Monday, September 26, 2011

Moving the goalposts: Will the Barclays Center open in "the summer of 2012"? Was the first tower due "by the end of the year"?

With an announcement expected today of a Jay-Z concert series (and local marketing campaign) to launch the Barclays Center, does that mean the arena will open in "the summer of 2012," as once promised?

It depends on what the word "open" means.

The fall of 2012 begins on 9/22/12. The "grand opening"--presumably with that Jay-Z concert--has long been promised as 9/28/12, nearly a week later.

However, that "grand opening" is to be preceded by "public events and tours," during which the arena would be "open."

The first building

The Daily News reports today:
The rest of the project has been delayed repeatedly. Ratner had pledged to start construction on the first residential building by the end of this year, but he now says it may be early next year.
Well, yes, and no. As I reported last week, a Forest City Ratner predicted construction by "the beginning of the year," in contrast to a statement in July about "a groundbreaking by year end."

However, according to the June 2009 Technical Memorandum from the Empire State Development Corporation, "potential delays due to prolonged adverse economic conditions would not affect the timing of the development of the arena, the transit access improvements, the construction of the new LIRR rail yard, the reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge or the construction of Building 2."

And, at the 11/4/10 Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting, FCR executive Maryanne Gilmartin said the developer intended to release designs and start construction of Building 2 in the first quarter of 2011.

The press releases

In a press release posted 10/23/10, the arena sponsors stated, "The Barclays Center is on schedule to open in the summer of 2012."


Since then, they've been backing off a bit.

In a 4/5/11 press release, they announced a "Grand Opening celebration with three weeks of spectacular programming beginning on Friday, September 28, 2012." Prior to that, "the Barclays Center plans to use the first several weeks of September 2012 to host public events and tours."

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