After dropping architect Frank Gehry from his embattled Atlantic Yards project, developer Bruce Ratner replaced him with arena designer company Ellerbe Becket, whose revised brick shit-house renderings for a proposed Nets Arena were met with derision. So last week it was revealed that Ratner was doing damage control by bringing in hot New York architecture firm SHoP, and now this morning we have take three on the arena, which is still radically different from Gehry's signature crumpled paper design, but less banal than the last misfire.
Still, to opponents like Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, these new renderings are just lipstick on a boondoggle. They've also been released after the public comment period closed, and omit details on the rest of the 22-acre Atlantic Yards site, which once-upon-a-time was to include 16 towers, 6,430 housing units, and a 511 foot tall structure called Miss Brooklyn (remember her?). Though there do seem to be some ghostly buildings hovering in the background, proving that Atlantic Yards phantoms are hardly done haunting Brooklyn.
Nevertheless, the Empire State Development Corporation declined to conduct a full public review of the dramatically changed plans, and Ratner's expected to get final state approval next week. But hurdles, as ever, remain—the state's highest court has agreed to hear the eminent domain lawsuit brought by opponents who say the ESDC is trying to seize private property to benefit Forest City Ratner, not the public.