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May 5, 2008

Atlantic Yards' Miss Brooklyn is slashed more than 100 feet in massive redo

NY Daily News
By Jotham Sederstrom

GehryModel-v201.jpg Say bye-bye to Miss Brooklyn. She has been dumped for "Building 1" in these new designs released exclusively to the Daily News:

Miss Brooklyn, now called Building One, has been slimmed down and has become more festive, resulting in a very unique office building," he said.

"I've tried to give it some energy and excitement as it meshes with the arena design."

The 34-story structure - once expected to rise higher than the Williamsburgh Savings Bank - will now be dwarfed by it. The sleek Miss Brooklyn is replaced by an asymmetrical design that rises like a spiraling Lego structure, edges askew.

The glass-and-steel-framed building, seen as the centerpiece of the oft-stalled 22-acre project, will no longer house condos and instead will offer 650,000 square feet of office space, officials said.

The condos will be shifted to a different building or be built as rental units instead, said Forest City Ratner Executive Vice President MaryAnne Gilmartin.

Meanwhile, "B2," which will be completed first, is a red-and-pink-hued, 340-foot building featuring 350 market-rate and affordable apartments, which Gehry said "speaks to the residential fabric of the neighborhood."


The Daily News's online slideshow of the new Phase 1 designs contains some images of previous versions of Gehry's Atlantic Yards designs. Here are thumbnails of the new images — click to enlarge.

Atlantic Yards Report, New renderings show Miss Brooklyn cut (duh), renamed, "more festive," but questions unanswered
Norman Oder is first out of the gate with commentary on the new project images released this morning in the Daily News:

A Daily News exclusive today shows new renderings of the flagship Atlantic Yards tower but hints at many questions unanswered, notably the apparent dumping of a Phase 1 tower at Site 5 (see building at far left below), the continuing role of architect Frank Gehry, the plans for the proposed Urban Room, and new designs--apparently with less glass, a potential security issue--for the planned arena.

...the news is that the tower would be cut to 511 feet and feature commercial office space only, but neither is a surprise.

After all, the agreement to keep the tower shorter than the 512-foot Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower was announced as a "concession" on 12/20/06, to coincide with the approval of the project by the Public Authorities Control Board. And I reported in February on developer Forest City Ratner's apparent plans to make Miss Brooklyn an office tower only.

Oder tries to answer some of the hard questions that the News left on the table:

The Daily News reports that the building would include 650,000 square feet of office space, which is more than the 528,000 square feet described last October. Given that the building was once supposed to also include a hotel with 164,652 square feet, it's a good bet that the revised plans trade hotel space for office space.
If 30% of the apartments are to be affordable, that means 105 affordable apartments, with 42 of them low-income.

While the article doesn't specify the location, Building 2 is at the northeast corner of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue, according to the official Site Plan. According to the General Project Plan appoved by the Empire State Development Corporation, its maximum height was to be 322 feet. (That refers to the last occupiable floor, so the 340-foot figure may refer to rooftop mechanicals.)

Building 2 is supposed to open at the same time as the arena; the developer says 2010, but that seems highly speculative. Nor was the developer asked if the project would contain 16 towers, as approved, or 15, as hinted by yesterday.

Read the rest of the article for speculation about the "missing buildings" and the urban room.

Posted by lumi at May 5, 2008 6:09 AM