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A recent rendering showing the full-buildout of the Pacific Park Brooklyn plan with 'placeholder' designs (Greenland Forest City Partners) A recent rendering showing the full-buildout of the Pacific Park Brooklyn plan with 'placeholder' designs (Greenland Forest City Partners)
It has been fifteen years since Frank Gehry, Bruce Ratner, and former Borough President Marty Markowitz convened at Brooklyn Borough Hall to unveil plans for Brooklyn Atlantic Yards. Evoking Brooklyn Dodgers nostalgia, the sweeping plan would build a $500 million arena for the New Jersey Nets and 5,500 apartments above the Long Island Railroad terminal near the meeting of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in Prospect Heights. "As a 12-year-old I cried like a baby when the Brooklyn Dodgers left us for La-La-Land," Markowitz told reporters at the October 2003 unveiling. "Now at 58 years of age, I can't wait to shed tears of joy. Joy because I predict that the Brooklyn Nets will be the most successful basketball team in the NBA." HA.
Brooklyn Nets Stadium Frank Gehry's design of the Brooklyn Nets Arena (CityRealty0
Forest City Ratner Model images of Brooklyn Atlantic Yards credit of Forest City Ratner
While the Nets and their new arena haven't brought a new golden age of Brooklyn sports, neither has it been the traffic and quality-of-life apocalypse locals feared. Now rebranded as Pacific Park Brooklyn, the master plan's scope has expanded to include an 8-acre public park, 247,000 square feet of retail, 336,000 square feet of commercial space and 6,430 units of housing, of which 2,250 will be dedicated to low-, moderate-, and middle-income households.
To win the public over, early concepts showed jittering towers designed by Frank Gehry nestling the arena. After gaining approvals, a new roster of architects was brought in to provide more cost-conscious designs. Since the stadium's 2012 opening, only four residential buildings have gone up, with at least 15 left to go and the railyard gulch still exposed.
Pacific Park Brooklyn Bird's eye view of a built-out Pacific Park Brooklyn
This site plan and timetable from August 2014 shows the development of new building have fallen behind as of late (Greenland Forest City Partners via
In a breakthrough agreement that would greatly speed up work on the project, yesterday, The New York Post reported that the local heavyweight developers of TF Cornerstone and the Brodsky Organization will take control of three major sites in the 22-acre plan. Pacific Park is currently owned by a joint venture between Greenland USA, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Greenland Group, and its five percent partner, Forest City New York.
The Brodsky Organization, the developer behind City Tower and Enclave at the Cathedral, will begin construction early 2019 on 664 Pacific Street (Site B15). Designed by Marvel Architects, the 26-story tower will hold 300 market-rate apartments that will sit above a new middle school.
664 Pacific Street Previously-released plans of 664 Pacific Street (Site B15) (Credit: Marvel Architects)
(Marvel Architects)
TF Cornerstone, who have been busy on the Long Island City waterfront and recently opened 33 Bond in Downtown Brooklyn, will be taking over two sites at the plan's eastern end at 615 and 595 Dean Street. Jeremy Shell, a principal of TF Cornerstone, tells the Post they estimate between 12-18 months before the start of construction and the pair of buildings will hold roughly 800 rental apartments as well as retail and parking facilities.
18-Sixth-Avenue-03 First look at 18 Sixth Avenue (Site B4) to rise behind the Barclays Center (Credit Greenland Forest City Partners via NY Post)
Last but not least is 18 Sixth Avenue (Site B4) to rise directly east of Barclays Center. Developed by Greenland Forest City Partners, the 500-foot-high tower will be one of the tallest buildings in the plan. The Post released a new rendering of it showing a blocky glass design not resembling an earlier concept drafted by SHoP Architects (below).
SHOP Architects Older rendering of the tower to rise at Site B4 showed it would complement its finished, SHoP-designed towers at 36 Sixth Avenue and 461 Dean Street (Greenland Forest City Partners)
As of 2018, four buildings in the plan are open for occupancy. 550 Vanderbilt is, for now, the only for-sale offering in the plan. The COOKFOX-designed building features sustainable and biophilic elements to enhance the life of its residents. Currently listed are two-bedrooms priced from $1,495M and three-bedrooms from $3.45M. There is also a studio listed for $780K, a townhouse for $4.5M and a four-bed penthouse asking $6.86M

The other four buildings in the plan are a mix of affordable and market-rate rentals. The all middle-income affordable rental building at 535 Carlton Avenue has one-bedrooms from $2,680/month and two-bedrooms from $2,686/month. Another middle-income rental at 38 Sixth Avenue has apartments available to incomes ranging from $74,606 and $199,650.
Compilation of finished and announced towers in the plan.
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New Developments Editor Ondel Hylton Ondel is a lifelong New Yorker and comprehensive assessor of the city's dynamic urban landscape.
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