Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Forest City: we need agreement with labor before loan available to go modular (plus EN-R's account of "drug dealers, gangs and prostitutes" plaguing AY site)

Well, they say they're doing the first tower modular, but they haven't pinned it down. 

From Engineering News-Record, Developer Gambles on Modular High-Rise for Atlantic Yards Sports Village:
The developer of the residential towers for the $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards sports village in Brooklyn, N.Y., is hedging its bets. In case negotiations with the building trades don't work out for the first tower, planned as the world's tallest modular building, Forest City Ratner Cos. is poised to construct the 32-story high-rise the conventional way.

The Brooklyn-based developer is so hyped on modular that even if the high-rise plan does not fly, it intends to set up shop as a third-party modular building fabricator. "We think [modular] can be explosive for the business," says Robert P. Sanna, FCRC director of construction and design development.
Forest City has started foundation work, but at least according to the article, they're still not sure:
"We need an agreement with labor before we can get a bank loan, and [we] are working on both," says Gilmartin. "We are all optimistic, but if we run into a problem, we will build conventionally."

FCRC expects to start the first of three buildings in phase one by year's end. The other two are planned to follow, each six to nine months apart.
They've been saying "six to nine months" for a while.

The Brooklyn firm

The team is described thusly:
For the first tower, FCRC formed a design team that includes architect-of-record SHoP Architects and multidisciplinary engineer-of-record Arup, both New York City. The team's initial charge for the first building, called B2 Bklyn, was to design a conventional tower.

The next assignment was to design a modular twin, indistinguishable in look and quality. For that, the B2 team expanded to include XSite Modular, a Brooklyn-based design-build consulting and management firm, formed last year. XSite and FCRC also are partners in a 100,000-sq-ft factory they are setting up a few miles from the Atlantic Yards site. XSite will manage and operate the plant.
XSite is Brooklyn-based in the sense that it is based at Forest City's offices. Here's some long back story.

The Conseco back story

Another article discusses how Ellerbe Becket (EB), the arena architect, was asked, yes, to duplicate an arena in Indianapolis:
However, SHoP wasn't the only firm in an awkward position. In late 2008, FCRC approached EB with a dubious offer it didn't refuse. "Bruce Ratner said, 'I literally want you to take Conseco Field [house] and place it on our site,'" says Stephen J. Duethman, the project manager in Kansas City, Mo., for EB, which, as a result of a merger, operates under AECOM's name.
Which they did, more or less, then added SHoP to put a fancy facade around it.

Rewriting history

One article, Fancy Footwork To Steady the Course of Brooklyn's Controversial Atlantic Yards Sports Village, begins with a truly fantastical lead:
Fifteen years ago, the 22-acre plot for the $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards sports village in Brooklyn, N.Y., was an eyesore. For more than 20 years, drug dealers, gangs and prostitutes had populated the neighborhood. Many buildings were vacant. "Blighted Brooklyn" was a more fitting moniker than the familiar "Brownstone Brooklyn."
My comment:
That's quite a lead paragraph. For fiction.
"Drug dealers, gangs and prostitutes" just a block away from the 78th precinct?
How about checking out
http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2006/10/21-years-of-prospect-heights-blight.html
or a description of when the hookers (but not gangs/dealers) roamed, a lot earlier
http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/33/18/dtg_freddyshistory2010_04_30_bk.html
or the court decision on "relatively mild conditions of urban blight"
http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2009/11/faq-on-court-of-appeals-decision-in.html
And no one, even the developer, calls it a "sports village."

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