How the New Atlantic Yards Could Be Built in Two Days: A Prefab Primer

Forest City Ratner, the developer behind Brooklyn’s controversial Barclays Center, is breaking ground tomorrow on another equally polarizing Atlantic Yards project. The B2 Tower is the first of 15 mixed-use high-rises that holds the promise of affordable housing for Brooklynites who have been edged out of the other already yuppified neighborhoods along the East River. At a public meeting a few weeks ago, New York-based SHoP architects announced to much fanfare that the B2 would be built with prefabricated modules, ensuring a quick, efficient construction process to minimize the usual building brouhaha, among other things.

In honor of Brooklyn becoming home to the tallest prefabricated building in the world, we thought we’d take a look at what that really means, and whether it really matters. Click through to learn more about the LEGO-like design popping up in Prospect Heights and give us your two cents in the comments. What do you think about the massive development project that’s been touted as a corrupt land grab and a complete failure of democracy?

Image via

What is the Atlantic Yards Project exactly?

In case you’ve been living under your blissfully removed Brooklyn rock and didn’t know that anything worthy of your liberal NIMBY opposition was happening, here’s an overview of what’s up on Flatbush Ave:

According to the project’s vapidly happy website, Atlantic Yards will combine the new home of Jay-Z’s beloved Nets with “a public plaza, eight acres of landscaped open space, more than 6,400 units of affordable, middle-income and market-rate housing, ground-floor retail space for local businesses and office space that will create a vibrant addition to a thriving borough.”

If the above renderings are any indication (and they are) of said vibrant addition, then let us be the first to point out that the Photoshopped collaged community looks more like some scary, sterile strip mall in the O.C., anchored by a Ross Dress for Less, than anything we’ve ever seen in said “thriving borough.” Let us also point out that no one living anywhere near Prospect Heights or Fort Greene would ever be caught dead in khaki cargo shorts or a black midriff baring tube top. Who are these people they’re wanting to import into our diverse, creative, carefully curated local scene?