Thursday, October 01, 2009

Comparing the AY site plan from June to September: where's Fifth Avenue?

There are a few subtle but notable differences between the Atlantic Yards site plan as distributed for public comment by the Empire State Development Corporation in June as part of a Technical Memorandum and the site plan shared with board members at the September 17 board meeting.

(Note that one major difference is that the June plan is in color and the September plan is not; I'm not sure if that's an artifact of the scan I received from the ESDC yesterday or not. Click on graphics to enlarge.)

The June site plan


Note that this plan, dated 9/4/08, is attributed to Gehry Architects and contains adjacent streets and landmarks. It references a hotel, street-level retail, and a bicycle station.

The September site plan

This plan, though containing most of Gehry's building layout, does not mention retail (surely a street-level factor). Nor does it mention a hotel (now unlikely) or a bicycle station (likely part of the plan, though it may have been moved). There's no name or date on the plan.

Building 1 and Fifth Avenue

Notably, it includes Building 1 even though the arena renderings released earlier in the month omitted the structure and included a plaza.

Perhaps more importantly, it omits any reference to Fifth Avenue, which would be demapped for the Urban Room and Building 1, so it's hard to see whether the smaller and apparently reoriented arena would fit in relationship to the street. There was no opportunity to comment on this map.

Several commenters suggested that Fifth Avenue might be left open, given the arena's apparent reorientation, at least until the Urban Room and Building 1 were built. The ESDC said the demapping was needed for the heretofore unmentioned arena block program.

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