The original plans for Atlantic Yards (now called Pacific Park) called for a 500-foot office tower, called "Miss Brooklyn" It was supposed to be built on the site where the Barclays Center entrance plaza now fills up with fans. The 2008 recession took care of that. There was no need for that much commercial office spance in Brooklyn and the plaza became a wide expanse between the arena and subway station where fans gathered before and after games.
Now, as Norman Oder, critic and chronicler of the overall development, reports, Bruce Ratner and his Chinese partner Greenland, are hinting they may build that tower after all ... starting in November 2016. Construction which would include a hotel, would take two and a half years to complete. The start and completion dates were quietly included in a schematic for the project's 16 towers that was presented at a community outreach session this weekend.
The same schematic also suggests that over the next 18 months, seven residential towers will be in some stage of construction either on the arena's periphery or nearby. Not to mention the delayed green roof installation atop Barclays. Add cranes and congestion.
Oder writes about the confusion over prospects for the office tower. Even if the tower does go up, he suggests the schedule may be optimistic.
Building an office tower is not financially sensible now, but the market could change. It's also possible that new subsidies, or a breakthrough in modular construction, could make it feasible.
Or perhaps Greenland, wanting to make a further splash in the world's media capital, would take more risks in building an office tower, and focus on getting it built.
There's no discussion in the materials about how fans would be funneled from the subway to the arena lobby or what the area might look like when he tower is completed. In the original Frank Gehry plans for the office tower, the base of the tower featured a glassed in "Urban Room." which would have served as the lobby for the tower, as well as a plaza for the arena.
- Despite Forest City handout predicting office space at B1 site over arena plaza, Greenland lists "16 residential towers" - Norman Oder - Atlantic Yards Report