FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, GOVERNOR PATERSON, BOROUGH PRESIDENT MARKOWITZ, BRUCE RATNER, ROBERT DIAMOND AND JAY-Z BREAK GROUND ON SPORTS ARENA IN BROOKLYN
18,000-Seat Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards Will Bring NBA's Nets to Brooklyn and Serve as Major Sports and Entertainment Venue Starting in 2012
Atlantic Yards Project Will Create Tens of Thousands of Construction and Permanent Jobs, Thousands of Units of Affordable Housing and Billions of Dollars in Economic Activity
Mayor Announces New Commitment to Ensure First Residential Building is Affordable
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor David A. Paterson, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Forest City Ratner Companies Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner, Barclays PLC President Robert E. Diamond, Jr., and NETS investor Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter today broke ground on the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards. The 18,000-seat world-class sports and entertainment arena, which will open in 2012, is the initial piece of the Atlantic Yards project, a major mixed-use development in Brooklyn that will create tens of thousands of construction and permanent jobs, thousands of units of affordable housing and billions of dollars in economic activity.
"The Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards is the first piece of what will be one of the largest private investments and job generators in Brooklyn's history," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The world-class arena will bring the Nets to Brooklyn, and the entire project will bring with it tens of thousands of construction and permanent jobs, thousands of units of affordable housing and tremendous economic activity. Now more than ever, we need investments that create jobs and help build for New York City's future, and the Atlantic Yards is a great example of that."
"Today we begin the next phase of construction on the Barclays Center and celebrate a new phase for the community it will serve," said Governor Paterson. "The opportunities afforded through this state-of-the-art arena and the Atlantic Yards development mean new jobs, affordable housing, and ongoing economic growth. This is a boon for Brooklyn and for all New York and we welcome the progress to come."
"Atlantic Yards began as just a dream I had of bringing major league sports back to Brooklyn, which lost those beloved 'bums,' the Dodgers, 53 years ago - and now, we're thrilled to be getting not only Barclays Center and the Nets, but affordable housing, union jobs and the economic development that our nation's fourth largest city so richly deserves," said Borough President Markowitz. "I commend the commitment of Bruce Ratner, the Nets organization, the State and the City, for a great team effort. There's only one thing more exciting than putting a shovel in the ground today: being in Barclays Center on opening night and welcoming our Brooklyn Nets and their fans to the home of the soon-to-be NBA champs!"
"When we announced Atlantic Yards in December 2003, we anticipated that this project would create buzz and excitement for the borough and the City as well as needed jobs and affordable housing," said Bruce Ratner. "We did not at the time appreciate that Atlantic Yards would be such an important economic engine. The fact that we can start construction in this financial environment is testament to the lasting appeal of New York City. We are a City that continues to grow and prosper and Atlantic Yards will for many years stand as a reminder that we can build and create jobs and homes and dreams even during the most difficult of economic times. We will work closely with the community to ensure that construction progresses efficiently and with minimum impact on the surrounding communities."
"Barclays is proud to be part of the ongoing renaissance of Brooklyn," said Robert E. Diamond, Jr. "The Barclays Center will create new jobs, help bring professional sports back to Brooklyn, and provide a state-of-the-art arena that will host a range of events and serve as the future home of the NETS. Our goal is to have the Barclays Center become the cultural and sporting heart of this community."
The Barclays Center is being developed by Forest City Ratner Companies, which will operate the arena in partnership with ONEXIM Group - the investment fund founded by Mikhail Prokhorov, and it is being designed by the architectural firms Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects. The arena will host more than 200 events annually, including professional and collegiate sports, concerts, family shows, and NETS Basketball. The state-of-the-art facility, to be located at Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, will have 18,000 seats for basketball and up to 19,000 seats for concerts. The arena will also include 40 loge boxes, six clubs and restaurants, and an onsite practice facility.
Site preparation for the new arena began last fall, and heavy construction will now begin. Over the next six months, excavation and foundation work will proceed, as well as continued work on street utilities.
The Atlantic Yards project will include an arena and 16 new buildings to be utilized for residential, office, and retail purposes. Of the anticipated 6,430 units of housing, 4,500 will be rental apartments and the remainder will be market rate condos. Fifty percent of the rental units -- 2,250 apartments - will be for a combination of low-, moderate- and middle-income families.
In the first phase of development, which includes four buildings, Forest City Ratner Companies committed that at least 30 percent of the housing units would be income-targeted. Mayor Bloomberg also announced today that the City has secured an additional commitment from the developer to ensure that at least 50 percent of the units in the first residential building will be affordable to a mix of low-, moderate- and middle-income families.
"Cities around the country are struggling to encourage capital investments that will create jobs and stimulate their local economies," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber. "In Brooklyn, we're breaking ground on one of the largest private investments in New York City's history, and the timing couldn't be better. The jobs, housing and economic activity will all boost the local Brooklyn and overall City economy now and for decades to come."
"The Barclays Center will be one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in the country," said Brett Yormark, President and CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. "Today is a defining moment for our partners and our fans who have stood by us and supported this world-class project. We look forward to many exciting moments at the Barclays Center."
"The Barclays Center will be a spectacular state-of-the-art venue, and we look forward to its opening as the home of the Nets," said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "Both NBA fans and the borough of Brooklyn will benefit from Bruce Ratner's unwavering commitment to making this vision a reality."
Forest City Ratner Companies has also committed to at least 30 percent of contracts and 45 percent of all construction jobs being held by women and minorities. Out of the more than $51 million worth of contracts already awarded for work on the site, 80 percent of the total prime contracts awarded to date have gone to M/WBE firms and 49 percent of the total contract dollars to M/WBE firms.
In addition, in their commitment to the physical and educational development of youth in the Brooklyn and New York City community, Barclays, the NETS, and FCRC formed the Barclays Nets Community Alliance in November 2007. As part of its stated mission, the Alliance invests in local non-profits that work to improve the lives of young people through sports and other activities, including education and health care.
Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent (Mayor) (212) 788-2958
Marissa Shorenstein (Governor) (212) 681-4640
David Lombino (NYCEDC) (212) 312-3523
Joe DePlasco (Forest City Ratner) (212) 981-5125
Barry Baum (Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment) (917) 847-1737
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