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May 11, 2006

DDDB PRESS RELEASE: New Atlantic Yards Proposal, Same as the Old Proposal

New Design Is 16 Skyscrapers Worth of Windowdressing

BROOKLYN, NY ­ Today sports baron/developer Bruce Ratner's architect Frank Gehry unveiled updated plans for their "Atlantic Yards" proposal in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Except for handpicked supporters on Forest City Ratner’s payroll, the community was barred from the press conference, held in the architecturally and economically failed Atlantic Center Mall which happens to house the state agency (ESDC) charged with “reviewing” Ratner’s plan.

Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) spokesman Daniel Goldstein said, "The new design unveiled by Gehry and Ratner today is 16 skyscrapers worth of window-dressing. It puts a Gehry sheen on top of repudiated 1960's style urban renewal. It's still way too big, and does not change the fact of 16 skyscrapers slammed on top of and next to low-rise, historic neighborhoods. It does not change the fact that the proposal abuses eminent domain, spends at least $1.6 billion in taxpayer dollars, creates a traffic nightmare at Atlantic and Flatbush, is a security risk or that this project is a land grab by a wealthy sports baron developer.”

“The proposal remains an urban planning disaster in waiting, and this is because Mr. Gehry and Mr. Ratner continue to ignore the community. We are disappointed with Mr. Gehry, as he has never met with the communities surrounding the proposed development site. Thus DDDB and the community's fight continues with great strength," said DDDB President Eric Reschke.

The design unveiled today is over 600,000 square feet bigger today when the proposal was first announced and unveiled in December 2003. “Ms. Brooklyn,” the developer’s brand name for the 620 foot tower that would be built at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic hulking over and blocking views of the borough’s landmark Williamsburgh Bank Building, has not been reduced in size. Three buildings along the Western end of Dean Street, across from low-rise brownstone-type buildings would be 322 feet, 428 feet, and 272 feet. The heights of the buildings in the project overall would range from 190 feet (approximately 19 stories) to 620 feet (approximately 60 stories), with 11 of 16 buildings over 300 feet.

“Nothing released today comes even close to making a meaningful change in the proposal’s overwhelming impacts and size, and does not respond at all to the communities’ concerns. In fact, the proposal shown today is 600,000 square feet larger than when unveiled in 2003. Forest City Ratner and its architect Frank Gehry pretend that they are working with and listening to the community. They must be living in a sound proof booth.” Goldstein concluded.

Posted by lumi at May 11, 2006 7:59 PM