Mayor announces plans for Flatbush Affordable Housing Development

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Councilmember Mathieu Eugene have announced plans to develop 130 affordable homes with a community development …

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Councilmember Mathieu Eugene have announced plans to develop 130 affordable homes with a community development space at 2286 Church Avenue in Flatbush on 29,000 square feet of land.

The proposed development site was formerly home to a historic 19th-century school building, which had to be demolished in 2015 due to hazardous structural conditions.

Also part of the property history is the evidence of an African burial ground. An archaeological excavation at the site in the early 2000s identified the remains of people of African ancestry. They were transferred to the Reformed Dutch Church of Flatbush for reinternment in their consecrated cemetery.

De Blasio said the plans demonstrated the city’s commitment to building inclusively and equitably.

“With 130 affordable apartments and educational and vocational training facilities, this project will restore this vacant historic site as a true asset for the surrounding Flatbush community.”

Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Louise Carroll said the department aimed to transform underused public sites into dynamic affordable housing to serve the broader needs of the community.

“We are excited to work with EDC and other partners to begin a new chapter for this long-vacant site via a mindful, community-driven planning process that respects its past.”

Councilmember Eugene said with the public health crisis, the city had to remain focused on its obligation to make affordable housing, education, and job training a top priority for the community.

“We know that there is an urgent need for housing equality in Brooklyn, and this project is a significant step in helping hardworking New Yorkers live comfortably while raising their families,” he said.

“We will also be assisting our young people, who are in a very uncertain predicament right now, and we need to take advantage of resources that will create an infrastructure to empower them with the skills and confidence needed to contribute to the future of New York City.”

The City has launched a Request for Proposals to develop the units and space, dedicated to educational and vocational training programs for youth.

Dr. Anthony Fauci honored by Arthur Ashe Institute at SUNY Downstate

SportsBall, which recognizes notable leaders in sports, philanthropy, business, entertainment, and medicine, supports Arthur Ashe’s Institute’s …
NEW YORK (WABC) — SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University announced Dr. Anthony Fauci will be among this year’s honorees at the 26th Annual SportsBall event, the Black Tie & Sneakers Gala of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH).

Each year, the Institute honors organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to health, education, medical research, community service, and philanthropy.


The annual SportsBall gala brings together some of the most influential leaders in sports, business, entertainment and medicine to raise funds that support critical health programs for the Brooklyn community.

Joining Dr. Fauci, officials say this year’s honorees include a posthumous award to Downstate’s beloved Clinical Assistant Professor and Hospitalist Dr. James A. Mahoney, and another, to the Law Firm of Vladeck, Raskin & Clark PC. Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will introduce Dr. Fauci.

“This is a particularly poignant year for us as we celebrate Arthur Ashe’s legacy amid a pandemic that has claimed more than 215,000 lives,” said SUNY Downstate President Dr. Wayne J. Riley. “As America’s most respected infectious diseases expert, Dr. Fauci is the most important voice providing critical guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite his own underlying health risks, Dr. Mahoney served patients during the pandemic, ultimately losing his life in the battle. The Law Firm of Vladeck Raskin & Clark continues to fight for more equity and diversity in the workplace. We are proud to welcome these esteemed honorees into the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health family. We continue to be grateful for their work on behalf of others.”

SportsBall, which recognizes notable leaders in sports, philanthropy, business, entertainment, and medicine, supports Arthur Ashe’s Institute’s community health and research initiatives. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, SportsBall will take place virtually on Wednesday, October 14, at 7 p.m.


Dr. Fauci has served as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984. He oversees an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika, and, most recently, COVID-19.

RELATED:Fauci says his words were taken out of context in new Trump campaign ad

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Navy Yard debuts first new commercial building in 10+ years

Dock 72’s developers are in talks with prospective tenants in media, financial technology and advertising, he added. The building is expected to house …

The Brooklyn Navy Yard debuted on Tuesday its first new-from-the-ground-up commercial development in more than a decade.

Dock 72, a 16-story office building, has quite the view: the World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Williamsburg Bridge and more.

Reporters got a bird’s-eye view of the North Brooklyn waterfront and plenty of iconic scenery during a tour on Tuesday, when the $400 million development celebrated its official opening with popping champagne corks and a drum corps performance.

The Navy Yard’s historic buildings and dry docks were visible down below the terrace, which wraps around a conference center that can accommodate 250 people. A bit further away, recently built Downtown Brooklyn high-rises stood tall.

Dock 72’s got quite a view of historic Brooklyn Navy Yard buildings down below and the World Trade Center on the horizon. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan
Dock 72’s got quite a view of historic Brooklyn Navy Yard buildings down below and the World Trade Center on the horizon. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

The location is a unique site for an office building — it’s surrounded by water on three sides, John Powers of Boston Properties said during the opening ceremony. His company and Rudin Management are the project’s co-developers.

Their collaborator in the 675,000-square-foot Dock 72 development is none other than co-working space provider WeWork, which is currently seeking nearly $5 billion in financing from JPMorgan Chase after postponing an initial public offering.

“You may have heard we’ve been in the news lately, not all of it flattering, so it’s great to be among friends,” WeWork Co-CEO Sebastian Gunningham said during the ceremony. He did not stay afterward to speak to reporters.

You can see the Empire State Building and the Williamsburg Bridge from the top floor of Dock 72. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan
You can see the Empire State Building and the Williamsburg Bridge from the top floor of Dock 72. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

The small businesses and individuals who are WeWork’s subtenants started moving into the company’s Dock 72 space at the beginning of the month. There are now 350 people there.

WeWork is Dock 72’s only tenant at this point. The company rented 25 percent of the space in the building, Rudin Management head honcho Bill Rudin told reporters.

“We’re highly confident WeWork will figure out its short-term issues,” Rudin said.

Dock 72’s developers are in talks with prospective tenants in media, financial technology and advertising, he added. The building is expected to house more than 4,000 workers when it’s fully occupied.

The amenities include an as-yet unopened food hall in which high-profile restaurateur Danny Meyer will be involved. The building also has a health and wellness center and an outdoor basketball court.

From the top of Dock 72, you can see Downtown Brooklyn’s tall towers. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan
From the top of Dock 72, you can see Downtown Brooklyn’s tall towers. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

Dock 72’s designers are S9 Architecture, Fogarty Finger and Perkins Eastman.

NYC Ferry launched service to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in May; the boats land right outside Dock 72. The route includes stops in Astoria and on Manhattan’s East 34th Street and Wall Street.

The 300-acre Brooklyn Navy Yard was a storied shipbuilding facility that President John Adams established in 1801. During World War II, about 70,000 people worked on the premises. The U.S. government closed it in 1966 and sold the site to the City of New York.

In its current incarnation, the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a hub for manufacturers, artisans and tech businesses. The facility is operated by the nonprofit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp.

Small businesses and individuals have started moving into WeWork’s space at Dock 72 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan
Small businesses and individuals have started moving into WeWork’s space at Dock 72 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

The complex reached a milestone recently when the number of people employed there hit 10,000, Navy Yard Development Corp. President and CEO David Ehrenberg said during Tuesday’s opening ceremony.

Follow reporter Lore Croghan on Twitter.

Atom Finance Raises $10.6M Series A, Led by General Catalyst, Bringing Total Funding to $12.5M

“We have an ambitious product roadmap and look forward to working with the team at General Catalyst. They’ve got deep experience in building …

The company will use the cash infusion to continue growing their platform and team

NEW YORK, Oct. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Atom Finance, the Brooklyn-based FinTech company building the next-generation investment research platform, announced today that it has raised a $10.6 million Series A funding round led by General Catalyst, bringing its total funding to $12.5 million. Participating investors included Greenoaks, Global Founders Capital, Untitled Investments, Mail.ru, Lachy Groom, Lee Fixel, and Zach Weinberg & Nat Turner. With this round of funding, General Catalyst’s Peter Boyce will take a board seat with the company.

The latest round of funding will allow Atom to scale up its internal engineering team and bring on experienced members for growth, product marketing and operational functions. Atom’s public beta has shown great promise, with over 80,000 sign ups since its launch in June. The company is focused on adding new advanced features, as well as preparing for the launch of its native mobile app, due later this year.

“Right now investors are stuck between researching via overpriced, clunky institutional platforms or through low quality retail investor websites. We believe there’s an opportunity to build a best-in-class investment research platform that caters to both sophisticated professionals and the mass market,” said Eric Shoykhet, Founder and CEO of Atom Finance. “We have an ambitious product roadmap and look forward to working with the team at General Catalyst. They’ve got deep experience in building trusted brands in fintech and the resources needed to help us reach meaningful scale.”

“Eric and the Atom Finance team have thoughtful design and customer-centricity at their core,” said Peter Boyce II, principal at General Catalyst. “There’s a real opportunity for them to build a new innovative and enduring platform at the intersection of technology and finance. We’re excited to back this team and to be doing it in the epicenter of finance: New York City.”

Atom’s platform, available at https://atom.finance, offers an ever-growing arsenal of powerful research and portfolio monitoring tools to anyone. The sleek user interface is optimized for productivity and works across devices. It offers a trove of institutional-quality data, documents, news, and events for companies, and allows for easy aggregation and comparison. Atom continues to add features that rival costly institutional products, such as the ability to search for keywords across all documents at once, and build financial models without the need for Excel. Users will soon be able to link multiple brokerage accounts to track and analyze their portfolio in real time.

“Institutional products are inaccessible to individuals due to their price point, and retail investing sites tend to focus more on serving ads than on the content itself. In both scenarios, the user experience has largely been an afterthought. We believe we can provide that same institutional-quality experience to everyone. We want to do it in a platform that’s straightforward and delightful to use, whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out,” said Adam Baitch, Product Lead at Atom Finance.

About Atom Finance

Atom’s mission is to empower everyone to make informed investing decisions by democratizing access to institutional-quality investing resources. Based in Brooklyn, New York, the company is taking the resources that Wall Street professionals have at their disposal and putting them in a consumer platform that’s powerful, intuitive and works anywhere. Check us out at https://atom.finance

Atom is looking for talented people to join our rapidly growing team. For more info, visit https://atom.finance/careers

About General Catalyst

General Catalyst is a venture capital firm with approximately $5B in total capital raised that makes seed through growth-stage investments. The firm backs fearless entrepreneurs with the potential to build foundational enterprise technologies and ubiquitous consumer brands. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, and Boston, GC’s portfolio companies benefit from a bicoastal network of talent, customers, and opportunity. For more: www.general catalyst.com.

Contact

Atom Finance

contact@atom.finance

LaunchSquad for General Catalyst

generalcatalyst@launchsquad.com

212-564-3665

NBA Taking Conservative Approach With Spencer Dinwiddie’s Contract Token Idea

But if this asset class were to grow and more athletes started tokenizing their contracts, having it issued on Ethereum or some other smart contract …
Brooklyn Nets Media Day

BROOKLYN, NY – SEPTEMBER 27: Spencer Dinwiddie #8 of the Brooklyn Nets poses for a portrait during … [+] Media Day on September 27, 2019 at HSS Training Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The National Basketball Association is looking to block Spencer Dinwiddie’s effort to tokenize his contract with the Brooklyn Nets. Dinwiddie wanted to introduce a platform that would allow athletes to link their contracts to a tokenized security based on the Ethereum blockchain technology.

Dinwiddie’s unique idea was first explained by The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Dinwiddie would give up “some future income in return for a smaller lump sum payment. But the borrower (Dinwiddie) then has more money to invest immediately. A token is a digital security term. The bond exists in the digital currency world. Instead of buying the bond through a broker, it is purchased through a token.

“For Dinwiddie and his investors, the prime appreciation is designed to come during his player option season in 2021. Dinwiddie has a player option worth $12.3 million for the 2021–22 season. By opting out and earning more, it will, of course, create a major return for him — but also investors.”

The NBA then issued a statement saying the venture was not permitted, citing the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. The NBA’s press release stated “the described arrangement is prohibited by the CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement],” referring to 2.13d, which says: “No player shall assign or otherwise transfer to any third party his right to receive compensation.”

Larry Cermak, Director of Research for the cryptocurrency and blockchain research publication The Block, agreed to answer a few questions to help fans better understanding the Ethereum platform and Dinwiddie’s tokenization process. Anytime an idea linked to blockchain technology is shot down, there are obvious reactions in the crypto communities.

“I don’t want to speak for the crypto world. I found it disappointing but understandable. I think the NBA officials are misunderstanding the structure of Dinwiddie’s tokens. He is not transferring or assigning his contract to a third party. Dinwiddie is only guaranteeing that allotted funds he earns playing for the Nets will be distributed to the investors.”

Dinwiddie and his legal team will meet NBA’s officials to discuss the issue again. It may not matter, according to Cermak. He said, “I’m not sure they could even stop him from using the money he earns. In any way, it will be interesting to follow this in the coming weeks.”

For those wanting to follow along, it takes some learning of crypto terminology and the basic processes. For starters, is there a simple way to explain Dinwiddie’s idea?

Cermak explained that “Dinwiddie sought to tokenize forty percent of his contract. He is also releasing a platform for use by other athletes. The basic outline of this platform would be that any athlete could transform a portion of their future earnings backed by their contract into an investable token. Athletes would get money upfront while investors could get exposure to the athlete’s success.”

Dinwiddie just signed a three-year $34 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets. To Cermak’s understanding, “Dinwiddie met with his legal team and made sure he was not violating the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) before moving forward with the tokenization effort.” Dinwiddie also reportedly talked with NBA and NBPA to ensure that his offering would comply with the CBA.

Athletes receive a lot of bad financial advice; they all say so. The stories of athletes in financial ruin are numerous and well known. How well thought out was this project?

Cermak replied, “Really well actually. Dinwiddie planned to issue tokens linked to his contract. Token investors would receive monthly payments plus interest while Dinwiddie receives more of his contract in the form of upfront payment. However, the token would be more than just a typical bank bond. Investors also get potential bonuses as well as potentially a much larger payout in the third year.”

Where would that interest come from and how? With interest rates as they are, why would Dinwiddie not work with a Wells Fargo or JP Morgan?

“The interest is coming from Dinwiddie’s pockets. He gets money upfront and if he invests it wisely, he can easily make enough to cover the likely very low-interest payments. I think that this is about a much bigger vision for Dinwiddie than just getting some money upfront though. He wants other athletes to do the same — he wants to create a new asset class where investors could get exposure to the future success of promising athletes. Way down the line, this could lead to real fantasy sports.”

Dinwiddie could opt out of his contract after two seasons. Should he sign a more financially lucrative contract, “token owners would benefit as well.” Bonuses for any team and individual honors like playoff checks or All-Star Game appearances would also be balanced into the investment.

So people buy the tokens and Dinwiddie gets the cash. What do people do with those tokens? Could Dinwiddie use the other half of his contract to purchase tokens? What if he opts out, but then strikes out in the free-agent market? It is unlikely, but it happens to players every NBA offseason.

Cermak said, “People likely won’t be able to do much with the tokens. He is issuing them under Reg D and is only allowing accredited investors to participate. Investors may not be able to liquidate their tokens because there will very likely not be a secondary market. There are also restrictions upon the transferability of the tokens. It’s therefore possible that investors might have to hold the tokens until they are redeemed fully in 3 years. This is of course not a long term plan but rather a regulatory bottleneck.

“Dinwiddie only wants to tokenize 40% of the contract. He could technically change his mind later and tokenize more. If he were to opt out and then struck out (in free agency), investors would be out of luck. If he signed a lower value contract or no contract at all, investors would lose money. That’s one of the risks. But I think that’s very unlikely.”

As an investor, looking at the high side benefits is all well and good. However, many an ICO made the news for all the wrong reasons. What are the inherent risks to these types of investments?

“It makes no sense to compare a security token to something like ICOs, which were purely speculative tokens with no backing or claim to any cashflows. ICOs eventually died because the incentives were misaligned since day 1. That’s not the case with a properly structured security token that’s backed by someone’s guaranteed contract.”

“For investors, there is virtually no risk of non-payment. Dinwiddie’s contract with the Brooklyn Nets is guaranteed. He will be paid even through bad play or an unfortunate injury. There are some risks though. He could do something stupid off the court and lose his contract. He could theoretically opt out after the second year and then not find a better deal. Or the NBA could go bankrupt. These are all very small risks but they are possible.”

So there is safety in the middle ground? They just wait for the game checks to pay out, then token holders get paid? What’s the benefit? How is that interest earned? What if Bitcoin or Ethereum tanks?

“Token holders get paid on a monthly basis when Dinwiddie gets his paychecks. It doesn’t matter if Bitcoin or Ethereum tanks. This investment is only tied to Dinwiddie’s contract — it has nothing to do with the price of Bitcoin or Ethereum.”

Opening up an NBA contract to the crypto world seems a bit dangerous. Is this an open-source project? How would the link from the contract to the crypto token be created? Is it akin to a gold standard? Would this link put Dinwiddie’s contract at risk for digital theft?

“He is not opening his contracts to the crypto world. He is opening his contract to anyone who wants to participate. The tokens are just represented on Ethereum blockchain. He is doing this with a company Securitize. There is very little risk that anything nefarious happens. If some tokens were hypothetically stolen, they can be recovered and given back to the original owner.”

Not every fan can invest in Dinwiddie’s token. Cermak sees a problem in that “he is issuing it under Reg D. His token will only be available for accredited investors with a minimum $150,000 investment.”

Most fans will be priced out of that market. However, the barrier for entry for athletes looking to tokenize their contract is much lower. Cermak says, he “could see other athletes exploring crypto options soon.” Well past the basic fantasy leagues, “this could become a new asset class for investors to bet on players’ careers.”

DraftKings and FanDuel built empires on fan’s basic understanding and high level of engagement in fantasy sports. Tokenized contract markets are a bit more complex, and require more than a promo code to get started. Cermak believes the tokenized contracts market “would have to be made available to non-accredited investors. They would also have to be divided into much smaller portions and traded on the secondary market with liquidity.”

The NBA and NCAA were floating new agent accreditation guidelines earlier this summer. The power of Rich Paul worries some of the more conservative suits in the hoops world. Now, players are branching out and investing their time, and contracts, into wholly different types of currencies or tokens.

In the end, why would anyone want to link their paycheck to a token? Could this idea work in other industries? What if Dinwiddie filed for bankruptcy? Is this a common investment strategy, is it a sound strategy in the crypto world, and would the more traditional financial sectors have a similar option? A hedge fund perhaps?

Cermak says, “He is doing it because it creates a new asset class that will inevitably become popular in the future. He wants to be the disruptor. The first person to do it and potentially make some money from it.”

As understood, even if Dinwiddie filed for bankruptcy, investors would still get the money as long as his contract was still valid. He will be contractually obligated to send the money to investors when he gets a paycheck. Any fears the NBA has over cyrpto markets crashing are misguided.

“This has almost nothing to do with cryptocurrency. Just that the underlying technology is used to power these securities. Something like this could very well work without being on Ethereum. But if this asset class were to grow and more athletes started tokenizing their contracts, having it issued on Ethereum or some other smart contract platform does make everything easier.”

Would the NBA take the same stance if a more marketable star took this approach with their contract? Only time will tell. Until then, Cermak says, “The NBA’s involvement only serves to attract more attention to the idea. I imagine that Dinwiddie loves the free PR.”