Saturday, May 24, 2014

A "Fight Club" at FCR's Atlantic Center mall, the design problems that likely contribute, and a reminder about bogus Atlantic Yards blight

Yesterday's DNAInfo reported in 'Fight Club' Outside Atlantic Center Mall Eyed by NYPD:
A corner behind Atlantic Center Mall is home to an organized "fight club" in which dozens of kids gather for daytime brawls organized on social media — including one recently where someone fired a gun, according to police and residents.
Hanson Place and South Elliott Place — at the northeast corner of the complex that includes a Burlington Coat Factory and OfficeMax — has been the site of fights between as many as 30 teens for almost a year, resident Stephanie Seto said.
Police are closely monitoring the fights organized on Facebook and other social media, and the mall is working with police to stem the violence.
...88th Precinct commanding officer Capt. Peter Fiorillo said officers are trying to thwart the fights.
The 88th Precinct and nearby 77th and 78th precincts are collaborating to stop the fights, the commanding officer said.
..A spokesman for Forest City Ratner Companies, which owns Atlantic Center, said they were aware of the situation and are working closely with the NYPD to monitor it.
Well, first, the idea that the 78th Precinct would expand to include the Barclays Center and the Atlantic Center/Atlantic Terminal malls doesn't seem to be working out so well, since the kids apparently come from the 88th.

The design problems

Unmentioned in the article, as I commented, was that the isolated design of mall--blank walls rather than doors/windows/street activity--may be a factor in allowing kids to gather and not be disturbed/deterred.

In fact, the corner of Hanson and South Elliott is a thoroughfare, but people can easily dip into South Elliott, along the east side of the mall (pictured), which is isolated and likely a magnet for such gatherings.

I reported on many rounds of criticism of Atlantic Center; Bruce Ratner even admitted  he chose a cheap architect rather than better one.

And, as I forgot to mention in my initial comment, the most important thing about crime at Atlantic Center (and its sibling mall) is that it was used to claim elevated levels of crime--and thus blight, a justification for eminent domain--in the adjacent Atlantic Yards footprint.

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