You remember the Barclays Center, right? You know, it’s that construction site in Brooklyn that’s supposed to become something? Since you’ve been away, the House That Jay-Z (And Gentrification) Built is actually looking like a stadium. A really, really, really big stadium.
Actually, its looks a lot bigger than everyone thought it was going to look like. Barclays Center construction watchdog blog Atlantic Yards Report shows an extremely misleading rendering used on the official Atlantic Yards website. “First, the hovercraft effect… The rendering appears to be the work of someone standing on his shoulder. Note the height of the subway entrance.” The rendering also makes the stadium look much less wide and about the same size as the adjacent mall, which is pretty much not true. Check out the website’s own panorama to compare the details.
Another development over the summer, the stadium proprietors are now allowed to sell alcohol late at night. When the State Liquior Authority decided the boozy fate of the new arena, residents of adjacent neighborhoods Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, and Boerum Hill tried their hardest for a dry stadium. Residents called for an early liquor cut-off: halftime at NBA games and at a relative hour for concerts and other shows. With residential neighbors so close, it makes sense for the arena to go dry. “The arena is a monstrosity to begin with,” Boerum Hill resident Wanda Fleck told The Local in April. “But with a liquor license, there will be drunk guys vomiting and peeing in the street.”
Alas, the SLA granted the liquor license with only a slightly earlier last call. The SLA decided to issue the arena a license requiring them to stop serving to 1,800 VIPs at 1 am. This is secretly kind of a victory for the residents, as the only event to go past 1am is an electronica show, possibly “house music experience” Sensation on Oct. 26 & 27. According to Gothamist, arena operators vouched that said they’d voluntarily decided to cut the booze off at midnight. The ravers will probably not notice the lack of alcohol, as they will be too busy popping MDMA and licking each other’s bodies.
This isn’t the first huge piece of construction that’s come to the Atlantic Yards area. Bruce Ratner, the president of Ratner Forest construction and the guy responsible for the Barclays’s Center, built two monstrous malls just next door. The Atlantic Terminal and the Atlantic Center are two testaments to suburbs right in the heart of Brooklyn, sporting a Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chuck E. Cheese, and a DMV for good measure. Although everyone was equally abuzz when the Terminal went up in 2004, there’s been a shift from “Wow, we have a Target!” to “Wow, this guy is taking over everything!” The area is being grandly transformed and contstructed by the plans of one man, and the protests from Brooklyn residents cannot be denied in the wake of it.
As the uber-center nears its Jiggaman coming out party on Sept. 28, Atlantic Yards Report swears that this is really coming down to the wire; allegedly, there’s still a ton of work to do. There’s even a new report distributed by Empire State Development, kind of a “just so you know, we may not be done” warning. We don’t know what’s exactly going to happen when tens of thousands of people start pouring into this Brooklyn crux every other night, but like Ratner’s plan, the size of the stadium, and the millenial change in Atlantic Yards, we know it’ll is going to be big.