Atlantic Yards: [De]Construction of The Neighborhood
Construction of the Barclays Center Arena of Atlantic Yards
The $4,000,000,000+ Atlantic Yards development project, the largest single developer project in New York City history, would eventually consist of 16 high rise towers and a 19,000-seat basketball arena for the current NBA New Jersey Nets over 22 acres in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of central Brooklyn.
The project, announced to the public in December, 2003, immediately sparked vigorous community opposition due primarily to the threat of eminent domain for a private development, its massive scale adjacent to low-rise neighborhoods, the opaque and un-democratic approval process, the generous direct tax-payer subsidies and tax exemptions, no-bid sale of state property, and the questionable "Community Benefits Agreement."
After years of community opposition, the financial meltdown and law suits, it now appears that at least the arena (the Barclays Center) and possibly one tower will be built in the near future. Although the developer, Forest City Ratner, projects that the Barclays Center arena will be ready for the 2012-2013 NBA season and still maintains that the entire project will be built within 10 years, there is the very real possibility of acres of "temporary" surface parking lots for 20 years or more where the remainder of the project would eventually be built.
I have been documenting the changing landscape (demolition of buildings) in and around the "footprint" of the development since I moved to Prospect Heights very soon after the project was announced. I have a photo book that's a snapshot of the neighborhood in 2007. A continually updated archive of photos can be viewed on my Flickr photo site, as well as time-lapse video on Vimeo and YouTube. My exhibition, ATLANTIC YARDS: [DE]CONSTRUCTED, will be at the Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, September 28 through October 11, 2012.
Be sure to check out Norman Oder's comprehensive Atlantic Yards Report (www.atlanticyardsreport.com), No Land Grab's clearinghouse of all Atlantic Yards related news and information (www.nolandgrab.org), and Develop-Don't Destroy Brooklyn (www.dddb.net) for in-depth coverage and analysis of this still evolving and controversial story.