Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Architect Frank Gehry Presents Designs For Atlantic Yards Project

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Developers unveiled new designs Thursday for a scaled back plan for the Atlantic Rail Yards complex in Brooklyn aimed at winning over the many critics of the project.

The plans are almost the same as the original, but the buildings are smaller and the project is about a half-million square feet smaller.

The change is intended to end an ongoing feud between the developers and residents who say the $3.5 billion project will only increase congestion.

Famed architect Frank Gehry says he's adjusting the designs.

"We're trying to understand what is Brooklyn, what is the body language of Brooklyn, and trying to emulate it without copying it,” said Gehry. “Copying it would trivialize it."

The 22-acre project now spans 8.6 million square feet. It includes residential and commercial space, as well as a hotel and open public space surrounding a sports complex that would be the new home of the New Jersey Nets basketball team.

Sixteen new buildings on the site would displace some area residents, most of who are outraged over the plan.

“This new design doesn't change the fact this is a land grab by a billionaire sports baron, that it abuses eminent domain, that it's out of scale with this community,” said Daniel Goldstein of the group Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn.

This is by no means the final version of the project. There is an intense public approval process before any construction could begin.

“We will not stop fighting it until we get something here that this borough deserves, and not the fantasies and desires of Frank Gehry and Bruce Ratner,” said Goldstein.

“There is progress. There's constant change,” said Gehry. “People aren't riding around on horseback anymore.”

Developers hope to have the arena ready for the 2009 basketball season.
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