortgage—from the NYC Housing Development Corp. Ultimately Atlantic Yards will include 2,250 affordable units.

B2 at Atlantic Yards, rendering
Another big idea in making the costs work on a high-rise that's 50% affordable housing is modular construction (the units will be manufactured at the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard). Forest City hasn't fully committed to modular construction for B2 (rendered above) yet—
Melissa says there are still a couple hurdles—but with groundbreaking imminent and the firm still talking about it, the game-changing technology looks like a go.
2) WORK
Tucker Reed
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership soon will announce the team that will study how to attract tech firms (already flooding BK's waterfront) to the borough's CBD. Prez Tucker Reed tells us 17 teams comprising 86 firms responded to the RFP to deliver a study by early 2013. Tucker says Downtown Brooklyn's 17M SF office market (similar in size to St. Louis and Atlanta) traditionally has been a financial and insurance company back-office locale. But there's a waiting list for the 1.5M SF DUMBO submarket—not to mention the emerging Brooklyn Navy Yard—while Downtown has 1M SF vacant. The planned study will research incentives, land-use policy, and other ways to lure the tech tenants that will make Downtown Brooklyn its own market rather than a smaller sibling to Manhattan.
3) PLAY
Nets practice tickets
We don't live or work in Brooklyn, but we do like to play there, as in this coming Sunday morning's Nets open practice (season opener against the Knicks Nov. 1). Tucker says another challenge for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is to get people to hang out in the area after hitting events at Barclays Center. He also says it's time to rethink the commercial space above BK's vibrant ground-floor retail. Often, the second, third, and fourth floors go vacant as landlords blow out staircases for the few extra SF on ground floors.