Members of the community gathered at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Thursday, November 29, to listen to a presentation on building B2, the first residential building at Atlantic Yards.
The building will be located at 461 Dean Street, which is at the intersection of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue across the street from the new Barclays Center.
Developer Forest City Ratner (FCR) is set to break ground on the project on December 18, and construction should be finished in 20 months.
In an attempt to speed up the construction process the building will be built “modularly” - or rather, built in pieces elsewhere and then shipped to the site and assembled. The process will reduce build time by 10 months.
B2 will be the tallest modular building in the Unites States, standing at 32 floors and consisting of 346,000 square feet.
The building will contain 363 residential units, of which 50 percent will be set aside as affordable housing. With regard to affordable housing units, 75 units will be studios, 70 will be one-bedroom and 36 will be two-bedroom apartments, for a total of 181 units.
One of the main concerns of community members is the already crowded streets that surrounds the Barclays Center. One resident noted sidewalk would have to be reduced during construction. The sidewalk will indeed be reduced to five feet of usable space for pedestrians.
“The Department of Transportation said it’s fine,” assured Ashley Cotton, vice president of External Affairs for FCR. “As you see over the last few months, we adjust very well to arena occurrences.”
“I don’t know if I would use the word 'fine,'” countered Chris Hrones, a representative from the Department of Transportation (DOT).
He went on to say that it is currently the best that DOT can do, and that five feet is the minimum requirement for sidewalks with regard to construction projects. “It’s not ideal,” he said, “but it does meet out minimum standards.”
Along with the sidewalk changing, the bike lane on the street will also be looking a little different. “It’s maintained, but as a shared bike lane,” Cotton said.
However, the problem regarding the five-foot sidewalk took over the meeting.
“We’re going to have to look very closely at this and look at a new model,” Cotton finally admitted.
One of the adjustments she discussed was the need for dealing with the crowds at the Barclays Center in a different way to ensure the safety of vehicles and pedestrians walking along the limited sidewalk.
Hrones said the management of people using the arena may be the solution, proactively directing them to other entrances. He said that he hopes that will limit the amount of individuals flowing out the arena all at once.
“Obviously we’ll keep looking at it,” Hrones told the crowd.