Brooklyn’s largest development project has a new name and a lot more details. Residents of Fort Greene, Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Clinton Hill (Jesus, what doesn’t border the Atlantic Yards?): Meet your new neighbor—well, your extremely unpopular 11-year-old neighbor that would really like you to forget about all the fuss and come to its personal brand reinvention party.
Curbed had the scoop this morning about the major changes coming to the much-aligned 22-acre project originally designed by Frank Gehry in 2003, of which only one building has been completed (it’s some kind of rusted-out spaceship that thinks it’s a sports arena; you might have heard of it?). Now re-branded as Pacific Park, Atlantic Yards is shedding its old image of lawsuit-target, snail’s pace builder and bad-guy-in-critically-acclaimed-documentary.
There’s still 16 more buildings to go, but development company Forest City Ratner announced plans earlier this summer to fast track the remaining towers, which include the completion of 2,250 affordable housing units by 2025 or risking a $5 million fine—which is why the next towers to rise will be 100% affordable, meaning that they’ll be available to families making $48,000 or less and up to $104,000 per year.
Along with a new partnership with Greenland USA, a Chinese development firm and sustainable building designers COOKFOX (who will join existing designers SHoP Architects, who are responsible for the Barclays Center and whatever is going to happen to the Domino Sugar Refinery), the new plan includes the elimination of the strange system in which each of the 16 residential towers were called only “B4” or “B15,” and will now be referred to as their actual addresses. 535 Carlton Ave, at the corner of Dean Street, will be the first building to begin work in December, and will feature 18 stories made of brown brick. After, the similarly sized 550 Vanderbilt Ave near Dean Street will break ground, with both buildings expected to be completed by June 2016.
Oh, and there’s a park, too. While it’ll be privately owned, the 8-acre green space, designed by Thomas Balsley to occupy the rectangular space on what’s currently Pacific Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues, will be open to the public. (You would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, as it’ll be almost entirely surrounded by residential towers.) However, the blog Atlantic Yards Report points out that the citywide target ratio of 2.5 acres of open space per 1,000 residents still won’t be achieved with this plan, adding the caveat that the ratio isn’t policy, or even a standard ratio among big developments (read about it in more detail here).
Here’s what Pacific Park will look like once completed, which, according to Forest City Ratner and Greenland USA, might be in 2025:
According to Curbed, the finished project will have “6,430 units of housing spread out over 6 million square feet. There will also be 247,000 square feet of retail (all small spaces, no big box stores), and at least 336,000 square feet of commercial space; the plan allows a variation that could create up to 1.6 million square feet of commercial.”
Kind of makes you forget about what all the fuss was about, right? Right?!
Follow Rebecca Jennings on Twitter @rebexxxxa.