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Thread: Atlantic Yards Development - Commercial, Residential, Retail, NBA Arena

  1. #1501

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Fear mongering -- Please stop!!
    I don't know what you're talking about.

    Do you?

    Here, I'll engage in a little fear-mongering, so you'll know how to recognize it:

    We'll be inundated with traffic!

    Atlantic Yards will end up even crummier than it is now!

    Murderous crack dealers will descend on our quiet streets!

    We'll lose the salubrious effects of the summer sun's full brunt!

    Nets fans will piss on our doorstoops!

    Our borough will lapse into Dallas-like, middle-American anonymity!


    or:

    Tasteless and exhibitionistic architecture will make Brooklyn a laughing-stock!

    Unscrupulous developers and their politician-minions will target Park Slope next!

    And before you know it, they'll sell the Bridge!

  2. #1502
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    ^ Noone would dare say any of those obviously ridiculous and transparent things.

  3. #1503

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    People hate change. They like things the way they are. New ideas are scary. Browstone neighborhoods are nice therefore only brownstone neighborhoods should be built. Highrises always ruin an area.

    Imagine the before and after pictures of these.




  4. #1504
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    Oh, lofter, you need to learn to be less of a nit-picker. The substance of a discussion is unaltered by irrelevant technicalities of the example you pick at.
    Oh, ablarc, you need to learn to be less sensitive .

    Give me a bad comparison and I'll smack it down.

    You're claiming that the Atlantic Yards proposal has street wall with park(s). Not. There is a group of buildings surrounding some green space(s) that are in essence cut off from public access. (And let's not forget the bait-and-switch Ratner pulled on the so-called "public" park on top of the arena.)

    One comparison to what Gehry / Ratner have proposed could be the garden area at Washington Square Village. There you have buildings separating and enclosing the green space (raised / fenced / gated) from the surrounding community -- lovely for those who live there but offering little to nothing for those who are not residents.

    If Ratner / Gehry want to claim that they are providing Brooklyn with new park areas then they should design and build them. Just don't pretend that these sweet little backyard spaces that they have offered are anywhere near the public parks that they are represented to be.

    PS: The "fear mongering" was related to your comment:
    Originally Posted by ablarc
    Instead of fearing change we can embrace it.

  5. #1505

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    ^ Still don't see how it's fear mongering. Does mentioning Republicans make you a Republican?

    Oh, I see what threw you off...I'm not part of the "we" that fears change. Seems that might have been obvious from my support of Gehry and Ratner.

  6. #1506
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    I understand that you're in favor of the Gehry / Ratner proposal.

    To clarify: it seemed that you were equating "fear" with not wanting the "change" to Brooklyn as proposed by Gehry / Ratner ... I'm against it because I see the over-all negatives of the project. That is what compells me to resist the specific "change" that is proposed. Not "fear".

  7. #1507

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    To clarify: it seemed that you were equating "fear" with not wanting the "change" to Brooklyn as proposed by Gehry / Ratner
    Since then, we've had JMGarcia weigh in; he detects fear.

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    ... I'm against it because I see the over-all negatives of the project.
    Can you provide a little summary of these?

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    That is what compells me to resist the specific "change" that is proposed. Not "fear".
    I never though you were afraid of it; after all, you're rational and live in Manhattan.

    (We've just got to get over this habit of talking past each other.)

    .
    Last edited by ablarc; June 20th, 2006 at 06:32 PM.

  8. #1508
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lofter1
    ... I'm against it because I see the over-all negatives of the project.
    Ablarc: Can you provide a little summary of these?
    Bogus "public" park on top of the arena (ye olde bait + switch).

    Gehry's tired habit of putting a box of glass on top of a box of bricks.

    Enclosed green-spaces being sold to the public as accessible park land.

    MB looks like a gargantuan version of his Prague Ginger -- not only too big for that intersection but also too grotesque (if I was that bride that Gehry claims was the inspiration I think I'd sue). Somewhat cute (and contextual!!) at 9 stories (but even then she wears out her welcome before too long):



    Is the list long enough???

  9. #1509
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Atlantic Yards can’t ‘work’

    Municipal Art Society rejects Ratner’s current design

    By Gersh Kuntzman
    The Brooklyn Papers
    June 16, 2006

    http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/i...9_24nets7.html

    One of the city’s most-respected urban planning organizations weighed in on Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards this week, saying the project simply “won’t work” for Brooklyn.

    Municipal Art Society President Kent Barwick offered that assessment before a packed house of 500 people at the Hanson Place Central United Methodist Church — a mildly stinging rejection of Ratner’s 17-skyscraper, 8.7-million-square-foot arena and commercial development in low-rise Prospect Heights.

    “I know the headline writers want something stronger, but we’ve reached the conclusion that it does not work,” Barwick said. “That doesn’t mean that it could not work, but as currently designed, it does not.”

    Barwick said the Society assessed Atlantic Yards using five “design criteria”: does it “respect the existing neighborhoods”; does it “eliminate streets”; does it “create a real public park”; does it “promote lively streets”; and does it “choke” traffic.

    By those criteria, Atlantic Yards earned a score of 1 out of 4, according to architect and planner John West, who gave the Society’s PowerPoint presentation at Thursday night’s forum.

    Some community members complained that by evaluating Atlantic Yards, the Society was essentially saying that its construction was a done deal.

    But West’s presentation began ominously — showing that Atlantic Yards’ 8.7 million square feet is the equivalent of “three Empire State Buildings, 23 Williamsburgh Savings Bank buildings, or 2,200 brownstones — which is roughly the entire population of Prospect Heights.”

    There was an audible gasp when he made the comparison.

    West said the first step towards “respecting the neighborhoods” would be for Ratner to redesign Atlantic Yards so its skyscrapers do not “block the clock” — the celebrated four-sided timepiece atop the Williamburgh Bank building near the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

    Currently, Ratner’s plan calls for a 62-story building — nicknamed “Miss Brooklyn” by its architect Frank Gehry — at that intersection.

    West said the building could exist at the corner — and not “block the clock” — if the Gehry-designed basketball arena was shifted to the east and Miss Brooklyn set back further from the intersection.

    Secondly, West called for Ratner to not close off some streets, such as Fifth Avenue between Flatbush and Atlantic avenues (which would be center court) and Pacific Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues — a demapping that Ratner says is essential for the creation of his project’s seven acres of green space.

    Perhaps, but West also assailed that “public” park as not public at all.

    “Parks need to be bordered by streets, not surrounded by buildings,” he said, likening the Ratner design to the central green space of Stuyvesant Town, a Manhattan development where large residential buildings inhibit, rather than encourage, public use of the “park.”

    West did say that Ratner was making positive strides towards creating a lively streetscape. Near the arena, for example, the Gehry designs show cafes, stores and other businesses that encourage pedestrian traffic.

    But West cautioned that designs don’t always equal reality, showing a photo of Ratner’s Atlantic Center Mall, which does not even have windows or doors on the Fort Greene side.

    On his last point — traffic — West just sighed and said that the car-clogged intersection may simply not be able to handle any new development.

    Forest City Ratner Vice President James Stuckey — who attended West’s press preview, but did not stick around for the community forum — said he appreciated the Municipal Art Society presentation.

    “We are in full agreement with three of their five design principals right off the bat,” Stuckey said. “Our open space will be public and the streets will be lively. This is not a project for big box retail.”

    Stuckey also promised that there would be some “groundbreaking ideas” for improving traffic through the project zone in the forthcoming Environmental Impact Statement.

    “It is absolutely vital for us,” he said. “We agree [with the Municipal Art Society] on the need for a transportation plan that works.”

    He also said that demapping Pacific Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues was essential for landscape architect Laurie Olin’s greenspace design.

    “If we take out that one street, we can design a park that will save 1.8 million gallons of water a year,” Stuckey said, referring to Olin’s retaining ponds.

    “If Pacific Street remains open, that’s 1.8 million gallons a year going into the Gowanus Canal.”

    Overall, Stuckey disagreed that the project does not “work” for Brooklyn.

    “The Society said there were five design principals and that they can’t simply be reduced to a magic number of density,” he said. “But the Society also has the advantage of not having to look at the economics of the project. We have $1 billion in site costs. And it will take $50 million for environmental remediation of the [open space] site.”

    Opponents of the project cheered the Society’s overall conclusion, but were not ready to concede the main point: that Atlantic Yards is “the” plan.

    “My problem is with the Society’s world view,” said Daniel Goldstein, a spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn. “We don’t think that because Forest City Ratner has proposed something, it should be the framework for starting a conversation about what’s best for the area. This plan can still be rejected and a better one created.”

  10. #1510

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    Very thoughtful commentary from the Society.

    The "don't block the clock" principle isn't too important to me, but the rest of the criticism should be weighed seriously.

    In my opinion the portion of the plan to the west of 6th Avenue is acceptable. Everything east of 6th needs to be rethought, and the parkland should be more public.

  11. #1511
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    Interesting point on the public park comparison to Stuyvesant Town. I agree that having the park more accessible is key.

    Otherwise this resorts to pandering to the nimbys. "Don't block the clock"? That is very weak for one of the most-respected urban planning organizations. The comparisons to 3 ESB's is just disingenuous. The footprint is not even remotely similar, nor the access to transit (AY has much more).

  12. #1512

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    In your teeny-tiny apartment, are you oppressed by tall, ugly buildings?
    No, my own building is 26 stories high. But BPC is a (relatively) high-rise neighborhood adjoining an even higher rise office district. But the so-called "Brooklyn Renaissance" has been driven by persons who appreciate the low-rise atmosphere, NOT by Bruce Ratner. Why try to turn the place into Manhattan?

  13. #1513

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    No, my own building is 26 stories high. But BPC is a (relatively) high-rise neighborhood adjoining an even higher rise office district. But the so-called "Brooklyn Renaissance" has been driven by persons who appreciate the low-rise atmosphere, NOT by Bruce Ratner. Why try to turn the place into Manhattan?
    Believe it or not Brooklyn has historically been trying to establish itself by trying to emulate Manhattan or to exceed that by trying to top Manhattan. No point in Brooklyn’s history has it aimed to be second to Manhattan. The argument made by some that Brooklyn should be second to Manhattan is not only selfish and unhealthy but it is historically unfounded and detrimental to any city’s health. Brooklyn has always seen itself as more as a city than as a borough and no city aspires to be second to any other.

    Why try to turn the place into Manhattan? The better question is why not to try to turn the place into Manhattan? Is Manhattan, NYC, not the greatest city in the world? We should aspire to greatness; Brooklyn should not be encouraged to stagnate. Will Brooklyn turn into Manhattan, impossible, it is it’s own entity; the factors that created Manhattan cannot be recreated here, evident by the fact that nothing in the world is “like” Manhattan. Brooklyn should aspire to greatness, Manhattan greatness, and everything that goes along with it, skyscrapers, parks, and areas of congregation, stadiums, and density. Manhattan is great. That said Manhattan should not be in the Brooklyn language, as it will never be Manhattan, but greatness should be.

  14. #1514
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Couldn't be more true.
    Very well said, Stern. :clap: :clap:

  15. #1515

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    well said, Stern.
    Finally, a little common sense.

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