As embattled developer Bruce Ratner—who just won't let go of his $4.2 billion dream to build a Nets basketball arena, office towers and thousands of apartments in Prospect Heights— continues to stagger around like a zombie who refuses to believe he's dead, the project's celebrated architect Frank Gehry is becoming increasingly uninvolved.
Last November, Gehry quietly dismissed two dozen staffers working on revised designs, and in March he told a reporter he doubts the project is "going to happen." Ratner is still determined to break ground on the $800 million arena as early as September, but it seems likely that Gehry will eventually have his name removed from Atlantic Yards; the Daily News reports that Ratner has hired Kansas City architecture firm Ellerbe Becket to essentially redo Gehry's design to cut costs.
Ratner opponent Daniel Goldstein at Develop Don't Destroy tells the News an Autumn groundbreaking is "impossible. He doesn't even know who's designing the arena or what it costs." And last week Mayor Bloomberg dealt another blow to Ratner, announcing that the city would not subsidize the project with any additional public funds—beyond the $230 million for infrastructure and land-acquisition already pledged.