The nearly $5 billion redevelopment in Prospect Heights has been rebranded to be called Pacific Park Brooklyn, but to hear some residents tell it, the name change doesn't make the massive project any less controversial. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Atlantic Yards never really became a household name, but now, the future site of 535 Carlton Avenue in Prospect Heights, and the rest of the development, will go by a new moniker: Pacific Park Brooklyn.
"It's classic rebranding," said one person in the area. "They got a bad reputation. They got to get rid of the old name."
The name change comes as developers Forest City Ratner are expediting work on the $5 billion project, specifically the affordable housing aspect, after a deal with the state and a partnership with a Chinese company to get the ball rolling.
"This is an incredibly important name to signify there'll be eight acres of publicly accessible open space, and it connotates Pacific Street, which is a beautiful street that runs from either side of the project up into Prospect Heights, down to Boerum Hill and all the way down to the water," said Ashley Cotton of Forest City Ratner Companies.
After years of delays due to lawsuits and the economy, construction has been underway for a few years at 461 Dean Street on a building that will be half affordable housing. Work on three other buildings, including two with 100 percent affordable housing, is scheduled to begin by next June.
"We're working night and day here to deliver on the affordable housing, public open space and all of the other amenities that Pacific Park Brooklyn's going to be all about," Cotton said.
So what's in a name? NY1 asked folks in Prospect Heights if the new name makes them feel any different about the project."
"This neighborhood is already changing more and more every day, and I feel like they're just trying to make it bourgeoisier and bourgeoisier," said one person in the neighborhood.
"It's Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic, Brooklyn. I think it should stay how it is," said another.
Though to play devil's advocate on that one, Pacific Street also runs through the length of the project.