Cost-cutting has already motivated several changes at Atlantic Yards, most notably the dropping of Frank Gehry's original design for the Barclays Center. Here's what's next in developer Bruce Ratner's efforts to trim the bills: the world's tallest prefabricated tower. The Times' Charles Bagli drops the bombshell that Forest City Ratner has been secretly studying modular construction for the past year, partly because Ratner became obsessed with a Youtube video of a prefab building going up in China. The architects at SHoP are still working on traditional designs, but Forest City Ratner's plan now appears to call for a 34-story, 400-unit prefab tower for the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street. Given the scale of the megaproject, the company could even set up its own modular housing factory and is already scouting out sites for it...in Long Island City.
Of course, the promise of construction jobs is what brought Ratner some community support during the long battle over Atlantic Yards, and a prefabricated tower would eliminate many of those jobs. So we're sure this move will make the neighbors feel even more welcoming. It'll also make a great subplot for the next Atlantic Yards musical.
· In Brooklyn, a Prefabricated Tower May Rise in Atlantic Yards [NYT]
· Atlantic Yards coverage [Curbed]