Atlantic Yards Arena Design Unveiled

Ratner said he expects the Barclays center to become "an iconic part of the Brooklyn landscape"

Developer Bruce Ratner has unveiled his latest design for a new NBA arena in downtown Brooklyn - - the third incarnation of the project this year.

The 18,000 seat arena will be the centerpiece of the planned 22-acre Atlantic Yards development -- a collection of 16 office and residential towers at the intersection of Flatbush Ave. and Atlantic Ave. in Prospect Heights.

The project has been beset with delays, due in part to the credit crunch and the loss of star architect Frank Gehry, and therefore the original design for the new Barclays Nets arena.

Gehry was let go to shave arena costs from about $1 billion to $772 million.

The new renderings are a collaboration between the Kansas City-based firm Ellerbe Becket and Manhattan-based SHoP Architects. 

The Barclays Center will consist of three separate but woven bands, its official Web site explains.  A canopy, which is 30 feet above ground level, contains an oculus that frames the pedestrian’s view of the arena. The second, a glass band, allows for views from inside and outside of the arena. The third band floats around the roof of the Barclays Center.

Ratner said he expects the Barclays center to become "an iconic part of the Brooklyn landscape."

Ratner brought in SHoP to assist Ellerbe Becket after a second round of plans were slammed by critics who said the new arena looked a lot like an airplane hanger. 

Ratner is in a race against the clock to salvage the project. He has to break ground on the arena by the end of the year to secure $650 million in tax-free financing for the arena or else risk seeing the price of the project rise by hundreds of millions of dollars.

The project, which was first proposed in 2003, also faces a battery of critics and imminent domain litigation.

The opposition group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn said today it is unimpressed by the new design.

“The arena design is irrelevant,” said Daniel Goldstein of the opposition group Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn. “Designs continue to come and go, but they change nothing. It’s all lipstick on a corrupt pig, window-dressing on a boondoggle.”

It is unclear who will be designing the 16 towers that would make up the rest of Atlantic Yards. 

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