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

With 812 middle-school students, likely spillover into nearby Pacific Park open space, Dean Playground

According to plans for the B15 tower by Marvel Architects, excerpted at right, the entrance to the middle school will be along Sixth Avenue, about midway between Dean Street and Pacific Street.

Yes, there will be a gym, and some enclosed open space. (B15 will be known as 664 Pacific or 662 Pacific, or 37 Sixth.)

But where will those 812 middle-school students go after school?

Surely some will go to the nearest green space.

The existing Dean Playground--portrayed fractionally in the plans, at bottom--is just to the south, and includes a basketball court and athletic field, both of which can be reserved but otherwise would be open for use.

Pacific Park green space

More importantly, there will be a good amount of green space just to the north.

Consider the slide below, from the Request for Qualifications for Construction Management Services, for the platform. The open space, as I explained, will spread significantly toward Pacific Street, in part because towers B6 and B7 will be flush to Atlantic Avenue, able to rely on a relatively small amount of terra firma for residential cellars.

That makes the open space more public, as advocates had previously argued. It also should be very tempting to the students, especially since the open space will not be gated. It should open well before the project's main open space, one block east.

Update: In response to a commenter--see below--I have no problem with students using public open space. The problem is that the amount of open space for the project's new residents is already limited, making it less likely it will serve the neighborhood or be for "the entire Brooklyn community to enjoy," as a 2004 flier promised.

Looking at the open space

The conceptual plan (below) by landscape architect Thomas Balsley from 2015 can change, of course, as we've learned. Indeed, the shape of the buildings has changed.

As of now, though, the planned features closest to the school, on the Pacific Street side between Sixth and Carlton avenues, include a good amount of passive open space (lawn, garden), two dog runs, and one half-court basketball court.

B5 would have 9 (formal garden) and 14 (half-court basketball). B6 would have 2 (lawn), 4 (toddler play), 13 (dog run), and 17 (bocce court). B7 would have 9 (formal garden) and 13 (dog run).

Several years later, the main open space, involving the greening of demapped Pacific Street, now used for construction staging, should open. It's likely the students will know how to find it.

The announced plans

From the Final Environmental Impact Statement, Chapter 6, Open Space and Recreational Facilities:
The proposed open space has been designed to maximize the number of users accommodated by the eight acres dedicated to open space. Passive areas such as walkways, seating, and open lawn space are capable of serving larger numbers of users when compared with active areas, such as basketball and tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and soccer fields, with their specialized programming and limited number of users. The open space would not be an appropriate venue for large playing fields, because such uses would consume most of the available area and require fencing, which would make the open space seem smaller and less public. Thus, approximately 7.2 acres (90 percent) of the open space areas would be programmed for passive and flexible use, consisting of paths and lawns for strolling, sitting, people watching, and picnics. The balance of the open space area, approximately 0.8 acres (10 percent), would be designated for active uses and include a half basketball court, a volleyball court, two bocce courts, and a children’s playground.
Note: I don't see a volleyball court in the Balsley plans, but things can change.


  1. Anonymous2:13 PM

    Wait... are we for or against residents of our city between the ages of 12-15 utilizing playgrounds and open space?

    1. Open space is open to the public, sure. But the amount of open space for the new residents in the project is already tight, and the new open space sure won't do much for "Brooklyn," as once hyped.


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