Wednesday, August 12, 2015

If they ever build B1, forget the arena plaza; Urban Room would house passageways, elevator banks, smaller gathering place for arenagoers

Gehry Partners design: B1
Take a look below at the September 2005 schematic for the Urban Room and ground floor of B1, the (mostly) office tower (one version at right) once slated to rise along and over the arena at the tip of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.

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

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