Now they've got to make it pay off, raising rents on the apartments that are no longer rent-stabilized. The tariff: 1 bedroom from $2975, 2 bedrooms from $3900, and 3 bedrooms from $5300.
And to sell it, the developer claims that the open space in the 80-acre, 110-building development is a "park." (A print ad further states: "Work out in an 80-acre park right outside your door.")
It's not. It's privately-managed, publicly-accessible open space and, as this City Council document (about access) shows, private interests do not necessarily match public ones.
Stuyvesant Town's open space serves more as a private park than a public one, and thus has been targeted by Atlantic Yards critics as the poster child for what to avoid. "Would there be an invisible "keep out" sign, as in Stuyvesant Town or other apartment complexes with interior parks?" wrote Anne Schwartz last August in the Gotham Gazette.
Schwartz cited the analysis by the Municipal Art Society (MAS), which pointed to the importance of extending open space to the streets, so it is welcoming to the public.
MAS is part of BrooklynSpeaks, which has cautioned, "The problem is that the open space proposed won’t feel public, because it will be situated directly behind buildings. The park space is likely to feel more like a private backyard than a public park, similar to Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan."
BrooklynSpeaks goes further, arguing that the "open space should not only be publicly accessible, but be mapped as public parkland and designed to feel public."
AY open space
An October 2004 flier (right) from Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner promised that the open space would be "for the entire Brooklyn community to enjoy."
On the Atlantic Yards web site, the developer promises it "will transform portions of the exposed rail yards into publicly accessible open space that everyone can enjoy."
Of course, crucial to the Atlantic Yards open space would be the demapping of city streets, notably Pacific Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, as the New York Observer noted in a 2/25/07 profile of landscape architect Laurie Olin.
Would they call it a park?
The developer has been careful, so far, not to call the open space a park. Others have been less cautious; in court on 2/7/07 for the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case, Douglas Kraus, an attorney for the Empire State Development Corporation, declared "the creation of public parks" to be one of the public purposes served by the project.
[Update: Lumi Rolley of NoLandGrab points out how Bruce Ratner predicted "parks" in an interview with the Post's Andrea Peyser.]
Would the real estate agents marketing Atlantic Yards--the same ilk who identify Gowanus as Park Slope and Bed-Stuy as Clinton Hill--resist the temptation to deem Olin's creation a "park" to help sell luxury condos to new residents?