Barclays Watch: Deep Dig

The ink’s barely dry on the Goldstein buyout agreement but the foundation dig is already well underway at the site of the future Barclays Center. The question is now whether this deep hole they’re digging is a metaphor for the entire project. (You sure could fit a lot of taxpayer dollars in a pit that size!) As you may recall, the official groundbreaking was back on March 11th. We’ll be documenting this one closely.

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  • Supposedly they are going to be moving pretty quickly because the Arena will have to be completed by July 2012 in order for the NBA to approve it for use in the 2012-2013 Season (NBA requires a site inspection 4 months prior to the start of the season for new venues)

  • I’m glad progress is being made.

    I hope this building doesn’t look and function as poorly as the shopping malls Ratner built next door.

  • Ratner don’t eff around when it comes to building sh*t.

  • already over 150 concerts booked for venue, ForestCity builds fast, watch

  • Might his haste contribute to his poor results?

  • the footprint for actual arena is not where DG’s building stands, is it?

  • Pigeon, you mean like the NYT building, for example? Universally lauded?

  • DG’s building is positioned at about center court of the Arena

  • “like the NYT building, for example? Universally lauded?”

    So the Rat only builds s**t in Brooklyn? How thoughtful of him.

  • Had a meeting recently in Ratner’s Times building. If that’s the quality he’s going for at Barclay’s, then sign me up.

  • Let’s hope AY turns out more like the NY Times building — the construction of of which Ratner was part of a joint venture — and not like the Atlantic Terminal shopping malls.

  • I don’t think Ratner will want to fool around with Prokhorov’s team’s new home. It will be top notch or else. Go Russkis!

  • The NYT building was a joint venture with The Times Company, ING Real Estate, and Forest Ratner.

  • puhlease…the times company and ing real estate are known for building things now?

    i love folks who’ve not built anything other than a lincoln log cabin complaining about getting a big building built in center nimbyland. just love it.

    next up, someone complaining it’s taking too long to build.

    go nyets.

  • You don’t even need to build a lincoln log cabin to know what kind of stuff Ratner has built in prime Brooklyn.

  • what is it you object to exactly?
    the less than precious, non-boutique stores?
    or is it something particular about the actual building, if so pls clarify what you’d have built had you had the risk-taking capacity and nuts to take the risk.

    (btw, the target is the highest grossing store in the system. meaning, shopping there is an atrocious experience among the hoi polloi. meaning meaning, from someone’s point of view the architecture is working fine.)

  • One should not judge success by how much money it makes.

  • I’m late to the party today, so probably missed the chance to get a nice architectural back-and-forth going on this, but in any event:

    I’m curious what folks who have been there think makes the NYT building great. I’m assuming it is well constructed and the interior spaces are full of interesting architectural gestures. I personally think that the exterior and skyline impact are kind of fug, though. Just one man’s opinion. I would have much preferred the Gehry design (interesting that Gehry had designs for the NYT tower and Barclays center and neither got built…).

    As a general comment, I think it is a positive development that in the last RE boom so many prize-winning architects got commissions in NYC. Way better than the days of bland, bottom-line-based designs. And though I don’t particularly like the NYT tower, it is certainly better than most of what was put up in the 90s. It just had potential to be so much better, IMO. Ditto the Bloomberg tower … some nice architectural gestures but also some things that could have been done soooo much better (the Lexington Ave side of that building is horrible and there is like no walking room on the sidewalk…). The starchitects are better than what came before, but they can still disappoint …

  • There’s nothing wrong with having a Target at Atlantic Terminal. In fact, there’s a lot right with it. This area of Brooklyn needed a store like that. My complaint about Atlantic Terminal is that it’s designed as a suburban mall. You enter the mall and then you enter all the stores in the Mall from inside. Your not supposed to walk around the outside of the Mall. This contrasts with the design for most of NY. In this way, Atlantic Terminal literally turned its back on the surrounding neighborhood. The developer is going to do the same thing at Atlantic Yards. The arena built will be just fine looking and totally appropriate for suburban Sacramento or Phoenix. It will be surrounded by surface parking lots that will be just about as attractive as the “blighted” rail yards they’ll replace.

  • I don’t have a problem with the Target mall but the one across the street with Pathmark and Marshall’s oy vey. That was designed the worse as far as the layout. In the summer walking thru those halls to get from where Circuit City was to Marshall’s is like walking thru a steambath .It’s an eyesore to boot.

  • Surface parking lots for now…development later. I went to college down in DC and before I graduated, they built the MCI Center (later the Verizon Center) where the Washington Wizards (NBA) and Washington Capitals (NHL) play. At the time the arena was built, the area was pretty ugly…this is early 90’s so there were lots of crackheads and abandoned buildings on the outskirts of the arena and blocks of surface parking in the immediate vicinity. After college I came back to New York, and had not been to DC in about 10 years when I went to visit friends down there in 2007. We went to dinner downtown in a bustling commercial district with office buildings, bars, a multiplex and various museums. The area did not look familiar to me at all, so I asked my friends, “where exactly ARE we right now”. I was shocked to find out that we were right across the street from the basketball arena. To me, the area was totally unrecognizable.
    Everything in due course…it may take 10 years, or 20 years, but the promised development at Atlantic Yards will happen eventually.

  • for the love of god. enough with the whining. report or don’t report, but it’s time to let go of your agenda. ratner won.

  • FtGreeneCorey,

    Downtwon Brooklyn is already a bustling commercial district. It didn’t need a stadium to produce that. I can’t speak to D.C., but I’m a sports fan and have been to a lot of other cities. I can’t think of a single time that I was at a stadium, looked at the surrounding neighborhood and thought “this is a place I’d like to live” What I usually see is a lot of cars, a lot of parking garages and a lot of Mcdonalds + Burger Kings.

  • “You sure could fit a lot of taxpayer dollars in a pit that size!”

    I can recommend a few…

    As for the way the Atlantic Mall is so hostile to the outside world, this Times article always stuck in my mind as a decent explanation:

  • dc is an excellent example that i had not thought of.
    i had same experience as fgc.
    hopefully this development will do same and serve to connect some nice bk neighborhoods.
    time will tell.

  • lalaland,

    Thanks for the fascinating link the the NYTimes article.

    Regarding Atlantic Mall, Ratner is quoted:

    ”We decided to redo the interior and do as best we could with the exterior,” Mr. Ratner said. ”Honestly, it isn’t beautiful. It’s not architecturally outstanding. It’s kept clean, and we do try and take care of it. It’s not as bad as a strip center in the burbs, I mean, but it’s not something that we would build again.”

    Maybe he learned from his mistakes.

    Or, maybe his words were simply part of his attempt to convince us to let him build his basketball stadium.

  • You can’t really compare the two Atlantic malls.

    The old one does it’s best to be nothing more than a shell for big boxes while turning its back on the neighborhood.

    While the new one is not typical New York, it opens up the street on multiple sides and embraces the transit complex below. The inside is set up to be conducive to human-scale traffic flow and interactions.

    I’m not sure they could have done a better job fitting a Target, an office tower, and a couple dozen smaller stores in that block.