Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gehry Proclaims Atlantic Yards Dead

In what may be one of the worst pieces of news for the embattled Bruce Ratner, his star-architect (or starchitect) Frank Gehry said that the controversial Atlantic Yards development is kaput. Well, he didn't say "kaput" but the answer was just as bad.

From The NY Daily News:

Asked by a trade paper about "unrealized commissions" he most wishes had been built, famed 80-year-old architect Frank Gehry brought up Atlantic Yards.

"I don't think it's going to happen," he told the Architect's Newspaper in an interview published online.

The comment suggests the troubled relationship between Gehry and developer Bruce Ratner is over.

"While Ratner's project is a big question mark, it appears to be clear that his star architect - a key selling point for the project, its sponsors and Barclays bank - is no longer working on the project," said Daniel Goldstein, a member of the anti-Yards group Develop Don't Destroy.

Atlantic Yards probablity of being built has diminished for the last year or so and the current state of the economy has helped drive it into the ground for good. Credit is tight, construction costs have risen, but most importantly, the controversy of the development helped keep the project in question just long enough to help quash Ratner's dreams. Now he'll try to build something a lot smaller and less grand, but this is where a competent city government would come in and restore some order. Of course, as long as Marty Markowitz is around that possibility is quite slim.