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  #121  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2009, 1:42 AM
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http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...-sell-briskly/

Bonds for Nets’ Arena in Brooklyn Sell Briskly

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
December 15, 2009


Almost six years after he bought the New Jersey Nets with plans to move the team to Brooklyn, the developer Bruce C. Ratner and a local development corporation sold more than $500 million in tax exempt bonds in two hours Tuesday morning for a new basketball arena in Brooklyn.

Indeed, the demand for the bonds from institutional investors far outstripped what was available and belied the project’s tortured history and court challenges. The $1 billion basketball arena at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues is the centerpiece for the 22-acre Atlantic Yards development, which is to include more than 6,000 apartments.

“There was a strong appetite for the bonds,” said Jay Abrams, a bond analyst at FMS Bonds. “The market was comfortable with the ratings the deal received and the security that was pledged.”

The developer’s underwriters — Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital — handled the sale of the tax exempt bonds, which totaled $511 million. The developer and his partners will raise the rest of the money for the 18,282-seat arena privately.

Next week, Mr. Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner, is expected to complete the “master closing” for Atlantic Yards with various city and state agencies. At the same time, Mr. Ratner is plans to close on the sale of an 80 percent stake in the Nets to the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov, pending approval by the N.B.A. The two partners will invest $293.4 million in the arena and use a $131 million subsidy from the Bloomberg administration.

They hope to open the new arena by June 2012.


The new housing at Atlantic Yards may take longer, given the flagging real estate market, although Mr. Ratner has promised to start one of the residential towers after the arena is under way. He must also contend with several remaining lawsuits challenging the project.
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  #122  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2009, 3:59 AM
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I wonder what the interest on the bonds were.
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  #123  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2009, 6:56 AM
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I wonder what the interest on the bonds were.
6.48% I believe..... Has Miss Brooklyn been delayed indefinitely? Is there a thread for that building on this site?
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  #124  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2009, 12:04 PM
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well, it sounds like this project now has $500 million available to spend. The article mentions it's pending approval from the NBA, to purchase the Nets and relocate them to Brooklyn. Historically, the NBA has not blocked financially viable NBA franchise relocations. So it would seem to me that construction could start with in a few months. groundbreaking could be sometime between January and April. That's my guess.
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  #125  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2009, 2:33 PM
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The article mentions it's pending approval from the NBA, to purchase the Nets and relocate them to Brooklyn. Historically, the NBA has not blocked financially viable NBA franchise relocations.
What's pending is Ratner's sell, not the move. It's more of a formality that has to be completed, the Nets are practically in Brooklyn already, and I have no sympathy for the few holdouts remaining who didn't get out when the offers were more generous.
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  #126  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2009, 5:01 PM
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While Ratner keeps winning, the Nets keep losing. Either way, Brooklyn, the city and the team are winners.
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  #127  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2009, 2:12 AM
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While Ratner keeps winning, the Nets keep losing. Either way, Brooklyn, the city and the team are winners.
It's not like the Knicks are lighting up the Garden these days either, lol. But Brooklyn can't lose with this new arena.
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  #128  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2009, 3:13 AM
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http://www.1010wins.com/Russia-s-Ric...g-Nets/5910975

Russia's Richest Man a Step Closer to Owning Nets



Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The richest man in Russia is another step closer to owning the New Jersey Nets.

Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holdings and the development company that owns the Nets announced on Wednesday that they had completed their agreement to create a partnership for owning the NBA team and developing the Atlantic Yards project in New York City.

The agreement provides for the sale of 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of a new Nets arena to Prokhorov's Onexim, subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors.

It also includes an option for Prokhorov to acquire up to 20 percent of Atlantic Yards, which would surround the new Barclays Center arena with apartments and office towers on 22 acres in Brooklyn.
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  #129  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2009, 8:37 AM
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It's not like the Knicks are lighting up the Garden these days either, lol. But Brooklyn can't lose with this new arena.
You can lay the blame on James Dolan, the Garden's nemesis

Back to topic, this entire development is Brooklyn's version of the West Side Railyards. I suppose Cablevision (monopoly) won't have a problem with Barclays being built in the same vein they did with the Jets' stadium proposal (blocks from MSG). For a city of its size, we can surely use a 2nd world class arena. By the time Barclays is completed, it won't be too long before the toilet bowl known as MSG is refurbished. Maybe then we'll have 2 winning basketball teams.
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  #130  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2009, 2:25 PM
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  #131  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2009, 2:17 AM
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http://www.observer.com/2009/real-es...ath-nets-arena

Ratner Seals Deal for Atlantic Yards, Clearing Path for Nets Arena

By Eliot Brown
December 23, 2009


If Atlantic Yards is Bruce Ratner's Odyssey, he's approaching Ithaca.

More than six years after the ambitious project was unveiled to the world, the Brooklyn developer announced Wednesday that he had completed a "master closing" for the project, executing mountains of contracts with numerous governmental agencies and finalizing the financing of $511 million in tax-free bonds to help finance the new $900 million Nets basketball arena.

"Today, what has long been a vision for the future of Brooklyn becomes a reality," Mr. Ratner said in a statement. "Today's closing represents a vital step forward for New York City, one that is all the more important because of the economic challenges our City faces."

This removes all obvious hurdles to the start of the $4.9 billion project, which initially envisioned housing towers, an office building and an arena, all Frank Gehry-designed, shooting up from the Prospect Heights neighborhood simultaneously. Now, with an economic collapse and a lending drought, the project will start only with the arena, the piece previously viewed as the least profitable. Mr. Gehry is gone, as are many of the initial deals struck for Atlantic Yards: After it was initially approved in 2006, the city put in another $100 million to help the project. Earlier this year, the M.T.A., which owns some of the land, renegotiated its deal to give Mr. Ratner its most valuable parcel for just $20 million and the cost of a new rail yard, rather than $100 million for that parcel and another that is more difficult to develop.

But beyond Mr. Ratner's uncanny ability to wrest more from government, what is most surprising is that the project was not swallowed by the economic crisis, as Mr. Ratner's Forest City Ratner and its investors continued to pour money into the development and the Nets. Forest City reports around $70 million a year in pre-tax losses on the Nets, and its revenues have plummeted recently; the team started the season with a record 18 consecutive losses.

A Forest City executive said this summer that the company and its investors had spent $500 million thus far on the project, only with very preliminary levels of construction on infrastructure to show for it.

Going forward, the focus will likely shift to the market rate and subsidized housing, for which Mr. Ratner has requested additional subsidies from the city to help construct. He has also said the construction of the first tower would start in 2010.

With respect to the arena, there are still a number of lawsuits pending challenging the process--though one was rejected last week--and there may still be more. Jeff Baker, an attorney for Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, said Monday that he expects a lawsuit in coming days that would challenge the process of approving the tax-free bonds, though he did not say who would bring it. Recently, opponents and critics of the project, along with State Senator Bill Perkins, have criticized the bond approval process, for which the state's development created an entity that avoided having to seek approval from the Public Authorities Control Board, apparently circumventing another level of review.
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  #132  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2009, 2:52 PM
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threecee










Posed on curbed.com

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Bruce Ratner Wastes No Time Rubbing It In

It took six years to close on the Atlantic Yards deal, but only a few hours to finally build something on the site: a salute to the sponsors and a preview of all that quality NBA basketball to come. A merry Landgrabiversary to all!
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  #133  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2010, 5:32 AM
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MSNBC

Holdout hopes dim as NBA arena moves ahead
Residents of Brooklyn neighborhood are low on options


Daniel Goldstein stands on the roof of his condominium building overlooking the Prospect Heights neighborhood in the Brooklyn on Dec. 30. Goldstein, 40, his wife and 14-month old daughter are the only remaining residents of the nine-story building that sits in the footprint of a proposed NBA arena.


AP / Associated Press
updated 6:45 p.m. ET, Sat., Jan. 2, 2010

NEW YORK - On many mornings, Daniel Goldstein wakes to the sound of work crews demolishing the neighborhood around his Brooklyn apartment. Every crash and bang is a reminder that it may only be a matter of time before the wreckers come for his home, too.

The 40-year-old and his wife and daughter are among a handful of holdouts still living on several once-thriving urban blocks being cleared to make way for a new arena for the NBA's Nets.

The place isn't quite a ghost town, but it's getting there.

Goldstein's family is the only one left in their nine-story condominium building. Everyone else sold out years ago when the team's owner, the developer Bruce Ratner, offered nearly double what their homes were worth to try to get control of the site quickly.

Other owners have cleared out, too. The two biggest apartment buildings nearby have been vacant for some time. Several structures have been reduced to rubble.

A hardy few — the stray tenant here, the homeowner there — remain.

As Goldstein's neighbors negotiated rich buyout deals, he ignored invitations to join the talks and instead became the lead spokesman for a neighborhood group opposed to the arena plan.

Money wasn't the issue. Nor did he have any burning love for the neighborhood — not initially, anyway. He only bought his place a few months before the arena project was announced.

He just didn't like the idea of being pushed around.

"I made a commitment to myself that I wasn't going to be forced to sell. ... I wasn't going to be pressured or bullied," he said. "I didn't know what that would mean. But I knew I was committing myself to it."

Developer lowers offers
Only now is the cost of defiance becoming clear.

After a six-year fight, the state has begun the final legal steps to seize the family's condo using eminent domain law and hand it to Ratner's company.

In November, Goldstein got a letter saying the state planned to pay him $510,000, about $80,000 less than what he paid in 2003.

That's a fraction of what Ratner was offering years ago, and nowhere near what he needs to buy a comparable place in the same part of Brooklyn.

Other remaining residents will get even less.

Years ago, Ratner's representatives offered David Sheets $75,000 to give up his rent-regulated apartment.

He turned them down, in part because they insisted he sign a gag order and stop criticizing the project.

"Essentially, they wanted me to sign away my citizenship," he said.

Now, all he's being offered is a little help finding another place to live. In the meantime, life on the block has gotten tougher.

He spent much of 2008 without gas or electricity when the city ripped up the street.

"We were overrun with rats. The jackhammering went 22 hours a day," he said. "If I had any idea what a living nightmare this would be, hell no, I wouldn't have stayed around."

"You're standing there in the morning shaving, and the jackhammers are going and they are demolishing an eight-story building a few feet away. You have to ask yourself, 'Why am I living like this? This is insane. This is lunacy.'"

It looks like that perseverance won't pay off.

It has been years since a state authority approved Ratner's plans to replace a rail yard and existing buildings with the arena, 16 new apartment and office towers and thousands of new residents for the development, called Atlantic Yards.


Russian billionaire a backer
The financing has been falling into place, too. A half-billion dollars in bonds have been sold. Ratner has a new deep-pocketed business partner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who is also buying the Nets franchise.

Goldstein still isn't ready to concede defeat, but he isn't blind either.

"We'll have to find somewhere to live," he said. "Look, we're human and rational. We need to think about it now," he said.

Sheets is more bitter.

"There is no winning," he said. "My neighborhood has already been ruined. A thousand people have been displaced."

All that's left, he said, is the idea that opponents can make the process so painful for Ratner and his allies, government officials will think twice the next time they want to seize people's homes.

"If, in fighting Atlantic Yards, we've made it any easier for people to fight their own battles, then we've accomplished something," he said.

There may be a grain of truth there.

A judge overseeing a similar eminent domain case involving Columbia University recently ruled that the state's process for declaring healthy neighborhoods "blighted" so they could be seized for redevelopment was, at least in that case, a farce.

There is also occasional talk now, though no action yet, about reforming the state's eminent domain laws.

Victory for the Brooklyn holdouts, though, has always been a long-shot.

By the time the arena project became public knowledge in 2003, Ratner had already lined up support from the city's most powerful political figures.

Plus, there was excitement about pro sports returning to Brooklyn, as well as the mini-city Ratner planned to build.

When architect Frank Gehry unveiled his initial designs for the site, New York Times architecture writer Herbert Muschamp pronounced the plan to surround the arena with a remarkable collection of towers, public plazas and greenery, a "Garden of Eden."

There was plenty of criticism, too. Residents complained the project was just too big for the neighborhood. Traffic would be terrible, parking impossible, schools overcrowded.

Over time, many things that excited people about Atlantic Yards have disappeared.

Gehry was fired because his designs were too expensive. Plans for the towers and apartments have been put on hold because of the uncertainty in the real estate market.

The latest renderings of the arena show a conventional dome that will, at least for awhile, stand alone while the cleared blocks around it lay empty or are used as parking lots.

Arena boosters promise that the project will, indeed, all get built, including units of affordable housing that will replace the inexpensive rental dwellings being torn down.

Maybe, or maybe not, but the endgame is clearly at hand.

One business still operating next door to Sheets, a beloved tavern called Freddy's, recently installed chains so patrons can resist eviction by handcuffing themselves to the bar.

Goldstein is talking with other activists about what sort of symbolic last stand they could take in his building when authorities finally come to evict them.

As for a new home, he hopes to find one in Brooklyn.

"We've really come to love where we live," he said.



© 2009 msnbc.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press
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  #134  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2010, 2:42 PM
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MSNBC



Daniel Goldstein stands on the roof of his condominium building overlooking the Prospect Heights neighborhood in the Brooklyn on Dec. 30. Goldstein, 40, his wife and 14-month old daughter are the only remaining residents of the nine-story building that sits in the footprint of a proposed NBA arena.
Selfish, delusional jerk. He didn't get out when the going was good, so now he's going to make the wife and baby suffer along with him.

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One business still operating next door to Sheets, a beloved tavern called Freddy's, recently installed chains so patrons can resist eviction by handcuffing themselves to the bar.

Goldstein is talking with other activists about what sort of symbolic last stand they could take in his building when authorities finally come to evict them.
Real nice.
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  #135  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2010, 5:49 PM
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It’s a shame it has to come down to this, but to be honest I carry some sympathy for these people as because at the end of the day these are real life homes and businesses. Though I’m sure there were some good offerings at one point, I’ve personally never been a fan of evicting people out of their homes or businesses.
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  #136  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2010, 5:23 AM
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So does it look like "Brooklyn Nets" is gonna happen?
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  #137  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2010, 9:43 AM
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While I don't always support the use of eminent domain, I find it hard to feel any sympathy for this Goldstein guy. Rather than accepting Bruce Ratner's generous offer 6 years ago... a win-win for all parties involved as it gave Ratner control of the land and the condo owners enough $$$ to buy a much nicer home (possibly in the same neighborhood if they really loved that neighborhood)... Mr. Goldstein decided to dig his heels into the ground and attempt to block the most positively transformative project to hit his neighborhood in over 100 years.

By his own admission, Goldstein's opposition had nothing to do with money nor a burning love for the neighborhood. Instead it appears to be nothing more than a personal vendetta against "big corporations," and a desire not to be "pushed around." Well it seems to me that Mr. Goldstein invited himself to be "pushed around" when he turned down a mutually benefitital offer for selfish and irrational reasons.

It is cases like these that help me see the grey area in the use of eminent domain. While it is hard to pin down morally and had been overly abused throughout history, eminent domain is sometimes necessary to ensure that a community's best interest isn't held hostage by a few selfish individuals.
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  #138  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2010, 2:28 PM
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While I don't always support the use of eminent domain, I find it hard to feel any sympathy for this Goldstein guy. Rather than accepting Bruce Ratner's generous offer 6 years ago... a win-win for all parties involved as it gave Ratner control of the land and the condo owners enough $$$ to buy a much nicer home (possibly in the same neighborhood if they really loved that neighborhood)... Mr. Goldstein decided to dig his heels into the ground and attempt to block the most positively transformative project to hit his neighborhood in over 100 years.
Goldstein has pretty much be the voice of the opposition, even as the others saw the handwriting on the wall and came to their senses. He can say he's doing it on principle, but the bottom line is we all knew how this was going to end. And now this guy has drug a baby into this mess. If I have any sympathy, it's for the baby.
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  #139  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2010, 1:50 PM
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http://brooklynpaper.com/stories/33/..._closings.html

Block buster! State moves to close roads around Yards arena



By Stephen Brown
January 12, 2010


The construction of Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards will enter a new phase next month when three major streets are permanently wiped off the New York City grid to accommodate the developer’s basketball arena.

State officials announced on Monday that Fifth Avenue between Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, plus two adjacent blocks of Pacific Street, will be closed starting on Feb. 1 to accommodate construction.

The streets will not reopen if the arena is built.


And the same announcement revealed that the Carlton Avenue bridge, which was closed almost exactly one year ago, will not reopen in January, 2011, but in April, 2012.

The controversial street de-mapping has long been a part of the proposed Atlantic Yards mega-development, but the announcement of the closures of Fifth Avenue, plus Pacific Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues and Vanderbilt and Carlton avenues, were criticized as premature by project opponents.

“They’re taking the streets prematurely,” said Dan Goldstein, the spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn. “We’ll be challenging that [street seizure], which is part of [the state’s use of] eminent domain.”

Since leaping one of the last remaining major legal hurdles in late November, Ratner has moved forward with his project far more rapidly than a Nets fast-break. And in December, he sold $511 million in tax-free bonds — roughly half the money needed for the arena.

Ratner also installed “Future home of the Barclays Center” signs around that time. The street closures indicate that the pace of construction will likely intensify.

Still, the proposed traffic changes are relatively minor compared to the “Fourth to Flatbush two-step” that will close Fourth Avenue north of Atlantic Avenue. In the proposed traffic model, Downtown-bound drivers on Fourth Avenue will be forced to turn right on Pacific Street and then left on Flatbush Avenue to continue their journey.

What is more concerning for some Prospect Heights residents is that the longer build time at the Carlton Avenue bridge. As the Atlantic Yards Report revealed on Wednesday, the new delay is the result of a slower build-out plan by Ratner — longer than disclosed in the project’s final Environmental Impact Statement. The change in plans is permissible under Ratner’s contract with the state if it is the result of an “unavoidable delay.”

A spokesman from the Empire State Development Corporation, the quasi-public state agency overseeing the mega-project, could not be reached before The Brooklyn Paper’s eminent online deadline.
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  #140  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 2:24 AM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...sV9E4UcJNJ4mmO

Construction on Barclays Arena commences

By Stephen Witt
January 13, 2010


If it looks like construction, sounds like construction and money is spent on construction, then it’s a good bet that the Barclays Center arena at the Atlantic/Flatbush avenues intersection is already under construction.

The start of construction on the arena that will bring Brooklyn its first major sports franchise (the NBA’s Nets) since the Dodgers left Brooklyn following the 1957 baseball season was also confirmed by sources close to developer Forest City Ratner (FCR).

“We’re in the process of setting up a ceremonial groundbreaking, but we’ve already begun the work,” said sources.

That work has begun is particularly obvious to anyone who goes near the intersection where the arena and 22-acre Atlantic Yards project is slated.


Besides signage, a truss has been erected and workers are busy with infrastructure sewer and pipeline work.

As first reported locally by anti-project blogger Norman Oder in his Atlantic Yards Report, developer Forest City Ratner has also purchased $50 million worth of steel from Virgina-based Banker Steel for the arena.

Sources close to the project said the money bought 9,600 tons of steel, and the Virgina-based newspaper covering the story stated that the contract will allow Banker Steel to hire 50 more people

Meanwhile, the Empire State Development Corporation, the lead government agency on the project, announced street closings as per the General Project Plan and Modified Project Plan.

Effective on or around Feb. 1, sections of both Fifth Avenue and Pacific Street will be permanently closed.

This includes Fifth Avenue between Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues; and Pacific Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and between Vanderbilt and Carlton Avenues.

Local and emergency vehicle access will be maintained as needed.

Upon closure, northbound traffic on Fifth Avenue can use Flatbush Avenue or Sixth Avenue to continue north; southbound traffic can use Sixth Avenue.

Eastbound traffic on Pacific Street can use Dean Street and westbound traffic can use Bergen Street.

To facilitate vehicle circulation, Sixth Avenue (between Flatbush Avenue and Pacific Street) and the block of

Carlton Avenue (between Dean and Pacific Streets) will become two-way.

These changes necessitate the removal of the Cobble Hill-bound B63 bus stop on Fifth Avenue, between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue. Passengers can use existing bus stops on Fifth Avenue (at Bergen Street) and on Atlantic Avenue (at Fourth Avenue).

Advisory signs will be posted in advance of the closures and detour signs will be posted during the work. Traffic agents will be assigned to facilitate the flow of traffic and pedestrians.

Questions relating to this project may be addressed to: Atlantic Yards Community Liaison Office Empire State Development Corporation, (866) 923-5315, or the office of the Atlantic Yards Ombudsman at communityliaison@atlanticyards.com (or by calling 212) 803-3233.
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