Yet another chapter in the Atlantic Yards saga
In China they're known as "nail houses": Homes owned by people who hold out like stubborn nails against developers -- or state officials -- who want their property. An extreme example of the type can be seen here.
For several years in Brooklyn, Daniel Goldstein owned what might be called a "nail condo," a three-bedroom condominium within the footprint of the proposed Atlantic Yards megadevelopment. He also operated as a classic gadfly, organizing opposition to Atlantic Yards and its developer, Forest City Ratner, as co-founder of the group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn.
And so the news that Goldstein had agreed to sell that condo -- for the astounding price of $3 million, no less -- reverberated strongly Wednesday across the blogosphere and among journalists who have been following the Atlantic Yards saga. Goldstein paid $590,000 for the condo in 2003; last year, he was offered what he considered the lowball offer of $510,000 by state officials.
There is lots of speculation that the difference between what Goldstein originally paid and the $3 million sum represents a kind of hush money. Goldstein acknowledges that he signed an agreement with Forest City pledging to step down as spokesman for Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and to refrain from publicly opposing the development.
Not surprisingly, though, he maintains that the situation is much more complicated. You can read his full statement here.
Meanwhile, this latest news means that the Barclays Center basketball arena at the heart of the development -- designed originally, like all of the first version of Atlantic Yards, by Frank Gehry but later handed to the firms Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects -- is one step closer to being built. It is planned as the home of the NBA's Nets, a team that now plays in New Jersey.
-- Christopher Hawthorne
Credit: Rendering of proposed Barclays Center from SHoP Architects.