Barclays Center Excavation Begins As Freddy's Ends

SHoP Architects

Forest City Ratner isn't waiting for all properties in the Barclays Center to be vacated before moving ahead, where it can, on the arena.  Nor is Freddy's Bar in Brooklyn, whose patrons had famously chained themselves to the bar and swore they would have to be dragged from their stools.  They're moving...out.

The first construction work on the Nets' Brooklyn arena--excavation for the foundation of the billion dollar arena--will begin this week, according to a memo circulated among Forest City Ratner officials.  The memo states that "drilling activities" for the excavation support structures have begun and will continue north and west along Atlantic Avenue.  The billion dollar arena will be bounded by Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. Also, this week, the memo states Forest City Ratner will "commence excavation for the arena foundation."

Meanwhile, Freddy's announced Monday that it has given up the fight against eviction and will go quietly to a new location about 10 blocks to the southwest.  The bar will shutter its doors in the Barclays Center footprint on May 1 after a "Victory Party" the night before. The end came when the bar's owner made a deal with Bruce Ratner.  Once Freddy's is gone, Ratner can be expected to demolish the building, which he bought years ago.  The bar leased the bottom floor.

Most of the land needed for the arena has now been cleared, but a large condominium building remains. Daniel Goldstein, spokesman for Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, occupies the only condominium in the building. Until he is evicted, the building remains an obstacle to the completion of the arena.  The memo also states a fence has been erected outside the condominium to facilitate access to Goldstein's residence. Goldstein had complained construction activities had cut off access to his residence.

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