Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Is This the Slowest Project Ever in Brooklyn?

October 16th, 2008 · 15 Comments

This is the new entrance to the LIRR station at the Atlantic Center. It’s a replacement for the facility that was destroyed in the late 1980s for the development that ultimately became Bruce Ratner’s megaplex that includes Target. That mall was built in 2004. The station’s been under construction for a looooong time and one wonders what, exactly, is taking so long. Earlier this year, glass was installed causing a great deal of excitement that the building might actually be finished before 2050. Alas, there is little visible progress and, in fact, the situation for pedestrians, many of whom now circumvent the construction barricade at one of Brooklyn’s most dangerous intersections and walk in the street, has gotten worse. It is surprising no one has been run down and killed yet because of the work. There may be one developer in Brooklyn, however, thrilled by the slow pace of the LIRR/Ratner project: Shaya Boymelgreen, who is notorious for both the slow rate at which his buildings have gone up and for the festering neighborhood issue in Park Slope that we call the Boymelpark. Compared to this project, Mr. Boymelgreen’s works is like watching something move at the speed of light. If anyone knows why this job looks like the Boondoggle from Hell, do fill us in. In the meantime, try not get killed getting around it.

Tags: Fort Greene

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Phil // Oct 16, 2008 at 9:24 am

    The Gowanus roadway project is a close second to the slowest project. They started with traffic interruptions before Bill Clinton’s 2nd term. It might take another 12 years to finish the northbound lanes and then they can start on the southbound lanes.

  • 2 anon // Oct 16, 2008 at 11:46 am

    duh – it’s a public good not a luxury condo. what’s the incentive to build faster?

  • 3 Red Hook // Oct 16, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Yup, they built an entire condo tower down the street while this work has been going on. An entire building.

  • 4 Maybe Mama Didn’t Say Knock You Out - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com // Oct 16, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    […] entrance to the LIRR station at the Atlantic Center could be the longest, slowest construction project ever. [Gowanus […]

  • 5 SmithBrotherJoe // Oct 16, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    According to the FEIS for for the Atlantic Terminal Mall, the waiting room was scheduled for completion in 1995! And who’s the developer? Why, Bruce Ratner, of course! 13 years late and counting…I’m sure the delay has something to do with tax breaks while construction is going on or something. Or it might be an agreement with the construction unions, or the MTA might be hiding cash in the process, but whatever it is, it’s pretty indefensible.

  • 6 knithoundbrooklyn // Oct 16, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    yep, definitely the slowest project in Brooklyn. Drove by the other day and thought the very same thing. Probably will be butt ugly when finished anyway.

  • 7 me // Oct 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    when it does open it will be a full wall of glass major transit entry close to the street and sidewalk – a perfect terrorist target. The only thing stupider would be to build a glass arena close to the street…oh wait! ratner wants to do that too!

  • 8 Chris Havens // Oct 16, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    i hear it is the usual confluence of design changes, field conditions, bidding, government, private, tough location to build etc.

  • 9 RBC // Oct 16, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    That transit hub IS a terrorist target. In the mid ’90s, a terrorist cell had planned to bomb the station, but one of the bombers had a change of heart and actually came forward to the police. True story!!!

  • 10 zinka // Oct 16, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    SmithBrotherJoe, where can I find that FEIS?

  • 11 DW // Oct 16, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Ok, where’s the response from the MTA?
    Crappy reporting, one-sided. What’s their response?

  • 12 SmithBrotherJoe // Oct 17, 2008 at 8:58 am

    You can request it from the MTA (the state sponsor for the construction project), and you might have to FOIL for it by now. You can either go to a location in Queens to view it or pay for a printout. By now it might be available on a CD if you request it. Info here: http://mtaig.state.ny.us/foil_request.htm

    I read someone else’s copy. Very amusing document! It was supposedly built to be contextual under the existing ATURA guidelines and the stated purpose was to provide a retail bridge between Atlantic Center and the very important “Shops at Atlantic Center”…you know, the Modells and PC Richards.

  • 13 JebO // Oct 17, 2008 at 10:36 am


    Your supposed on this FEIS is suspect.

    First, this project wasn’t approved until 1998, so there’s no way it could have been completed in 1995.


    Second, there was an FEIS prepared for Forest City Ratner’s above-ground component of this project, which would be available from the NYC Department of City Planning. The MTA prepared what is known as an “EA” or Environmental Assessment, for the below-ground component of this project.

  • 14 zinka // Oct 17, 2008 at 10:51 am


  • 15 SmithBrotherJoe // Oct 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks, Jeb! Always great to be told what I did and didn’t read!