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April 1, 2007

Farce City Ratner, Prospect Park Alliance and City of New York
Announce deal for Olmsted Homestead

40 Acres of Prospect Park to be Adapted for Urban Mixed-Use Lifestyle Center

FarceCityRatner.gif(Brooklyn, NY) – April 1, 2007 – Farce City Ratner Companies (FCRC) today unveiled designs for Olmsted Homestead.

The Olmsted Homestead urban lifestyle center will contain 27 highrise towers at and around the Grand Army Plaza entrance of Prospect Park, located in Downtown Brooklyn. The project will include 2.3-million square feet of commercial space, 10.2-million square feet of affordable residential housing (127 deluxury units with over 8,000 units for support staff), and 17 acres of publicly accessible parks, including a polo field.

As an encore to the company’s Atlantic Yards project, FCRC has teamed up once again with the world’s most famous architect, Frank Gehry, to design the company’s most ambitious project to date.

Olmsted Homestead is the city's largest affordable housing project ever. According to Farce City Ratner Executive Vice President James B. Snarky, “FCRC has an outstanding reputation for building affordable housing. This time we are striving for 100% affordable housing, by making all of the Olmsted Homestead housing affordable to those who can afford it.”

Seventy percent of the maintenance fees for the Olmsted Homestead will be earmarked for the upkeep of Prospect Park, including the Parade Grounds. Prospect Park Alliance Director Thomas Tipper said “This is a great day for Vaux and Olmsted’s Prospect Park. The project includes 17 acres of public open space, which will be a net positive for a park that was really too big to begin with. Increased resources for Prospect Park will be devoted to less land, which means more for everyone.”

Brooklyn’s architect of record, Frank Gehry, said “I am looking forward to creating a neighborhood from scratch… again. I hope that I can pull it off."

At a press conference held in Grand Army Plaza, FCRC CEO Bruce Ratner announced, “This project will create 75,000 jobs and generate billions of dollars in tax revenues before subsidies. A shining Frank Gehry homage to the park, Olmsted Homestead will be the jewel in the crown of Brooklyn.”

Grand Army Plaza will be adapted into a four-story parking garage with a green roof. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch will become the keystone of the facade. These are but a few of the project's features that will fulfill FCRC's commitment to achieve LEED certification for Olmsted Homestead.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “The City is pleased to be partnering with Bruce Ratner again. While working on Atlantic Yards I was able to get a sense of his soul. Bruce Ratner is a man deeply committed to his city and has the best interests of his city in mind." The City of New York is planning to contribute $600 million for infrastructure improvements, including relocation of the Greenmarket to the Barclays Center (expected to be ready for the 2013-2014 basketball season), drainage for the polo grounds and the conversion of Union Street in Park Slope to one-way eastbound flow to provide access to parking facilities and stables.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz declared, "It is time for Brooklyn to get serious about development. As we did for Atlantic Yards, we’re going to make Olmsted Homestead work for the community in the area as well."

Posted by lumi at April 1, 2007 10:44 AM