|Gehry Partners design: B1|
This was produced by Frank Gehry, who has since left the project, and whose 850,000 square-foot arena was replaced by a 670,000 square-foot arena. (I got the document years ago via a Freedom of Information Law request.)
So there's probably somewhat more room to work with--after all, the arena box office would not be in the Urban Room, but rather is already in the building. And the arena is significantly smaller.
Still, if they build a hotel, offices, and condos, that would require a lot of infrastructure: entrance passageways, elevator banks, and more.
Remember, there still would be an entrance to the subway--and maybe a cafe where currently there are seats.
That all leaves far less space for arena crowds to gather. Remember, the temporary plaza serves as an important safety valve for arena operations--and makes the rather large arena stand in contrast with the coming taller buildings (aka the "high-low city").
Would Greenland Forest City Partners not build B1? Only, I'd bet, if the city and state transfer 1 million square feet of equally valuable development rights somewhere else.
|Arena schematic, September 2005|