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The Atlantic Project rebrands itself as Pacific Park, and it will include, yes, a park

Written by
Howard Halle

2003 seems like a long time ago, but it must seem especially so for Forest City Ratner, the Cleveland, Ohio-based developer behind Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and the high-rise buildings going up around it. When first announced in 2003, The Atlantic Yards project promised a 22-acre Rockefeller Center for the Borough of Kings. Stretching from the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues to Vanderbilt Avenue, it would be centered around a new stadium and tower—Brooklyn’s tallest—designed by starchitect Frank Gehry.

Map of Pacific Park project Forest City Ratner

Things, however, didn’t work out as planned. The project didn’t win city approval until three years later, and in the interim, a tsunami of lawsuits caused further delays all the way through the financial meltdown of 2008-2009. Gehry and his designs were eventually kicked to the curb, and only injections of money from Chinese and Russian investors kept the whole shebang from going under.

View of Pacific Park project COOKFOX ARCHITECTS, LLP

Fast-forward to 2014, and a whole new way of forgetting the bad old days: By rebranding The Atlantic Yards as Pacific Park. The rechristening comes with the announcement of the next phase of construction, which will include 15 buildings designed by COOKFOX Architects that will be designated 100 percent affordable housing. (The original approval for AY was contingent on creating 2,250 units of the same by 2025, or else risk a $5 million fine; affordable, in this case, means for families with household incomes ranging from $48,000 to $104,000). An 18-story tower at Carleton Avenue and Dean Street will be the first to break ground in December, and will feature a communal terrace for gardening (and this being Brooklyn, probably bee-keeping). Other buildings of similar size will follow suit, and all will share the biggest of the promised amenities—an eight-acre park. Why Forest City Ratner chose a name that sounds like a place in California is anyone's guess. Maybe it's meant to put as much distance as possible between the project's hopefully smooth-sailing future and its rocky past.

View of Pacific Park project COOKFOX ARCHITECTS, LLP




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