The Daily Dirt: Pacific Park’s possible new developer

Related in talks to take over for Greenland at Brooklyn megaproject

<p>A photo illustration of ESD&#8217;s Hope Knight, Related&#8217;s Jeff Blau and Pacific Park (Getty, Related Companies, ESD)</p>

A photo illustration of ESD’s Hope Knight, Related’s Jeff Blau and Pacific Park (Getty, Related Companies, ESD)

Sometimes the most obvious answer is the right one. 

A large-scale megadevelopment in Brooklyn needs a well-funded housing developer, preferably one with experience building a platform over train tracks.

Of course, Related Companies immediately comes to mind. 

The developer is in talks to take over for Greenland USA, potentially buying up development rights for six sites at Pacific Park. These are the parcels that will require a platform to be built over tracks at Vanderbilt Yard, a pricey and complicated endeavor, and could net some 3,200 units.  

But nothing is final. The state still needs to review and approve the proposal to replace Greenland and there will need to be an auction, unless Greenland hands over the keys. There is also still the big question: Who will pay the fines for failing to meet the 2025 deadline for building the project’s remaining affordable apartments? Clearly, the nearly 900 remaining apartments are not going to be built in the next year. 

The state could cut the new developer a break, but that will almost certainly draw the ire of community members and elected officials and is a bad look overall in terms of holding developers to promises and deadlines. 

The Brodsky Organization and TF Cornerstone seemed like possible contenders to replace Greenland, given that they previously picked up other sites at the project, but it does not appear they are interested in expanding their control at Pacific Park. 

Given the project’s history, the deadline penalties, the complicated platform construction and, in general, the difficulties of picking up a project from another developer, finishing Pacific Park does not appear particularly appealing. Who would want to take on something with so much baggage?

I recently spoke with Alicia Glen, former deputy mayor and CEO of the private development firm MSquared, who put things in perspective.

“I do think there are people in the world who understand the value proposition,” she said. “You are not literally building something on the moon.”

What we’re thinking about: Will more Mitchell Lama co-ops follow Cadman Towers’ lead and convert to HDFCs? Send a note to

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Programming note: The newsletter will be observing July 4. It will return on July 5. Have a safe and fun holiday. 

A thing we’ve learned: MTA and NJ Transit, take note: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority put googly eyes on some trains in response to demands from demonstrators who marched on its headquarters in April, the New York Times reports. The idea behind the eyes is fairly simple: Anthropomorphize the trains so that people feel better about transit dysfunction. “When T trains are delayed, people can at least look into the eyes of the train when it finally arrives, and feel some love and understanding in their hearts,” the organizers wrote in defense of the idea. Who can stay mad at a train with eyes?

Elsewhere in New York…

— Gov. Kathy Hochul tapped attorney James Caras to fill one of three empty positions on the state Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government, the Times Union reports. The commission’s future, however, is uncertain because a state appellate court recently found the body was formed in violation of the state constitution. The issue of the commission’s existence heads now to the Court of Appeals. 

— The city will distribute debit cards worth $2.6 million to more than 7,300 migrants to pay for food over the next six months, the New York Times reports. The city launched a pilot program earlier this year providing cards to 3,000 migrants.  

— For those preparing/dreading the steady stream of pyrotechnics on Thursday, Gothamist has a handy guide on figuring out if what you are hearing is fireworks or gunshots. News you case use!

Closing Time

Residential: The priciest residential sale Wednesday was $10.5 million for a 6,310-square-foot townhouse at 44 East 82nd Street on the Upper East Side. Michael Graves and Kevin Mallen of Douglas Elliman had the listing. 

Commercial: The largest commercial sale of the day was $32.5 million for a 10,500-square-foot retail space at 719 Seventh Avenue in Times Square. 

New to the Market: The highest price for a residential property hitting the market was $11.9 million for a 3,638-square-foot co-op at 200 Central Park South. Carol Raskin of Compass has the listing. 

Breaking Ground: The largest new building application filed was for a 46,300-square-foot, 9-story mixed use building at 585 Jackson Avenue in Woodstock. Nikolai Katz filed the permits. — Matthew Elo 

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