Photographer Tracy Collins (who took the photo) wonders:
Why, now, are they preparing to destroy an inhabitable building, in the midst of a housing crisis? Why, when there’s no guarantee that Atlantic Yards will actually happen? Can’t they wait until the Court of Appeals rules in the next few weeks? It doesn’t make any business sense to me...Well, this surely is a strategic decision, but let's see if and when they demolish the Spalding Building at 24 Sixth Avenue, another renovated loft building of more pristine quality, or so I believe.
I suspect that they, FCR [Forest City Ratner], made the strategic decision to convey in the strongest terms possible that Atlantic Yards is a DONE DEAL, that it is happening, that there is no Plan B, that it’s inevitable. They must act this way in order for the all so crucial sale of hundreds of millions in bonds before year end.
There might be another reason for the demolition. People still live in adjacent buildings on Dean Street, plaintiffs in separate lawsuits. Demolition work will make daily life that much more uncomfortable and--at least from the developer's perspective--might make them more likely to leave.
Here's a Collins photo of 475 Dean from April 2007.