Despite comments from architect Frank Gehry expressing doubts about the future of a new Nets arena, developer Bruce Ratner says construction will begin on the project this summer.
Despite comments from architect Frank Gehry expressing doubts about the future of a new New Jersey Nets (NBA) arena, developer Bruce Ratner says construction will begin on the project this summer.
In a statement, Ratner said he expects the arena to open in 2011:
"Frank Gehry is a friend, a great architect and someone I have huge respect for. It is understandable how he and others have concerns about this project happening in the worst economic environment since the Great Depression.
"But that said, we’ve prevailed in 22 judicial decisions and are ready to proceed even at a time when other projects and industries have faltered. Atlantic Yards will get built, and there has never been a time when this project was more important to the people of the state and City of New York and the Borough of Brooklyn."
One reason why Gehry may be sour on the project: the Ratner team is scaling back his precious designs. The arena, which was originally budgeted at $950 million, is being scaled back — let’s just say there’s a lot of value engineering going on — and will probably come closer to resembling an Xcel Energy Center than a Frank Gehry original. Which, if you’re a Nets fan and want to see the team in Brooklyn, isn’t the worst thing in the world.