A New Arena is Coming to Brooklyn, But What's Next?

As a new basketball arena takes shape at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn, Neil deMause investigates what is next for the controversial, and much changed, Atlantic Yards project.
February 19, 2012, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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When Bruce Ratner unveiled his (and Frank Gehry's) vision for Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn more than eight years ago, the mega-development, anchored by a new basketball arena, heralded a new era for the borough and the surrounding neighborhoods. Boy, have times changed. The arena appears to be the only part of the development that will built where and when (mostly), but not how, originally promised.

deMause compiles the changes, "'Miss Brooklyn,' the 500-foot office tower that was supposed to anchor the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush, has been scrapped. The 6,430 units of housing-2,250 of them at "affordable" rates...are uncertain, with no groundbreaking set for even the first tower. Both Gehry and his designs are gone, replaced by a cheaper building that features a facade of rusted steel girders in place of the legendary architect's glass-walled plan."

With so much in flux, the potential impact of the development remains wildly uncertain. According to deMause, "Around the site, there's mounting anxiety, as well as guarded optimism, from business owners about what the project will mean for them. Community groups remain as concerned as ever; the reduction in the project's ultimate size doesn't seem to have assuaged fears about its impact."

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Published on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 in The Brooklyn Bureau
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