Bruce Ratner to Finally Build a Residential Tower at Atlantic Yards?

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08/24/2011 10:38 AM |

Oh, Miss Brooklyn, how unlikely you were to ever happen.
  • Oh, Miss Brooklyn, how unlikely you were to ever happen.

Forest City Ratner has begun the paperwork process to being construction next year on a single residential tower on the Atlantic Yards site, Brownstoner found yesterday. The Observer reports that they hope to break ground on a 33-story, 368-unit by the end of this year.

For now, the Observer further reports, Forest City Ratner isn’t ruling out the possibility of building a prefabricated tower—it’d be a cheaper, shorter process, requiring far fewer construction workers—a test balloon that took many potshots when it was floated this spring.

“’Clearly, prefab housing is not what we expected,'” Richard Weiss, a spokesman for Construction and General Building Laborers’ Local 79, told the Brooklyn Paper: ‘”The only reason we [supported the project] was for jobs for our members.'” Right, because Forest City Ratner has kept so many of the promises it made in manufacturing enlisting support for Atlantic Yards.

Last month, we reported on a protest held by a community group which had previously supported Atlantic Yards, only to discover (as Tish James is seen trying to remind everyone, repeatedly, for several years, in the Atlantic Yards documentary), that all the construction jobs would go to the union workers from outside the neighborhood. Jaundiced longtime Atlantic Yards observes may feel moved to suggest that this time, it’s the union’s turned to get screwed.

At Atlantic Yards Report, Norman Oder is skeptical of the possibility of prefab construction, noting that this building would be significantly taller than, and structurally different from, the world’s tallest prefab high-rise. But he does wonder how Forest City Ratner would pay for construction of a real building, especially if additional subsidies aren’t forthcoming.

The rest of the projected however many dozen towers and public open space and low-income units will be built on the vacated Atlantic Yards site just as soon as Ratner finds something else to sell.