Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

New York Magazine profile of Gary Barnett addresses competition with Ratner (and gets "Atlantic Yards" wrong)

From No Land Grab's Eric McClure:
The Anti-Trump

Gary Barnett, the builder of this era’s glitziest buildings, does not have cotton-candy hair or a big mouth—but what he does have is hubris.

New York Magazine
by Gabriel Sherman

The anti-Trump? More like the anti-Ratner. NY Magazine's profile of developer Gary Barnett goes into a good deal of Atlantic Yards backstory — some of which gets "Oderized" in the comments section.

Barnett’s lone-wolf style has not exactly endeared him to his peers. New York real estate has long attracted players who view business as both a commercial and a civic pursuit. Jerry Speyer, the co-CEO of Tishman Speyer, is perhaps the most famous archetype of the New York macher, serving as a confidant to mayors and governors. Inside the fishbowl of New York real estate, Barnett has few friends. He’s a subject of fascination and derision, a combative figure who is unafraid to challenge the industry order. Since blasting onto the scene at the start of the last decade, he has clashed with Bruce Ratner and the New York Times for control of the land under the Times’ new Eighth Avenue headquarters and made a surprise eleventh-hour bid for Atlantic Yards just as Ratner thought the massive development project was in his grasp.

The bid was not for "Atlantic Yards," as Norman Oder explains in the comments section, but for the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard. And "civic pursuit?" That's true, if NY Magazine defines it as "pursuit of civic subsidies and eminent domain powers."


  1. On the subject of Gary Barnett and Atlantic Yards let’s not forget Mr. Barnett’s Captain Renault Casablanca style remark about not being awarded the bid for the MTA rail yards even though he had bid more than Ratner while offering a better non-eminent-domain-using proposition for the community. Gary Barnett:

    “We are shocked—shocked—that we bid $150 million, [Forest City Chairman Bruce] Ratner bid $50 million, yet he somehow managed to get it.”

    See: Thursday, December 27, 2007
    Clear enough? Misreading the Extell interview regarding Atlantic Yards


    Tuesday, June 23, 2009
    Thoughts on the MTA’s Finance Committee Meeting Wherein Atlantic Yards Was Considered as an “Information Item”

    Michael D. D. White
    Noticing New York


Post a Comment