The General Project Plan approved by the Empire State Development Corporation in December 2006 suggested that Site 5 was a priority:
The development of both Site 5 and Building 1, with high density buildings, is central to the goal of the Project to transform this very public and prominent area by creating architecturally significant buildings that would ring, and be connected to, the transit hub, and by developing uses that would activate and create a vibrant streetscape experience for the public.
Status of Site 5
Based on the renderings, my surmise is that either the building has been dropped, or its construction has been postponed. I asked ESDC spokesman Warner Johnston for information.
He responded, "Site 5 was never contemplated to be one of the first buildings and will be done in a future phase."
He's right that that buildings on the arena block, rather than across Flatbush Avenue, were the first buildings expected in Phase 1--though Site 5 has long been part of Phase 1. Still, the absence of a Gehry rendering, much less a mention by developer Forest City Ratner of Site 5 in Monday's press release, is reason to wonder about the timetable, as was its omission at an Investor Day discussion last October. (FCR told Crain's the building would be developed separately.)
(Graphic from Empire State Development Corporation, adapted by DDDB.)
Maybe the developer will be listening to Chris Ward, the incoming Port Authority head, who told New York magazine that Bruce Ratner should consider recruiting architects other Frank Gehry. (Or did he mean other developers?)