Saturday , Jan , 10 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Could Atlantic Yards Project Be Done?

Trimming Frank Gehry’s design for the Nets arena at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards will help ensure it gets built, boosters said Friday- but critics say the scaleback is the plan’s death knell.

"The project is definitely on its last legs, and the wicked witch is almost dead," Councilwoman Letitia James (WFP-Fort Greene) said after the Daily News reported that developer Bruce Ratner wants to hire "value engineering" firms to trim millions from Gehry’s plans.

Sources told The News that Ratner needs to trim the arena’s $1 billion cost to get financing for the project, and hopes to remove architectural flourishes or substitute cheaper materials to get it built.
"Atlantic Yards will happen, with the arena and everything else, and Frank Gehry-inspired for sure, but it may mean that some of the bells and whistles may have to be deferred," Borough President Marty Markowitz said.