July 12, 2012

Developer Gambles on Modular High-Rise for Atlantic Yards Sports Village

Engineering News-Record
by Nadine M. Post

The Engineering News-Record appears to have devoted a good chunk of its July 16th issue to all things Atlantic Yards.

The developer of the residential towers for the $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards sports village in Brooklyn, N.Y., is hedging its bets. In case negotiations with the building trades don't work out for the first tower, planned as the world's tallest modular building, Forest City Ratner Cos. is poised to construct the 32-story high-rise the conventional way.

The Brooklyn-based developer is so hyped on modular that even if the high-rise plan does not fly, it intends to set up shop as a third-party modular building fabricator. "We think [modular] can be explosive for the business," says Robert P. Sanna, FCRC director of construction and design development.

Hopefully not as "explosive" as those manhole covers.

The high-rise modular approach is the brainchild of Bruce C. Ratner, FCRC's chairman and CEO. His scheme was born of a need to find a more economical way to deliver 6,430 units of affordable and market-rate rental housing, comprising six million sq ft in 14 buildings.

If by "brainchild" they mean "stealing the idea and all the senior staff from the company that developed the technology," then yes, it was Bruce Ratner's "brainchild."


Related stories...

Engineering News-Record, Reshaping of Barclays Center Arena Made Possible By Collaboration, Digital Tools

Opportunity knocked for SHoP Architects on July 2, 2009. On that Thursday, Bruce C. Ratner, the beleaguered developer of the controversial Atlantic Yards sports village planned for Brooklyn, N.Y., made an offer that any architect would be crazy to turn down but almost as crazy to accept.

Ratner wanted SHoP to put a better face on a critically panned redesign for his $825-million Barclays Center arena—the centerpiece of the 22-acre transit-oriented development. And he wanted a sketch from SHoP in only five days.

Yes, and Brett Yormark only sleeps three hours a night.

However, SHoP wasn't the only firm in an awkward position. In late 2008, FCRC approached EB with a dubious offer it didn't refuse. "Bruce Ratner said, 'I literally want you to take Conseco Field and place it on our site,'" says Stephen J. Duethman, the project manager in Kansas City, Mo., for EB, which, as a result of a merger, operates under AECOM's name.

That strategy was not possible, he adds. But, in 2009, EB did as little as possible to modify its Indianapolis arena so that it would fit into a tight urban site.

The total cost of the facade redesign is $54 million. "We had to make the investment for public reasons," says Sanna.

Engineering News-Record, Fancy Footwork To Steady the Course of Brooklyn's Controversial Atlantic Yards Sports Village

ENR should probably stick to engineering and steer clear of social history.

Fifteen years ago, the 22-acre plot for the $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards sports village in Brooklyn, N.Y., was an eyesore. For more than 20 years, drug dealers, gangs and prostitutes had populated the neighborhood. Many buildings were vacant. "Blighted Brooklyn" was a more fitting moniker than the familiar "Brownstone Brooklyn."

Now, crime is down, and land values are way up. Pedestrians are pushing strollers, not drugs. Brooklyn is on the map, thanks in large part to developer Bruce C. Ratner. In the late 1980s, he went where no Manhattan developer dared to go—to Brooklyn. First came an office campus called MetroTech Center (ENR 2/10/92 p. 26). Other commercial projects, which border the Atlantic Yards site, followed.

The urban pioneer's stake in the New York City borough, population 2.5 million, did not prepare him for the controversy over his most ambitious project: a public-private village set over a railyard next to the city's third-largest transit hub (ENR 3/8/04 p. 29). Foes of the Atlantic Yards plan, unveiled in 2003, often refer to Ratner by the first syllable of his name and remain outraged by the development's scale, density and architecture. Their lawsuits delayed Ratner's plan but failed to stop it.

Critics are especially appalled by the village's centerpiece: a 675,000-sq-ft arena for the National Basketball Association's Brooklyn Nets, owned in part by Ratner. Barclays Center is set to open with a Jay-Z concert on Sept. 28, five years later than first planned.

Six years, actually, but who's counting.

NoLandGrab: Norman Oder objects to the "sports village" moniker, but we think it's spot-on — especially given the complete absence of any promised housing, offices, retail or open space.

Posted by eric at 12:03 PM

June 5, 2012

How Barclays Center Got Its Look


In a March lecture just posted to YouTube, Barclays Center architect Gregg Pasquarelli describes how Bruce Ratner, under pressure from bankers, critics and the city in 2009, had to twice change plans for the arena, and at one point even took an off-the-shelf design for Indianapolis' Conseco Field House and plunked it down in the middle of Brooklyn.

It was only after the city objected to "a bit of a bait and switch" in replacing a Gehry design with a "field house", that Pasquarelli's firm, SHoP, get the commission. They came up with a new design for Barclays Center in seven weeks.

"It was a much more conservative kind of design, brick and arch, more of a field house," said Pasquarelli of the Conseco design. "So the client came to us and said, 'Could you strip the building all the way down to the steel and think about re-designing it and if you can, we'll give you seven weeks to design the entire building, detail it and cost it. (laughter) And if you can do it for less than x-delta, the project is yours. So that should take about 11 months and we said, 'No problem'' (laughter) and I hope I never have a summer like that again."


NoLandGrab: And when you give your architects seven weeks to design an arena skin, the public gets a rusting hunk of a panini presssans tasty sandwiches.

Posted by eric at 12:43 PM

March 11, 2011

Q&A: Ellerbe Becket

Ellerbe Becket's managing principal Stephen J. Duethman on the Barclays Center and the latest design trends

Stadia Magazine

Ellerbe Becket will highlight its work for the Barclays Center at Stadia Design & Technology Expo – where are you with that project right now?
On the design side, we are completing work associated with the interior of the arena, specifically materials selection and signage. The construction is well underway, with construction of foundations, steel erection and the start of precast seating treads and risers scheduled for April this year. Also the fabrication of thousands of pieces of weathering steel is ongoing. These pieces will form the exterior façade of the facility. The biggest challenge on this project was to gain access to the entire site to continue with excavation and construction of foundations. Numerous legal challenges and the demolition of structures on the site hampered the ability to construct the project in a fluid sequence. But all parties are working together to overcome these hurdles and construction is progressing nicely towards an opening date in autumn 2012.

Wait, didn't last week's "Site Observation Report" indicate that the arena, as Norman Oder reported, "could be used in June and July?"

How is new technology, particularly digital technology, impacting on your ideas?
...the event space and seating bowl are designed so that patrons at the exterior plaza will have a view into the seating bowl through a large corner vomitory...

We'll be giving that wide berth. Of course, better there than on a quiet Park Slope sidewalk following some post-game revelry at Prime 6.

What’s your dream project?
I have had many opportunities over the past 18 years on some really important projects that have impacted communities and college campuses. But the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards is truly a spectacular opportunity to impact the city of Brooklyn and surrounding communities.


NoLandGrab: Funny, but it's the potential impact of the arena on surrounding communities that's got people worried.

Posted by eric at 11:08 PM

October 26, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: AECOM acquires Ellerbe Becket

Firm expands AECOM’s presence in global design market

AECOM Technology Corporation (NYSE: ACM), a leading provider of professional technical and management support services for government and commercial clients around the world, announced today that it has acquired Ellerbe Becket, a 100-year-old architecture, interiors and engineering firm.

Ellerbe Becket has seven offices in the United States and Middle East, with 450 employees providing services to clients in the corporate, government, health care, higher education, professional sports and real estate development markets.

“Some of the world’s best design companies have become part of AECOM during our history,” said John M. Dionisio, AECOM president and chief executive officer. “Ellerbe Becket’s decision to join us in order to expand the services available to its clients and the professional development opportunities offered to its employees further establishes AECOM’s position as a preeminent global design consultancy. Ellerbe Becket is a prominent firm with a similar commitment to excellence in practice and strong client relationships. Its project portfolio and geographic presence complement AECOM’s existing architectural and building engineering practices. We were particularly attracted to the firm’s expertise in the rapidly expanding global health care and sports markets. We view this as the perfect opportunity to scale our growth as a leading provider of design services, and we welcome Ellerbe Becket to our global team.”


NoLandGrab: Seems like AECOM is slowly buying up pieces of the Atlantic Yards project, per this bit from an Atlantic Yards Report piece on the Empire State Development Corporation's June 2009 board meeting:

One board member, [Kevin] Corbett, recused himself from voting. The firm for which he works, AECOM, recently acquired EarthTech, a contractor now working for the ESDC on the AY project. (I raised the issue last week and asked whether there were guidelines or rules; I didn’t get an answer, so I don’t know what impact my inquiry had.)

Posted by eric at 1:15 PM

September 3, 2009

Post-Gehry, Atlantic Yards' Nets Arena To Be Designed by New York Boutique SHoP

The NY Observer
By Eliot Brown


After dropping famed architect Frank Gehry from the Nets basketball arena planned for Brooklyn, the developer of the massive mixed-use project has brought in New York-based architecture firm SHoP to assist in the design of the venue, according to a person informed of the decision.

The developer, Forest City Ratner, plans to unveil renderings of the $800 million arena later this month.

The choice seems a face-saving move for Forest City, as a substantial backlash from public officials and the press followed its decision to drop Mr. Gehry in the name of cost.


Atlantic Yards Report, Observer: the new buzzy architect working on the arena is SHoP

Stealing some of Forest City Ratner's thunder, the New York Observer reveals the name of the new architect working on the Atlantic Yards arena--though not any new renderings.
Surely City Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden, who reportedly leaked the "hangar-like" design of Ellerbe Becket (which replaced Frank Gehry), is now pleased that a firm with some cachet is on the job. She already likes SHoP.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, SHoP Hops Into Atlantic Yards Fight. Arena Design Besides the Point

We have nothing to say about SHoP other than—welcome to the fight.

It is important to note that while there is a new firm designing the arena (and presumably they'll be working with Ellerbe Becket) there are no new renderings. Ratner waited until after the public comment period on the Modified General Project Plan ended on August 31st. Presumably the new renderings will be released soon before, or even on the day of, the ESDC's September 17th board meeting, when the board is expected to rubberstamp the project, again, no matter what the arena looks like and no matter that the rest of the project has no designs at all.

Daily Intel, Signs of Hope for a More Exciting Atlantic Yards Arena Design

The young firm, which has never designed an arena, will work alongside Eberle [sic] Beckett — experts at efficient, if uninspiring, stadium design.
Of course, elsewhere in the Observer, they're reporting that underlying fundamentals of commercial real-estate investments are going to cause a massive plateau on mortgage defaults in the next two years, so we're not going to hold our breath on seeing any of this executed.

Posted by lumi at 6:47 AM

July 21, 2009

Barclays won’t look like leaked rendering, Ellerbe Becket says

Sports Business Journal

Um... the new architect for Bruce Ratner's Barclays Center swears the arena design won't look like the renderings that met with a chorus of derision last month.

The New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff can rest easy.

The exterior of Barclays Center, the New Jersey Nets’ proposed Brooklyn arena, will look nothing like the image the Times published last month, according to James Poulson, Ellerbe Becket’s design director for the project.

Poulson says the new design might be "something totally unexpected," as he "echoed the comments made by Nets executive Brett Yormark, who said the arena will evoke the borough’s history as a working-class industrial hub."

Also, the developer and architect are planning on moving bunker-stlye midlevel suites further up in the bowl to make room for "midpriced premium seats," which replaces "jumbo shrimp" for our favorite oxymoron.

article [Full article, after the jump]

Atlantic Yards Report, Leaked rendering? Barclays Center image also appears in the latest ESDC documents
Norman Oder points out that the rendering couldn't have been "leaked" if they appeared in a public document (Empire State Development Corporation, 6/23/09, Technical Memorandum).

NoLandGrab: One assumes that Ratner and Ellerbe Becket had no clue that the new arena design would be roundly rejected and that the renderings-were-leaked story is the best excuse they could come up with.

DDDB.net, Atlantic Yards Theater of the Absurd Continues

So, remember that Atlantic Yards arena "hangar" design that appeared in the NY Times and elsewhere, which the Times' critic Nicolai Ouroussoff ripped to shreds? Yup, that one that Ratner said is "not his intention," the one that City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden supposedly "leaked," but somehow appears in the official state document governing the Atlantic Yards project (more on that from Norman Oder in relation to this article)?

Well now the hangar's arena's lead architect Ellerbe Becket says that the real rendering will knock your socks off with its evocative "working-class industrial hub" feel replete with "bunker style" luxury suites.

Presumably the "working-class industrial hub" look would be a facade.

The New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff can rest easy.

The exterior of Barclays Center, the New Jersey Nets’ proposed Brooklyn arena, will look nothing like the image the Times published last month, according to James Poulson, Ellerbe Becket’s design director for the project.

The initial rendering, obtained by the newspaper without approval from the NBA team and the architect, shows a red-brick building with an arched roof, a plan that prompted Ouroussoff to rip the design in a critique.

“I’ve heard it called an airplane hangar, a trash Dumpster and a big barn,” Poulson said, chuckling. He served in the same role for developing Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the retro-themed arena that has influenced several NBA facilities built in the last 10 years.

Brooklyn isn’t Indiana, of course, and Poulson echoed the comments made by Nets executive Brett Yormark, who said the arena will evoke the borough’s history as a working-class industrial hub. The exterior in its final form will be “less barnlike,” Poulson said.

“It may be something totally unexpected,” he said. “We would like it not to look like Conseco.”

Inside the arena, Ellerbe Becket principals are designing some midlevel, bunker-style spaces where the early plan is for club seat holders to rent them on a per-event basis for pregame and postgame activities, Poulson said.

It’s a slight twist on bunker suites, the event-level private hospitality spaces with no view to game but tied to courtside seats. Moving those areas up higher in the seating bowl is part of the Nets’ plan to meet market demand for midpriced premium seats, he said

Posted by lumi at 5:09 AM

June 22, 2009

New Jersey Nets' CEO and Ellerbe Becket Principle Respond to Atlantic Yards Critics

Media Bistro gags on NJ Nets CEO Brett Yormark's "empty PR:"

Thanks to a tip from our friend Kristen Richards over at ArchNewsNow, we found our way over to this extended piece where Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets and Bill Crockett, Ellerbe's principle on the project, were busy defending the decision and the new plans, explaining how great this all will be for Brooklyn in the end and Yorkmark saying things like "We're going to brand Brooklyn in a big-time way." Though outside of naming the two levels in the building "Brownstones" and "Lofts" (ugh), moving the entrances to street level, and building a practice facility next door, there's not a lot of explanation as to why this is going to be so great for the area -- it seems like just coasting on enthusiasm and hoping no one catches on. Ooh, maybe they could paint a couple of quick murals showing Brooklyn's famous moments in history? Or have "authentic New York hot dogs"? That stuff always works in every single other city in the world.


NoLandGrab: It's worth mentioning that the image posted on MediaBistro is of a previous Frank Gehry-designed version of the project, not Ellerbe Becket's design.

Posted by lumi at 5:53 AM

June 10, 2009

Ellerbe Becket arena slideshow

The NY Times published this slideshow of a preview of the Ellerbe Becket arena design for Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards. Based on the comments on the Times web site, it's fair to say that the college-rec-center-inspired design isn't winning many fans.

Atlantic Yards REport, The view of the arena from Flatbush--and the departure of Frank Gehry from the project as a whole

From Norman Oder's assessment of the slideshow images:

Three of the four Ellerbe Becket renderings had previously surfaced, all of them--as far as I can tell--showing the view from Atlantic Avenue. The rendering at right, however, seems to show the view from Flatbush, with the cars going in the direction of Atlantic.

That glass-enclosed structure seems to be the replacement for the Urban Room; more than anything, it looks to serve as a ticket window.

At right is the view from Atlantic Avenue. I'm still waiting for the view from Dean Street. (Here's the original site plan, though the arena now would point north-south.)

Posted by lumi at 7:04 AM

Brooklynites call foul on new designs for Atlantic Yards arena project

NY Daily News reporters Ben Chapman and Jotham Sederstrom got the man-on-the-street reaction to the new designs for Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards arena and not all are negative:

Airplane hangar aesthetic

"It looks like an airplane hangar from the '50s - not a good look," said Joe Voden, 40, of Prospect Heights, a supporter of the $4.2 billion project who opposes the new design.

Gehry, not!
One reaction to Ratner's contention that the Frank "Gehry designs would be used as a 'blueprint' for the new arena":

"These are obviously two very different designs," said Soffer, 32, who bought a condo nearby. "We've been duped."


"It looks like a barn that should have horses and cows out front," cracked Karp, 62, a supporter of the project. "It looks like something you would see when driving upstate."

The big box arena

"It looks a little like a Home Depot," said Taylor, 19. "It's not as extravagant as I thought it would be."

[Garbage] in, [garbage] out

"The entirety of the design is dull," said Levy, 34, who is opposed to the Yards project. "It's suburban. We have [garbage] here now and in the future we're going to have [garbage]."

There's no place like home

"I like the new design better," said a 27-year-old Prospect Heights bartender who grew up in Eastern Europe and gave only her first name, Izabel. "It reminds me of a train station back at home in Poland."


Posted by lumi at 6:42 AM

June 9, 2009

Battle Between Budget and Beauty, Which Budget Won

The NY Times
By Nicolai Ouroussoff

Calling it "a shameful betrayal of the public trust"," The Time's architecture critic blasts Bruce Ratner's arena bait and switch.


Whatever you may have felt about Mr. Gehry’s design — too big, too flamboyant — there is little doubt that it was thoughtful architecture. His arena complex, in which the stadium was embedded in a matrix of towers resembling falling shards of glass, was a striking addition to the Brooklyn skyline; it was also a fervent effort to engage the life of the city below.

A new design by the firm Ellerbe Becket has no such ambitions. A colossal, spiritless box, it would fit more comfortably in a cornfield than at one of the busiest intersections of a vibrant metropolis. Its low-budget, no-frills design embodies the crass, bottom-line mentality that puts personal profit above the public good. If it is ever built, it will create a black hole in the heart of a vital neighborhood.

Ouroussoff later adds:

A massive vaulted shed that rests on a masonry base, the arena is as glamorous as a storage warehouse.
Building this monstrosity at such a critical urban intersection would be deadly. Clearly, the city would be better off with nothing.

Refreshingly, instead of taking the simple-minded tack of blaming project opponents, Ouroussoff acknowledges one of the early criticisms of the arena:

I suppose we should have seen this coming. The scale and location of the project posed serious challenges — challenges that could not be solved by the conventional development formulas. Arenas are notorious black holes in urban neighborhoods, sitting empty most of the year and draining the life around them. And in this case, the arena would dominate a major intersection and anchor a dense 22-acre residential development several blocks to the east.

The Times also published a closer preview of the arena design (above) than the rendering released late last week.


Atlantic Yards Report, NYT critic Ouroussoff wakes up, calls new arena design a "stunning bait-and-switch" and a "shameful betrayal of the public trust"

Norman Oder chronicles Ouroussoff's conversion:

OK, in July 2005 New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff enthused that Frank Gehry's Atlantic Yards plan "may be the most important urban development plan proposed in New York City in decades." (I thought he missed a few things.)

In June 2006, he wrote a more pensive if hardly tough assessment of the project,

In March 2008, he wrote something of an elegy, urging Gehry to leave the project, predicting blight (accurately, it terms out), and even seeming to emerge as a project opponent.

Today, however, he pulls out the big rhetorical guns, calling Forest City Ratner's decision to trade Gehry's arena for a more pedestrian design by Ellerbe Becket a "stunning bait-and-switch" and a "shameful betrayal of the public trust."

Posted by lumi at 6:40 AM

Bloomberg Lauds Change to Atlantic Yards Arena


After collecting responses to the preview of the new arena design from political boosters and one detractor, reporter Paul Bubny notes that the architecture isn't the only bait and switch:

During his weekly radio show, Bloomberg said that thanks to the lower cost of the Ellerbe Becket plan for the Barclays Center Coliseum, lining up financing for the Brooklyn mega-project would be possible. "It looks like it will go ahead, which is great," he said.
Also being scaled back is the upgrading on the Long Island Rail Road’s Vanderbilt Yard, which FCRC is performing as part of its deal with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for air rights over the yard.


NoLandGrab: A "scaled back" replacement railyard should be added to the list of dwindling public benefits from the project.

Posted by lumi at 6:00 AM

KC sports architecture firm snares Brooklyn arena project

The Kansas City Star
By Kevin Collison

Last week's stunning announcement that Bruce Ratner ditched Frank Gehry's arena design for a cheaper off-the-shelf version isn't the first time that a Kansas City architecture firm edged out the world-famous starchitect.

Kansas City sports architecture firms 2, Frank Gehry 0.

For the second time this decade, the local team has knocked off one of the world’s best-known architects for a major sports design commission, this time an NBA arena planned for Brooklyn, NY.
In 2004, Gehry led a group that was competing to design the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City. The city wound up choosing an all-star consortium of local sports architecture firms, the Downtown Arena Design Team. Ellerbe Becket was part of the winning group.


Posted by lumi at 5:18 AM

June 8, 2009


Did someone say that the new design for the "Barclays Center" arena looks like an airplane hangar?

This cheeky photocollage by Abbey Weissman of SouthOxford.com was, "Created from a vintage photograph of Floyd Bennett Field from the website Abandoned & Little Known Airfields (photo courtesy of Everett Priestley of CGAS Brooklyn)."

Posted by lumi at 6:09 AM

June 5, 2009

Gehry: Going, going, going... gone (Part Deux)

Lots of news coverage today. Here are a few stories that have come in over the past couple hours — or managed to wriggle through our usually trusty boondoggle net.

NY1, Famed Architect Departs Atlantic Yards Project [with video]

The group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, which has been fighting the project, is calling on Governor David Paterson to stop the development. They say it will not deliver on Ratner's promises.

"This is just one more piece of evidence that they never intended to build it the way they said they would," said Candance Carponter of Develop, Don't Destroy Brooklyn. "It's really, at this point, the icing on the cake, because one of the main draws was Frank Gehry and obviously he was too expensive or they couldn't build the plan they wanted and it's another bait and switch from Forest City Ratner."

WNYC Radio, Developer Replaces Architect of NJ Nets Arena

Ratner used Gehry's name liberally while winning government approvals for Atlantic Yards. But in the end the developer couldn't afford the world-famous architect. Gehry's design would've cost nearly a billion dollars. Instead, Ratner has turned the project over to Ellerbe Becket, a lesser-known firm that's designed NBA arenas in Memphis, Tennessee, and Charlotte, North Carolina. The developer says Ellerbe Becket's design will be "more limited in scope" and images will be shown later this month. Ratner's office hasn't said whether Gehry will continue as architect for any of the other 16 buildings at Atlantic Yards.

The Architect's Newspaper, Gehry'd Away

Asked for a timeline on the rest of the project, which includes 16 residential and office towers in addition to the arena, the [Ratner] spokesperson said that remained undecided, as the first priority was finishing the arena. But the spokesperson also suggested that Gehry Partners’ involvement might have come to an end. “Frank might design one of the buildings later, I don’t think it’s impossible,” the spokesperson said. “But right now, he just the master planner.”

Gehry had long been seen as a linchpin to the project’s success, touted on the Atlantic Yards website and by numerous politicians. At the announcement of the project in December 2003, Borough President Marty Markowitz declared, “Brooklyn is a world-class city, and it deserves a world-class team in a world-class arena designed by a world-class architect.”

NorthJersey.com, Nets replace renowned architect Gehry as Barclays Center designer

The more modest design may help in reducing the overall cost, but it could make it more difficult for the Nets to market the arena to potential sponsors as an internationally renowned project. Nets Chief Executive Brett Yormark said last year he was pitching the Barclays Center to potential European corporate partners not as an arena but “as a landmark.”

The Nets, who have a year-to-year lease to remain at the Meadowlands’ Izod Center, are running out of time to break ground in time for a fall 2011 opening in Brooklyn.

GlobeSt.com, Gehry Off the Job at Atlantic Yards

As recently as last Tuesday, Ellerbe Becket principal Bill Crocket told GlobeSt.com, "we are working with Forest City Ratner, doing analysis, and as far as when any decision is going to be reached, I can’t tell you." He added that he didn’t think any decisions about timing, or anything else, had been made at that point. But that was Tuesday, and as has been the case at Atlantic Yards, events change almost daily.

NoLandGrab: It would be more accurate to say "stories change almost daily."

Posted by eric at 12:13 PM

May 28, 2009

"Home team advantage": what an Ellerbe Becket arena might look like and whether a 2011 opening date is possible

Atlantic Yards Report

Recent revelations that starchitect Frank Gehry's role has not only diminished, but that design firm Ellerbe Becket is working on the Atlantic Yards arena casts more doubt on developer Bruce Ratner's claims that groundbreaking is just around the corner and the Nets will be playing in Brooklyn in 2011.

It's highly unlikely, however, that groundbreaking would come next month, given that the Gehry-or-not decision wouldn't come until July. And, based on the timeline for Ellerbe Becket's recent arenas, it looks like a June groundbreaking is necessary to get the arena open for a basketball season beginning in October two years hence.

So a 2011 arena opening date, even if there are few legal and oversight hurdles, seems quite doubtful.

Check out the rest of the article for a sneak peek at the Ellerbe Becket design portfolio.

Posted by lumi at 7:05 AM