Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Public information meeting on plaza design for arena will be held September 29 at Borough Hall

Well, there won't be the Urban Room Frank Gehry promised, but there will be an "urban plaza" or "urban experience." And we'll learn more about it next Wednesday.

(There's also a formally unrelated--but conceptually related--meeting next Tuesday about streetscape improvements on Flatbush Avenue, from Atlantic Avenue to Grand Army Plaza.)

From a notice distributed by Community Board 6:
Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, with Council Members Letitia James, Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, Empire State Development Corporation, Brooklyn Community Boards 2, 6 and 8 present a PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING for the Plaza Design at the Barclays Center.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street (at Court Street)

Representatives will be present from Forest City Ratner Companies to brief interested residents on plans for the public plaza in front of the arena. There will be a Q&A session.
Will the Empire State Development Corporation's new Atlantic Yards Project Manager, Arana Hankin, make her public debut? I'm betting yes.

Will Borough President Marty Markowitz show up? It's in his building, so how can he not (even though he might rather not be there).

Will Forest City Ratner Executive VP MaryAnne Gilmartin take questions? I think she'll delegate this one to a subordinate or two.

The back story

As I wrote 7/28/09, at a public information session set up by the Empire State Development Corporation, CB 6 Chairman Richard Bashner asked about the public spaces near the arena.

FCR's Gilmartin responded that the Urban Room would be built when the B1 office building is built; until then, there would be an “urban plaza with many of the elements that were contemplated in the Urban Room,” including a new transit entrance, retail, and a grand arena entrance, and “generous outdoor space, which will be space available to and belonging to the public.”

(Well, it won't belong to the public.)

As I wrote 12/3/09, the Barclays Center Arena Preliminary Official Statement (prepared by Goldman Sachs) offered this description:
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. d 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.
2010-09-29 AY Plaza Design Flyer

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