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Developer Replaces Architect of NJ Nets Arena

Friday, June 05, 2009

After months of speculation, developer Bruce Ratner has replaced Frank Gehry as the architect for the new basketball arena in Brooklyn. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: Ratner used Gehry's name liberally while winning government approvals for Atlantic Yards. But in the end the developer couldn't afford the world-famous architect. Gehry's design would've cost nearly a billion dollars. Instead, Ratner has turned the project over to Ellerbe Becket, a lesser-known firm that's designed NBA arenas in Memphis, Tennessee, and Charlotte, North Carolina. The developer says Ellerbe Becket's design will be "more limited in scope" and images will be shown later this month. Ratner's office hasn't said whether Gehry will continue as architect for any of the other 16 buildings at Atlantic Yards. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

HOST: Ratner is promising to open the arena by the 2011-2012 basketball season, but opponents are trying to fight it in court.

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