Sections

It’s open! Ceremonial ribbon-cutting marks Barclays Center debut

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Photo gallery

1/8
April 20, 2010: The Barclays Center is still in its fetal stage, barely concieved, but brimming with potential.
2/8
Aug. 30, 2010: A fleet of backhoes have made some progress in their frantic quest for bedrock.
3/8
Nov. 22, 2010: With most of the digging complete, construction workers have trucked in a towering crane and steel girders in anticipation of erecting the Barclays Center’s massive frame.
4/8
March 25, 2011: Up it goes! The Barclays Center’s skeleton-like frame rises into the air on two sides.
5/8
May 31, 2011: Progress continues on the Barclays Center’s steel frame and, wouldn’t you know it, construction workers have brought in another crane!
6/8
Aug. 29, 2011: Progress on the frame continues, and a latticework of steel beams hovers overhead, primed to support the arena’s roof.
7/8
Feb. 27, 2012: The Barclays Center has come a long way since 2010. A large portion of the roof appears complete, and work has begun on the arena’s glass facade.
8/8
Aug. 23, 2012: What a beaut! With the roof finished, logos gleaming gloriously from the sides, and its rusty finish not gleaming at all, the venue is nearly ready for its debut entertainer, Jay-Z!

Developers and city officials marked the opening of the Barclays Center arena with a symbolic ribbon cutting on Friday, touting it as a “big win” for Brooklyn — but mask-clad protesters slammed those same big wigs for failing to provide enough jobs to residents in the borough.

Mayor Bloomberg — who shared a court-side stage with developer Bruce Ratner and Borough President Markowitz — cheered the 18,000-seat basketball arena as an economy-stimulating, culture-boosting venue that puts the Brooklyn on the map.

“Brooklyn has arrived,” Bloomberg said. “It’s a great day.”

The towering, rust-colored stadium — which will soon host Nets games at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues — is the centerpiece of Ratner’s controversial and long-in-the-works Atlantic Yards mega-project, which has been the subject of lawsuits, protests, and even documentary films.

On Friday, Ratner told more than 100 members of the media the arena would enrich the lives of Brooklynites and employ thousands of people.

“It’s a defining new model for the role sports and entertainment arenas can play in communities,” he said.

He then used a three-foot long pair of scissors to snip a purple ribbon in front of the basketball court as confetti shot into the air.

Other speeches included plenty of hoops terminology — think “slam dunk,” “victory,” and “cheerleader” — as TV news reporters perused tables of miniature croissants and muffins.

But outside the media gathering, some Brooklynites weren’t cheering.

A handful of protestors — clad in bobblehead-style masks of the developer and project-supporting politicians — staged a satirical performance, claiming project honchos backed out of promises to provide enough jobs.

“They’re ripping off Brooklyn,” said project mega-opponent Daniel Goldstein, who accepted a $3 million buyout after the state condemned his Prospect Heights home to make room for the Atlantic Yards development.

He said the second phase of the project, which includes building residential towers, should be cancelled and Ratner should be held accountable.

Ratner’s $5-billion project includes a high-end sports club, luxury suites and a parking lot — and will feature concerts from performers such as teen dream Justin Bieber, superstar Barbra Streisand, and rap mogul Jay-Z beginning on Sept. 28

Markowitz noted those big-name artist and exciting shows will help brighten the future of the borough.

“For every entertainer who comes, it will be a crowning achievement — because they get to say they made it to Brooklyn, USA,” he said.

Behind him, a screen above the court flashed the words: “September is just the beginning.”

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

VLM from PS says:
Considering you run an online news site here with limitless potential, would it have been that much of a challenge to run a photo or gallery slideshow of the opening?
Sept. 21, 2012, 3:04 pm
Skellatosis from Bk says:
Ugly rusty building. Did they run out of money or is it suppose to be that way? Yikes
Sept. 21, 2012, 3:50 pm
Jim from Cobble says:
New ad consulting business: "Branding your building for a high-visibility profile in today's geo-digital media space!" Translation: We'll paint your roof and make sure it shows up on google maps.

FIPS called it best though: "The Mos Eisley Space Port of sporting venues"
Sept. 21, 2012, 5:09 pm
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
Oh Lordy, oh Lordy, oh Lordy!!
Sept. 21, 2012, 6:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How interesting that what was there before was never shown. Before they broke ground after having friends in high places help them break the law, there were homes were thousands lived before being displaced by the abuse of eminent domain, which is supposed to be for public projects only. It just sickens me to hear those that try to justify this with their bowing down to Ratner. One day, it will be your property that they could go after. In reality, this was never about bringing a professional sports team to Brooklyn, which is the really the Trojan Horse here, it was about a greedy developer just wanting more land. One other thing, those who fought this project were hardly NIMBYs, because they weren't going to be living with it, the project was going to be on their homes. I still suggest anyone who hasn't seen Battle for Brooklyn to see it to see what the real story was about especially what much of the media refused to cover over the years, and it's good for those who may feel as if they have been living under a rock on this for the who time.
Sept. 21, 2012, 9:23 pm
Susan from Bay Ridge says:
Its rusty finish not gleaming at all, ho ho ho.
Sept. 21, 2012, 9:32 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Edit: "There were homes where DOZENS lived..." -- never thousands.

Your absurd exaggeration doesn't help your argument.
Sept. 22, 2012, 12:55 am
Someone who see a better place from New Yorker says:
The cries of people about the displacement of residents are un-nerving to me.
As it was the owners of the properties that were legally purchased during the worst recession had profited for the sale since the offering by the Developer was twice the value of what it was worth.
The demolition of the vacant decrepit warehouse, factories that were within is now transformed into a showcase for the Brooklyn Borough.
The whole surrounding neighborhood is showing signs of a much better place than it once was.
It certainly seems that the antagonists are looking for cash handouts from someone since they fell that they should get more than they have for being around. Too bad, BROOKLYNITES you should be proud, celebrate and enjoy.
Sept. 22, 2012, 7:45 am
South from Brooklyn says:
"Thousands" hah, it's crackpots like you that make the argument against the arena seem moot.
Sept. 22, 2012, 8:49 am
derp from the isle o'coney says:
Tal if you're sick take a pill. Whatever makes you feel better. Hope you'll be well for Opening Day.
Sept. 22, 2012, 9:18 am
derp from the isle o'coney says:
Tal if you're sick take a pill. Whatever makes you feel better. Hope you'll be well for Opening Day.
Sept. 22, 2012, 9:18 am
Why is it rusty? from common sense says:
When will they paint the building?
Sept. 22, 2012, 12:24 pm
BIBNY52 from Park Slope says:
I read that the designers of this building deliberately created the rusty appearance of the iron work to represent the rugged, tough fabric of Brooklyn. I think they forgot to look around and notice that the borough is swarming with yuppies and hipsters. Hardly tough.
Sept. 22, 2012, 1:30 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
BIBNY52,
They were going to name it the Starbucks- American Apparel Center and paint it the plaid of a faux lumberjack shirt but the beardo crowd will not come that close to large concentrations of brown people. Hipsters will never come because once a venue has over 150 seats it's already too big for any band that they are allowed to like.
Sept. 22, 2012, 2:13 pm
BIBNY52 from Park Slope says:
Swamp,
I like your assessment of the bearded weirdo crowd. Better rusty than plaid. Better brown than hairy no talents.
Sept. 22, 2012, 3:04 pm
luanna from the bay says:
Great.Now where do I park.
Sept. 22, 2012, 3:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, the number was approximately the total number of those living there originally before it was all taken down. Most of them already bought out to Ratner when his men came to them. The dozens you speak of are the ones who have stayed and continued the fight like Goldstien and others. This is no exaggeration, and I take it that you haven't been following this well as I have. Don't believe me, then ask Council Member Tish James who represents that area, and she will tell you the real number as she to was against this as well. For those who still don't know, those that were living there were only give two choices and that was either take whatever Ratner and his cronies were giving them or they would lose it through eminent domain, but not wanting to sell was never an option. Basically, he would get their property one way or another. Nevertheless, if the Nets continue to do bad as they do now, the arena will be seen as nothing but a joke and seen nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig.
Sept. 22, 2012, 4 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Luanna,
there is plenty of parking, bicycle parking. Seriously, there was never any parking here, There is about a dozen subway lines plus the LIRR. And these are the major Subway lines 2,3,4,5, Q, R.B and some others I think. there is some parking, and some buildings will certainly convert to over priced parking. This is a big city. Public Transportation can handle this easily. Arenas and stadiums in inner cities work. They make the city better. It would be an embarrassment if the best subway system in the world could not handle this.
Sept. 22, 2012, 4:25 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
There are still going to be a number of people driving to events there despite the transit. If you have ever been on the Major Deegan Expressway during Yankees games, the place is gridlocked like crazy, and the same thing for LIE, GCP, and Van Wyck Expressway when there is Mets games. This is despite the transit options being there. There are even a good proportion of those who go to MSG with taxis despite the fact that it to is right on top of a major transit hub for subways that also includes terminals for two commuter rail systems (LIRR and NJT) and even Amtrak, which is a regional rail line. With the way the subways, buses and commuter rails run after 10 PM, most would be better off driving if they want to get home sooner. The Atlantic Avenue Station can barley hold the ridership now, so I doubt that they can hold the amount of those coming to the games there. To make matters worse, the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues already has bad traffic and this was before the idea of the arena, so there is a possibility of traffic getting worse there rather than better.
Sept. 22, 2012, 4:44 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
get over yourselves and twisted panties - it's here and it is not going anywhwere - hope ia local iv has the house
Sept. 22, 2012, 6:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I take it to some of you, the end justifies the means. All that matters was getting that arena even if it would involve murder, you would still be in favor of it no matter what. Developers like Ratner is so proud that there will always be those who are sheep to this and will go with whoever feeds them. The only reason it's here is because he had friends in high places to help him get it through otherwise it would have been a failure to launch from the start. While the opposition can't stop the arena, they can still grill Ratner for all the broken promises that he mentioned for getting this done, which he will probably never do. Still, you should see the film, Battle for Brooklyn if not already, and it's good place for you to ask if you really want to know what really happened. Let's really thinks this through, how did the city and state have money for this, but not money to help with more important places in the public sector such as public schools and hospitals that some had to close down thanks to a lack of funding? Just think about that.
Sept. 22, 2012, 6:32 pm
derp from the isle o'coney says:
Its here, its for real and its spectacular!
Sept. 22, 2012, 7:40 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- DOZENS. Your "estimate" is just WRONG like most of the crap you spew. Stop.
Sept. 22, 2012, 9:42 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Tal,

You're clearly mistaken. Thousands of residents were certainly NOT displaced for the Atlantic Yards project, at least not directly; you may argue that many more are going to be displace due to higher rents, but I doubt this number will even reach 1,000. Much of the land needed was not even occupied by residents. The buildings that were condemned did not house anywhere close to what you claim. Ty is absolutely correct. The numbers are more in the dozens. Trust me, I live in P. Heights. You are wrong.
Sept. 22, 2012, 9:56 pm
Rocco B from Greenpoint says:
Can someone tell me why Cuomo bobblehead showed but not the true Cuomo?
Sept. 23, 2012, 1:33 am
Steve Nitwitt from Sheepshead Bay says:
I heard Ratner had a Norm bobblehead on display during event.
Sept. 23, 2012, 1:35 am
JonnyHammerSticks from Bay Ridge says:
The building's outside is meant to resemble the brownstones that are in the area.

It was rusted on purpose. If anyone wants an explanation, here you go: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/nyregion/building-with-weathering-steel-both-rugged-and-rusty.html?pagewanted=all
Sept. 23, 2012, 5:52 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Prospect Heights Resident, how much did Ratner pay you to say that? I have been keeping in touch with this project from the start, and DDDB tells the true story here as does the AYR and even the latest film. That area was completely filled before Ratner came to knock it all down. As for Goldstien himself, the building he lived in wasn't empty when he first moved in there, and he stood up by staying there when everyone else left there. You can spin the statement all you want, but there are those who know what really happened. The only reason why you and your friends say dozens is because those in the opposition where the only ones left still fighting it while others just left the place, because they were afraid to lose their property through eminent domain. Just see the film and all of your questions will be answered. Then again, there will always be those who believe anything they hear as PT Barnum used to say, "A sucker is born every minute."
Sept. 23, 2012, 11:28 am
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Tal,

You obviously haven't been following as closely as you thought. Living in the area of the arena, I know that the housing that was condemned for the project could not accommodate "thousands" of residents. There is just no way in hell. And the area was NOT completely filled before the Ratner project, but included abandoned buildings and empty lots in much of the blueprint.

Much of the area, including where the homeless shelter was that was condemned, did not even have physical structures on them when the project was announced (the shelter was constructed/inhabited after the fact, only to be condemned). Goldstein's building alone only had 31 units, and not all of those units were occupied or occupied by residents with families. Most of the other condemned units were nowhere near as large. Perhaps hundreds were affected, but nowhere near the "thousands" that you claim. That is pure BS.
Sept. 23, 2012, 3:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The exact number was found to be 864 in residential units when I looked at the Fans for Fair Play website to determine that number. That isn't too far from a thousand. However, where is your claim that hardly anyone was living there before it was considered to be demolished? From what I heard, the area was pretty occupied, and the claim that it was blighted more had to do with the claim that many of the places were underusing the zoning laws to their maximum extend, though the area was never really rezoned, it was the state overriding them. Many of the building were former factories or other industrial buildings that were converted to residential, which is what Jane Jacobs herself envisioned. BTW, I am probably one few here who actually met Goldstein himself in person, so I know what really happened to him when he left as do others who have met as well, so I have first hand experience on what really happened.
Sept. 23, 2012, 6:46 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
I admit, I was off when I said that dozens were removed, but there were certainly not thousands who were displaced. And you would need at least 2,000 residents displaced for your original assertion to be true. Having 1.1 million dollars does not make one have "millions of dollars."

And I don't think that your new number is accurate either. There were many old factories that we're being renovated into residential units, but this started happening after the plans for the arena were announced, and were likely caused by the buzz that the arena created in my opinion. Believe me, Prospect Heights was not the hip place it was where such conversions could be successful before the arena was announced. But these factories could not and did not accommodate nearly as many people as Goldstein's building did. Nowhere near as many; they were more like three family homes occupied by 4 to 6 people at max per building. When you think about it, we are only talking about a few blocks, and most of these blocks (especially on Pacific Street) only had residential units on one side of the street because the rail yards occupied the other side. So this brings down the number of people one may assume we're affected by an even larger number. When we go talk about more than a few of the buildings on Dean Street,these buildings were not occupied! The only way you could even come close to your numbers is if the Newswalk complex was being condemned, which as far as I know it is not.

And the area was beyond blighted. Just counting the Atlantic Yards itself was enough blight, but it didn't end there.
Sept. 23, 2012, 8:25 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Barclays Center looks pretty good, though its entrance is a little naked; It needs more greenery than the green roof on the subway entrance.

Artful pedestrian overpasses would help aesthetically, too, and mitigate the inevitable gridlock when games and concerts begin.
Sept. 24, 2012, 8:44 am
Rob from Ratnerville Unwilling says:
Tal's number may be on the high side (I think it was closer to 900 people all told who were displaced...but that's still more than live in many small CITIES) but the point is, if they did it here they can do it anywhere they want, and take YOUR house or any piece of physical or intellectual property you may think you own. All under eminent domain. Since the Supreme Court under Bush expanded the use to 'better financial deals for the government, more taxes for better use of a property', it is all fair game for the government to take whatever they want and give it to whoever has asked/paid them to rob you.

The Independent Budget Office has said the arena will be a money loser for the city and state. National studies say they are BIG money losers. Even Ratner's own economic flunky said the arena was a bad investment that was only offset by the other business and residential buildings. Where are they? So no offset, all money being lost by the government to go to a set of billionaires and wannabe billionaires.

And that government money is YOUR money. Say goodbye to your future, you think Ratner, Prokorhov, and Bloomberg deserve it more than you.

Bread and circuses, Romans, bread and circuses.
Sept. 24, 2012, 9 am
Bob from Prospect Heights says:
Prospect Heights Resident, where did you get your completely incorrect "facts?" Were you even a resident at the time this all started, or are you one of the newbies drinking the Ratner kool-aid, or maybe a Ratner employee trolling on this board?

In the Atlantic Arts building they emptied over 140 apartments: the only holdout was Dan Goldstein. In the Spalding Building another 40 units. On Dean Street, next to the old Freddies, the converted factory with live-in artists and craftsmen, another 250 people. There were NO unoccupied buildings on Dean Street! Zero, zip, nada! The Newswalk Building was carved out of the eminent domain numbers because Ratner couldn't cook a deal with Shaya Boymelgreen, the developer. Pacific Street was mostly 4-6 story buildings with up to 48 occupied apartments in each one!

NO revisionist history!
Sept. 24, 2012, 12:30 pm
Ken from greenpoint says:
Marty Markowitz is ready for ribbon cutting for the longest time.....
Sept. 24, 2012, 1:47 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Bob,

I've lived in PH since 1999. There were not as many people as Tal claimed who were forced out of the area. Please show me hard evidence to back your claim that this many people were displaced. The buildings in that area simply did not hold that many people (and there WERE unoccupied buildings/empty spaces on Dean Street, especially when we're talking about Dean Street bet. Vanderbilt and Carlton on the right left side of the block heading towards Washington Avenue). You are ill-informed.

Here is a map and general layout of the condemned area. While some of the buildings have already been purchased (note, not all of the buildings that were knocked down were subject to eminent domain, but some were VOLUNTARILY sold beforehand to FCR). http://www.developdontdestroy.org/php/ownership/index.php

I am telling you that the number of people displaced by this project is greatly exaggerated.
Sept. 24, 2012, 2 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
*While some of the buildings have already been purchased, the link above gives a good idea on the scope of the project and the blocks that were altered due to the project.
Sept. 24, 2012, 2:01 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
We were talking about roughly 140 residences in total that were originally scheduled to be demolished (I think that this number may have been decreased at the end of the day). http://wirednewyork.com/forum/printthread.php?t=4322&pp=15&page=12

These residences did NOT all contain the number of people needed to support the outrageous claim made by Tal and others. Nowhere near that.
Sept. 24, 2012, 2:04 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
From the Technical Analysis of an Extended Build-Out of the Atlantic Yards Arena and Redevelopment Project:

"The Extended Build-Out Scenario would not change the FEIS conclusion that the Project wouldnot result in significant adverse socioeconomic impacts for any of the five areas of socioeconomic concern and that the Project would generate substantial economic benefits forNew York City and State. Irrespective of the timing of construction, the Project would continueto directly displace a total of up to 410 residents, 27 businesses and 2 institutional uses, most of which has occurred."

Ultimately, I believe that the total number of residents was ultimately even less than 410, as the project (due to the new design) ultimately required fewer seizures and demolitions of residential units.
Sept. 24, 2012, 2:11 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
From the Technical Analysis of an Extended Build-Out of the Atlantic Yards Arena and Redevelopment Project:

"The Extended Build-Out Scenario would not change the FEIS conclusion that the Project wouldnot result in significant adverse socioeconomic impacts for any of the five areas of socioeconomic concern and that the Project would generate substantial economic benefits forNew York City and State. Irrespective of the timing of construction, the Project would continue to directly displace a total of up to 410 residents, 27 businesses and 2 institutional uses, most of which has occurred."

Ultimately, I believe that the total number of residents was ultimately even less than 410, as the project (due to the new design) ultimately required fewer seizures and demolitions of residential units.
Sept. 24, 2012, 2:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just a reminder, the number of units lost is not equal to the number of people that were pushed out, and not all of them had just one person living in them. Also, not all of the places were residential either, because last time I checked, places like Freddy's Bar and Backroom is not residential. The conversion to make the former factories and other industrial buildings goes all the way back to the 90's and some even earlier than that. The claim that this arena was going to be a net money loser was found by facts compiled by the Independent Budget Office, and the were NOT paid by DDDB or any other groups opposed by this to come up with that conclusion unlike how Ratner paid Zimbalist for results he wanted, they did that on their own. If you can prove to me that the arena is a net money winner, I would love to see that, though Niel de Mause, the author of Field of Schemes, begs to differ on that. As for that link, coming from a message board where just about everyone tends to love the latest everything, they can be biased, and it's not as if I have used message boards that go the other way. Just like all other hard core supporters you do tend to sound pretty defensive as well as repeat some of the same myths that Ratner and his cronies have mentioned.
Sept. 24, 2012, 2:22 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
This is a fair point, Tal, and one that has never been lost on me. Still, as I've mentioned before, the number of people living in these units was not great enough, on average, to create the number of people you claimed who were displaced. And, yes, not all of those displaced were residents; my post at 3:11pm makes that clear. The report that I posted shows 410 residents (and that was a high number) being displaced. Not the "thousands" (or even close to 1,000) claimed by you and others.

While I do not have the numbers to make the claim that the arena was going to be a net money maker, it would not surprise me one bit if the entire project itself (and the taxes collected from businesses setting up shop next to the arena and the greater project) will turn out to be a net money maker for the city.
Sept. 24, 2012, 2:52 pm
Malembi from BK says:
Shut the —— up
Sept. 24, 2012, 3:02 pm
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
Up to 19,000 people flooding the neighborhood more than 200 times a year will create chaos on the streets.
Sept. 24, 2012, 3:15 pm
Someone who see a better place from New York says:
Does anyone have a hard number of the people that were forced out through the State's use of Eminent Domain? I'm sure it's very little if the sales of the surrounding properties before the State came in. All I can say is that to have this Arena and the events they have already scheduled is a blessing to all of Brooklyn.
Sept. 24, 2012, 6:06 pm
ty from pps says:
Bunny -- Chaos? Jesus. Calm down.
Sept. 24, 2012, 6:59 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I have a big question for the supporters here. If this was going on your property or someone you closely knew as a friend or family member, would any of you be saying the same things you would be saying right now or something completely different? Just imagine the paid supporters protesting in front of your property saying how much they want you and how wanting to keep your property is being selfish just like you said it to those who are the victims of this. It's all fun and games until they come for you, so I would be careful where you throw your apathy. It's easy to support something when you know you aren't the one affected by it. As for anyone calling the opposition NIMBYs when they were fighting it, that is completely false, because they weren't fighting it because they would have to be living with it, they were fighting because it was going to go right where they live and/or work. What is the whole point of having property rights when it can just be taken right from under you?
Sept. 24, 2012, 7:16 pm
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
ty,

You obviously don't live here so how would you know. The traffic problems throughout Clinton Hill since 2004 have grown steadily, dramatically worse. Speeding is the major problem. And 19,000 people added to the neighborhood X 200 days per year is 3.8 million people this neighborhood has to take in every year for decades. That's a volcano of strangers, many of whom will have been drinking and in a celebratory loud partying mood will be thrown down into the middle of the neighborhood on an almost daily basis. My advice to people in the neighborhood, lock your doors and turn off the lights.
Sept. 24, 2012, 8:16 pm
ty from pps says:
Bunny -- Sounds like you shouldn't live there either... and perhaps probably since 2005.
Sept. 24, 2012, 10:08 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Tal,

To be honest, if I was being forced out of my house, I'd be fighting like hell to remain. That said, knowing that homeowners were getting above market rates for their homes, I wouldn't be too unhappy at the end of the day. However, I would hope that I would still appreciate the project for all of the good that it is going to do for the borough. This is a part of the democratic process. You stand up and fight for your position, hoping to get the ear of your elected representatives and state judges. If you win, great. If you lose, move on and stop complaining, as it is not going to change anything (at least not in this instance).

But my issue is not with the fact that displaced homeowners are (or were) fighting to keep their homes; they have a legitimate gripe. My issue is with those who exaggerate the negatives of the arena and larger project. This project is a much-needed piece in the rebirth of Brooklyn.
Sept. 24, 2012, 11:24 pm
ty from pps says:
But Prospect Heights Resident... Haven't you heard? We're only a couple of days away from chaos. I suspect the upcoming concerts and basketball games will just turn into nightly mobs with pitchforks and torches. Everyone will be murdered and house burned. As BunnySunny suggested, "lock your doors and turn off the lights."

Oh, and there will also be a little traffic congestion.
Sept. 25, 2012, 8:56 am
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Yeah, ty, unfortunately these are more exaggerations being spread by those who are opposed to the arena (BunnySunny is just being ridiculous . . . although, sadly, I believe that he is serious). The arena is not going to bring chaos, but much needed opportunity to the area.
Sept. 25, 2012, 1:19 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Prospect Heights Resident, for a person who has claimed to live in the area for more than a decade, you seem to sound like someone who has been living under a rock. Those living there were only given two choices and that was to sell to Ratner or lose it through eminent domain. Either way, what they were offered wouldn't be enough to live in the new apartments that would be there. This project has been a bait and switch from the start. Even right now, some of those who originally believed everything Ratner said hook, line, and sinker are now starting to realize that they have been used, but they are too little too late for that compared to those who were fighting it from the start. Honestly, I don't see how placing an arena near the borough's biggest traffic intersection is a plus when that really sounds more like a minus to me. If this was done through ULURP rather than SEQRA, it would never be approved especially for being placed in an area that is mostly residential and being within 200 feet of it. Still, I am glad there are those who really know what is going on like Oder, who does the AYR.
Sept. 25, 2012, 6:28 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Are you going to be able to put this all behind you in time to see the Justin Bieber concert? I heard your mom bought you tickets.
Sept. 25, 2012, 7:51 pm
Someone who see a better place from New York says:
Too bad DG was only offered market value for his single bedroom apartment I hear on CurbedNY "Goldstein and his family spent $812,000 on the house last year, and now they're adding "a deck, a hot tub and a horizontal extension," according to the Times. Hey, they do have $2.188 million to burn—and they've gotten used to not having neighbors. But in the words of one neighbor—who also told Goldstein's architect she wished his house would burn down—"This is like if you have a peaceful piece of property on a lake, and a Jet Ski comes through." I guess he looking for another handout. Thanks for all the support you provided this character.
Sept. 25, 2012, 8:19 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Someone, how exactly is DG being a hypocrite on what he is doing with his new home? There are many who renovate their property by adding extra floors especially when they are allowed to do so just to make it to the maximum height the zoning board allows for on that said property, which is exactly what he is doing. Unlike Ratner, he is working with the zoning board not against them. The claim that the extension would block out the sun on his neighbor's garden was never proven, though that lady did move out not that long ago, but not because DG made her do so, she chose to on her own, and his new neighbors actually appreciate him. BTW, DG was no sellout, because he stayed on the now demolished for about 7 years before finally leaving, and the money he got was chump change compared to what Ratner's CEOs' make and how much Ratner got in subsidized bonds. That comparison is complete apples and oranges as well as being just another cheap shot taken on DG. As for ty, I am not a fan of Justin Bieber, so I will not be going to any of concerts no matter where he plays, but even going to a Nets game there won't change my view on the arena, though the team will still probably do bad no matter what their home venue is.
Sept. 26, 2012, 1:26 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
I've actually been living in reality, unlike you, since this project was announced. Yes, the landowners were essentially offered two choices. However, these choices were clearly not equal. On the one hand, FCR offered significantly above market rates if landowners sold directly to FCR and did not engage in court hearings/wait until after eminent domain hearings went through. On the other hand, landowners would have been paid substantially less if their properties were seized through eminent domain.

While I have acknowledged the legitimate plight of the landowners in this situation, I also acknowledge the many benefits that promise to arise from this project. You are free to fight your battles, but there comes a time to move on. And a misinformation campaign --spreading false narratives about the arena project -- is not the way to respond either.

The project has been approved and is going to do wonders for Brooklyn. The energy that you and others spend spreading half-truths and full lies about the project could be better spent on something more positive and truthful.

Also, while in a residential area, the arena itself only touches 2 1/2 residential blocks. Most of the "residents" complaining about the project do not live directly across from the arena, but instead across Flatbush, Atlantic, or some other street/avenue. Still, this arena project is already revitalizing the area, as new businesses open. These businesses bring with them new life, jobs, and other opportunities.
Sept. 26, 2012, 5:56 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Prospect Heights Resident, the way you say it sounds like someone reading one of Ratner's script here. If you truly have evidence that this arena will be a benefit rather than a burden, then I am willing to see actual proof. BTW, it has to be something other than just good faith and wish full thinking. I have heard your opinion, but now I want to see facts that will back that said opinion, and you have yet to show me that. I have already shown you proof that that it will be a net money loser with the sources I have given. Just like any other hard core supporters, you seem to act defensive to this as if you are hiding something. Nobody who fought against this was against development on the rail yards, they just didn't like the way it was being developed. Last time I checked, 36%, which is what the rail yards are part of, is not the majority of the project, it's actually where people lived and worked that makes up the majority. The real reason why this project was still alive was because the ESDC, who has helped Ratner get away with this crime, kept it on life support, otherwise it would have been dead long ago when it couldn't get off the ground.
Sept. 27, 2012, 7:40 pm
Bob from Prospect Heights says:
Prospect Heights Resident, I've lived here over 40 years, so don't try to pull rank. The only thing "rank" is your assertion that only 140 people were displaced. Then you demand proof? I remember Patty Hagen did a walking census that showed 1100 people in the footprint. If you want to tout the crap studies that Ratner commissioned and paid for, and which the State swallowed because they wanted to aid and abet this CRIME SCENE, you go right ahead. You've totally blown your credibility. Only newbies are going to be at all persuaded because all of us who lived through it know the truth.
Read the IBO report (look it up yourself, you lazy sack)
Read all the DDDB site (don't cherry pick and take things out of context)
Talk to any of your neighbors who were there at the time
Then write an apology to all of them
Sept. 28, 2012, 8:50 am
Prospect Heights Residents from Prospect Heights says:
Bob, I never said that only 140 residents were displaced; that number referred to the number of residential units affected by the project. Go back and read. The number that I finally gave was 410, which comes from an official report on the project. I have also posted the link to this report, which I see you failed to read as well. Patty Hagan was wrong. Your conspiracy theories belong in a Michael Moore film, though. They are hilarious, yet predictably ridiculous and uninformed. Anyone who lived in area pre-area and is honest with themselves knows that there is no way that Patty Hagan is correct with her numbers and that the report that I posted paints a more accurate picture of how things were.
Sept. 28, 2012, 10:50 am
Prospect Heights Residents from Prospect Heights says:
Tal, the evidence is happening right before your eyes with the influx of new life and businesses popping up in the neighborhood. This will only continue as the arena begins to host shows and the rest of the project moves forward.
Sept. 28, 2012, 10:52 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Prospect Heights Residents, your comments at both me and Bob did not answer my question at all. The Atlantic Yards Report, the Independent Budget Office, and even the book Field of Schemes all give evidence that the arena is not a benefit but a burden and did it with actual research. Anything that claims the exact opposite was found to be nothing more than someone who either falls for anything Ratner and his cronies said hook, line, and sinker, or were possibly paid to say that such as Andrew Zimbalist when he made that report a while back. As a nerdy leftist, who is known not to come up with information arbitrarily, you will have to give proof in order to believe me. Still I insist you see the film that I mentioned for the true story. You can also go over to the Soapbox Gallery tomorrow at 6 PM to see the exhibition known as Atlantic Yards Deconstructed, which was taken by Tracy Collins, who has taken numerous pictures of the place. If you don't bother to show any proof for your side, I can call for you slander on some your claims.
Sept. 28, 2012, 3:15 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
And we have reports, based on actual research as well, holding otherwise, which you and Bob hold cannot be trusted because of the ties to Ratner; other things that I use to back up my position on certain matters are my own personal observations. Well, some of the studies you cite are compiled by supporters of those condemning the project (or by people sympathetic to their general cause), despite their "independent" label. At the end of the day, I believe that many of the studies you cite understate the impact on the area in terms of new businesses taking shape and increased values for properties, etc. (all of which means greater tax revenues).

As for the number or residents affected, I've already offered "proof" that the number is far less than you and Bob are saying, but at least Bob continues to disregard this, and point simply to words uttered by a woman giving a walking tour. As a "nerdy leftist," you are putting out some pretty suspect "evidence" to support your estimate of the number of residents affected by the project.

Still, at the end of the day, the project is going to go through, so why do you opponents continue to waste your time complaining? Well, freedom of speech, I guess.
Sept. 28, 2012, 5:13 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Prospect Heights Resident, none of those who are in charge of the sources I have given were asked to do so by the opposition, they did that all on their own. Regardless to their positions, they have no ties with DDDB in any way or form. BTW, the IBO has a neutral stance on the project, while I won't argue about the AYR and Field of Schemes, though they have researched their information. BTW, DDDB isn't the only group that has fought against this project. Other groups have included FUREE, No Land Grab, Brooklyn Speaks, Fifth Avenue Committee, Noticing NY, and many others that I haven't already mentioned. Again, none of them were asked to join the fight, they just chose to by themselves as I have. The only things from I dismiss are those that have no backings to them, which is what leaves them as an opinion rather than a fact.
Sept. 28, 2012, 8:46 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
They didn't have to be asked to do so by the official opposition explicitly. Many of these studies were conducted by groups that share the opposition's general worldview when it comes to eminent domain.

On a slightly different note, the first Barclays Center concert just let out or is about to let out soon. I am waiting to read about the "chaos" some in this comment thread predicted.
Sept. 28, 2012, 10:12 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Wait, here's news on traffic, etc.: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/wide-eyed-fans-descend-brooklyn-christen-barclays-center-soldout-jay-z-show-article-1.1170894

From the article:

"But in the first hours of its opening, Brooklyn kept the peace — the chaos was nowhere to be had.

"Trains ran on time, police guided traffic moving at a typical pace, and most pedestrians arrived from a new subway entrance that directed them straight into the arena.

'“It’s not as bad as I feared,” said City Councilman Steve Levin. “It looks like a regular Friday night. Maybe just a little worse.”'
Sept. 28, 2012, 10:18 pm
Q train from near by says:
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville --

If I had owned a place on the Barclay's site that I'd bought for $590,000 in 2004 -- when Brooklyn real estate was soaring -- I'd have gladly sold it for $3 million in 2010 -- when Brooklyn real estate values were falling.

That's what Daniel Goldstein did. You really don't know anything about the area.

Before the arena was built, there were, as many have said, only a handful of people living in buildings on or adjacent to the site. Most were converted from commercial space to residential space in an area that was dilapidated and just plain ugly.

Now the ramshackle places are gone and a far greater number of residential units will replace them.
Sept. 29, 2012, 12:05 pm
Q train from near by says:
Okay, so the arena opened last night and, and and, the SKY DID NOT FALL, AND THE TRAFFIC DID NOT JAM.

Meanwhile, a lot of risk-takers are planning to open businesses in the area to serve people attending events.

Eleven subway lines, six bus lines, the Long Island Railroad and a whole lotta people in walking distance.
Sept. 29, 2012, 12:13 pm
Q Train from nearby says:
Displaced? Displaced persons? What is this? WWII Europe?

Owners were "displaced" with cash. Offers that were Above Market, which is music to thears of someone who very likely bought his place when Brooklyn real estate was climbing -- before dropping over the last four years.

Usually selling real estate at a premium in a bad market is considered a lucky break. Those well compensated owners were able to go forth with extra money to buy another place in a down market.

It all worked in the real estate owners' favor.

They -- especially Daniel "$3 million" Goldstein -- should pour endless thanks on Ratner for treating them so well.
Sept. 29, 2012, 12:24 pm
Cynthia from Clinton hill says:
That's great, I wondering if Jay z the ex- drug dealer would've thought back then, he would've been part of causeing of displacements. Nothing but piece of crap like his dumb no-talent wife of his, they living it up.
Sept. 29, 2012, 11:40 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Really, Cynthia? You had to go there? Cut the crap, please.
Sept. 29, 2012, 11:54 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That couldn't have been me posting on September 28th because I spent the entire day watching reruns of Captain Kangaroo and my computer was turned off for defragging. I have my suspects, Mr. Idontusethesamenamewhenipretendtobesomebody else, and once I can proove it, you will find yourself in front of a judge facing charges of slander, cyberstocking, and internet school yard bullying.
Oct. 5, 2012, 11:57 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!