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A new entry into the Atlantic Yards lexicon: "Ratner Heights"

While the first mention of the term "Ratner Heights" I could find was an offhand reference five years ago in the Brooklynian blog, credit the rapper Illuminessence (aka Ness of A-Alikes) for using the term regarding his new project, a dystopian future fantasy,

To me, that suggests a new way to think about Forest City Ratner real estate, adding "Ratner Heights" to the Atlantic Yards lexicon as a way to describe the firm's cluster of holdings.

A new album set in 2025

 From ReverbNation:
The world is at war. Poverty, energy crises, rampant drug use and the militarization of the system have taken over. The economy is on the verge of collapse, pollution has spun out of control.

Welcome to 2025.

Illuminessence (aka Ness of A-Alikes) brings the soundtrack to our future with his first solo project, EYE2025*Chapter1.

Set in Ratner Heights, (the area formerly known as Fort Greene/Clinton Hill/Downtown Brooklyn, now owned entirely by construction mogul/re-gentrification king Bruce Ratner) EYE2025*Chapter1 is a dystopic vision of the future, a future that is rapidly approaching. Started as an idea for a screenplay, the project turned into the eerie but psychadelic sound of 2025. Blurring the lines between genres, the album twists and turns through sounds, creating a musical fusion like no other.
As noted on NoLandGrab, you can get a free download of EYE2025*Chapter1. I took a listen and didn't notice any particular Brooklyn references.

By the way, "A-Alikes are the future of hip-hop," writes Dream Hampton on their web site. Hampton, some might recall, was Jay-Z's collaborator on Decoded.

Rethinking Ratner territory

The term "Ratner Heights" has resonance for those of us who've looked at maps of Atlantic Yards and environs for years.

Despite Forest City Ratner's rhetoric, the project is not located in Downtown Brooklyn--even the Downtown Brooklyn map produced by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (on which FCR plays a disproporitionate role) can't fit in the Atlantic Yards site.

Rather, the project's in Prospect Heights, though, given that a tiny parcel was once included in the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning, some might call the tip Downtown Brooklyn. And, arguably, the arena block might extend Downtown Brooklyn across Flatbush Avenue.

And then there's the odd block west of Flatbush Avenue, also bounded by Pacific Street, Atlantic Avenue, and Fourth Avenue, currently containing P.C. Richard and Modell's (aka Site 5), plus the Brooklyn Bear's Garden.

Site 5 is technically in Park Slope but doesn't feel like it much--though the south side of Pacific Street does feel more like the Slope.

Then consider Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Center and Atlantic Terminal malls, north of Atlantic Avenue across from the Atlantic Yards site.

The developer say they're in Downtown Brooklyn, but it would be more precise to say Fort Greene.

Embracing "Ratner Heights"

But maybe we should forget such borderline analysis and call them all Ratner Heights.

After all, in a 1/7/10 Noticing New York post, Michael D.D. White delineated an updated map of Forest City Ratner's "50+ acre mega-monopoly," including the Atlantic Yards site, two malls, and MetroTech, which has a main parcel and satellite locations, plus a couple of unrelated FCR sites in Brooklyn Heights.

The Forest City property, as the map above indicates, does not constitute a fully contiguous nor symmetrically-shaped neighborhood. But the properties do share a theme.

So maybe 2025, in a way, has already arrived, and we're in Ratner Heights.


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