Looks like those 10,000 permanent office jobs Bruce Ratner and crew kept braying about all these years are going to happen...never. Can't have office jobs without an...office building.
Norman Oder reports on an eye-opening Real Deal article on the whopping 26.8% Class A office vacancy rate in Brooklyn and we eagerly await Dr. Zimbalist's mea culpa (which is more likely to come than the office tower Ratner has long promised):
If Downtown Brooklyn office space has a "staggering 26.8% availability" (as per The Real Deal), what does that say about the projected Atlantic Yards office space?
Atlantic Yards Report
Remember how the four Atlantic Yards office towers were a slam dunk, according to Forest City Ratner's paid consultant, sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, because office space as of 2004 was supposed to be doing fine?
Well, The Real Deal reports on Brooklyn's Class A woes: Borough's Downtown market sees highest availability in office space in more than a decade. The article does leave out some important context:
- that the demand for office space drove the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning, which instead enabled residential towers and hotels
- that the promised Atlantic Yards office space was crucial to the count of permanent jobs and the total tax revenue
The number of planned office towers at the AY site was cut from four to one, but that one building hasn't been developed, without an anchor tenant.
So, the article suggests that Bruce Ratner's snappy comment to Crain's New York Business in November 2009--"Can you tell me when we are going to need a new office tower?"--remains very much valid.
No Bruce, we can't. But we certainly said for years there never woudl be the need for one.
As I wrote in March 2006, Zimbalist, while predicting Atlantic Yards would eventually create 1.9 million square feet of first-class office space, made no mention of a study of Downtown Brooklyn redevelopment issued a month earlier, which estimated a glut of office space.
In their June 2004 critique, Gustav Peebles and Jung Kim pointed out that Zimbalist didn't point out how so much of the then-well-occupied Class A office space in Brooklyn is at Forest City Ratner's MetroTech development, which has relied heavily on subsidies and government tenants to fill the space.