Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Barclays Center green roof behind schedule, due September; Flatbush Avenue crane (and lane closing) coming in April; four cranes (!) around arena

Also see coverage of other issues raised at the Quality of Life meeting, including dangerous intersections, NBA All-Star Weekend preparations, and the huge green wall around most of the southeast block of the project site.

The green roof being installed on the Barclays Center--an exoskeleton aimed to beautify the view and also tamp down escaping noise--is several months behind schedule, not that representatives of arena developer Forest City Ratner will admit it.

Last night, at the periodic Atlantic Yards Quality of Life meeting hosted by Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing/shepherding the project, and developer Forest City Ratner, residents got an update from FCR external affairs executive Ashley Cotton.

Structural work on the arena should be completed in May, Cotton said, after a crane is placed on Flatbush Avenue, "probably towards the end of April." 

That's about five months late, though faster work at the final end of installation may make the overall project only two months late. While the delay has not been discussed in detail, Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin last week acknowledged that winter weather has proven "extremely challenging" for the roof work.

The original timeline

Note that, according to the project timeline (above) released last June, the Flatbush Avenue crane was supposed to be placed in January, and all cranes were supposed to be gone by the end of January.

Note that the Flatbush crane will necessitate the closing of a lane of traffic and likely additional traffic congestion. 

B2 crane at left, B3 center, Atlantic Avenue crane at right
Also note that, according to the original schedule, the Atlantic Avenue crane was supposed to be removed before the Flatbush Avenue crane was installed. 

Instead, it seems likely all three roof cranes will be in use, while the crane at the site of the B2 modular building, long placed, remains and may be in use by spring.

Finishing up

Now, "all [roof] cranes will be gone this summer, that's our expectation," Cotton said. That suggests a delay of at least five months from the original schedule.

"Everyone knows the crane on the B3 site needs to be gone to break ground by the end of June," she added, referring to the southeast corner of the arena block. Greenland Forest City Partners, the developer of the tower planned at that site, will be fined $5 million if they miss the deadline.

The installation of sedum--the grassy roof materials, as with the top of the subway entrance on the arena plaza-- will be done in September, Cotton said.

If so, that means they'd be catching up on a good part of the delay, since the sedum was supposed to be installed by July, two months before September.

"Cranes in many ways aren’t needed for the sedum," Cotton said. "They kinda get trucked up and then can be rolled out... so if you see the cranes going away, and we don't have a green roof that helps you understand how the structure gets done."

OK, but note that the original plan also cited a "sedum crane" for three of four months of the installation.

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