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Barclays Center soon to be a clearing in a forest of skyscrapers

An update on the skyline around Barclays Center.

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Forest City Ratner has informed city authorities that the 33-story tower at the "back" of Barclays Center will be competed in October, the first of what will ultimately be a forest of skyscrapers surrounding the arena and strong along Atlantic, Flatbush and cross streets.  And some of those towers could reach 70+ stories and 1,000 feet.

Anyone who's been to Barclays Center this year can see the outlines of a new skyline around the arena. The original Atlantic Yards (now Pacific Park) plan called for 16 towers and an arena designed by Frank Gehry. The plan remains the same but a lot of things have changed ... starting with the architect.

The first of the three towers on the arena block, 461 Dean, is the tower closet to completion. As noted, it will be 33 stories. The other two on the arena block will be 23 and 52 stories. The first, a residential tower at 38 Sixth Avenue has just started construction; the other, an office tower in revised plans, is expected to rise next year.

The arena block, designed by arena architect SHoP rather than Gehry, will look something like this, from the corner of Atlantic and Sixth. That's the Dean Street entrance at the bottom left...

But that is far from it. The skyline of Brooklyn, not just the arena block, is changing.

A couple of blocks away there are three more Pacific Park towers in various stages of construction -- at 535 Carlton, 615 Dean and 550 Vanderbilt. All are just short of 20 stories. Also New York's City Council has just approved a middle school for yet another residential tower, 664 Pacific, which will soon get underway and top out at 26 stories.

Here's what the area might look like...

But the big news has yet to be revealed. Bruce Ratner originally planned to build a giant office tower where the arena plaza  sits, to be called "Miss Brooklyn.". But the plaza is now seen as a community amenity. So Ratner and his Chinese partner, Greenland, want to move the bulk of that planned tower to "Site 5," where P.C. Richards and Modell's are now. No one is yet saying how big it will be, but it could be the tallest tower on the site. Critics are calling it the "Brooklyn Behmoth."  How tall?  Ratner representatives have said it would resemble the Time Warner Center in Manhattan.

And that's just on the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park property. A few blocks north of Barclays is 333 Schermerhorn, which will top out at 56 stories. It's clearly visible from the entrance plaza at Barclays. Two months ago, two developers, working with SHoP, architects for the arena and the three towers surrounding it, proposed a 1,066-foot, 73-story tower at 9 DeKalb, above the DeKalb Avenue subway station a few blocks from the arena. It would be twice as tall as the Williamsburg Savings Bank.

Of course, there's already a tower atop the Atlantic Terminal across Atlantic Avenue ... and Ratner reportedly has the right to build three other towers atop the five story mall across the street from Barclays.

How likely are you to live any of the towers?  The answer is not, unless you're New York-wealthy.  There will be "affordable" housing in Pacific Park, but those apartments will be parceled out by lottery, starting with the about-to-be completed tower.  The affordable apartments at the building start at $559 for a studio, but there are only five of them, so don't get your hopes up.

And if you don't want to live there, how will the boom affect you?  Despite all the building, there's not a lot of planning for increased and improved mass transit.  So think crowding.