One might almost say that it was predictable. In financial markets that have dried up, how was Bruce Ratner going to get financing for a $950 million arena, the most expensive in the world? Now, we know the answer, he's firing Frank Gehry and building a $400 million arena. Well, not firing. He's "value engineering" Mr. Gehry's work and going to shave $500 million, give or take, and it will end up looking like the
Atlantic Center Mall Prudential Center in Newark. Perhaps by the time it's done, Mr. Gehry will be dead of old age and won't have to see what was done to what would have been one of his master works. "We are continuing to speak with many arena experts and working hard to find ways to build a world class venue in an incredibly difficult economic environment," a Ratner spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. The price tag on Mr. Gehry's work was $950 million (before what were sure to be hundreds of millions in cost overruns). The Prudential Center in Newark, which houses the hockey Devils, on the other hand, cost $400 milllion. The CityRoom reported that "Executives are concerned that even if they are able to overcome a pending legal challenge, it would be hard to finance what would be the most expensive arena in the world." And the Daily News wrote that Bruce Ratner has brought in "value engineering" companies to find ways to save money "and keep the project afloat amid a cash crunch that has stopped all work at the site." Yet another entry on the Atlantic Yards Timeline of Despair. Sorry they're going to value engineer your curves and glass into a concrete box, Frank. No truth to the rumor it will be called the Brooklyn Dollar Store Center.
· Developer May Scale Back Plans for Brooklyn Nets Arena [WSJ]
· Atlantic Yards Developer Denies Removing Architect [CityRoom]
· Brooklyn Nets Arena cutback? [NYDN]