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April 05, 2009
Nets arena plans keep getting vaguer
Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report, the only blogger we know who goes to the trouble of digging through 10-K forms, reports that New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner's Forest City Enterprises changed its description of its planned Brooklyn arena project from "an 850,000 square foot sports and entertainment arena" to "a state of the art sports and entertainment arena." That would certainly jibe with previous reports that Ratner was desperately trying to "value engineer" the project to keep it alive; original architect Frank Gehry has already said of the arena, "I don't think it's going to happen," though he could easily have meant his design, not any arena at that site.
It's not a surprise. The Nets, in public discussions with their season ticket holders, have talked about a "smaller" arena. Is this a big deal? Will it have 800,000 square feet? 825,000? 750,000?
The Gehry design for the IAC Headquarters in Chelsea had 1,100 glass panels...each of them with unique dimensions. In this environment, that isn't going to work.
I happen to think this project will be completed. What gives me a clue was the fact that Ratner spent $3m on a building in the area ( ....On March 20, the company closed on a 10,000-square-foot building at 467 Dean St. in Prospect Heights that was the New York City headquarters of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers. This is according to public records, The Real Deal said, which show that Ratner paid roughly $3 million for the building........)(Obviously if he was going to abandon the project, he would NOT have done that). What will be interesting is to see: 1: Assuming they move to Brooklyn, when will it occur? 2: Are the Islanders coming with them?
Neither the official Atlantic Yards site nor the Barclays Center site have amended their projections of an 850,000 square foot arena:
The nets and islanders will become partners with one of these projects.