The location is a straight shot down Fourth Avenue from the Barclays Center, a little more than three miles.
The impact on Sunset Park
The Times, I think, goes a little far in predicting the impact on the area:
The neighborhood is in an intriguing state of transition. Sunset Park is home to a large Latino population as well as Brooklyn’s Chinatown. With the impending move, the Nets have inserted themselves into a Brooklyn neighborhood that has reinvented itself several times in the past few decades, and seems poised for more change to come.
...In the past few years, the buildings have begun to attract artists drawn to the affordable studio space. More recently, the landlords committed to a full-out renewal of the complex. The buildings now house a mixture of artist studios, light manufacturers, technology firms and other creative-minded tenants, many of whom moved in within the last two years. On a recent morning, people carrying portfolios and artists’ tubes trickled into Industry City from the direction of the 36th Street subway stop.
|Map from Pratt Center report|
It's not close to a working-class residential population, either.
Keep in mind that both Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue are highways separating the residential population (Fifth Avenue is the spine of the Latino shopping district, Eighth Avenue the Chinese one) from a significant industrial zone, with some 33,000 workers, as indicated in the graphic at right (click to enlarge).
So even if the team opens a Net store and offers basketball clinics, it's doubtful that "the area could aspire to be something like Dumbo, a neighborhood about five miles away that has been transformed from a gritty outpost to a creative, high-priced hub."
DUMBO was essentially empty, with few industries operating and no residential population when artists began to transform the district. Still, NetsDaily reported:
Jamestown Properties is hoping to turn the 40-acre site into Brooklyn's version of Manhattan's Meatpacking District. The Nets training facility is intended as the anchor of that plan.It's certainly possible that Jamestown can transform the site somewhat, and create some destinations, but the Meatpacking District has the advantage of proximity not only to transit but to upscale residential neighborhoods.