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Old Posted Jul 2, 2009, 7:43 PM
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Don't Judge New Barclays Center Design Yet, Developer Says

Oh, you thought all those leaked renderings of the new and incredibly shitty Barclays Center were the real thing? Haha, silly you. Those much-reviled designs, which replaced Frank Gehry's more expensive vision, were premature—or so says Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner, who Crain's reports has promised city officials that "The Hangar" will be nothing short of superb. Also, the Nets will when the title next year and Daniel Goldstein just put a deposit down on 10 luxury suites.


Ratner promises Atlantic Yards arena redesign
The Forest City Ratner chief said the Atlantic Yards basketball arena renderings leaked to the media last month were premature and do not reflect his intentions for the project.

By Erik Engquist
July 2, 2009

Bruce Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner, has told senior members of the Bloomberg administration that the Atlantic Yards basketball arena renderings leaked to the media last month were premature and do not reflect his intentions for the project, city sources say. While Mr. Ratner is said to have reaffirmed his commitment to a "world-class" design, he faces the challenge of improving it without substantially raising the cost.

Frank Gehry had designed a $1 billion arena that impressed architecture critics but proved unaffordable when the economy tanked and credit markets froze. Missouri-based architectural firm Ellerbe Becket was brought in and proposed a $772 million arena that resembled an airplane hangar.

To say that the design did not meet the expectations of Amanda Burden, chairwoman of the City Planning Commission, would be a vast understatement.

"One of the key goals of the Atlantic Yards project was to transform an area with development that incorporates world-class architecture, a dynamic streetscape, and significant public amenities," she said in a statement issued by her spokeswoman. "Bruce Ratner has given the city a commitment that he will design the Atlantic Yards in a way that respects both the letter and the spirit of what was envisaged in 2006, when the project received its original approval."

The project's original schedule called for the New Jersey Nets to begin playing in the arena this fall. Forest City is now simply trying to break ground by Dec. 31, the deadline to qualify for tax-exempt financing. Lawsuits by project opponents have stymied the development for years.
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