Thursday, December 03, 2009

At entrance to the arena, "Urban Room" becomes "urban plaza" becomes (interim) "Urban Experience"

Once there was supposed to be a soaring Urban Room serving as entrance to the Atlantic Yards arena. With the absence of Building 1, in which the Urban Room was to be incorporated, Forest City Ratner representatives started talking about an "urban plaza."

No more. Now it's an "Urban Experience," not to be confused--presumably--with an actual urban experience. It's another one for the Atlantic Yards Lexicon.

From the Barclays Center Arena Preliminary Official Statement (prepared by Goldman Sachs):
The Arena Premises “Site Work” will include the design and construction of the sidewalks for the Arena Premises, bollards and street trees. Site Work will also include construction of the “Urban Experience,” which is an interim condition until a so-called “Urban Room” is developed by AYDC or its affiliate or assignee, as required by the Development Agreement between ESDC and the Developer. The Urban Experience will be an outdoor urban plaza designed to be located at the southeast corner of Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue and will be a significant public amenity complying with the basic use and design principles of the Urban Room, as set forth in the Atlantic Yards Design Guidelines. The plaza will be no less than 10,000 square feet in area and will be generally open to the public twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. It is anticipated that the plaza will include the following elements: landscaping, retail, seating, the new subway entrance, and space to allow for formal and informal public uses, such as outdoor performances, temporary markets, and art installations. In addition, the plaza may include public art or a prominent sculptural element (such as a canopy or other architectural feature that could be part of the Arena and the Transit Improvements). The design of the Urban Experience is not yet complete, and the Developer has not yet contracted for its construction. The total cost for Site Work is anticipated to be approximately $22.9 million (approximately $1.9 million of which has been contributed and approximately $21.0 million of which is remaining). Turner has estimated the cost of constructing and installing the sidewalks, bollards and street trees (approximately $14.3 million of total Site Work cost) based on ninety percent (90%) construction documents, and the Arena Developer has estimated the anticipated approximately $6.6 million cost of the plaza based on a conceptual design. The concepts and plans for the Site Work have been developed in consultation with the relevant public sector entities, whose final approval is still required.
(Emphasis added)

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