After all, the rapid escalation of the cost of the arena significantly outpaced local inflation in construction costs.
Today, the Daily News has an answer: security.
(More from DDDB and NLG.)
The article, headlined Atlantic Yards arena security scare: Special glass alone would cost $625 per sq. foot, states:
Sources close to the project said the cost of reinforcing the arena's thick glass with a ballistic-resistant glaze shocked even [architect Frank] Gehry's own designers.
"The office was very surprised at how expensive the glass configurations actually were," said the source, who added the arena's price tag jumped from $637 million to $950 million because of the cost of protecting it from attack.
The Police Department, the New York State Office of Homeland Security and Forest City Ratner met to discuss security at the arena in early 2008, a Homeland Security spokeswoman confirmed.
Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco declined to discuss security matters at the project, but a source close to the developer said security and other matters have made the arena too expensive to build.
"Security is one component of the cost of the arena, but by no means the most significant," said the source. "There are a whole host of reasons why the current design is expensive, including the size, the signature look and the materials. It would be very difficult to fund this arena in this economic environment."
That doesn't mean the arena would be dead--after all, a less expensive arena could involve less glass. But it wouldn't be Gehry's design.
I've previously reported that a reduction in glass would diminish the security risk. But I hadn't tried to analyze the cost of security posed by the approved glass design.
PACB second look?
The revelation adds fuel to the request last June by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn for the Public Authorities Control Board to take a second look at its approval of the project.
Maybe the ESDC should do so as well. After all, the project that both bodies approved did not have the right price tag.