Friday, September 04, 2009

The new arena designs will emerge soon, but keep watch on September 17 and October 14

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn suggests that the new arena exterior design expected from architecture firm SHoP is beside the point, given that opponents reject the concept of the arena and an undemocratic process.

However true that is for opponents, I suspect that the new design may win back some architecture critics and aficionados who were turned off by the "hangar-like" designs from Ellerbe Becket.

So Mayor Mike Bloomberg, via his City Planning Commission Chairperson Amanda Burden (a SHoP fan), likely will give the design his blessing. And maybe New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff can be won back.

Next week and beyond

DDDB predicts that next week Forest City Ratner will release the new designs--after the public comment period has closed and without designs for the rest of the project.

DDDB points to "a big court date on October 14," when the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, hears the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case.

But I suggest that September 17 is the next big date.

Yes, the board of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) is expected to re-approve the project with few questions, but the ESDC also must release a memo to board members summarizing the critical comments received from the public, and we'll get to see how candid and responsive the ESDC (via consultant AKRF) has been.

And those answers, or lack thereof, may be fodder for more litigation.


  1. Mayor Bloomberg gave the Ellerbe Becket designs his blessing when they came out. though he yearned for Gehry with some comments last week, he certainly hasn't suggested the architecture is make or break for his support.

    In other words, his support for AY appears to be unconditional.

  2. Sure, his support has been unconditional, but his enthusiasm for the design has fluctuated.