The design for the Atlantic Yards tower, a 32-story building which would be the world’s tallest prefabricated structure, was unveiled on Thursday.
The developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, through its spokesman, Joe DePlasco, said they hope to start construction in the first quarter of 2012 and complete it within 18 months. Fifty percent of the building will be allocated for low and middle income households.
The $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project in downtown Brooklyn, which will be the home of the New Jersey Nets, is the largest redevelopment project in the city’s recent history next to the World Trade Center. The arena for the Nets is expected to open in September 2012.
Since its inception in 2003, the project has been hobbled by lawsuits, financial problems and delays.
One of the more prominent sticking points includes the announced prefabricated construction, which could result in fewer jobs and lower wages. Councilwoman Letitia James said the possible lower number of construction jobs was disappointing but not unexpected.
“This is the greatest bait-and-switch in the history of Brooklyn,” James said. “It does not come as any surprise because there is pattern of practice in failed promises.”
DePlasco said the developer is currently negotiating with construction unions, and the 17,000 construction jobs announced earlier is still expected.
“Even modular needs to be built,” he said. “This is not automation.”