Barclay’s Center was just the first piece of the Atlantic Yards development, and the next phase is finally getting underway; steel is rising for the first of the new residential high-rises. The ‘B2’ tower is already approaching Barclay’s roof, and will soon stand 32 stories. It will hold 363 residences, along with 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail.
The Atlantic Yards redevelopment is important for several reasons; perhaps the most significant is its use of modular construction methods, which could revolutionize the industry in all of New York City. By reducing fabrication costs and the amount of time it takes to build a project, the price of new housing won’t have to be so exorbitant, and construction will become feasible at many sites where development is currently not cost-effective.
Beyond the first tower, 15 more buildings will soon rise – and the total value of the Atlantic Yards is $5 billion. Greenland Holding Company recently took a 70% stake in the project, which is being developed by Forest City Ratner, so the rest of the buildings should begin rising soon, as well. The recession is partially to blame for the delay in construction, but designs for the site have seen dramatic changes since the masterplan was initially conceived, and SHoP has replaced Gehry as the architect.
Completion of the first new building is expected by 2014, and construction of the remaining skyscrapers will follow. Given the use of modular techniques, the speed of the mega-project will take many by surprise – and its cost-effectiveness could herald a wave of new construction that impacts vast swaths of New York, far removed from Atlantic Yards. The entirety of the site is expected to be built-out by the early 2020s.
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