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April 21, 2009

In new book, Gehry warns (in 2005) about the "dicey" DNA of Ratner's FCE parent, but author doesn't check back on AY today

Atlantic Yards Report

Despite the lack of hard-nosed questions about Atlantic Yards and his relationship with developer Bruce Ratner, Frank Gehry had a few things to say about the controversial megaproject when interviewed for Barbara Isenberg’s "Conversations With Frank Gehry." Norman Oder mines the book for references and teases out some additional context.

Here are some tidbits:

For now, however, consider the pregnant statement Gehry made to his interviewer nearly four years ago about his client, Bruce Ratner: “His parent company’s DNA is a little dicey.”

Now the economy has plummeted, the project has stalled, Gehry has laid off his AY staff, and the tension grows between artistic quality and corporate results. Gehry said in January 2006, "I think if it got out of whack with my own principles, I would walk away."

How much more dicey has Forest City Enterprises’ DNA gotten? And is the project "out of whack"?
Gehry sounds a bit like he has assimilated a bit of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, saying he embraced working in Brooklyn since he lived here as a one-year-old, his kids moved to Brooklyn, and "[t]he idea of bringing a sports team back to Brooklyn is very powerful, because they lost one. It’s been like a big hole in their gut since they lost the Dodgers, and I think Bruce is doing it for the same reasons. he loves that idea."
Gehry describes the relationship with the Department of City Planning as “we mostly see eye-to-eye.” He says Mayor Mike Bloomberg has provided a lot of support.

“And Ratner and his team work really well with my team,” Gehry continues. “They like each other, and they even spend social time together. They sometimes have to travel together so everybody has kind of bonded, me included. For what I’ve yearned to do, it’s kind of the dream project.”
At the time of their conversation in August 2005, Gehry was “clearly excited” about Atlantic Yards.


Posted by lumi at April 21, 2009 6:10 AM