Skip to main content

The Site 5 shimmy: absent from original Atlantic Yards map, but clearly visible in 2003 Gehry models

I recently took a look at the 12/10/03 original public relations packet for Brooklyn Atlantic Yards, and I realize I missed something when I scanned the hard copy version that I had been given in early 2004: it didn't contain all the images released four months earlier.

Maybe that was by design, maybe not, but a contradiction was staring people in the face when the project was announced. Consider the site plan, which at that point was 21 acres, without Site 5--long home to Modell's and P.C. Richard, indicated with the pink arrow directly below--as part of the project. (Also note how there was virtually no entrance to the open space from the south; that has been adjusted.)

Looking at the images

Then consider these annotated images that were part of that original p.r. packet. A large development at Site 5 was clearly on the table, as architect Frank Gehry had already created a massing model. See arrow below.

Only at a May 2005 City Council hearing was the plan formally announced, though it clearly had been on the table from the start, as shown in this other image of a Gehry model.

What's next?

Now developer Greenland Forest City Partners has slow-percolating but very ambitious plans for Site 5: the tallest, bulkiest development within Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, a two-tower complex that could exceed 1.1 million square feet and reach 785 feet tall. See bottom image.

It's currently delayed by litigation regarding Forest City's purported guarantee to P.C. Richard that it could return to the new building. But if the history of this project is any clue, stay tuned for more twists, and more deception.