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Design for new tower behind Barclays revealed; construction start in spring

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Perkins Eastman

The tallest building currently planned for the Pacific Park (formerly Atlantic Yards) project —a 50-story residential tower— will begin construction this spring at the corner of Sixth and Atlantic avenues, at the northeast corner of Barclays Center.

Known as 18 Sixth Avenue, the tower will have more than 700 apartments. It was originally planned as an office tower, then mixed use. Greenland Forest City Partners, which took over development of Pacific Park from Bruce Ratner, is building the tower.

Ratner, 73, is basically out of the project, having sold 95 percent of the overall project to Greenland, which is controlled by the city government of Shanghai, and his remaining shares of the Nets and the arena to Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov. He also sold 461 Dean Street at the opposite side of Barclays as well as the Atlantic Center Mall and Terminal across Atlantic Avenue.

Ratner, who owned the Nets from 2003 through 2010, built Barclays Center as the focal point of the 22-acre, 6,430-unit development, but the rest of the project has been slow moving and as Norman Oder, critic and chronicler of the project, the timeline for the project has been moved back at least eight times.

No word on how long 18 Sixth Avenue will take to complete but construction will certainly extend through the 2019-20 Nets season if not longer.

Meanwhile, Greenland also announced that it has sold three of the 16 development sites in the project to other builders and commissioned a new architect, Perkins Eastman, to design the tower. The arena and other two towers on the so-called “arena block” were designed by SHoP.

Originally, when first conceived 15 years ago, the overall project was to be single-developer (Ratner), single architect (Frank Gehry). Community protests and the Great Recession delayed the project. Ratner and later his partners decided to parcel out both development and architectural commissions. Gehry, perhaps the best known architect in the world, had served as master planner for the project but none of the buildings will bear his design.

The next tower, 664 Pacific Avenue, a 15-story residential tower just east of the arena block, may also get started early next year. Greenland recently sold 664 Pacific to another Brooklyn developer, the Brodsky Organization. The tower will contain a middle school.

The big question, however, remains what will happen with Site 5, where P.C. Richard and Modell’s currently sit. Greenland would like to build a giant office tower at the site, a building which would very likely be taller than 18 Sixth Avenue. It’s been stalled by a lawsuit filed by P.C. Richard. The site has been suggested as a possible second headquarters for Amazon.