Thursday, March 03, 2016

The "Brooklyn Behemoth" would have the bulk of the New York Times tower, on half the site. It must be a gambit.

I'll say it again: it's utterly preposterous to consider building the "Brooklyn Behemoth," a tower with 1.55 million square feet at Site 5, the plot of land currently occupied by Modell's and P.C. Richard, by moving 1.1 million square feet of bulk from B1 (over the arena and temporary plaza) across the street.

Consider this comparison: it would be about the same bulk as the New York Times tower, currently the sixth-tallest building in New York City, which has 1,545,708 square feet. (And was built by Forest City Ratner.)

It's 319 meters, or 1,046 feet, the height of the Chrysler Building. But it's a two-acre site. Site 5 is little more than an acre. (See p. 89 of the Atlantic Yards Design Guidelines.)

That suggests the proposal should start with half the bulk, less then 800,000 square feet, which would still be oversize for the site.

It's a gambit

I think Greenland Forest City Partners is floating this untenable, and unbuildable, plan to position itself to get a "compromise," a somewhat smaller building--perhaps adding 650,000 square feet, for a total of 1.1 million- as David LaRue, CEO of Forest City Realty Trust, seemed to disclose.

That's still way larger than an analogue to the Times tower.

After all, as I've written, the City Planning Commission said the building at Site 5 should shrink, given its adjacency to a residential district, and it was cut to 250 feet tall and 439,050 square feet.

Now, because Greenland Forest City Partners wants to save money (and not offend arena operators) by not building around the arena, as was the original plan--constructed at the same time as the arena--they want to move the bulk across the street.

It doesn't make sense. That's probably why they haven't bothered to release any renderings or details.
A mock-up of a massing model, perhaps 900 feet, is probably too small.

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