The Daily News reports that Ratner is desperately trying to reduce the cost
of his billion dollar arena. If you read between the lines it is not too difficult
to surmise that Frank Gehry is no longer the architect for the once "world-class,
state-of-the-art" Barclays Center arena.
The starchitect is being "value engineered" out of the picture (note
that "scaled back" is not a size matter but a cost reduction):
Would it be unreasonable to ask, uhm...why?
Nets Arena cutbacks? Bruce Ratner scales back plans; Star architect Frank
Gehry may go
By ADAM LISBERG AND JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
The $1 billion Nets arena designed for Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards may be scaled
back to save developer Bruce Ratner millions in construction costs, the Daily
News has learned.
Forest City Ratner has brought in "value engineering" companies to review
architect Frank Gehry's blueprints to save money and keep the project afloat
amid a cash crunch that has stopped all work at the site, sources said.
A Forest City Ratner spokesman denied rumors that Gehry had been axed.
"Frank Gehry has not been removed from the project," spokesman Joe DePlasco
"We are continuing to speak with many arena experts and working hard to find
ways to build a world class venue in an incredibly difficult economic environment."
When was the last time something went right for Ratners FollyŠ.
Gehry did not respond to calls for comment.
Big changes are expected at the troubled 22-acre $4.1 billion project, which
was planned as an NBA basketball arena and 16 commercial and residential towers.
"(Ratner) has to go out and get $1 billion in funding (for the arena)," said
a source close to the developer. "That's probably not going to happen. It
can't be built if that's the price tag."
Sources said Ratner is "looking to value engineers to do the arena less expensively
and get that dollar amount down...They are looking at the arena from inside-out
and upside-down to see how to bring the arena to life less expensively."
Cutting costs could include using less expensive materials, a different configuration
or bringing in a different architect to do the project more cheaply, a source
"The question is how to deliver the arena that meets the specs and do so
in a way that isn't going to cost a billion bucks," the source said.
Forest City Ratner has been reeling from an economic meltdown that has threatened
nearly every aspect of the controversial Prospect Heights project...