With Jay-Z as a figurehead for a rich Russian Partner…
A new first class venue opens in Brooklyn, NYC featuring the Nets Pro basketball team and acts like the Jay-Z and the Rolling Stones….
On Friday, the Barclays Center arena, wedged into the borough’s busiest intersection like a giant, rusty bread basket, will open after nine years of operatic disputation and delays: community lawsuits over New York State’s ability to seize private land and over the developer’s obligations; the collapse of the real estate market; the replacement of a star architect; the rescue from a Russian oligarch; racial friction; rats; traffic; and unfulfilled promises.
Into this den of contention move the Brooklyn Nets, a professional basketball team (with its own pockmarked past) that once again gives the borough a reason to cheer.
Amid the festivities, though, the arena stands as an island, a reminder of what is missing. The 16 surrounding towers — primarily residential — that were originally planned by the developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, for the 22-acre, $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project have yet to be built. The 10,000 or so jobs promised have not materialized. Of the 2,250 affordable housing units pledged out of 6,300, only 181 are planned for a first tower, and ground for the building has yet to be broken.
In the days before the hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, a part owner of the Nets, inaugurates the arena with a series of concerts, the air tingles with the dust of last-second construction and mixed emotions: excitement and wariness, anger and resignation.
Surrounding residents fear that unruly basketball fans will stagger drunkenly onto their sidewalks, that Armageddon-like traffic will blockade their streets, that already-squeezed parking spaces will be swallowed, that crime and rodents will run rampant and that housing and jobs will never come about.
Others hope that the 1,900 part-time jobs offered at the arena will help lift a severely underemployed borough, that retail chains opening along Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues will spur small businesses and that property values will soar…..
from the wall street journal….Share on Facebook