At Friday’s ribbon cutting for the Barclays Center, Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner announced that groundbreaking on the site’s first residential tower, reminding the public that the Nets arena is just a small part of the much contested 22-acre project.
"Today is only one part of our larger Atlantic Yards vision. There is more to come,” he said, naming Dec. 18 as the date construction begins on the first of 16 planned apartment towers.
Located next to the arena at 461 Dean Street, the 32-story building will be nearly all housing, with 363 apartments, 50 percent of which will be “affordable to low-, moderate- and middle-income households,” according to a fact sheet provided by Forest City Ratner (see photo gallery for the full sheet).
Civic activists have criticized the building’s plan for not having enough 2-bedroom apartments and having no 3-bedroom units for families. Instead, they say, the developer is building smaller units, satisfying the state requirements, which are set by unit, not square footage.
Only 13 percent of the building will be two-bedroom units. The plan calls for 150 studios (41 percent), 165 one bedrooms (46 percent) and 48 two bedrooms (13 percent).
Of the affordable units, 20 percent (16 units) will have two-bedrooms (these will also have two-bathrooms).
The affordable units will be given out through a city administered lottery process to people making between $24,000 and $132,800 for a family of four (see exact breakdown in the fact sheet in the photo gallery).
The building will also include about 4,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and is aiming to achieve a LEED Silver certification level of environmental sustainability.
It is designed as a luxury building with a 24-hour doorman, a fiitness center, bike storage, resident lounge, game room, yoga/dance studio and roof terrace. Washer & Dryer appliances to be located in each apartment.
Forest City Ratner has not yet decided whether the building will be built using traditional construction methods, or be made of modular units, which will be created in a factory and assembled on site. There has been some debate over whether a prefab building will look as good as a traditionally built one.
If the prefab route is taken, Atlantic Yards would host the tallest modular building ever made.
The idea of prefab buildings came under fire last March, when plans for modular construction at the Atlantic Yards site was announced, and local unions were livid at the loss of jobs on the site.