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

  1. #31


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3
    I actually went to the press release and took some pictures. Many more photos here:

    I'm speechless!

  2. #32


    NY POST...



    December 11, 2003 -- Developer Bruce Ratner upped the ante on his bid to own the New Jersey Nets yesterday - unveiling a Frank Gehry-designed basketball arena that would remake the heart of downtown Brooklyn.

    The 20,000-seat arena is part of a controversial $2.5 billion development that also includes Manhattan-sized office and residential towers that would dwarf existing buildings and, critics contend, overwhelm the low-rise communities of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights.

    Mayor Bloomberg, on hand to unveil the project yesterday at Brooklyn Borough Hall, admitted that Ratner's $275 million bid for the Nets was "not a slam dunk" over a $267.5 million offer by Sen. Jon Corzine and developer Charles Kushner.

    "But this is the place for a professional basketball team," the mayor said, referring to Corzine and Kushner's plans to keep the team at the Meadowlands, where it draws small crowds.

    "We will be successful," Ratner added, pounding the podium at Borough Hall for effect. "We are going to get the Nets to Brooklyn if it's the last thing I do."

    Kushner and Corzine declined to comment.

    Ratner said the project would not require direct city funding, but the developer said he would borrow against future taxes generated by ticket sales, a common funding scheme.

    "I think that's appropriate," Bloomberg said. "This city does not have enough classrooms. But that doesn't mean we can't help with financing [the deal]."

    Unlike fellow billionaire Corzine, Bloomberg said he would only be putting his political weight behind the project.

    "I cannot make any investment because it would be a conflict of interest," he said.

    Rapper Jay-Z also showed up yesterday and claimed he was an investor in the project.

    The Gehry-designed stadium would be an oval, 800,000-square-foot structure with a rooftop "beer garden" and running track for public use that would be frozen over in the winter for skating.

    The signature feature of the structure would be its open feel, with the sides of the arena covered in glass.

    The arena's appearance is a departure from the wavy, metal-clad design Gehry has popularized in recent years. But other parts of the complex probably will follow the now-familiar theme.

    At the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, a cafe would hover above the street in a glass box.

    The arena would be surrounded on all sides by office towers, one of which would rise to 630-feet - dwarfing the Williamsburg Bank Building, currently the tallest building in Brooklyn.

    The eastern half of the Ratner project - which would mostly be built over a rail yard - includes 4.4 million square feet of residential buildings, comprising 4,500 units.

    Gehry made a rare appearance in New York to show off the still-unfinished architectural models himself.

    "These are just blocks," he said, pointing to the oddly shaped mock-up for the office towers surrounding the arena. "But don't worry, we'll make something nice out of it."

    Outside Borough Hall, a lot of people were indeed worried that Ratner and Gehry's vision for tall office towers and an arena could never be "something nice."

    "They'd be condemning land to hand it over to a rich developer," said Patti Hagan of the Prospect Heights Action Coalition. "Eminent domain is supposed to be reserved for vital public purposes. This is the Manhattanization of Brooklyn."

    Several nearby residential and commercial buildings would be condemned to make room for the arena - including two recently renovated luxury buildings.

    Of course, none of Ratner's vision will become reality if his bid for the Nets falls through. The team's current ownership is expected to make a decision within two months.

    "If we don't get the team, there will be no project," Ratner said.

    HOOP DREAMS: Designer Frank Gehry's concept for a downtown Brooklyn arena includes a roof garden that could be frozen over in winter to create an ice-skating rink.

  3. #33


    NY POST...



    December 11, 2003 -- I HAVE three words for the just-unveiled plan to build a stadium in downtown Brooklyn, the proposed new home for the basketball-playing Nets - a team now serving hard time amid the mind-numbing swamps of New Jersey:

    Bring it on!

    The scheme to build a Nets complex in Brooklyn is at once breathtakingly grand, and ridiculously obvious. A no-brainer, as my fellow Brooklynites might say.

    Here, in the center of New York's most populous borough - a thriving, culturally complex, city-within-a-city that hasn't housed a major-league sports franchise since before I was born - sits a vast, forlorn stretch of open railroad yard. On most days, it resembles a sewer punctuated by wind-blown trash.

    This eyesore-amid-prosperity is a sign of everything that's wrong with Brooklyn, where large pockets of inexcusable neglect are allowed - encouraged - to exist alongside thriving neighborhoods.

    It is atop this yard that developer Bruce Ratner, whose previous Brooklyn projects have met equal numbers of raves and sneers, envisions a sports complex, with affordable housing, parks and office space as well.

    Brooklyn simply cannot afford to squander this opportunity.

    And the Nets, who currently enjoy such cultural advantages as easy access to the Taco Bell drive-thru window, would likewise benefit.

    A win-win, as my neighbors might say.

    Yesterday's unveiling of plans even drew a giddy Mayor Bloomberg across the Brooklyn Bridge to praise it. And from what I observed, this plan may be the ticket. Ratner appears to have got religion on this one.

    For the project, he's hired not some hack architect - like whoever designed Ratner's atrocious Atlantic Center mall - but Frank Gehry, whose greatest hits include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

    Gehry, who's barely laid a foot in Brooklyn since his family left it for Canada in 1930, was self-effacing and chest-thumpingly proud when I asked how Ratner picked him.

    "Bruce Ratner has decided in his dotage to up the ante - he wants to go for a different level of architecture," Gehry told me.

    And what is your architectural vision for the stadium?

    "Very nice," he said, smiling.

    Yet, Gehry's drawings were admittedly rough. In fact, the wavy-edged, metallic walls around the complex brought to mind nothing more appetizing than slate gray Jell-O.

    "It's early in the game," Gehry said, almost apologetically. "I design from the inside-out." As he refines his designs, he said he'll take into account such details as the buildings' "relationship to the community."

    "This is just the beginning," said Gehry.

    Let's hope it's not the end.

    Some anti-development types, who'd stand for nothing taller than farm animals in their midst, complain that the complex would turn Brooklyn into Manhattan. From where I sit, failing to do so would be the crime.

    Brooklyn has been neglected for far too long.

    It's time to bring the Nets home to the big time.

  4. #34


    Im not a Gehry fan at all, but it will likely be very good for Brooklyn and NYC. The early massing block models Gehry makes are how he starts projects. He uses their areas to calculate square footage and to create base compositions. Then he starts trimming and sculpting the masses some more. His method has a madness and sanity to it and it's why his buildings all look the same these days.

    Potentially the apartment blocks could be pretty good and hopefully not end up looking like bizarre public housing. Much more appropriate for Brooklyn than for Manhattan IMO. Potentially it could be far superior to Metrotech.

  5. #35
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    So far, not too many ney-sayers about the Nets or the development... thank God!

  6. #36



    Group unveils plan for arena and housing

    By Glenn Thrush
    December 11, 2003

    If only Nets home games were as well-attended, star-studded or boisterous as Brooklyn's bid to woo the team from the swamps of New Jersey to the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.

    At an event that was part planning session and part pep rally, developers yesterday unveiled a $2.5-billion proposal to build an arena and housing complex above the Atlantic Avenue rail hub in Fort Greene.

    Superstar architect Frank Gehry joined Brooklyn-bred rapper Jay-Z, who is part of the project's investment group, ex-Knick and Net Bernard King and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sell the Nets on relocating to Brooklyn.

    "I'm in love with the whole thing," said Jay-Z, who wouldn't disclose how much he'll invest. "Let's get the Nets."

    So far, Ratner has outbid a New Jersey-based partnership that includes developer Charles Kushner and Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.).

    Gehry's preliminary plans for a 19,000-seat arena would not require public financing, city officials said. Instead, the project would be funded by Ratner, his investors and tax revenue from 4,500 residential units and more than 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space.

  7. #37

    Default Nets at Flatbush & Atlantic? TERRIBLE IDEA

    I'm all for the Nets in my borough. But NOT at the proposed site, no way. It would be a total nightmare for the community, for the subway, and for Brooklyn in general.

    Have you ever been to that intersection? It's a joke. They've been doing construction there for the past 5 years at least. You can't cross that intersection by car or foot without having to wait -- there are always traffic jams as it is.

    Have you been in the Atlantic Ave subway station? It's been a total mess for the past 3 years at least. It's already an overcrowded maze of rerouted trains, confused construction workers, and pissed-off commuters. It smells awful, is full of asbestos, and there are literally hand-scrawled signs directing train riders to the wrong platforms because of all of the service changes.

    A construction project of this magnitude will cripple that intersection for years to come. Neither Flatbush nor Atlantic Aves can support more car traffic, and the Atlantic ave train hub can't support any more passenger traffic.

    Plus, where are all of the people coming to games going to park? People don't take public transportation to Knick games, and if Jay-Z is a co-owner, you know everyone's going to want to represent by driving their leased Hummers to the Nets games. Where are they going to park?

    You want the Nets in Brooklyn? Great, me too. But put 'em in a waterfront arena in DUMBO or Red Hook or Coney Island. DUMBO is perfect -- close to Manhattan, full of empty Warehouse spaces, accessible by freeway if they build a new exit off the BQE.

    This proposal is an ill-advised attempt to out-Manhattan Manhattan. Downtown Brooklyn doesn't need a giant skyline and 20,000 extra people a night overtaxing it's already neglected transportation system.

    If this thing goes through, it will take at least twice as long as planned to build, will go over budget by at least 2x, and in time, will mark the beginning of the end of Brooklyn as we know it.

    Don't believe me? Just look at what a waste MetroTech is. Then try taking the subway from Manhattan to Park Slope, Flatbush, or Bensonhurst on a weekend.

    It's a joke, dude. A total joke and a total disservice to the people who live in these neighborhoods now.

  8. #38


    1. Mass transit: You are right about the condition of the subway station, but don't you agree that its renovation will be part of the overall project?

    2."People don't take mass transportation to Knick games." Are you kidding? If not, please provide the data.

    3."DUMBO is perfect -- close to Manhattan, full of empty Warehouse spaces, accessible by freeway if they build a new exit off the BQE.
    You worry about traffic on Atlantic and Flatbush, but it's ok to further clog the BQE. Also, it's not a matter of just plunking down an arena in an available spot. What about the viability of the overall project that must fund it?

    4. "Downtown Brooklyn doesn't need a giant skyline and 20,000 extra people a night overtaxing it's already neglected transportation system.
    ." This is not about getting a skyline in Brooklyn. The city must look beyond Manhattan to stop job loss to the rest of the region. Business loss in Manhattan affects the entire city's revenue base, and it's ability to improve mass transit in Brooklyn.

  9. #39
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    You gotta love the beer garden - the city needs more of these, IMO.
    ...with a rooftop "beer garden" and running track...
    Hmmmm...should I run or drink beer? Run or drink beer, run or drink beer....... :?

  10. #40


    Both. Run first though.

  11. #41


    Derek's images aren't loading for me, but being familiar with the area, I can say, this proposal is a BIG improvement. That intersection has been an embarrassing eyesore for the 11 years I've lived in Brooklyn.

    It's great to see the city council and development community have finally been awakened to the potential of the downtown/fort greene area.

  12. #42

    Default Re: Nets at Flatbush & Atlantic? TERRIBLE IDEA

    Jaybojohn: I disagree with you on so many points.

    Regarding the construction above and below ground, you are correct it's a mess. But they're capable of handling more traffic, and the development will spur both the budgets and the will to correct the problems that exist. MTA responds when the circumstances merit, they run extra trains to accomodate traffic to Shea & Yankee stadium. There's no reason to believe they won't on "Brooklyn Nets" nights.

    And I disagree that people don't take public transportation to the games. And if they drive, they deserve to sit in a traffic jam, it's a stupid american aversion to public transporation that that the public needs to get over.

    I think the area is perfect for a stadium (as much as ANY place in the city would be). Atlantic and Flatbush are major avenues capable of handling alot of traffic. And the Alantic Avenue station is a major hub, with long island RR connections and almost all the major subway lines converge there. And it's always been a noisy, crowded, high-traffic area, it's not like the change will be a huge change for residents, they didn't move near there expecting a quiet night.

    Dumbo? Dumbo? Have you ever been there? If so I can't imagine how you think would be a good place for it. The streets are tiny, there are no major thoroughfares, and bringing all that traffic to the overcrowded Brooklyn Bridge and BQE interchanges there. and only ONE small subway stop for the F train. This would be a disaster for both the Nets and the residential neighborhood that exists there. Many young families have choosen Dumbo specifically because it's tucked away and quiet doesn't invite the sort of foot and car traffic and drunken carousing a stadium would bring.

    Red Hook has little public transportation. Coney Island isn't a bad idea, but I think it's a bit remote to draw the crowds. Too far from Manhattan, hell, it takes an hour to get there from Brooklyn Heights. It's equally inconvenient for Long Island, and would require driving. the entire NJ fan base will abandon the team, which granted, may be inevitable anyway.

  13. #43

    Default Displacing Communities

    I used to live about three blocks from the rail yards that the arena would be built over -- I moved to another part of Brooklyn earlier this year. The surrounding neighborhoods of Ft Greene, Prospect Hts, and Park Slope are residential neighborhoods. SUre, they're bordered by dowtown Brooklyn, but they're not part of it -- Flatbush and Atlantic Aves are what they are, but you go a block or two in most any direction away from them and you're in nice residential neighborhoods (save for the immediate Fulton St mall).

    Low-income housing ownership projects -- projects in which low-to-middle income families are able to buy their own homes -- have sprung up along Atlantic Ave. on the edge of Ft Greene in the past two years, and they're wonderful for the community. On the other side of Atlantic, right next to the rail yards, old warehouse buildings (the News building being one of them) have been turned into fancy condo co-ops. Prospect Hts is a great residential area, as is Ft Greene, even if the rents are getting a little out of control (but, hey, that's New York).

    People who live in these areas will suffer from the construction and added stress on the subway station -- they use these trains and roads to get to and from work, school, and the rest of their lives. Homes and local businesses will be displaced in the name of creating more jobs.

    The area around MSG isn't a residential neighborhood. So while DUMBO or Red Hook aren't necessarily the best areas right now, at least your not going to displace as many families and small business owners by tearing up the neighborhood to make way for an arena. We're not talking about simply building a big building in the middle of a residential area, either -- we're talking about dropping a 4.4 million sq ft mini-city on top of a rail yard. It's a joke, man. Enough middle-class families have been gentrified out of Prospect Hts in the past 10 years due to Manhattan overflowing -- what do you think is going to happen to the remaining folks? It's like paving paradise to put up a parking lot.

    I mean, I guess on the one hand if you don't want urban progress don't live in New York City. But on the other hand, I wanted brownstones and local flavors on the real, not skyscrapers and pretense, so I live in the 718 and not Manhattan. Just put the arena somewhere where it won't disrupt neighborhoods, is all I ask.

    As for your point about the stupid American aversion to public transportation, I'll make you a deal -- you get the federal government to put some money behind cleaning up auto emissions and supporting alternative fuel cars, and I'll support an arena by Atlantic Center.

    Speaking of which ... why not just knock down Atlantic Center and that giant Telecommunications building on Atlantic and Vanderbilt and put the arena in one of those spaces? It's not like Old Navy, Pathmark, and Circuit City need all of that space, and those are the only establishments in either of those buildings that see any action.

    The beer garden skytrack idea I love ... But why not just install a bar at the Skytrack in Cobble Hill ... or better yet, spend some money getting police to patrol Prospect Park and maybe that dude in central Park with the blender in his backpack will come make frozen margaritas in BK once in awhile?

  14. #44
    Forum Veteran
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    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    They're going to pave a train parking lot to put up something a lot close to being paradise than what's there now.

    If people don't want to be "disrupted" or have everything around them never change, then they shouldn't live in a dynamic place like NYC. There is change all the time and it's part of life in a place that people want to live in, work in, play in, and invest in. It's a fact of life.

    No one is saying you can't move to, say, Bay Ridge, if this will make the area such a horror.

  15. #45


    The building on the far left is both stunning and etheral. Most promising is that it's the furthest along.

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