According to James P. Stuckey, the Atlantic Yards project is more than a real estate development; it is a promise to the community. Presentation Solutions gets the details.
Presentation Solutions: Thank you for joining us.
James P. Stuckey: I appreciate the opportunity to speak about this great project.
Presentation Solutions: We understand that the Atlantic Yards project comes with the very first Community Benefits Agreement in New York City…
James P. Stuckey: That’s correct. It is an agreement between the builder and eight separate Brooklyn communities.
Presentation Solutions: Can you give us some specifics of the agreement?
James P. Stuckey: The CBA focus on community amenities, small business, housing, jobs, and environmental assurance.
Presentation Solutions: Tell us about the employment benefits for residents.
James P. Stuckey: Nearly half (45% total) of all jobs created will be sectioned off for minority and women workers. As well, a new training program has been established to assist individuals in developing real-world skills that can be used long after this project is completed.
Presentation Solutions: We understand that the project has a commitment to affordable housing?
James P. Stuckey: Of the 4,500 rental properties that will be available, half of those will be offered to lower income families. 225 of these will be set aside for senior citizens.
Presentation Solutions: And there is a clause in the agreement that helps small businesses in the area…
James P. Stuckey: Absolutely. During each phase of the construction process, and after completion, anywhere between 3%and 20% of all contract dollars will be spent with minority and women-owned businesses.
Presentation Solutions: There’s been a lot of talk about the community amenities that will be available once this project is complete; can you fill us in on that?
James P. Stuckey: For one, there will be a healthcare center.
Presentation Solutions: What about the childcare facility?
James P. Stuckey: What is special about the childcare facility is that it combines care for youth as well as senior citizens. While the two groups will not be together, the building is connected and each group will have access to the atrium.
Presentation Solutions: The Barclay Center, the future home of the Nets basketball team, is the highlight of the development. Will it be available for public events?
James P. Stuckey: The plan is to open up the arena to community groups for 10 or more events per year.
Presentation Solutions: That’s got to be expensive…
James P. Stuckey: On the contrary, the rates will be more than reasonable.
Presentation Solutions: Aside from basketball, what other events will the center host?
James P. Stuckey: It is a large venue that will seat between 18 and 19,000 guests. This opens up the opportunity to host tennis, boxing, and concerts along with other community events such as the circus. It’s important to note that part of the CBA allows for a set number of game tickets for sale to the community – extra care has been taken to include the city’s youth.
Presentation Solutions: The CBA sounds like it will enhance the area quite nicely. Was offering this contract a condition prior to development?
James P. Stuckey: No, it was not. It’s all voluntary. That being said, it is a legally binding contract, which just proves that the Atlantic Yards project really was initiated for the betterment of the community.
Presentation Solutions: That’s fantastic. We know that you personally have been committed to green development for many years. Can you tell about the environmental friendliness of the project?
James P. Stuckey: All equipment with over 50 hp will be equipped with Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel. As well, the goal is to ensure that a substantial amount of building materials are recycled. All 16 buildings, plus the arena, will be LEED certified. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
Presentation Solutions: We have also heard that the project is working closely with city officials to address any problems as they arise.
James P. Stuckey: As with any large-scale construction project, issues can occur. Areas that will be under constant monitoring are air quality, traffic, noise, and pollution.
Presentation Solutions: Mr. Stuckey, we appreciate your time today. We thank you for speaking with us.
James P. Stuckey: Thank you very much for having me.
Presentation Solutions: Do you have any final words to add?
James P. Stuckey: Just that, from its initial inception, this project was always intended to enhance the community and I certainly hope that it will do so for many generations to come.
James P. Stuckey is a man with decades of experience in his passion: real estate development. He has worked at the NYC Public Development Corporation, Gronich & Co., and Forest City Ratner Companies, to name a few. Currently, James P. Stuckey is the CEO of his own green development firm, Verdant Properties. LLC®.