Gehry designed Altantic Yards project grinds forward
In the long and hard fought battle over the development of a 22-acre former rail yards site in Brooklyn, real estate developer Forest City Ratner has won the latest round. In February, a US Federal appeals court ruled in favor of the $4 billion Gehry-designed mixed-use mega project edging it forward, albeit slowly. Since it was announced in 2003, the Atlantic Yards project has moved ahead at a snails pace, mostly due to the highly organized efforts of the community opposition group Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) that claims the neighbourhood of mostly brownstones and abandoned low-rise industrial buildings will be detrimentally transformed by the project, which, in addition to housing an National Basketball Association sports arena, a boutique hotel, retail space, offices and 6400 units of housing, will include 16 high rise towers. DDDB has waged several legal battles against the project but has lost every single one.
While the recent news is good for Ratner, the project faces other hurdles, namely the current downturn in the economy and the recent recent change of Governors for New York. Former Governor Spitzer, who resigned last week amid a sex scandal, was a huge supporter of the project. It is not know where incoming Governor David Paterson stands on the project, but many city projects are seeing their funding cut.
WAN US Correspondent