Forest City Ratner has filed new building applications for a third, conventionally built building at 540 Vanderbilt Avenue. The development comes hot on the heels of filings for a second new building, 535 Carlton Avenue, the state’s plans to seize seven Atlantic Yards properties under eminent domain, and lawsuits over the first tower, B2.

The complex between Pacific and Dean Streets will rise 17 stories and house 282 units. Designed by Cook+Fox, the project will include 326,047 square feet of residential space and 4,731 square feet of ground floor retail.


Forest City Ratner and Skanska are at it again… This time, Forest City sent out a letter asking to take over Skanska’s modular factory at the Navy Yard. They say it’s for the good of the 157 workers! We reached out to Skanska for comment, and they called the proposal “a propaganda exercise.” Click through to see the letter and Skanska’s response.


The mudslinging has begun over construction delays at Atlantic Yards, with Skanska and Forest City Ratner trading lawsuits today over issues at the first tower, B2. Forest City accuses Skanska of massive delays and cost overruns amounting to tens of millions of dollars, according to a complaint filed today in Manhattan Supreme Court. Last week, Skanska shut down its modular apartment factory at the Navy Yard and halted construction on Dean Street. Work began on the 32-story, 363-unit modular B2 tower in December 2012, and it’s risen to about 10 stories so far.

Forest City wants a judge to order Skanska to restart construction and re-open the factory. The work suspension has left 150 union employees out of work and — here’s a juicy detail revealed in the lawsuit — the project’s construction lender has temporarily stopped giving funds for a loan until it receives a new anticipated completion date, the Daily News reported.


Five architecture teams have reimagined Forest City Ratner’s controversial plan for Atlantic Yards with creative and cutting-edge designs for an exhibit opening next month at a Prospect Heights gallery. Each proposal had to incorporate 4,728,000 square feet of housing, 156,000 square feet of retail, and 1,234 parking spaces — numbers drawn from FCR’s master plan. The architects hope to spark a public debate and find a more contextual, less problematic way to develop the site.

OperA Studio designed a futuristic, twisting structure (pictured) where angled planes meet to create lots of public green space on top of the buildings. It links the high-rise residential towers with ground-floor commercial space, the Barclays Center and the Atlantic Terminal Mall. Then Amoia Cody Architecture takes on the problem of private green space with tetris-like “vertical lots” that include a terrace “yard” for each floor.

In a plan called “Quilted City,” Joshua Zinder Architecture examines how “layering” high-rise apartment towers around the Barclays Center and a relocated Atlantic Terminal could create several public spaces. And a fourth series of renderings from Matthias Altwicker and Farzana Gandhi envisions eight-story, movable blocks in a huge grid. Essentially, the blocks could become commercial, housing or manufacturing space, depending on the need. The fifth proposal, from David Cunningham Architecture Planning, isn’t described on the exhibit’s website.

“Five Proposals for the Future of Atlantic Yards” opens June 5 at Warehouse 623 at 623 Bergen Street.

We’ve included more renderings after the jump. What do you think of the renderings and proposals? Are they realistic?

Rendering by OperA Studio


We took a tour around Forest City Ratner’s fascinating modular apartment factory at the Navy Yard yesterday, where reps from FCRC said they’ll begin shipping out the fully constructed units next week. They’ll stack the units to create the first Atlantic Yards residential tower, the 32-story building under construction next to the Barclays Center that is known as B2. When work finishes next year, the 363-unit tower will be the tallest modular building in the world.

Currently, Forest City expects construction to wrap by December 2014 — a faster pace than normal construction, which would take at least another 18 to 20 months. They also estimate that building modular units will be 10 percent cheaper than typical residential construction, but they hope it will become even less expensive and more efficient as they build more developments in the Atlantic Yards project. The tower will be a 50-50 mix of market rate and affordable housing, of which 20 percent will be low-income housing.

Architects SHoP and Forest City Ratner collaborated on the design and building process for the apartments. Each nut and bolt piece of the apartment is installed before it leaves the Navy Yard facility, including the electrical wiring and plumbing, hardwood floors, appliances, and even the towel bars. The hallways and stairwells are being built at the modular factory as well. Rooms in the apartment are often assembled as separate modules, e.g. bathrooms, bedrooms, and living room/kitchen could all be separate pieces. The variety of shapes allows for 25 different layouts.

After the unit is stacked in the building, contractors and electricians will connect each apartment’s utilities to the building’s common lines. The exterior sides of the apartments have the facade already attached (see pictures after the jump), and the facade will be “self-sealing” because the pieces fit together with seals between each unit.

Atlantic Yards Coverage [Brownstoner]


Today the New York Post reports that Atlantic Yards critics commissioned renderings showing it’s impossible for Forest City Ratner to fill the 1,100-spot parking lot mandated by the state next to the Barclays Center without using stacked parking. This doesn’t sit well with some in the area: “The concern, neighborhood residents say, is that hydraulic systems and valet service associated with stack parking slow the entry and exit of cars from the lot, potentially creating bumper-to-bumper traffic on surrounding streets and sending antsy drivers to seek the area’s few remaining curbside spaces.” A rep for Forest City says the developer is “conducting an analysis that we hope will allow” the firm to avoid using stack parking. Atlantic Yards Report takes this “analysis” to mean that Forest City is considering using “a modular system that’s never been tested. And that was discussed more than eight months ago, though no formal plans have never been announced.” The surface-lot block is bounded by Carlton, Vanderbilt, Dean and Pacific; the Post notes that it’s “expected to exist at least a decade” because of the delays with the other Atlantic Yards buildings that have also held up plans for a permanent, underground lot. Meanwhile, Atlantic Yards Watch runs the rendering shown above, depicting how the stack parking could look, and contrasts it with another rendering, reproduced on the jump, that shows how the lot might look if it had to comply with New York City design standards for surface lots. The lot doesn’t have to comply with those standards—which would require landscaping and reduce the number of cars the lot could hold to around 500—because it will be considered temporary, rather than permanent, parking.
Barclays Center in Brooklyn Will Create Parking and Traffic Problems [NY Post]
What if the Barclays Center Parking Lot Was Required to Meet NYC Design Standards? [AY Watch]
The Peril of Car Stackers on the Arena Parking Lot [AY Report]